Sunday, November 23, 2008

Comic 507: It's all in the name of SCIENCE

inset hell freezing over here
I actually liked this comic a lot. I think the idea of experimenting with lesbianism in a scientific way is a pretty funny concept, even more so if it's clearly just an excuse to sleep with a lot of different people under the guise of scientific rigor.

That said, I think the drawing part leaves a lot to be desired. Was two people holding hands, one of them pointing, really the best idea for an illustration he could come up with? Why not like the guy looking really tiny next to twelve football players or something? Or her in bed with like three other guys and saying to her boyfriend (who is on the floor) "Hey! It's for SCIENCE, ok?" Or some kind of two panel thing, where the first panel is her in bed with a girl and the text is "I'm cool with her past lesbian experimentation" and the second panel is " but I wish she hadn't insisted [etc]" and it's her in bed with some other guy going "Hmmm.....not sure I recorded the results right that time, we'll have to do it again."


  1. I think this one falls into the category of "if he'd made it at the peak of his career I'd have enjoyed it a lot more." Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy it! It was actually pretty amusing. But it will probably not stick with me, or it wouldn't have done if I weren't now writing about it. It is definitely an idea that, if more fully developed, has a lot of 'hey that would be kind of awesome' potential.

    (Today's Captcha: atedard)

  2. I really have no thoughts about this one, so I'm going to move along and say I find the red hair in comic 508 incredibly disturbing.

  3. wait, you're okay with this one? i think i missed something here. it's all about her lesbian experimentation, so why is she pointing at dudes? im reading 'dudes' to mean 'guys' so maybe that's my mistake, but.. i just don't think it quite lines up.

    and im with jay on this one - 508 is weird. and i'll also say not very good. or original. or particularly creative.

  4. changed to the appropriate title. Thanks chip.

    Greg- the dudes are from the control group, to help her establish that she likes having sex with women, not just having sex in general.

    The hair in the next comic is really weird, it's like the flying spaghetti monster is eating her head. Hell the whole comic is pretty fucked up.

  5. Ah, and now the Quadrumvirate of Modern XKCD is complete! We have Comic #479 (good art and good joke), Comic #507 (good joke but downright lazy art), Comic #482 (good art but no joke) and Comic #503 (bad joke and bad art).

    And they are watched over by the Demonhead Comic #490 (no art, entry-level joke).

    What this demands is "fan" fiction. ('Fan' isn't capitalised, but the quotation marks are.)

  6. Carl, I am ashamed that you would stoop so low as to offend our most mighty of Creators. I hope you think He will forgive you, but the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not take insults lightly.


  7. I agree that #507 is pretty funny- I think the joke could have been punchier but overall it was good.

    Also, I like #508 a lot! That's the kind of silly gag I think Randall can do very well, and I wish he'd do more of it.

  8. Thumbs up here -- Randall kept it simple, and managed to keep his creative shoelaces from tangling.

    Only thing I would change is the word order after the comma. "But I wish she hadn't been so (scientifically) rigorous" or something like that makes the joke sliiightly punchier. But the comic's already good, so no gripes here.

  9. NOTE TO HATERS (of XKCDsucks, not XKCD):


    Carl, you should link the haters to threads like these, where we are all nice and friendly.

    (Captcha: hydra)

  10. The illustration is perfect. It does two things: establishes the dialogue between boyfriend and girlfriend, even though the boy has no lines in this comic, and it doesn't give away the punch line.

    The whole point of a punch line is that you lead the listener/reader in one direction, then the punch line takes an unexpected turn from what you thought was going to happen. If the illustration established them in bed together, or him standing next to twelve football players, your mind is already led toward sex. That detracts from the punch line, it doesn't add to it.

    Your suggestions don't take humor into account. They only provide more explanation and exposition on the original joke. Storytelling is not comedy.

    I think your attempts to objectively disqualify xkcd humor aren't really valid, since nothing you write actually shows me that you have a grasp of what humor is. All you're qualified to say is that xkcd doesn't appeal to your sense of humor.

    /Comedy 101
    //This blog isn't worth reading

  11. James - I don't think it is necessary to establish that there is dialog between them because I don't think the two of them talking is important to the joke. The joke is she's being rigorous, that's it. It's a good joke.

    If you read the blog (although we know it's not worth reading, but if you did it anyway) we are all aware of the lead-in-one-way-and-then-suddenly-change method of humor. What's good about this comic is that is has that - You are led to think about "lesbian experimentation" and you just imagine her sleeping with another girl or something, and then when you hear "rigorous" you are jolted in the direction of "thousands of girls, and also guys."

    I would ask you this question - what direction does "12 of the dudes from control group B" lead you in? I say it leads you to "there's an experiment happening!" So that by the time you get to " scientifically rigorous" you are already thinking about that, because you know there's a control group (or two).

    I didn't take humor into account when I wrote this post because it was a rare xkcd where I thought the humor worked well and didn't need to be corrected much; for an example of the opposite see here or here.

    James, you are clearly very new here, so I'd say to read the lame faq and then jump back into the discussion.