Thursday, January 29, 2009

Comic 536: Mind of Munroe

a nerd complaining about an idiot

I need to start by saying that Randall and I clearly agree on one thing: Carlos Mencia sucks. He sucks donkey balls, in fact. He steals jokes like nobody's business. He pretends he's Mexican and not half-German half-Honduran. And mostly importantly, he's criminally unfunny. Unlike xkcd, I'm not aware of any good stuff at all that's come out of Mind of Mencia (though, to be fair, unlike xkcd, my hatred has kept me from trying to consume more of his work). So...yeah. SUCKS.

Anyway, I think this comic probably breaks the streak of "comics randall munroe draws that make me want to punch people in the face." That's not to say I like it, just that it doesn't fill me with rage. So...good job? I don't know. The set up line seemed to set up a more intelligent joke, and then the punchline reveals that it's not going to say anything special about science or space elevators or the wonderfully quotable Arthur C Clarke. It's just "Carlos Mencia Isn't Funny." Which is all well and good on its own, but even more so than the last comic this feels outdated. Wikipedia tells me that Mind of Mencia has already ended so I wonder why now we get a joke making fun of it. There's still unfunny stuff out there (for example, Will Ferrell is still making movies and Dane Cook is still talking) but I think of Carlos Mencia as being so 2005.

Lastly, for a humorist to make jokes about other humorists being bad seems like a really tricky line to walk. Who among the xkcd haters out there didn't change the last panel so that it suggested disseminating xkcd to stop laughter? I know I did. And Randall has been known to commit the occasional act of unrepentant plagiarism too.

Credit where it's due: I like the art in this comic. Could have used some in the second panel but whatever. Stolen-from-the-forums discussion question: Is the art supposed to be (yet another) tribute to Calvin and Hobbes? I But maybe you disagree?

PS- Randy has a new blog post up but it's so damn boring it took me three tries to read it all and I don't want to talk about it anymore.


  1. glad to see i wasn't the only person to think that this joke was, oh, three years too late. mencia sucked then and sucks now, but he's not even on the radar anymore. yet another pitiful showing on randall's behalf.

    also, acknowledging the idiots who populate the forums validates their questions here. if we ignore them, maybe they'll just go away.

  2. I definitely got a Calvin & Hobbes vibe from this comic. Reflective scene in the midst of nature, reference to high-minded concepts subverted by more earthly desires, "oh, hush", etc.

    It isn't the art that is the tribute, it is the whole goddamn comic.

  3. Those trees are really nice. Orders of magnitude better than the joke. Chop out the second panel and all the dialogue, and I like it.

    And yeah, dude left himself wide open for switching in "xkcd" in the last panel. Too easy.

  4. I'm going to concur that essentially everything about this comic is an homage to Calvin and Hobbes, but I don't have anything more interesting to say than that.

  5. OK, I just now thought it's so close to ironic how this comic reflects Calvin and Hobbes while at the same time dissing Carlos Menica. Granted, it's not really, because Randall isn't criticizing Mencia for copying.

  6. Okay Carl I had my comment for this post all ready in my head: "You could totally replace 'Mind of Mencia' with 'xkcd'" BUT DAMN I AM NOT AS ORIGINAL AS I'D THOUGHT

    Anyway, yeah, I kind of felt this was Calvin&Hobbes-y, but that might just be because I'm still kinda sputtering over his attempts to be The Next Bill Watterson... just like he'd referenced any sort of artificially intelligent machine I'd probably immediately think of The Terminator.

    The trees are definitely nice. BUT WHY DOES ONLY THE FAT ONE REFLECT EHHHH

  7. The art is very nice, almost Buttercupfestivalian. (May I rant about Buttercup Festival for a short while? OK thanks I'ma do it anyway. It's one of those comics that is occasionally astoundingly good - in fact, my favourite individual comic on the entire internets is a Buttercup Festival comic - but all these gems are interspersed by, well, dreck. Dreck with good art, but still, it's mostly just pictures of trees. You should all still read it though! I know Randall does!)

    Man I don't want to bad-mouth XKCD today because the duckling loop made me laugh out loud. Umm... if you hate Calvin and Hobbes piggybackers, might I direct your rage towards The Invisible Life of Poet? It's an absurdly bad comic, the worst I've read (and I've read Ctrl-Alt-Del and Dominic Deegan) but get this - it has the nerve to compare itself to Calvin and Hobbes. And every strip is either 'haha religious people suck look at this religious person and how much s/he sucks' or 'haha athletes suck look at this athlete and how much s/he sucks'. It makes me spew bile.

  8. Oh dear God in Heaven, I just wandered over to the xkcd forums to see what they had to say about this comic. I haven't read the forums much before, and I guess I expected them to be less horrible. Exhibit A:

    "To the Mencia haters:
    you guys are nerds and need to lighten up."

    Nerds? Nerds. Damn.

    I suppose it's my fault for thinking that it's possible for something to be Popular On The Internet without drawing in the mouth-breathers, but I expected better from such an intelligent (or at least intermittently intelligent) comic.

  9. Today's comic is actually pretty good, you guys. The one with the ducks. I like it.

    This one I basically agree with what's been said.

  10. Someone help me with my stereotypes for a moment...

    Don't "computer people" generally pride themselves on not watching TV? If so, didn't Randall just discover a wacky sample of his readership that understands space elevators, Arthur C. Clarke, and Carlos Mencia?

    I kind of wish the punchline or alt-text said something about that demographic instead of reminding me that Mencia's show existed.

  11. I've never come across such a claim before, thomas. Computer people pride themselves on not watching tv? News to me.

    Not to mention Carlos Mencia might have a fair amount of name recognition based on all the uproar with his joke-stealing.

  12. "Carlos Mencia sucks" is practically a meme, at any rate.

    I didn't hate this, but that's because I happen to hate Mencia.

  13. It's not Calvin & Hobbes, and here's why.
    Go back and look through any Calvin & Hobbes collection. Take your time.

    See any specific references to popular culture? At all? Anything? I didn't think so.

    And that's why C&H is still funny, going on 15 years later, and this comic wasn't funny 6 months ago.

  14. While I enjoyed the art in the first panel, this comic disappointed me. Strange because the one Carl actually doesn't mind I think isn't very good at all and other ones I liked Carl thinks are god awful. Oh well it just goes to show different people have different preferred styles of humor.

  15. Cuddlefish #1, I don't think anyone is saying that this comic /is/ C&H... we're just making a note that Randy is trying more and more to copy C&H's style.

  16. I actually thought this one was pretty funny. I ran myself on over to Comedy Central and it seems that although Mind of Mencia isn't taping any new episodes, they are playing in reruns. (I thought I saw the episodes on the TV Guide). Anyway, just thought I would point out that fact.

    I think the most disturbing thing about this comic was the alt text. What is up with that? Took a relatively funny joke (compared to the last months worth or whatnot) and then pointed to an obscure theoretical competitor to the space elevator, when the space elevator really had little to do with the joke to begin with? I don't get it... I should, I guess, realize that Monroe is trying to point out how up on obscure technology theory he is, but still.

    Finally, I am totally with you on the blog post, it was the king of boring. Yes Monroe, I get it, you are a math god. You can perform high school level physics equations. This wasn't even though provoking. I am starting to think he puts out these blog posts just to laugh at how many comments he gets about his stupid blog posts! Like saying, "Here sheepy sheepy sheepy!"

  17. The past 3 comics:

    "lol, Carlos Mencia sucks"
    "lol, Roberts fucked up the oath"
    "lol, skynet"

    So when exactly did xkcd become "state the motherfucking obvious... with stick figures"?

  18. Because I try my best not to be mean all the time, I will go on record and say I like this comic.

    And the next one.

  19. I refuse to believe anybody actually likes this. It's a weak version of a burn (it's an insult, it's not even a joke) that was relevant about a year ago, the artistic style of the background as well as the whole flow of the comic in general is very similar to a screamingly unfunny Calvin and Hobbes, and the idea of a comedian writer taking pot shots at other comedians just doesn't sit right with me, especially in such an uninspired way, no matter how much I dislike the target.

  20. What's with the duckling loop thing? I don't get it!

  21. Well, Vlad, look at the pattern aloria identified a few comments previously; it works here, too:

    "lol, ducklings"