Thursday, December 18, 2008

Comic 519: The Worst Comic Ever Made


I am making an official declaration: this individual comic is, with no exceptions, the worst comic I have EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. This includes print comics such as Garfield and the really bad political cartoons that crop up during election season. This is an abysmal piece of work and Randall ought to be ashamed of himself. ASHAMED. It is entirely indefensible. It is not funny, and it is far from insightful.

All right, stop me if you heard this one before. So an intelligent kid goes to high school and finds himself bored by all of his classes, assumes they are a waste of time because he is unchallenged, and in his free time adopts some other hobby that he finds to be challenging and rewarding, and he puts a lot more value on that activity and associates more positive memories with it, so he assumes it is a lot more important to the rest of his life. Then his parents take him to visit a college campus and when he meets with the admissions counselor he says "That's no admissions counselor, THAT'S MY WIFE."


So, it's a chart comic. Minus points for that. And it's not funny. I'm not even sure if it's trying to be funny, but if it's not it is even worse because it is also not insightful. Maybe he is going for (as the alt text implies) "It's amazing how much small decisions can totally change your life." And yes, true. I could tell you about countless tiny things that happened to me that have completely changed the course of my life. But this is (a) not a very insightful way of saying it, and (b) implying that these are the only decisions that actually matter.

Or perhaps he's making a comment about the education system. "Man, you don't learn anything important in school it's not like I'll be using any of this in my job, you don't know nothing this sucks" etc. This is not clever or insightful or useful; this is something high school students say when they don't want to do their work. Especially the intelligent ones who are doing other hobbies that they have decided they want to get paid for, like playing with Perl.

And now we move on to the feature known as "Rob Reads The Forums, So You Don't Have To." Not only is everyone agreeing with it "oh man that is so true," we have what counts as a Get Out Of My Head, Randall, and then an Obvious Troll who is my new personal hero (if you are this person PLEASE COMMENT I LOVE YOU). Mostly everyone seems to think that this comic is their new personal Jesus.

god why did i look at the forums i think it may have broken me YOU ALL BETTER APPRECIATE IT


UPDATE: I have replaced the link to the actual comic with a link to Carl's parody on his post. Which I am glad happened, because THERE IS NOT ENOUGH BAD STUFF TO WRITE ABOUT THIS COMIC. TONGUE NOR HEART CANNOT CONCEIVE NOR NAME THEE.


  1. It's whiny as fucking hell. "Who needs school? I am too good and smart for plebeian opiates like school! Also I know Perl so I am better than you."

  2. Ramsey: It's more than whiny. It's "I am too /special/ and smart for school."

    I was kind of that kid when I was in high school. I now recognize that while I did receive an inadequate education due to being easily bored and unchallenged, it was not actually a waste of my time. I learned a lot, and it shaped a lot of who I am, and isn't the real point of education teaching you how to teach yourself?

  3. Y'know, maybe he lucked out, but in my high school we ended up doing a hell of lot more than 400 hours of homework since some teachers were smart enough to develop the art of busywork which cut into my habit of wasting time, so quit your bellyaching, Randall.


  4. Am I the only one that was pissed the fuck off at the emo-tastic alt-text?

    Translation of alt text: "If you had made the decision to talk to That Guy Who Was Your "Nice Guy" Friend, your life would have been so much better." No?

    ANYWAY I agree, your troll was pretty amazing.

  5. By the way, Rob, do you know how to keep me logged into Blogger? I have to re-log in every time I close the window and isn't the whole point of using the account that I don't have to log in? >=(

  6. Do you have 'remember me' or whatever set on Gmail? It uses the same cookie, I think. If you are always logged in to Gmail you are always logged in to Blogger.

    The alt text bothered me but not for that reason. I just felt like it was going for 'one conversation can change your world, man.' It just didn't do it very well? I may be sympathetic because I spend too much time thinking about things like 'how different would my life be if I hadn't done X' so... eh.

  7. YES I DO which is why I am so irked. >=( Humph.

    Ah. I think Randall just bothers me when he gets emo... because when he does it he gets this mass reaction of OH MAN THAT IS SOOOO TRUE GET OUT OF MY HEAD

  8. What I find really funny about all of this is how much Randall is worshipped at MIT. (

    It's almost like he has to be condescending to keep from imploding. Nobody seems to realize that he is actually a professional cartoonist and so all of his jokes don't apply to himself. These MIT kids are going to grow up to be great Physicists, Chemists, or Computer Scientists and they'll look down and find Randall still doodling on a website while Randall in turn looks down on even more impressionable teenagers.

  9. Holy shit this was a wank comic... not even a comic, it was a chart.

    I don't know if anyone has ever seen the chart-comic website indexed [ ] but this is very reminiscent of that.

  10. Randall - stating simple observations in chart form does not a comic make. Please try harder, or I will write a letter to your parents instructing them to love you less.

    And all that homework/busywork in high school WAS useful. It taught how to grind through hours of tedious assignments that I didn't care about, thus preparing me quite well for my job at the patent office.

  11. Poore, you totally said what I said (to Carl's post) a half a day before I did. Please stop preemptively plagiarizing my ideas, thanks. =D

    Also, please write that letter. I enjoy the concept.


    Here's a better comic. You get to see a lego[tm] person wrestles a lego[tm] god (who happens to fight dirty).

    I can't believe that The Brick Testament is better than present day xkcd.

  13. Amanda, I may just actually write that letter. Of course, I'll have to figure out Randall's parents' address first. Then I can finally be INTERNET FAMOUS.

    It's like regular famous, only not.

    Oh and sorry about the preemptive plagiarism. I forget sometimes that I am a shark from the future and know things before I should be able to.



  14. GUYS i knew it! He was a shark the whole time! get him

  15. ohmanyouguystrolledmesohardMarch 30, 2009 at 7:38 AM

    Are you guys trolling? If you're not trolling, what makes you madder: the fact that he makes 'bad' comics or the fact that far more people enjoy them than not?


  16. to ohmanyouguystrolledmesohard:
    The second. It says so on the blog title: "xkcd: Overrated"

    Wait, it doesn't. Carl! Why did you change such a to the point title? Now it just echoes the sub domain.

  17. I changed it a few months ago, I wanted it to be stronger. Honestly, it's because I went from believing that xkcd was an ok comic that was overrated to believing that it truly sucks. Also I was hoping it would make google searches for "xkcd sucks" more likely to point here (mission accomplished, eventually)

  18. I don't think any one will notice this since it's so old, but I just want to say this. In my first class for essentially Advanced Beginner's Programming in Uni my teacher showed this comic to us and I don't know why. I think he may have done it because we will be learning Perl in the class but everyone, EVERYONE in the class except me and the row I was in and the row in front of me laughed at the joke.

    My prof even asked if anyone remembered any of their classes, like their Social classes from grade 11 and I was the only one who raised my hand (I'm sorry Randall, but I actually liked learning about the Great Wars and Imperialism and I know that I could find a way in my career to make it relevant, I'm sorry you couldn't do the same) and it saddened me to come to the realization that in my first class I learned that I was surrounded by people who might not be forumites for xkcd but the fact that they actually could relate... yeah I didn't like stuff in high school, but I knew I needed to do it in order to get in to University, maybe those losers didn't think the same way.

    One final note, I'm taking those classes because they are electives for my Psychology Major, as evidenced that my Psych profs probably don't know much about computers outside of turning them on and using Microsoft Office, checking their email or using the internet so I highly doubt that my knowledge of Perl that I will get from this class will help me in my career of Psychology, a career where I should not be spending my time writing programs for a computer, a career where I should be TALKING to people and using my social skills.

    A final, final word. One thing my prof in computers said was that maybe even the small things we do outside of the dull grinding of school can be more beneficial to us, and like many above have said, Randall may have been trying to make a point that self-learning can leave a more positive experience with you (since most of University is self-taught any ways) than having knowledge forced down your throat, but not everyone works that way, some people can't learn themselves, they HAVE to be taught by someone else so this is a flawed, pretentious and arrogant statement that Randall is making (not the first time though, amirite?) but in all seriousness, if your parents or your teachers don't warn you ahead of time that higher education will be 90% your own private learning and 10% your profs teaching you then you're kind of screwed any ways.