Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Comic 604: Mistakes

hurr hurr sexI'll bet you like this comic. Or at least, a lot more of you like this comic than usual. But I didn't. SURPRISE.

Here's why - it's another situation that might be funny in real life (hell, it would be funny in real life) but given that it's a manufactured situation, it's not so great. You could come up with tons of these awkward phrases pretty easily. I went into more detail on this a few weeks ago, so I won't repeat it here. Awkward mis-typings are a key pillar of the pantheon, but they are funny because someone actually made those mistakes. Comic 575 had a similar problem.

For example, suppose I am a webcomic artist who is kind of obsessed with a friend of mine named Megan, and I decide I am going to do something about it. I intend to type to my friend, "I really should go have a talk with Megan" but just at that moment, someone walks in the room and wonders why it smells gross and I say I need to take a shower. So what I type is, "I really should go have a shower with megan" HA HA whoops! how embarrassing! how embarrassingly sexual.

OR MAYBE I am sitting at my computer and a friend asks me if I have gotten a chance to play New Video Game X. And I want to say, "well I haven't had time yet" but JUST AT THAT MOMENT someone asks me why I keep drawing comics about Megan so I think about having sex with her and so I write "well I haven't had sex yet" oh my! how crazy!

MORE so suppose I am sitting at my computer and someone asks me if I want to go eat out at a restaurant tonight and I want to type "why, yes, I would love to eat out tonight" but (who can tell where this is going??) just at that moment My Beloved Megan walks into the room and asks me "why do you keep bugging me? what is your problem?" and I think "YOU! you, megan, are my problem, oh how I love you, megan" so I type "Why yes, I would love to eat you out tonight" and then BAM we've got the oral sex right there.

See how simple that is? Funny perhaps on a very fleeting, surface level reading. But it doesn't take much to look beneath that and see, oh yeah, this is really basic and simple and therefore stupid.

There's also a problem in this comic with the very awkward line between narrator and character - of course, the man at the computer is the narrator, with the opening explanation of the problem and then an illustration from his life. So far so good, except then we return to the narration at the end, separated from the story like the introduction is, yet...clearly a part of the story, but physically distinct from it. Perhaps a better way to have told the story would be closer to how I gave the examples above: Panel 1 would be "What I Meant To Type...", panel 2 would be "But Then..." with the giraffe coming out of the closet (so to speak?) and then Panel 3 would be "And So What Happened..." and you get the punchline there. As it is, the funniest line is the second to last one, not the last one, and so the humor is sort of softened.

Which way is the man facing in the last panel? I assume his head is turned around to look at the giraffe but you can't really tell.

Of course, it is not lost on me that today's comic features yet another reference to randall's favorite hobby, oral sex. It's not that I worry that he's too obsessed with it, I just wish he wouldn't share his obsession with his readers all the time, who maybe don't always want to be reading about someone blowing someone or something else?

And Last, the alt-text confirms for us all once more that Randall does read SMBC, making his copying of it the other day just that much worse. Honestly if you are going to refer to another comic, and steal its jokes, at least link to it along with your other "comics I enjoy." Maybe you could replace Perry Bible Fellowship, which has ended? Maybe?


  1. Also I feel like the alt-text is yet another sign of his laziness as an artist. He's like, this is something I thought would be funny to draw but I don't really want to make the effort so uh I'll just tell you what I thought it would be.

  2. Agreed. By the way - how great would this comic have been if there were another panel underneath all of what he had that said "Or at I tell people..." and there was a picture of him with said Sexy Giraffe? that would have been awesome.

  3. XKCD is a lot like Zero Punctuation.
    Both used to be these really great, funny things until they became jobs for those involved, and you can see the decline in quality from that point onward.

    I mean, where are the lovingly hand-drawn murrals of yester-year XKCD used to have so much fun with?
    Instead this XKCD comic is like fucking Family Circus-level humor, and the ZP Sims 3 review is a trip down insane desperation bullevard.

  4. I'm curious as to your thoughts on how Randal uses very simplistic and lazy art to try and make complex thought based humour, arguably to not detract from the point of the comic. Versus how Andrew Hussie actually actively made a point of drawing poorly, and purposefully making rookie mistakes to make simple and blunt humour, arguably to emphasize the point.

    Examples varry from:
    evidence of his true talent:
    Shocking the audience with graphic images and the uncanny valley: (NSFW)
    To managing to appear that he has the drawing skills of a 5 year old:
    To actually putting effort into degradding image quality:

  5. The xkcd wheel seems to land on "21 black," aka "sex lol" way too often. Time to place some bets...

  6. I'm surprised you wrote "I'll bet you like this comic."

    When I saw this xkcd my first thought was "at last, the very bottom of the barrel, eh?"

    It feels so excruciatingly lazy.

  7. I still insist that "Aww, what an adorable stuffed giraffe" is something nobody would ever fucking say.


    Why is Randykins not here?

  8. It also appears that SMBC reads xkcdsucks AND xkcd. That's just a guess, going by the fact that ten out of the last twenty SMBC comics have involved relationships/sex/vaginas/penis. Oh and a Giraffe.

    xkcd on the other hand has eight comics out of the past twenty involving, sex/periods/vaginas/penis/relationships

    Also SMBC tends to have them in big bunches, say, 3-4 at a time, while (usually) xkcd does them every second comic.

    Might I also point out that SMBC used the sexy giraffe AFTER xkcd, indicating he ripped Randall off OH NOES.

    So let me point out, if xkcd rips everything from smbc and other comics. IT IS THEIR FAULT THAT RANDALL WRITES SO MANY COMICS ABOUT SEX!

  9. Oh, by the way, I'm working on the idea that the SMBC guy is purposely doing tonnes of sex comics to see how long he can do it till xkcdsucks starts commenting on it, like they do with xkcd.

  10. @Gankro:

    "I'm curious as to your thoughts on how Randal uses very simplistic and lazy art to try and make complex thought based humour, arguably to not detract from the point of the comic."

    1.) Is that why he uses lazy art? Do you have any solid evidence of this? I don't think you do. I think you just pulled this idea out of your ass.
    2.) His comics would actually have to have a point in the first place in order for anything to detract from said point.
    3.) His humor is not complex, and I don't know what you're trying to imply with the whole "thought-based" thing. Do you mean his humor is based on deep, insightful, though-provoking ideas? Or perhaps that it's humor for the "thinking man"? Or that you have to spend a long time thinking about the comic in order to find anything remotely funny about it and trick yourself into thinking that Randy is actually good at comedy? Because only that last one is true.

    You might have had a salient point somewhere in there, but it's buried under massive amounts of retarded.

  11. The part I'm annoyed at is that... Well. Where does "this" in "can't keep eating out this giraffe" come from?
    It's a little word he needs to have the sentence be dirty, but it comes completely out of left field, so it feels tacked on in order to make a dirtyjoke.

  12. Oh also, I just read underneath the SMBC comic, so uh yeah, xkcdsucks now can no longer get shitty at xkcd and use SMBC as a comparison or anything.

    "Holy cow! Welcome to all the newcomers from one of my favorite comics EVER. Today's votey is for you."

    The "my favourite comics EVER" piece links to

  13. "my favorite comics EVER, xkcd" :(

    I'll choose to believe that Zach was just being overly courteous. Nobody can convince me otherwise.

    @Anon 10:49PM
    Zero Punctuation stagnating? What? Did he piss on your favorite game or something? Yahtzee has yet to stagnate in a way that's even remotely comparable to xkcd. I'll be the first to troll his forums when he does.

  14. "hey, check out my 32" flat screen tv"

    "wow, what a great 32" flat screen tv"

    He could at least have bothered to construct something a little more believable

  15. I seriously choked a little when i read this: "my favorite comics EVER, xkcd"

    You gotta be kidding me Zach. How the fuck is this one of your favorite comics ever? SMBC just dropped a few pegs in my book.

  16. CheesyPuffs, you forget: SMBC is FUNNY and it's not a "nerd" comic.

    He doesn't promise math, language, or whatever.

  17. It's common knowledge, Wilhem; stop being a fanboy.

  18. Ramsey, TvTropes just MOTHERFUCKING LOVES RANDALL.

  19. From the tvtropes page of xkcd:

    "Currently appears to be in the middle of a wide-scale Hype Backlash. The internet is a fickle bunch."

    " plays this role for xkcd."

  20. Actually I think Zero Punctuation is still pretty decent, so it doesn't compare to xkcd, which sucks all kinds of ass.

    I did laff it up at this post's references to DEAR SWEET MEGAN.

  21. It's not "Hype Backlash"; it's decaying quality is what people can't stand.

  22. What the hell is a wide-scale hype backlash?

    Although, he hasn't been as prominent on reddit. I think this godawful fad may finally be paassing.

  23. Don't worry crusaders, either xkcd will get worse and worse or it will get better.
    The former: Soon even the fanboys will hate it.
    The latter: Good.

  24. The_P


    1) Gankro said "arguably". While he did, in fact, "pull the idea out of his ass"(though, that implies he didn't think about it), it is a valid possible explanation for the "lazy" art. He's merely trying to open a discussion, and I, for one, am interested in that discussion.

    2) A "point" is rather subjective, but self-expression is always a possible point.

    3) I have to imagine Gankro was talking about some of the older comics. While it has been trending towards ever lower humor, the Little Bobby Tables and Mobius Strip Fight comics do require thought.

    But, whatever you'd like to call it, I think Gankro simply means that the drawing style could have been chosen so that it doesn't detract from the humor. Or he could be lazy. No one knows but Randall, and I'd like to hear people discuss it.

  25. @Anon 8:55:
    Order of the Stick has art that doesn't detract from the humor. The big difference is that it also happens to be good. Randall just isn't trying.

    You've got a visual medium here, and he's squandering it.

  26. Adam

    Well, the quality of the art and it not detracting from the humor are both subjective.

    He's not squandering anything if(important if) he made a conscious decision for it to be simplistic. If that's the case, then you simply disagree with his choice.

    It's akin to saying Impressionist painters were lazy because they didn't draw with as much detail as other painters. It's the way they intended it to be.

    Apologies to the haters out there for dragging Impressionism into this, completely different leagues.

    Anon 8:55

  27. Randall could squeak out of the "lazy art" thing with having consistent details that don't disappear every other panel.

  28. Can I just say that it's absolutely hilarious how pretty much everything except XKCD is immune to criticism here?

    (Anybody who claims ZP is of the same quality now as it was before Yahtzee had a ton of fans and The Escapist at his back is lying or deluding themselves. Before, it was hilarious. Now, his fanboys are hilarious, he's kinda meh. Still love him as a game designer, though.)

  29. Maybe you missed it, but the common element to xkcdsucks is that everyone here thinks xkcd sucks. With any other comic/etc, you will find fans and detractors of each. Except for CAD. Everyone hates CAD.

  30. I remember xkcd from the early early days, and I remember thinking, "hey, neat, I can't wait to see what this guy's art style looks like after he develops it a little bit"- most webcomics out there do that, after all, especially first attempts. The first ten-to-fifty comics look wonky and strange until a standardized method is worked out.

    Years later, still no faces. And if you're going to make the artistic argument- that it is a statement, that it's the creator's expression of simplicity- then what does that say about our artist? That he views everyone without a hat or girl-hair as a replacable strawman cog to be nerd-chortled at when they cop to having seen a movie?

  31. @Anon
    Immune to criticism here, my ass. We're just gonna need a better reason than simply "his Sims 3 review sucked lol u fanboy didn't u get the memo" to accept that ZP's decline compares to the trainwreck that is xkcd.

    Comparing xkcd to anything even half-decent is a crime against common decency. xkcd's shittiness cannot be compared to anything other than the holocaust. And Jay Leno.

  32. Over the past few days, I just watched through the every single ZP video and i noticed absolutely no change in quality or style the entire time. I decry this as "popular so now it sucks" hipster bullshit. Eat a dick.

  33. Man, what are you anons getting at, Zero Punctuation is still hilarious.

    And I stand by that Zach only said XKCD was one of his favorite comics to appeal to the new readers he got from XKCD. I know I'm pulling shit out of my ass and being extremely presumptuous, but no more then CheeseyPuffs has.

    CARL this is what happens when you update on time. We have no new comic to complain about before your post. Go back to the old schedule!

  34. Over the past few days, I just watched through the every single xkcd comic and i noticed absolutely no change in quality or style the entire time. I decry this as "popular so now it sucks" hipster bullshit. Eat a dick.

  35. Over the past few days, I just watched through the every single xkcdsucks review and i noticed absolutely no change in quality or style the entire time. I decry this as "popular so now it sucks" hipster bullshit. Eat a dick.

  36. You could have at least replaced the word "watched" with "read."

  37. See, I want to like Yahtzee but I don't know what half the stuff he rants about is.

  38. This is not only one of those lame, cheap "LOL that happens to me too" grabs for humor, but he also repeats his chronic mistake of explaining the punchline. Anyone who hasn't been dead for a week knows you meant "frequently" and not "giraffe," and spelling it out for everyone doesn't make it funny.

  39. Randall Munroe is dead. He has been for some time. xkcd is now written and drawn by Jim Davies.

    Captcha: Consigh. Group sigh?

  40. Tomical, he actually believes its hilarious. Read through it some more. This isn't the first time he's link to it.

  41. @aloria
    That's how little Randall thinks of his fans. He seriously thinks that he has to explain the jokes or otherwise people won't get it. Someone needs to explain to him very slowly that people aren't as stupid as the sycophants he surrounds himself with.

  42. At Anon:

    Noted, I was just being sarcastic.

  43. @Amanda: "No Phone Listing for the Man" is the name of the next single from my album. 22nd July, folks!


    Just sent Randall a sexy e-mail.

  45. NOTE: Randall Munroe actually DID draw faces, (or at least eyes/mouths) in:
    The first two barrel comics, (in this one, he actually drew a whole body!!)
    and I'm pretty sure that's all of them. So YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE NOW RANDALL. We know that you are just a lazy bastard.

  46. Oddly, Randy's "art" has improved since the first 50 or so.

  47. Well, that's understandable. The first 50 or so, he was just starting out, and most of the things he drew on a whim, and weren't too complicated. After that, yes, his art improved, but at one point or another (I think somewhere in the mid-200s), his art started to get worse, then leveled out. Now he rarely has a detailed drawing other than a computer outline, a desk, and a chair.

  48. Yeah, I get the distinct impression he copypastas, too.

  49. Kurt,
    I don't see it as him being lazy. He drew a few faces, or mouths, or what-have-you and then decided he didn't like it, so he chose to draw them without faces. It's a choice that is not necessarily borne out of laziness. I think he current comics without faces look better than those old ones

  50. Besides, how lazy do you have to be to half-ass a stick figure? I mean really, that's like the nadir of artistic effort right there and anything less than that is an insult to drawing.

  51. @Anon 8:55:

    OOTS is also simplistic. However, unlike xkcd, it's consistent. There's no evidence that Randall cares about the quality of his product. It's one thing to say that the art isn't the point of the comic; it's another to completely neglect the art. As I said earlier, it's a visual medium. The point about the art not detracting from the humor would be valid if the art didn't detract from the humor (OOTS, again: the simplistic art style complements the humor).

  52. Plus, Order of the Stick has color.

  53. Been quite quiet here today... Where's the usual 60+ comics saying xkcd is bullshit?

  54. Huh, weird, they didn't show up until I posted the previous comic.

  55. no, no i didn't like comic 604. i liked it less than i usually like randall's comics. that's why i came here to read the rant about it. thanks for providing me with something funnier than comic 604 carl.


    That is goddamn bloody fucking ALL

  57. wait did I say statistics I meant MATH. that is right. RANDY YOU FAIL MATH FOREVER. HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?

  58. As a math major Fridays comic made me physically ill.

    I've hated Xkcd for quite some time for all the other crap but I still occasionally enjoyed the seldom math joke here and there but my god does this make me want to puke.

  59. Ramsey, you just posted about 1 post per minute


  60. Holy mother of god 605 is so terrible.

    Anxiously awaits the Carl's rant...

  61. Cuddlefish I cannot argue with your flawless mathematical skills. are you named Megan by any chance because I am sad and lonely ;_;

  62. @Ramsey and Anon 9:52 (but especially Ramsey)

    Not that I'm defending 605's craptacularness or anything, but do you really think Randall believes that the "logic" in 605 is actually valid? He's not that stupid.

    The whole point is that the guy's reasoning is flawed, which leads to absurd conclusions, which in turn is supposed to be funny. I mean, it's really not, but that's obviously what he was going for. How did you get from "xkcd stickman sucks at math" to "Randy [fails] math forever"?

  63. girls suck at math

  64. also he says right at the top, MY HOBBY

    who the hell else does MY refer to if it isn't randall

  65. @format

    I guess that's true. Still, I have a hard time believing he's really that much of an idiot.

  66. Cuddlefish Prime: turn JavaScript off, then you can copypaste in the comment box. for example

  67. Boring blog, and a little obsessive. Maybe one of your examples was funny, intended or not.

  68. boring comment, and a little fucking stupid.

  69. Yet again, Carl doesn't get it. The humour here isn't really supposed to come from the specific example; it's basically a Jerry Seinfeld-style observational thing. "Don't you hate it when..."

    Still kind of a shitty comic, I know, but seriously? Trained humour analyst, my ass.

  70. AH FOR CHRIST'S SAKE PEOPLE how can anyone honestly believe that 605 is an accurate representation of Randall's maths skill? IT'S A COMIC IT'S ALLOWED TO NOT BE TRUE! IT'S A FRICKIN' JOKE!

  71. Anon -

    The humor is clearly supposed to come from the example. "Don't you hate it when you mean one thing but type another" may be a good observation but no one will tell you it is funny, or is supposed to be.

    Sex is funny (sort of), at least to randall, specifically eating things out sex, and of course sex with animals is hilarious as well, so by making someone say that he wants to have oral sex with an animal, Randall is clearly attempting to make a funny image and therefore a joke.

    Seriously, how can you possibly say it's the other way around?

  72. Ann Apolis: If the flawed maths was part of the joke, you would have had a point. It isn't, though, so you're being apologetic for bullshit.

  73. "better get a bulk rate on wedding cake" basicly ruins it, it's funny otherwise.

  74. Well, I never liked SMBC for some reason, and now that we know that xkcd is his favorite comic, I know why.

  75. "also he says right at the top, MY HOBBY"

    Oh, God, no.
    Hey, do you remember that one comic which also says "MY HOBBY", which consists of him standing by the vegetable stands in the supermarket with a tube of K.Y. in hand, looking pensive?

    Yeah, I *think*, you know, it *isn't* his hobby, and he only said that for the joke...

  76. Cont'd.: in fact, considering how much garbage we read on newspapers and such, I *wouldn't* be surprised if many "experts" out there do flawed and meaningless statistics as a hobby, instead of because they're stupid... but then again I don't know.

  77. @Fred: what do you mean, it's not part of the joke? It is the joke! The joke is, "look at this really stupid extrapolation: does it not lead to ridiculous consequences? Ho, ho!". How can you possibly suggest that the comic would be better if it was "Extrapolating into the future with correct statistics, I predict you will have one husband for the rest of your life. Unless you get divorced and don't remarry. Ho, ho!".



  79. @Anon 2.16am: see, you're actually right.


  80. Also, GAAAAH is the name of the album I'm releasing in two weeks in an attempt to start a running joke.


  82. Also, surely it's not an attempt if I keep with it?

  83. I don't really have a problem with people using bad statistics for the sake of making a joke, so I actually liked 605. Wouldn't say it's one of my favorite comics of all time, or even favorite xkcds, but it was pretty decent.

    That said, I am slightly irked by the 0 not being at the graph's origin. THE EXTRAPOLATION WOULD WORK JUST AS WELL (badly?) THAT WAY.

  84. Wait, does anyone know what the hell "Qwertial Aphasia" means anyway?

  85. Qwerty probably refers to the first five letters on the keyboard and aphasia is a type of disorder characterized by the misuse of lanugage. Essentially, the whole thing put together is a fancy way of that sometimes when he's typing he misuses words by mistake.

  86. Haha! First six letters! Your PhD means nothing now!

  87. Ann, you have failed to inform us which label is releasing your new album.

    are you getting laaaaaaazy

    captcha: ectolock. Within a few years this will be the name of a Pokemon.

  88. Introduction: I've read through quite a bit of these reviews, now I'm going to comment. That's all.

    When I read your reviews, I look at how you judge "funny." Well, carefully looking, you've done what many others do to comedy, point out a stupid flaw and declaring "AHA, it's not funny,"

    Let's see what you've harped on before in your reviews...
    Unrealistic dialogue/situation, too realistic (in the sense that if it could happen, it shouldn't in a comic) dialogue/situation, obvious jokes, jokes you don't get, sex related humour, romance related humour, wikipedia related humour, bad artistry, unclear artistry, art choice, laziness, too intelligent, not intelligent enough, and, this list doesn't stop.

    WHY? Because you've become so used to hating this comic that the first thing you do when you look at it is disect it for the smallest of problems. Oh guess what, maybe it's funny if YOU LET IT BE FUNNY. (How do I know? I don't, but, assuming you're human, you'll be subjected to biases, even if you decide to inflict them on yourself).

    Furthermore, the point of your articles are completely innane. You try to PROVE something's not funny. HOLY JESUS, I can't believe I had to write that out. Attempting to prove stuff isn't funny is incredibly stupid, because laughter comes naturally. If something isn't funny, it's obvious. If something is, equally obvious. So unless you're trying to prove that other's sense of humour is inferior to yours, you have no point. (And whoever tries weighting sense of humour deserves to be shot).

    So, what's my point? (And take from this what you will, if you enjoy being thought of a societal drain, fine by me) I think you should get a life that doesn't involve parasiting on another person's hobby or lifestyle. However, I do not expect you to change, at all, so, let me segue into this new point. I loathe you and your hobby as you try to belittle someone else's efforts, and that's just disgusting.

    Long post over. Have fun doing to this exactly what you do to comics, and try to find the worst thing about it and griping on and on about it.

  89. should I take this one? Rob, you want to do it? I can get it if needed.

  90. No, sir. Whoever tries weighting senses of humor is a critic. There are plenty of them, and some are even famous! If they raise good points, it is generally wise to listen to them. So please stop trying to be Alexander Pope, because you're not very good at it.

    And, of course, banging your "everything's subjective!" drum just makes you look like a petulant devil's advocate who has no idea what he's talking about. Note the list of Carl's criticisms you brought up: can you refute any of them? Can you point to any of them and say "no, this doesn't prevent the comic from being unfunny"? Can you do that for all of them?

    If not, you're swapping all your logos for bargain-basement pathos (i'm pretentious, amirite) and pretty much crying out "it's not FAIR that he's criticizing XKCD! It's not FAIR and he should be SHOT and he's a SOCIETAL DRAIN because he spends maybe half an hour tops every few days discussing flaws in a comic strip!"

    If you wanna play that game, that deplorable "If you have an opinion, you should NEVER TELL IT EVER because that makes you a Satan" game, go tell the same thing you just told Carl to every critic who's ever slammed something you like. And then, to every other critic too, just to prevent being a hypocrite. You're not a hypocrite, right?

    Seriously, now, this blog's been up and running for a very decent amount of time! Did you think nobody had thought of criticizing it before? Did you think nobody had thought of criticizing it with better-formulated arguments before? If so, that's a pretty stunning display of unwarranted arrogance, buddy! If not... what did you think you were going to accomplish, you SOCIETAL DRAIN? Aaauauuggghh I am so mad at you on the internet.

    P.S. Oh wait he invited criticism in his last line, this means all my criticism is invalid because he's already ready to dismiss it on invalid grounds oh nooooooooo

  91. I think your friend and mine Napoleon got this one Carl. But you can have the next one if you want. I don't want to steal all the fun.

  92. oh god what have i become

    have i become a fun stealer

  93. no it's cool, we like to let everyone have a turn snarking at the idiot "um why don't you guys get a life" cuddlefish

  94. I mean yeah, we've all done it so much before. Good to let other people try.

  95. Okay, let's have a look Napoleon.

    Weighting sense of humour, no. Please don`t even try that. People don`t critique other people`s sense of humour. They critique the humour itself. Being a pompous, pumped up person and saying "My sense of humour is better than your's" is being a jerk.

    All of the points I brought up (Obvious, not obvious enough etc.) can be brought up for EVERY piece of humour. Perspectives matter, but some people just love to think that theirs matters more. I defy you to try finding a humorous instance of anything that can't be refuted by that list.

    Okay, moving on. He doesn't deserve to be shot for criticizing XKCD, he deserves to shot for his choice of hobby. Listen, chances are, Randall spent a lot of time on his comics (Regardless of what this blog might say, I'd still wager over a hundred hours at least). Does it not seem in terrible taste to criticize someone's endeavours like that? But, obviously, not caring is what this blog is about, right? (I'm sounding fanboy-ish now. Rest assured, I'd defend anyone's efforts. Part of the reason I'm saying not to tear down this blog.)

    Let's keep going. You seem to think that being a critic justifies what you do. "I can slam a comic, but (Puts on critic hat) I'm a critic," followed by a decisive look. Ultimately, all these reviews do are tell the comic that it's not funny, and Randall should get off the block and make way for new blood. Good critics don't (at least shouldn't, blahblah, idealist, etc.) do that, 'scuse me as I say, good critics try to have good intentions. (If you do, disregard this, but as I have seen so far, what good intentions?) If not, well, back to square one of me loathing you.

    More fun stuff to come, isn't there. I really don't care if other people have made other arguments, very similar to mine. Hopefully, and I really hope I get the point across, I don't like you, right up to the point of loathe. (Ultimately, trying to chalk another one up for "People who don't like me".)

    Some might say I'm being too righteous, or that the world can't live in peace, and maybe you're just the least of the evils. I'm too idealistic for that. So far, though, Napoleon, I'm going to stand by my ideology, which really has yet to be refuted, that to criticize other people's sense of humour isn't right. (Maybe I AM bringing up subjectivity, unfortunately, this is valid grounds for that. Screw you people with your damn objective lenses, cause humour and sense of humour are not measurable)

    I'm almost done writing on your blogspace, arguing with you has been a pleasure. Anyway, I'm going to bring the final part to the table, unless you decide to keep on arguing till morning, and by then, we'll just be repeating arguments ad verbatim won't we?

    Rambling aside, what do I intend to accomplish, you've asked. Assuming you read, my point among this whole thing was not to shutdown this blog. Maybe you'll recognize, even with your selective lenses, that I just loathe people like you. (You probably don't care, or maybe you might like knowing that you're a person who I'd love to trip and laugh at. Loathe me for it? More hate to go around, best of both worlds isn't it?) Changing you isn't my goal, and, in my limited experience, no one changes over an internet comment. I'm just going to drive it home now, I dislike you. Hopefully, you'll just take it and shut up, because there's nothing to argue there, unless you really want me to like you (and, that would just be cheesy.)

    Finally Rob, the unfortunate part with calling me a cuddlefish is you're probably going to have to rework that definition now, cause if you decide to argue (and it's really hard to argue with a statement like, I hate your guts), I'm not going to back down. (Unless you decide to play some pansy game like, not say anything for six months, reply to my comment, and then go lolcuddlefish.) See you if you argue, otherwise, I'm likely not to come back. (Good riddance, rite?)

  96. If you need me to jump in, Napoleon, just say so. Have I mentioned that I totally know where your username is from and it's an awesome song?

  97. @ Cuddlefish: k i'mma do this paragraph by paragraph thus proving me to be a serious professional who's taking this seriously.

    Aight, so you've drawn a distinction here. Even if it turns out being relevant, remind me which side Carl is on? This blog is "XKCD sucks", not "People who think XKCD is funny suck", so... I guess Carl is critiquing humor and is thus not a jerk? But really, if you get self-righteous enough, you can warp any "I don't find this funny" statement as an "Anyone who finds this funny is a moron who sucks" statement. Good to know you have that capability.

    Sure, they can be brought up for any piece of humor! The question is... are they valid? If you argue for them and someone else argues against them, do they hold up? This is what separates any good art from any bad art: do potential criticisms hold up against inspection? Seriously, you're displaying ignorance of the very foundation of debate here! I say something, and you say something that conflicts, and we see which of these statements makes more sense. This is not complicated.

    Really, now? Just because someone puts time into something, they're immune to being criticized on that thing? This is not logic, sir! This is a staggeringly baseless categorical statement that seems to attack the entire concept of opinion! You are effectively saying that if someone has created something, publicly voicing dislike of it is by definition "terrible taste". What's unsettling here is that I don't even have to put words in your mouth. This is what you actually believe. Also, bonus points for writing a second sentence that could be accurately reworded as "He doesn't deserve to be shot for criticizing XKCD, he deserves to shot for his choice of hobby, which is criticizing XKCD". What.

    Umm, I do not know where you are getting this stuff. Every so often, Carl will grudgingly admit he liked the latest strip. This could be a master plan to pretend to be objective, but it could also just be him... having honest opinions? That plenty of other people agree with? Also, 3rd question on his "sucks hugely" FAQ: "I am hoping to either get Randall Munroe to shape up and make better comics . . ." This, even if it's one third of his potential goals, is pretty much as "well-intenioned" as critics can get. What, do you want to him to criticize XKCD with the ultimate goal of solving poverty? That would be silly.

    you don't like me? but i like you... now you have made me sad :( :( :(

    And my ideology is that free speech is more important than letting tyranny and censorship prevail just because somebody's afraid of somebody's feeling getting hurt. See? I can baselessly link this to a larger ideological issue in an attempt to scramble for ethos too!

    Two facts: 1) I am in Shanghai, and thus it is early evening here and not morning. 2) I speak Latin, thus I can tell you that the "ad" you stuck before "verbatim" is entirely unnecessary. Were you perhaps trying to say "ad nauseam"? So, I've just beaten you on two technicalities meaning I have beaten your argument as a whole. Ha ha. I win. You lose.

    You just hate us and want us to know you hate us? Shit, son! Those seem like pretty malicious intentions to me! It's almost like you're criticizing something without intending to help it, but rather just to point out that you hate the effort somebody has put into something! And that's terrible.

    Also, Rob, I think he has pretty much checkmated you by admitting he has no arguments and is just here to be a prick baselessly. Oh no we have looooooost

    @Carl: It is indeed a good song. Though to be honest, I picked the name more because of how pretentious it makes me sound. I think it's working!

  98. Wait, seriously? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

    We live in a universe where the fact that "Like A Rolling Stone" is awesome has to be pointed out?

  99. i just heard about this band, i think they're australian or something

    they're called "the beetles"

    they're pretty good

  100. I - i'm sorry! I just wanted to be friendly. Also as far as pretension goes, you may be losing to Monty Hughes or whoever.

  101. Didn't think this one was so great. 'Qwertial Asphasia' (assuming that that term even really exists; can't say I've ever heard of it before) sounds like it'd a good source of comedy, it's just a shame that Randall couldn't come up with anything wittier than oral bestiality.

    Also, this week's ZP was awesome and so true, which means a lot coming from me - I love The Sims.

  102. William Monty HughesJuly 5, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    Carl "Ugly" Wheeler: My name is WILLIAM Monty Hughes.
    Address me fully OR not at all. It just ENRAGES me that you once possessed the AUDACITY to assume you could simply refer to me so informally. I demand respect.
    Additionally, I am NOT pretentious you ADDLE-MINDED PLEBIAN.

    -William M. Hughes
    IQ 224
    "Cogito Ergo Sum"

  103. Okay, you seem to love sarcasm, clearly indicated by your liberal use of italics, as well as the several oh so subtle nuances that you use.

    Where I'm wrong:
    - Perhaps he tries to help XKCD, on occasion. *Shrug* he's preaching to a crowd of people that dislikes XKCD. If he wished to help, it might be better to try the forums.

    Where I'm wrong:
    - I did mean ad nauseam. So I blended a latin phrase with an english word that pretty much means the same thing. My bad.

    - Perhaps I wasn't clear enough why he should be shot. How's this: "His attitude of finding amusement in belittling efforts and complain (Therefore, a lot of people deserve to be shot, don't point that out)."

    That's about as far as I got. Now, where your wrong:
    - He doesn't hate XKCD because it's bad. He hates it becauses it's bad and has a high readership, therefore, it doesn't deserve it. Therefore, indirectly thinking the readers of XKCD suck.

    - The validity of humour, is a very messed up statement. There are jokes that are low-brow, high-brow, mean, sarcastic, dumb, smart, inside, topical, and so forth. Sure, you can judge the comic for not reaching it's target audience. To my knowledge, though, the forums are filled with "intelligent" (Depending on the way you look at it) people, that seem to like the comic. If the comic fails to please them, then it might suck.

    - No, criticizing things that are effort-driven can be good or bad. For example: If I spent six years building a model plane and putting it's flight on Youtube. You say it looks like crap, and decide to blog about it sucking, just because everyone likes it. If that doesn't sound like being an asshole, I really don't want to live in your universe. However, saying "I think the plane could look better, maybe I can help," is not, as you offer to help (I will admit that the blogwriter offers support on occasion, mockingly, though, when possible), as well as not looking as if he's trying to belittle his efforts.

    - I do not believe his good intentions, simply because he points that out in his "sucks hugely" (I find those faqs to have terrible titles, but that's beside the point) section. Far more often, I'd rather read and analyze the angle he's coming from, and the writer, whom I'll refer to as Carl now (Rob, sorry I guess?). Anyway, after reading the "reviews," it looks to be more on the side of a "vitrolic and bitter collection of unwarranted nastiness against a silly and harmless comic."

    - I didn't mean I don't like you, I meant Carl (Whom I only hate by extension of his hobby). Anyway, I haven't seen enough of your writing to hate you yet.

    - All criticism should have a basis in good, and if Carl truly is aiming for the better instead of just trying to slander a comic, as it says in the title, than he can sleep in solace knowing that I am wrong. I wouldn't believe him if he told me though. The reputation he builds (through consistent review writing, and if he does anything else notable) is what I'll look at.

    - Okay, so you live in Shanghai. You don't win because it happens to be evening there. The morning is from my perspective, obviously, so assume 6-8 hours.

    - Hating you is my opinion of you. There is no intent to do anything, I don't intend to take down your work, I just hate you. Take it hard, take it lightly, I really don't see how you can possibly relate it to criticizing work. The goal here isn't to love everybody. It's to find the time where your opinions are actually opinions (My hate comment) or, trying to make your opinions factual by saying that "XKCD sucks". (Maybe the whole underlying message here is the simple, "IT'S ONLY YOUR OPINION," whiny crap. I only agree with those people when the opinion is desperately trying to be fact. (This site, it does))

    - @ the 2nd to last paragraph. I'm laughing that you called me a prick. What? It's kinda like, why can't we hate a comic in peace? Hatred engenders hatred.

    I'm running out of characters. Stupid blogs.

  104. Sorry for the spam, I guess, but...
    Imagine the second "Where I'm wrong," as being inexistant, if you please.

  105. Do you, like, not speak English? "Verbatim" does not mean the same thing as "ad nauseum" in the slightest. "Inexistant" is not a word. You serve no function as a human being. Your entire existence is purposeless. There are no redeeming qualities about you. You will live a long, unfulfilled life, if you can call such an empty existence living.

  106. "No, criticizing things that are effort-driven can be good or bad. For example: If I spent six years building a model plane and putting it's flight on Youtube. You say it looks like crap, and decide to blog about it sucking, just because everyone likes it. If that doesn't sound like being an asshole, I really don't want to live in your universe. However, saying "I think the plane could look better, maybe I can help," is not, as you offer to help (I will admit that the blogwriter offers support on occasion, mockingly, though, when possible), as well as not looking as if he's trying to belittle his efforts."

    Incorrect analogy. Randall does not spend six years on each comic strip. When we criticize a strip, he does not make the effort to improve any of his flaws from one strip to the next.

    A more proper analogy would be if you spent a day hastily folding a model airplane out of a cocktail napkin, and, because their were a number of lonely, insecure cocktail napkin lovers on the Internet, when you posted a video of your masterpiece on YouTube, they flocked to you and formed a community based around your poorly-made cocktail napkin airplanes. Then, a few people come a long and say, "Hey, these aren't very good airplanes - here's how you could improve them: [insert list of valid ways your]," and those people were quickly shot down by the fans and ignored by you and you continued to produce videos of shitty cocktail napkin airplanes. So these people continued to point out how, though their is an audience for these shitty cocktail napkin airplanes, it would be much cooler if these cocktail napkin airplanes were improved, and formed a community to talk about it.

    TL;DR You suck at analogies. Die in a fire.

  107. "Please don`t even try that. People don`t critique other people`s sense of humour."

    Sulpheric, please learn to use real apostrophes. You were obviously able to (albeit incorrectly) when you typed "your's."

    That is all.

  108. The sad thing about this post is, if Randall had done what you suggest here and used the conventional format for this type of joke and made sure his example was recorded as an actual Internet event and dotted his I's and crossed his T's and everything else, you'd probably rip him for being unoriginal and cookie-cutter--and if it wasn't you, somebody would gleefully take up the role so reflexive haters (or "No true fan likes him anymore" types) would have something to nod along to. It's like the too-frequent complaint that Randall likes to continue past the punchline--if he didn't do that, there'd be people whaling on him for ruining the perceived flow. That's this whole blog in a nutshell--you take a smug superior "he's doing it wrong" attitude to every comic, the fact that someone will ALWAYS think that notwithstanding.

  109. I guess you haven't been here too long. We're pretty open minded and I don't mind talking about what I like in xkcd - it just isn't too often that I like anything.

    Anyway, there's a good chance you are right though - I am not sure there is a way for a comic to present a "funny conversation" in the style and have it be really good. That's because it will always (usually?) come across as contrived and carefully planned out, which dramatically saps the humor.

    What I'm saying, then, is that there is really no way to do this right, be you Randall or otherwise, and so he should have skipped it entirely and gone to another comic altogether.

    Of course, with a name like "Math_Mage" i really should expect the highest forms of xkcd-fanboyism, so oh well.

  110. @Jaap

    Curiously enough, I find I could very easily say something like "I can't afford to keep eating out this frequently."

    Perhaps my conversational English lacks more than I know? Must be. ^ ^

  111. xkcd is very frank, simply put. Its concept is honest, contemplative, emotionally evocative; it has something everyone can relate to, to some degree. Some people will find its humor funny, some will not.
    Sulpheric's right. Quit the hate shit, trying to make inane bigots like you guys laugh isn't the sole purpose of a good webcomic. If your funnybones were too skeptical to spot the originality of xkcd from its conception (or at least, Munroe's materialization of hidden truths most people can't even put into a good train of thought), you missed out, end of story. Rob, get your high horse back into the stable.

  112. Um why are you talking to me?

    But since you're here: we pretty much all used to be fans of XKCD. So I guess the only person missing out on anything is you! You are missing out on an opportunity not to be a dumbass.