Monday, October 6, 2008

Comic 485: Not Actually That Deep

eh, not worth reloading

I was going to write something about Comic 484. I really was. Something about how it was a really kind of pithy observation and how obviously in-browser flash games are addictive, hence websites like But then this "Depth" thing came along and I just lost the will to mock anything else.

update: Thomas wrote a guest post about 484! I posted it below this one to keep the chronology right, though it was in fact written later. Read it!

and now back to this "depth " comic...

So obviously it's playing off of last week's Height poster/advertisement. But like so many sequels (I'm looking at YOU, matrix reloaded!) it sucks hard compared to the original. And the original was not good.

It's jokes and references are even lamer ("ha ha, Vista sucks! no one has made this obsevation before!" "Ha ha, a computer mouse is called the same thing a mouse that is an animal is called!" "ha ha, rickrolling is still funny!"). It feels tired at this point (wooah, are we really zooming in as we get closer? again? awesome! and it's only been three whole comics since last time!). You can't help but wonder how long it will be before a poster goes up for sale. Looks like someone is hoping for some more cash flow...

Also, the whole thing is far, far too reminiscent of the film Powers of 10, which not only zooms in on the world from the farthest reaches of the universe (Height) to the tiniest (Depth). Heck, it even uses a log scale! And we certainly know Randall is a fan of Powers of 10...

Also the name doesn't even make sense. It's not like the stuff at the bottom of the comic is farther from anything; at least height vaguely measured the heights of things in some way, at least at the end. You aren't getting deeper into anything here.

Ok poll question: Is this the last we've seen of these comics for a while? And what's next ("new poster: Width!" and then later, "Duration!")


  1. But there's room for hate in 484! It's a bit of a trap, sure, since any haters can be called out as obsessive gamer nerds, but this is a risk we must take.

    If you won't do it, I volunteer. No guarantees of humor, though, since I'm a lowly plebian who can't write his own webcomics.

  2. Well if you are a pathetic obsessive like me whose entire life revolves around this brilliant comic and you would disappear immediately if it stopped, you are probably well qualified to say something about it. E-mail me what you want to say - include any pictures you want or any other details. By default, as you know, I put an image of the comic on the top of the post and link to the original.

  3. No, no, see, this is genius. This redeems everything, especially the height comic. See, it's not about being funny or good anymore. Now, it's about posters. And either one on its own would make a shit poster. But I want you to picture a room which contains BOTH of them.

    Imagine it. You walk in and here is Height on one side and Depth on the other. Or, OR, they are lined up so they are ONE LONG CONTIGUOUS POSTER. Eh? Eh?

    You can have them side by side so you can simultaneously gaze into the cosmos and at a proton. You can be thinking 'wow the universe is really big but also really small my mind is so blown.' This is big. This is the end of XKCD the webcomic and the dawn of XKCD the poster store. I, for one, welcome this change with open wallet.

  4. Carl mentioned "Width" and "Duration" as a joke... But I think we might see "Duration", i.e. a poster showing the history of the universe going back in time.

    That would be interesting, but I'm sure it's been done many times before... who knows, maybe it'll be in the Xkcd store by next week?

  5. What, no mention of "Powers of 1"?

  6. Man. I totally groaned as soon as I saw the title for this comic. And then I was like yippityyaye! And rushed on over here to see what you had to say about it.

    lol Rob. You could totally sell this. Not that you would need to, people are already calling their accountants to move some money around so they can be at the ready when Randall releases his Most Awesome Poster, part 2!

    I'm wondering, Carl, what is your middle name? Z? You don't have to tell me if that's too stalker-ish.

  7. Anon, he did mention it, with "Randall is a fan."

  8. Rob, I am worried that we are headed there. xkcd becomes just a way to advertise products, but everyone keeps reading it because they still trick themselves into thinking it's funny. Honestly, maybe that was the plan all along. In that case, it's BRILLIANT.

    The annoying thing is that the Height and Depth posters could be lined up together and work as a single poster. This is annoying because it shows they are measuring the same thing, yet one claims to be about "height" and the other, "depth."

    I am sure a "depth" poster would sell far, far worse than Height no doubt is. It's just so much less of a comic, in every way.

    Vlad - I dunno, Mr. Hat's Crazy And Quirky Relationship Adventures began right after I complained he wasn't around enough anymore. Who knows what I can predict?

    Amanda - you being excited about a bad comic because of this blog reminds me: I have recently started using google analytics to track visits to this site. I am curious if when there is a noticeably worse-than-average comic, the numbers shoot up. So far the data is: Inconclusive!

    Also - nothing wrong with asking about the Z, but what it stands for is my Most Cherished Secret.

  9. Aw but now I wanna know what it is!

    Arrrrrrgh! WHY would you put your sekrit in your email address?

  10. It's Zarathustra.

    Don't worry, I won't tell the Nietzsche Society.

  11. I thought the bit about the angels and fork() were funny enough.

  12. Maybe I'm two years late on this, but I just noticed there's god damn sperm inside the computer. TMI, Randall.

  13. I am sure that is actually quite accurate for most readers of this comic.