Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Comic 591: Cornucopia of Hatred

so shitty!You'll note that today's picture and link to the comic is much larger than usual, and we'll get to that in a minute. But oh goodness there was so much fun to be had with this comic, don't you think?

For one thing, there was the actual seriously funny idea of what would happen if Twilight people attempted to penetrate the dense jungles of 4chan. Of course, the hilarious things that would happen are exactly the opposite of what Randy draws, and that just makes it funnier. Rather than take over and ruin the fun of the usual /b/tards, they would be utterly shocked and horrified within seconds and run screaming to their parents and cry for a while, and what isn't funny about Twilight people doing that? Nothing. Nothing is unfunny about that. So the double level of humor is that Randall got it totally wrong as well.

Then there is the crazy idea that Ms. Meyer a) monitors twilight fan pages, b) takes offense at anything bad that happens on any one of them, c) can trace the website where such bad things were planned, d) cares enough that she will mix her characters in with the 4chan people, and e) doesn't care enough to know that 4chan people would love nothing more than such publicity. GOOD JOB MAKING REALISTIC CHARACTERS, RANDY! this is why people want to punch you in the face.

Next in our cavalcade of joyous things is the fact that that isn't what 4chan even looks like, fucker! You have it set up like some type of message board where everyone has an avatar or something, and all the posts are super short and are all aligned together. Whereas in fact it is way messier than that.

Also, dude, and this is serious: enough with the 4chan. We get it, you like the site, awesome, spiffy, that takes real skill, etc, it makes you cool, etc, none of us are capable of such things. Also it is always hilarious so that is nice. Stop it though. We get it, we swear we won't forget, can you stop now? Awesome.

Hell, we didn't even get to see their trolling! That might have been fun but we just skip from "let's do this in the future" to "it has been done, please stop it" without seeing the actual event itself! lame.

But I'm not done! Let's talk about art. As a crappy artist, I try not to mention this too much, but come on: I've mentioned before that faces can be a good thing and today's comic is further proof of that. Why can't 4chan man have a face? Why leave out his eyes and nose and mouth and ears but include the zits? Why include zits where his eyes should be? This is like when you drew creepy wrinkly morgan freeman or horrible snake monster attacking that girl's head. I understand that lazy drawing is kind of your thing but seriously, do you not see the problems it can create?

OK OK OK I swear I'm almost done! I will get this blog post up before midnight!

Lastly, general unprofessionalism. Take a look at the comic you put on your site, Randy. Look at line two of panel one ["I'm in..."]. Look at how you made a mistake somewhere, and instead of starting again (it was still at the beginning!) or using, I don't know, the fucking eraser tool on photoshop, you just were like, "WHATEVER, DUDE, AHM MAKING MAH OWN DAMN COMIC" and just crossed it out. WHAT? you can't just do that! Ok maybe sometimes you can but come on! We're supposed to be reading text on a computer screen! I understand the strikethrough concept but that's not what you have there! You have scribbles! what the fuck??

And you spelled "Stephenie Meyer" wrong! Granted, I misspelled "Twilight" when I looked it up on wikipedia just now but I'm just some nobody on the internet. You are a professional comic! This is what you do. Can you really not be bothered with these things? Was there really not enough time between last Friday and last Monday to start this comic again, without mistakes? Is this really how you present yourself? I know this is coming from a guy who left out the end of a sentence in his last post but again: I am not a professional!

Now granted he did fix it -after like 2 days- with the usual "no acknowledgement anywhere that i fucked up, giant d-bag that I am" but as you can see, I have reconstructed the original, crappy version of the comic above. Sorry it's not bigger but hey, fuck you. It's big enough.

So with a thousand different reasons to LOVE today's comic, I know - i just know - I will be disappointed by tomorrows.

What did you love most about this one?

update: oh my god. i know i predicted that 592 would disappoint me but oh. my. GOD.


  1. The new 'E' in Stephenie looks suspiciously identical to the last 'E' in Stephenie. Just saying.

    Keep on doin' what you do, Carl.

  2. As much as this one is "bad", today's sets the bar at a new high for suckitude. In fact, this one might be considered "humorous", or even "funny" by sheer comparison.
    Could this be Randall's plan? To make XKCD funny when compared to XKCD?

  3. The 4chan kid doesn't have a face because he's Anonymous. That's just about the only thing Randall got right in this comic.

    Today's comic is about Randall himself, which makes it just super fucking creepy.

  4. Maybe Randall is secretly Amish, and that's why he doesn't draw faces.

  5. He's _really like that_. He walked up and introduced himself to me and asked what I did, but when I said "Technical writer" he was like "Oh, I thought you were a graphic designer or something." Then later he said "Hey, I want to go home and play smash brothers, but yesterday there was this girl and she has my sketchbook." I said "Um."
    He said "Yeah, I showed her my sketchbook and then we left and went off into a fountain and played in the water and I'd really like to see her again because she's beautiful but I also want to play video games, could you send me a message on IRC if she shows up?"
    And I was like "sure" and in my head I said "Oh my God, he's actually like that."
    Apparently he got swept up into the MIT-poly community because all the undergrad girls think he's hot and he has like three girlfriends now and there is drama? I stopped paying attention.

  6. I liked this one personally, it actually had a unique idea AFAIK, and a good one.

  7. They are the same E. You can see them blown up here: http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/72/71732244.jpg

    Though how you noticed that is beyond me.

  8. I mean, if Randall weren't a big awkward nerd, wouldn't he just be pandering?

  9. I think Randall's trying to butter up Meyer by portraying her as a stick figure: http://www4.pictures.gi.zimbo.com/Breaking+Dawn+Concert+Series+Stephenie+Meyer+Z_Ut_MQzivvl.jpg

    Not saying she's morbidly obese or anything, but perhaps Randall could've used thicker lines to draw her?

    *this ends the objectifying patriarchy portion of the comments*

    Also, nobody on 4chan would show such self-awareness except in one of Randall's fantasies.

  10. i actually kinda smiled at this comic.

    today's, however, is extraordinarily horrendous.

  11. http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/pZsSVw2Fj2u/Breaking+Dawn+Concert+Series+Stephenie+Meyer/Z_Ut_MQzivv/Stephenie+Meyer

    sorry, use that

  12. Anon: you are an MIT person? Would you like to (a) help gather intelligence on Randy (b) go to a party? email me

  13. What's wrong with 592? It has a awkward and artificial sexual dialogue, geeky relationships, people out of their field's depth, and a big old chart! What's not to like?

    Also, please stop using the word drama for that. Drama refers specifically to the performance of a certain type of fiction. Histrionics sounds better and has pathological undertones, which is sort of appropriate.

  14. Hey, new one just popped. It makes this one look half decent.

  15. The new one ("Drama") comes across like Randall trying really, really hard to be Ryan North.

  16. 592 is one of the most frustrating comics i have ever seen.

  17. Carl would you really "much that person in the face"? I really don't know what that would entail PROOFREAD YOUR GODDAMN POSTS CARL OR I SWEAR I AM LEAVING

    omfg thomas i feel like i should be insulted but i'm totally not actually i can't stop laughing

    captcha: anorn. Anornymous!



    COMON'! This is sooooo lame...
    I don't think you are funny, most of time boring, so I don't answer...
    but this punch line is so bad. Really? You REALLY want comic drawers to make realistic characters? COME OOOOON!

    (I'm Batman)

  19. Oh, thank goodness. If you weren't Batman, I might have been inclined to object. Carry on, Mr. Wayne.


    you are now public enemy #1

  21. It sounds like Randall had a "Hey, I handed you a contract before we did it. It says under section III, paragraph B that if we fuck without a condom, you keep the baby and I'm not held liable for STDs, superseding any possible oral contracts at any future point in time" moment in a relationship and he's frustratedly blogging it out in comic form. He puts words in the woman's mouth so that the other two aren't going "let's change sex so I can get into ladies' pants easier". It's really creepy.

  22. Well, I think you got it all wrong, this time. If enough Twilighters will go to 4chan, exactly the things he drew would happen.
    And about the "crazy idea about S. Meyer monitoring fan sites and stuff": Comics don't have to be realistic. They are often funny because they twist reality or show us what can happen (but won't).

    Seems to me as if you have kind of a idée fixe to find everything he draws bad...

  23. I don't know. I think the Twilight fantards would puzzle even /b/ for a while. Then they'd get mocked off the boards and linked endlessly to goatse and shock sites. It's certainly not the full depiction, though.

  24. Cuddlefish PrimeJune 3, 2009 at 1:39 AM

    I couldn't even pretend to like anything about 592 if I tried, and I'm definitely on the more lenient side of the spectrum of xkcdsucks regulars.

  25. I looked at 591's thread on their forum, and someone pointed out that the pimplespots are in what is known as an "EURion constellation", which is used on banknotes to detect them in images.

    It adds nothing to the comic of any value. I really don't know why he'd reference such an obscure bit of technology - he's certainly never done anyth...


  26. I always assumed that Randall was a massive fan of 4chan (due to his incessant use of their memes) but after this comic I have to assume he has never been to 4chan and instead is exposed to the themes from a third party source before regurgitating them, which is so unbelievably sad and pathetic I don't even want to contemplate it.

  27. I still don't understand why you feel you have to police the internet, because that is what you have been doing for a while now. You feel that because you have a different opinion than most people you have to force them to see it your way. Also, Why would an author not look at their own fan pages? Yes they would take offense to things 4chan posted on their site, as that would expose the youngest of their readers to all of the things that make the *chans wonderful. The reason the 4chan images looked small was most likely because if he set the board up like it looks like, you be able to see 2 messages, at most.

    I think that you just enjoy nitpicking Randall's comic because of one of three reasons.

    1- You attempted at a webcomic/blog/something similar, and failed.

    2- You do not get a lot of attention in your normal life.

    3- You feel that if anyone thinks something or someone thinks something different than you do, you think they are wrong, as you obviously are infallible.

    Oh, and yes I expect this post to be deleted

  28. It won't be. You just look like a moron.

    Now loads of people are going to go "aha, you have used criticisms that people have used before. YOU LOSE ALEX" and then they're not going to tell you why you lose. Nobody here gets any attention in their normal life, that's why they're on the internet. Ebert doesn't make films, apparently, and 3... everyone thinks that, apart from me (I know it).

  29. "I still don't understand why you feel you have to police the internet, because that is what you have been doing for a while now."

    Criticising != Policing
    XKCD != The internet

    "Why would an author not look at their own fan pages?"

    Because they're busy doing other things, like writing and wallowing in their money.

    "The reason the 4chan images looked small was most likely because if he set the board up like it looks like, you be able to see 2 messages, at most."

    No, he just drew it completely wrong. He made it look like twitter or something.

  30. I'm actually wondering if Stephenie Meyer monitoring fan sites is really an unrealistic scenario. Wasn't it Anne Rice who RESPONDED to negative criticism in Amazon reviews (and in a particularly whiny and pathetic way)? People in the forum also pointed out that Meyer reads (and possibly even writes) Twilight fanfiction. And even if that's not the case, I don't see the point in complaining about lack of realism -- OR to the lack of faces. Come on, XKCD characters DON'T HAVE faces. Deal with it (the pimples following the banknote pattern seems really like masturbatory display of knowledge to get all the fans raving and drooling without reason. Erk).
    Now, I still hated this comic. Twilight fans taking over 4chan would neither be funny nor good. If 4chan is the pinnacle of stupidity in the Internet, Twilight is the pinnacle of stupidity in Literature -- and replacing an evil with another evil is just bad. Come on, should we really root for Stephenie Meyer? Look, Meyer should be just banished from writing. I've got friends who write out of true pleasure and love for language, but they have no chance to get a publishing deal -- not because oh the world is cruel either way, but because hacks like Meyer turned the business into a neverending cycle. Twilight FEEDS teenage egocentrism and prepotence, and then CASHES IN on it, cyclically. That is NOT the kind of role model I'd like to see taking over 4chan, Randall, sorry. Your wish-fulfilment fanfiction comic this time was just atrocious -- maybe you should take this stuff into fanfiction.net, or something: THAT is where the "turning my personal fantasy into my personal reality" domain thrives.

    So I guess I'm in the minority who thinks today's comic was actually much, much better.

  31. Here's the deal Carl/Rob/WhomeverReadsThis:

    I've been agreeing more and more with you recently. 590? Trash. 589 I thought was okay, but agreed with many of your criticisms of it, and that's been the general trend of my thoughts on the majority of your posts. However it seems to me now that, while yes, the comics have been far suckier as of late, you've been far less willing to say "Hey, this one's not too bad," or "This one is good for these reasons despite any problems caused by problems (a), (b), and (c)."

    You cannot simultaneously complain that the comics are too realistic (like a Randy blog) and too unrealistic (like they should be in many ways) (or like the results in this one) at the same time. Pick one, preferably the one complaining that it is too realistic, cause that's just boring as fuck.

    And last, but not least, I'd like to agree that what the hell is up with him not erasing anything? Show some professionalism, seriously.

    ~ Remus

    P.S. 592 is like eating a live electric eels. It's a shock and different, but still tastes horrible.

  32. Eel. Singular. Damn.

  33. @ remus
    I take issue with your realism comparison. They're not really incompatible qualities. I see your point though, something doesn't have to be realistic to be funny- the audience just has to buy it. And I, like Carl I guess, didn't buy it (maybe because it wasn't funny?)

    Unrelated note, when I read today's comic I actually thought for a second he was parodying himself. Then when that passed, I thought he took a dump in my brain. I think the second one is more likely

  34. By the way, people have noted that the word that was scribbled out was "LOL". I wonder why, really: the xkcd forums have a (pretty stupid) "taboo" with the word "LOL", replacing it with an idiotic phrase, but that doesn't mean that "LOL" isn't used all over the Internet and should be forbidden from appearing in an xkcd depiction of the Internet. I didn't get it, really -- one could guess that the scribbling-over was a sort of in joke, but if he corrected it, then that's not the case.

    I'm starting to agree that Randall really, really, really needs beta reading.

  35. The new one ("Drama") comes across like Randall trying really, really hard to be Ryan North.

    Jesus Christ, yes. This is really pretty accurate.

    Anyway, uh, re: the whole realism debate: YES there can be some humor in taking normal things and twisting them. NO, Randall isn't doing this, he's constructing new scenarios out of almost entirely whole cloth. There is no connection between 591 and reality other than "4chan hates Twilight."

    Besides, there are times in humor and writing in general when realism is important, and times when it isn't. Generally, it's safe to take some leeway in the setting, but your characters and people had damn well better act like real people.

    Of course, with topical humor, there's less leeway you can take with the setting as well, since that's what informs the entire joke. Sure, you could argue that exaggeration makes topical humor funnier, but is he actually exaggerating anything here? Not only are none of these persons extreme, they're not actually based on how they seem to actually behave. It's not an exaggeration, just a sad warping.

    I think a useful example might be 473, in which Randall was so far removed from reality (people still care about Pluto?) that it just falls flat. Although that is a legitimate exaggeration of how people felt, except for the fact that it was only legitimate two years ago and now it's just a callback to ancient humor. It's like if today I went and wrote a comic about 400 or some nonsense.

    TO SUM UP: Realism may not be the end-all-be-all of humor, but there is a healthy amount of reality awareness necessary to inform a strip.

  36. @remus:

    Realistic != believable

    If a character behaves in a way different from the way the reader believes that character would behave (usually based on their knowledge of the character, people like the character, and their personal expereinces with other characters/people), then the author has failed to create a believable character. It doesn't matter if that character exists in an entirely realistic universe or in a magical land of dinosaur unicorns (dinocorns?) controlled by shamanistic, one-eyed cavemen who fight against an evil overlord whose actually a sentient waffle iron from the year 3012 - they will still be a poorly-written, unbelievable, shitty character.

  37. 592 is kind of funny, in that it's amusing to think that Randall actually thinks this is good/funny.

    I'm lost to describe why it's bad really, though (chart aside). The whole thing makes sense and everything, but it's just so lame and unfunny. Like a newspaper comic.

    xkcd is becoming the Garfield of the Internet.

  38. I doubt anyone will ever be able to usurp that title from Sinfest.

    xkcd is more like the newspaper version of Spider-Man of the Internet.

  39. This comic is just the old routine about parents ruining things their kids like, by taking an interest in those things themselves.

    Granted, it is a large enough twist on that trope to not be inherently horrible. But Randall, naturally, fails to build anything new onto it. It is -just- a change of scenario, and that makes it suck.

    In addition, the implication that Meyer and her fans don't deserve the criticism they get, well... that's just silly. She and Twilight are everything that's wrong with America.

  40. /b/ is dying exactly because people like angsty Twilight fans post their stupid threads.
    I do not agree with you on this regard. /b/-tards hate that and this is a realistic scenario. No one is shocked by /b/'s images anymore. Forget about it.

    You should read about The Cancer that is killing /b/ on encyclopedia dramatica. I haven't checked it out but it's probably full of useful information regarding the death of /b/.

  41. This was actually my favorite xkcd is a while and I have some real problems with your criticisms.
    You need realism and realistic characters to create drama, not humor. In fact, archetypes can be MORE conducive to a humorous strip because they're more easily relatable.
    That you take issue with the concept of Meyer monitoring flame comments reveals why xkcd could never satisfy you even if it made the funniest joke it the world. The suspension of disbelief it takes to ignore the improbability of Meyer's response is minor. The fact that you are unwilling to commit yourself to that minor suspension tells me that you’re reading the comic with the intent to deconstruct it.

    No joke is ever funny after it's been analyzed. You have to read it to enjoy it before you read it to take it apart, otherwise you'll miss whatever humor is there to be found.

    It's like E.B. White said "Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it." Deconstruction kills the joke and since you're doing it while reading you'll always kill whatever joke exists.

  42. And yet, good humor tends to not need to be explained or deconstructed to begin with, because it is inherently funny. xkcd is not.

  43. John: No, that would be PvP.

  44. "She and Twilight are everything that's wrong... IN AMERICA!"

    Just thought I should do that.

    "The fact that you are unwilling to commit yourself to that minor suspension tells me that you’re reading the comic with the intent to deconstruct it."

    Well, actually, I think xkcd strips are generally excellent because they stand up well against criticism and analysis. I don't remember having to suspend my disbelief too much for xkcd -- they pretty much resonated right away. This is getting rare, though.

  45. @Endless:

    Yes, that's a minor suspension of disbelief. Believing that a successful author would right 4chan into a book to get revenge, however, is not. That's a pretty major usspension of disbelief. Not to mention that since Meyer is a real person and not a random character, and nothing she's ever done suggests that she cares or even knows of 4chan's existence, further adding to the lack of believablility. Poorly-written dialog also makes her seem less like a real person. Oh, and the fact that we also have to suspend our disbelief that Twilight fans would not be ignored on /b/. And the fact that Anonymous would not totally harass the hell out of anyone trying to counter-troll, if they didn't just ignore them all together.

    You see the problem here? If Meyer monitoring comments was the only concession the reader needed to make to find the comic funny, it might have worked. However, it is compounded with more terrible choices that only compound the unbelievability of the strip. Lacking realism is not the problem - lacking verisimilitude is.

    On a different note, few people being interested in something doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile endeavor. Few people were interested in the Internet in it's early days (I'm talking CERN, here), and now it's made instantly sharing information (and idiocy) with people on the other side of the world possible for millions.

    I like the frog analogy, though. Like the frog, xkcd is lifeless before we begin dissecting it.

  46. Gah! "Write", not "right"!

    I pray to the language gods for mercy.

  47. You are denied mercy, my son.

  48. @poore: I'm not sure why it seems so outrageous that She'd read comments at some point. Most authors like feedback, after all. After you reach a certain threshold, you shouldn't pay attention to every little critique, but it's always tempting to know what people are thinking, or interact with fans, or whatever. But then, IANAFA (I am not a famous author).

    Now, writing 4chan into the book is completely unrealistic, but it's the heart of the joke. If it helps, you can think of it as an attack on Meyer's literary integrity.

    I'll also concede I don't know 4chan, but most Internet communities are fragile in the face of incoming waves of stupidity. From what I hear, though, 4chan would be better at it than most, thanks to its own indigenous brands of stupid. But either way, stupid loses, at least.

  49. Pat: WHAT literary integrity?

  50. Just discovered this site for the first time and all I can say is...Wow. And I thought I was a jaded misanthrope. You sir need a new sense of humor, I think yours is broken.


    you are now public enemy #1[/i]

    That could have been any Mr. Wayne, Amanda. If he didn't blow it, you just did. GOOD JOB.

    In unrelated news, HOLY SHIT BATMAN IS BRUCE WAYNE?!?!?!?!?!?!? NO WAI.

  52. Goddammit okay fine Pat you are public enemy #2 I guess.

    APUWDYWIIYHTWWTMIPITTRTPOWIITFP (Also Pat uhhh why did you write "IANAFA" if you had to write what that meant in parentheses, I think that ruins the point of writing IANAFA in the first place.)

    I am realizing I have too much time on my hands now that summer has started.

    captcha: coconu. to go with the live eels that randy feeds you

  53. Also, 592 is attempting to get a cheap laugh, which even that it is failing at. I hope, for my faith in humanity, that Randall is cooking up something that will make me laugh until I literally choke from not being able to inhale from the hilarity of said joke. Sadly, I do not believe that this will be the case.

    OMGSSFYDISHTWATGWTMMSAWSPSDTBSTACAOHSDYKHFHTSAIH (OMG summer started for you??? DAMMIT. I still have to wait another two goddamn weeks. This makes me sad. Also, we should probably stop doing this before someone throws a coconut at our heads. Seriously, do you know how fucking hard those shells are? It HURTS)

  54. 592 has a couple pros for me: It's a desperate attempt to be Dinosaur Comics, which is a noble endeavor for any webcomics artist; and the graph actually furthers the exposition and is not completely irrelevant and is a nice alternative to just saying "immediately after this shit went down, EVERYTHING WENT CRAZY."

    However, note how MUCH drama was caused by one dude's attempt to come up with a few rules for sex. Apparently, like, ten times as much as existed before. That's a lot of drama, Randall. I highly doubt that your little new rules for sex are going to suddenly become the most-discussed event on the planet by an order of magnitude. Seriously: Retarded. Unless you meant the drama experienced by the character?

  55. It's not realistic, but xkcd isn't supposed to be realistic: the situations are very rarely plausible. That's okay in comics. I actually considered this the first decently funny one in a very long time.

  56. I'm trying to parse what 592 is trying to say.

    "Sex has complicated rules which lead to drama." All right, fair enough--this sounds like Randy saying "I just want to have a lot of sex with people without it meaning anything."

    But after this point he loses me. Is he then saying that "but those rules are necessary to social dynamics, and actually help reduce drama?" Or that "the rules suck but it is BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE?" Or is he being aware of the fact that, like with any social construct, it relies on most people accepting it, and that if you remove the rules that people are relying upon, you are more likely to create drama, because the rule is being distributed unequally?

    Is he discovering that sex communes suck? WHAT IS HIS DEAL.

  57. I think he's saying that because other people are so closed-minded and prudish, they were like "OH GOD WHAT IS THIS MADNESS SOMEONE IS SUGGESTING WE GO FOR FREE LOVE THIS IS CHAOS" and the entire world became Warhammer 40,000 in terms of death and chaos because the idea that maybe we shouldn't be so uptight about who we bone is completely new and hasn't been around and in popular opinion for at least forty years.

  58. Huh; I agree that Randall is trying to be too much like Ryan North in 592, but I actually like the comic better than most of the recent ones *because* of that - namely, that he actually did a decent job of copying Qwantz's style.

    That still doesn't excuse him pretty much blatantly ripping it off though.

  59. What I got from 592 was "a simple ruleset is unable to define the complexities of human existence", as reinforced by the alt-text (the comparison to the stock market) and the last panel.

    Unfortunately, this cannot be twisted to imply that Randall Munroe is a paedophile, and therefore as a theory it is doomed to be ignored.

  60. That would work except that "drama" graph panel really bugs me if that's the interpretation. If it were just an issue of "Wow, my model failed. I guess things are more complicated than I thought" it wouldn't have turned the world into a maelstrom of cancer and madness.

  61. xkcd 592 was one that was actually HORRIBLY HORRIBLY RUINED by the presence of a chart. All in all, I think this one had the potential to have actually been an enjoyable comic (which might just be because of how shitty other ones were).

    Perhaps it's just because I can relate to this one. I have a fair share of friends who could be generally described as "socially awkward" and as such I often hear the complaint of "X social convention is so illogical and I don't get why everyone does it". As such, the idea of changing X social convention and spinning the world into disproportional chaos is actually quite an interesting idea to base a comic off of... but only if it's done correctly.

    Unfortunately, this comic does it horribly horribly wrong. Let's say, for instance, that instead of there being that stupid chart as the third panel, which has the same comedic and dramatic value of a fourth character walking into the room and saying "things are worse than you originally attempted." There was, instead, a landscape of complete carnage, people looting stores and buildings burning to the ground, the streets littered with thousands who had died needlessly in an utter and total collapse of civilization. The last panel can stay.

    Is it an entirely original comic? No. Is it all that funny? Well, it would make me crack a smile if I didn't just write it. Is it a whole lot better than A STUPID FUCKING CHART? Yes.

  62. @Ann:

    No, I agree with your theory.

    Unfortunately, a theory is not a joke, and as theories go, one that is merely a blatant statement of one of the most well-known elements of the human experience ain't all that funny.

  63. I didn't say it was funny. I just said it couldn't be used to imply Randy had an unhealthy fixation with underage girls. Most things which are the latter aren't the former.

    (Incidentally, do you folks share our meaning of the word "randy" as "horny"? O travellers from an arcane land)

  64. Good. Now I can cast aspersions along the lines of "randy is called randy for a good reason, if you know what i mean"

  65. I thought this comic was horrendous. The Twilight frenzy was over several months ago. This almost reminds me a lot of the South Park a little while back where Twilight fans were ruining the Goth image. Maybe it's because he picks the easiest topics possible, but I feel like I can think of an equivalent joke someone else has made for a lot of the recent xkcd comics.
    I also think it's funny when people come here to complain about you complaining about another thing.

  66. I sometimes just call him Randull.

  67. "I also think it's funny when people come here to complain about you complaining about another thing."

    It's not funny. A complaint about a comic and a complaint about a complaint are both the same in that they lack any practical purpose. Likely that just as you take a demeaning attitude towards people who complaint about your opinions, Randall himself doesn't give a shit about you -- so we're all losers.

    The Internet is sort of boring when you look at it without cynicism.

  68. I'm not sure why Randall caring or not matters. I mean, if I liked him it might matter, but why should I care whether someone I don't respect is listening to me or not? XKCD sucks is not for Randall, it's for people who don't like XKCD to enjoy each others' jokes at its expense.

  69. Kurt IIRCYALFSIWAYASIHSIGTASSCAWGOAAMBEEWASLAMBYGSTIRNTBJA (if I remember correctly you are like fourteen so I will assume you are still in high school. I go to a semester-system college, and we get out about a month before everyone else. We also start like a month before you guys, so there is really nothing to be jealous about).

    okay now everything that is in all caps looks like a bizzare shortening of a phrase.

    Randy Randull? Hee.

  70. To the anon who wrote that I write this blog because I failed at my own webcomic, don't get any attention in real life, or because I know I am right and everyone else is wrong, it is most assuredly the last of those. I have never attemped my own webcomic.

    And really, if you think I'm going to delete your comment, you really are new here. I love comments that call me stupid - look at the tagline to this blog. I only delete comments if they are from someone pretending to be me. Or also those people that have been posting porn links recently, not sure what's up with that. (I blame Rob though - don't trust that guy).

  71. Rob is a nefarious trickster.

  72. I was once called a mountebank without a trace of irony.

    he thought he was being insulting

  73. who has been posting porn links, i have not seen that at all

    (is it weird that i am curious about this)

    captcha: ststpap. what is this

  74. Well, regardless of how this argument goes, IAGIHKOAHOUAFRS (I am glad I have kicked off a trend of using acronyms for random statements)

    ... My original "IANAFA" was based off the Slashdot standard "IANAL" (I am not a lawyer). If you aren't familiar with Slashdot, I recommend avoiding it. It's a haven of nihilists and contrarians.

  75. "If you aren't familiar with Slashdot, I recommend avoiding it. It's a haven of nihilists and contrarians."

    Reasons I have been moderated to -1 (Troll) on Slashdot:

    I expressed distate at EVE/Band of Brothers versus Goon Squad making the news.
    I pointed out that first-person shooters on consoles are subject to low frames-per-second, making it less than ideal.
    I said that certain Open Source Software is pretty crappy and that I'd rather buy propriety software with a guarantee that it works.

    Amongst others.

  76. And the funny thing is that on that first one (about EVE) I had actually been moderated to +5 for humour, originally.

  77. Slashdot is great if you like sucking dick every day.

  78. 592 and the pep rally one (588) cemented the thought that I had that Randall is really 'that guy' that I really hated in high school. By extension xkcd has become a comic made especially for 'that guy'

    You probably know the 'guy' that I mean, the one who is so socially inept and can't handle normal situations so he thinks 'this social norm is awkward for me to follow so let's change it'.

    588 was so far removed from reality that it really read as a sort of like it was pandering to the socially inept nerds that have become XKCD's fanbase. I really dislike those people.

  79. oh and 'seinfeld did it'.

    and way better and in a realistic way.

  80. @format:

    Not to mention that 'that guy' makes the rest of us nerds look bad. And reinforces negative nerd stereotypes. And creates a nerd clique that tries to make the undesireable aspects of the nerd stereotype 'cool'; a lot of other social groups (furries, I'm looking at you) do this, too, and it's the main reason why these people are treated with such disdain.

  81. Pfft, no one is offended by 4chan anymore. A surge of Twilight fangirls would have the same effect that the surge of Gaians, Habbos, and LJers had.

  82. IANAS (I Am Not A Sociologist) but surely enthusing over one's own behaviour is something that all social groups do? It's the sort of inbuilt cliquishness... hell, I'll just quote some Roger Waters. Don't like it, screw you.

    With, without.
    And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?

    So there, orthodoxy.

  83. it's not even the social ineptitude that makes us hate 'that guy," it's that person's... what do you call it? Where they assume they are socially inept because they are just better than everyone else? I guess that is as good a label as any... Anyway that is what makes us hate them and that is exactly what xkcd has been emulating, in comic form, for the past 100+ comics: "I am socially inept but SO AWESOME"

  84. Carl, I've read alot of the posts on this site, and I have a few questions. Do you hate geeks? Because I see so much disdain in your posts against "nerdy" things. Because thats the exact demographic this comic is made for. I realized that within the first 15. Some of your criticism is fair, but alot of it seems like you make it harsh for the simple ability TO make it harsh. I've read every single XKCD, and have been following it for a little over a year now, and 80% of them make me smile and laugh, 10% i go "meh" and move on with my day, and the remaining 10% i laugh so hard im crying and linking it to everyone I can. I just want to know why you are so overly critical of the comic, when it simply plays to the demographic it is written to. Sure its overrated, but so is anything popular on the internet. Does Randall Munroe make you so angry becaue people like it even when you don't find it funny? Thanks for reading this.

    - Summer Glau ;)

  85. aHa. a hahahaha. Ha.

    Except you're doing it wrong.

  86. Man I didn't know Summer Glau was a half-witted interweb fanboy.

  87. We see what you did there, Anonymous 10:24 PM.

    Also, nerdy things aren't axiomatically funny. Mere references aren't funny. xkcd isn't funny.

  88. wait am I supposed to answer it or does "summer glau" mean it was a joke? uhhhhh I don't know.

    I am very much a nerd myself, which is why I first liked xkcd. I am sorry to hear that you like it. Reading every single xkcd is not an accomplishment. When I first found xkcd I read them all in a day and then learned about alt texts and read them all again the next day.

  89. But the ZOMGreference logic says family guy's funny, and we know that's not true.

  90. I put the summer glau reference in because since I know you've read them, you'd at least get the joke.

    @Rob: Don't call me half witted. You don't know me. Were on the internet, so thats statement is more true than ever. I do like XKCD, so when I see someone dedicate an entire website to dislike of it, I have some questions, which Carl was at least honorable to respond to.

    @John S: I never said they were. But this is the first time I've ever seen a website dedicated to bringing down a comic (and making lists of the types of comic) for doing what that comic says its going to be about.

    @Carl: Thank you for the response. The Summer Glau ending was just the best note I could feel to end on. I never was attempting to invoke accomplishment, simply that I wasn't coming out of no where with my statements. I don't, however, want to hear your "sorry to hear [I] like it", like I'm some lesser being for doing so.

  91. But you clearly are a lesser being. For example, are you called Carl? Doesn't look like it. Are you too good for that? Do the names Carl Washington and Carl Lincoln mean nothing to you? Do you sneer at Jesus Carl Christ? Are you clever than Albert Carlstein and Isaacarl Newton? Did Magna Carlta die in vain?

  92. Oh my gosh, your right, my name isn't Carl! What am I going to do now!? I gotta go find a place to get my name changed right away!!

    On a serious note, your comment made me laugh, and attacks on me don't usually do that.

  93. True story: when I first played Pokemon Blue all those years ago, I named all of the creatures I caught "Carl". Then, one day, I went to the name changer in Lavender Town, because one of my friends wanted it to be called "Carla" instead. You know what happened? He wouldn't let me. The guy just went "He's called Carl. There's no way you can improve on that." But in the end he relented.

    Now it's called Carly McCarlson. Yeah, you're thinking "that's too many characters".

    Not with the power of Carl.

    Peace out, folks,

    Ann Carl Apolis, M.D.

  94. "@Rob: Don't call me half witted. You don't know me. Were on the internet, so thats statement is more true than ever. I do like XKCD, so when I see someone dedicate an entire website to dislike of it, I have some questions, which Carl was at least honorable to respond to."

    Oops too late CAN'T TAKE IT BACK. By the way, it's "We're." "WE'RE on the internet." And "that" doesn't have an s at the end. I'd go back to your original post but that'd require more effort than I'm willing to expend on you.

    Accusation stands.

  95. lol Ann Apolis. Anyway I was thinking that, but it's also got an air of like patronization. Like "aww look at da widdle gurl tryna be nerdy" maybe. Maybe not that extreme, but BLAH.

  96. This was hands down hillarious, but then again probably because I've spent a fair amoubnt of time on 4chan.

  97. Damn...one shot(with the exceptions of hat and the like) comics and their utter lack of continuity and character realism. One of these days Randy...on of these days

  98. "this is why people want to punch you in the face."

    I know you're all into ad hominem attacks, at least against Randall Munroe, on this blog, but seriously - physical violence? That's a step too far.

  99. i would like to state for the record that I do not condone any physical attack on Randall Munroe. The fact that his comics make some people want to punch him does not mean that they should, at least as far as this blog is concerned.

    saying mean things about him is ok though.


  100. um, stephenie actually does monitor her fansites.

    it's part of what's pathetic about her.