Saturday, July 11, 2009

Comic 608: Breaking the Rules

from...shittown, usa!
Oh my goodness! The stick man is writing where he was told not to! And there are crazily extreme consequences for this minor action! Get it? Because they are disproportionate! Oh my, I am struggle to type through my tears of laughter and soon I will have laughed so hard that my body will be lying on the ground, twitching, in a joyous state of pure humorous glee.

My first thought, not counting the simple "ughhhhhhhhh" was "god, this seems similar to comic 499." Seemingly harmless action -> crazy violent consequence. They also have the same rhythm - panel 1 sets up the apparently simple situation; panel 2 and 3 show that the character has violated some basic rule, and panel 4 is the awful, awful reaction. In both cases the actual reaction is somewhat vague - we know that there are dudes with helmets and guns, but not what they are doing or why or anything like that. In 499, we just know that it is scream-inducing and involved blood.

That's ok, Randall, you don't have to think of funny things to happen! Just things that might be around if something funny did happen, and we'll fill in the rest!

But here's what really gets me: Click that link to my post on comic 499. When that comic came out, I made the exact same criticisms of it for being so derivative of comic 292! In other words, even the comic this is basically a copy of is a copy of another comic! fuck you, Randall. fuck you.


--

Anyway, that's it for me for a week. Dr. Horrible will be writing the posts for the next three comics. I'll still be around (posting them as he e-mails them to me, for one thing) but hopefully he won't suck. Also hopefully he won't turn out to be the ass-turd troll.

54 comments:

  1. pic unrelated

    since you guys liked my Mr. Hat fanart

    any yu-gi-oh fans out there? holla.

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  2. (Holy shit, the Majestic 12 troopers from Deus Ex.)

    It took me a while to realise that the guy on the right is holding a pistol, it looks like he's rubbing his hands together or something.

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  3. From drhorrible666@gmail.com to czwheeler@fail.com
    Subject: First comic.

    Message: MUHFUGGEN ASSTURDS BITCH HAHAHA
    ASSTURDS ASSTURDS ASSTURRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSSS woo woo

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  4. You also missed a very important similarity: both of them are clearly related to tests and scantron-type documents.

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  5. I don't get it, really: suggestion is not at all such a rare comic device -- it's pretty lazy and dishonest to suggest Randall does not WANT to draw the consequences, and instead is merely suggesting it. It makes you look like those slobs who don't want to put their imagination to work, and want everything readily digested to them. And I already complained about how this "HE DID THAT BEFORE!" this is getting very, very old. It's silly to demand an artist to do something completely and entirely new and different every time around. People repeat themselves. DEAL WITH IT.

    I do complain, though, about how this comic takes on a very, very easy and obvious thing that must have crossed the mind of about 80% of the people who ever bumped into that kind of thing in a form. It's a very, very obvious joke, but at least the execution is nice; after all, excessive authority is a surprisingly common thing, and in retrospect, makes the comic seem not THAT absurd...

    But yeah, it was subpar. As was your criticism of it. Ha!

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  6. This entire comment boils down to "I READ DOUGLAS HOFSTADTER SO I AM CLEVER". I hope Randall is murdered in the most brutal, awful way. Today.

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  7. Oh bollocks I meant "comic", not "comment". Drunk.

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  8. Yeah, the comic didn't bug me too much (I mean it was stupid and derivative) but I only thought, "Damnit Randall" when I saw the popup text.

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  9. Fernie, it's simply not silly to demand that Randall has to come up with new ideas. The man has only drawn 600 comics and he's already out of original things to say? Plus, this is his full-time occupation; he doesn't do anything else, the least he could do is put more than 10 minutes worth of effort into new comics.

    I agree that the joke isn't all that bad, but the execution isn't any better than any of the millions of high school students thinking the same stupid thing to themselves in school. The joke and presentation are simple, sophomoric, and just bland. Much like every other comic of his, he's rehashing old ideas and presenting them in a way that any idiot could. He's not original, interesting, or particularly funny. I agree with anonymous up there, this was just a setup for him to show off how "clever and smart" he is for having all the free time in the world (apparently) to be able to make more nerdy references.

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  10. At least Fernie didn't use the word "Orwellian."

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  11. Oh man, I hope Carl doesn't take revenge on me and mess with my commHAHAHA DISREGARD THAT I SUCK ASS TURDS!

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  12. The alt-text doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's a simple contradiction, like saying "I am not speaking". It's just a lie, not a strange loop or anything namedrop-worthy like that.

    It's also strange to see him so enamored with Hofstadter when he badmouthed literary criticism a couple of times.

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  13. Cuddlefish PrimeJuly 11, 2009 at 9:57 PM

    @Anon 9:02

    Forgive me if I'm slow, but since when does Douglas Hofstadter write literary criticism? I thought his books were mostly about philosophy of mind, and math and language and stuff like that. You know, the stuff that Randall pretends his comic is about.

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  14. Fernie: "And I already complained about how this "HE DID THAT BEFORE!" this is getting very, very old. "

    Are you saying that it is getting old for me to complain that Randall's jokes are getting old? How interesting. HOW....HOFSTADERIAN....

    Perhaps I make the argument often but that is hardly the same as saying it is not a sound argument. Would you like to defend the idea that this comic is not, in fact, crazily similar to the Scantron one? I will have that debate with you if you'd like.

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  15. Are there actually people out there who don't realize that answer sheets are fed in a computer, which expects a certain kind of input and will read nothing if the form is incorrectly filled?

    I mean, this would be a get out of my head strip, I guess. If we were all somehow cripplingly retarded. I have a hard time imagining anyone wondering the reason for the warnings though, ergo the comic is worse than get out of my head strips.

    There's very little mystery around scantron warnings. They don't make out the danger to be too big or too small: You might get your test corrupted and that's it, obviously. You know, like if you write your exam in unreadable script the teacher may not grade all of it? What's next, Randall sees "please do not cheat on the exam, if you are caught there will be consequences" and cheats, to which his teacher reacts by destroying the universe and yelling "I warned you"?

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  16. This is the third time Randall has used this exact joke.

    Do something you aren't supposed to -> Pause -> HORRIBLE CONSEQUENCES!

    The worst part is that it wasn't even creative when he thought of it. How long has that joke been around in the form of stand-up comedians talking about those tags on matresses that say not to remove them?

    GOTO was funny because it wasn't nearly as obviously that's what it was, and because the penalty was so random. There was no authoratative sign saying "DO NOT DO THAT.", and some rebelious idiot going "No! No, sign! I WILL do that!"; and suddenly having a SWAT team burst in on him. Someone said "alright, I've got a problem. There's a quick fix for it, although it's not really recommended-- but how bad can it be?", and then was attacked by a fucking raptor.

    I'd also like to point out that Randall actually had even more creativity in the past. Comic 242 works on the same basic principle. Someone does something -> Randomly horrible consequence; only it has a twist at the end! And there's no rebellion against a random sign, just someone seeing what something does!

    I guess the art in the last panel is pretty good, though, if I had to think of something properly. But everything else about it is absolutely terrible.

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  17. Ar-Pharazon: (comment box sucks, can't paste the character from the map) We took the tests as kids and they often didn't explain. Aside from that, though, go back to the old tags-on-mattresses joke; of COURSE you won't get in trouble for removing them, but the absurdity of the joke is enough to make you laugh. You can't always argue realism in comedy if it ruins what is a reasonably good joke.

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  18. http://digg.com/programming/A_Birthday_Cake_Fit_For_a_Programmer

    Look on this article / comments and despair.

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  19. Cuddlefish':

    I don't think Hofstadter has written actual literary criticism, but it's clear from the introduction of his translation of Eugene Onegin (and, indeed, the translation itself) that he is intimately familiar with the field.

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  20. feba: http://scarygoround.com/shop-shirtshop.php?shirtName=random

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  21. @John
    Nah, even the Digg circlejerkers are starting to realize how unfunny xkcd is. They seem more interested in binky and his copycats than the comic itself.

    "This is the best x ever"
    "This appears to be a x"

    Those are all binky memes.

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  22. Can it be considered a running gag now? I guess there has to be a connection though, like some secret police force. He wouldn't even have to do a full comic, just alt text. C'mon Munroe!
    I'm excited for Dr. Horrible's guest points. You win 50 internet points for the awesome name.

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  23. I feel that you should have commented on how this specific scenario (just like the general idea but more so) is INCREDIBLY unoriginal, and has been done a gazillion times with that exact "I'm not supposed to write here and I did anyway, and now something terrible happens" joke

    xkcd is dead.

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  24. Replace the fourth panel with a copy of the second. We all knew the joke after the first panel, this would subvert the joke.

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  25. Even better: Replace the entire comic with, "This space left intentionally blank."

    Randall Monroe, throw off your commercial shackles. Challenge us. Go out in a blaze of dadaist glory. There is still time.

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  26. Way Walker:

    You stole that from mine! And also it's Munroe.

    http://www.isowantone.com/randy.jpg

    Granted, I stole it from Carl's idea. But I spent 10 minutes editing it. >:|

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  27. I like 499 >.<. It was one of my favorites.

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  28. http://imgur.com/JZznw.png

    I don't think Randy's even trying.

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  29. Rehoboam, I really like that edit. Post it to xkcd: could be better!

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  30. I like the idea of replacing panel 4 with panel 2.

    It's strange that an unpredictable ending has been entirely predictable in xkcd.

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  31. Maletoth: HOLLAAAAAAAA

    Rob: guess what i am in the east coast sort of and i can sooooo feel your presence

    I agree with Way Walker; I was going to suggest having... nothing "happen." Or have the stick-man be like, "nahh I wouldn't wanna risk it." I can't believe I'm thinking of a Family Guy episode as I am srsly discussing humor... (Does anyone remember the FG movie? The parking ticket that Stewie tells future-him to not pay since he's gonna fuck up the future anyway?)

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  32. is it a new thing that the comment box requires me to see a preview of my comment before entering a captcha?

    if so it sucks

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  33. Cuddlefish Prime, I laughed so hard.

    Captcha: Tricksk

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  34. If the last two panels of 609 were replaced with any other two panels, it would probably be the funniest comic ever.

    As it is, it sucks hugely.

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  35. hi amanda

    what does my presence feel like

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  36. The new comic makes me think that maybe XKCD is just a really subtle advertising site where people pay Randall to make pointless comics about otherwise obscure sites/services.

    Simple Wikipedia
    TVTropes
    Google Lattitude
    Car Talk

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  37. Last panel in 609 can go in the pile of "things people would never say".

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  38. Also the mention of TVTropes is highly coincidental given the fact that we were discussing only days ago how xkcd is mentioned so often there (and never in a bad light)

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  39. Okay, guys! My post is written! 100%. Emailed it to Carl; from now on, every ticking minute is his fault. He said maybe tomorrow at 6pm. But I'll have you know I'm on summer break and I'm damn quick to write.

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  40. Oh look! Comic 609 is comic 214!

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  41. I almost said "Get out of my head Randa;l" but then I almost changed it to "Get of my Blog" because I wrote a post about the same thing not to long ago. But then I realized nobody reads my blog (Not the one tied to this account) and that lots of people have probably noticed that it's easy to get lost in wiki-style websites, although I most people odn't make jokes about it. Not that Randall did, as he just stated a fact and asked us to laugh. Then I remembered that he already did this "joke" back in 214 without wasting so much screen space. Then I remembered the recent trend of XKCD ripping itself off. Then I remembered that XKCD sucks.

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  42. See, the problem is that at this point I seriously think Randall is engaged in some bizarre social experimentation to determine how long people will continue praising the minute effort he puts into the comic.

    Although, to be fair, he might be saving his readers a lot of time with this comic. Every single article on TV tropes is like an extended version of one of Randall's comics, only you don't have to wait several days to read another article. Plus the artwork there is better.

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  43. I actually LIKE TVTropes and CRACKED.com.

    Too bad today's XKCD doesn't actually have a joke. And, um, TVT has nothing to do with rickrolling.

    So sad.

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  44. Malethoth, the joke is that it goes on for 22 panels before anything actually happens!

    I think that's the joke, anyway.

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  45. I thought what Randall meant is that someone links you to it without you being fully aware of it, but then after you click the link you can't stop clicking more links. It's pretty true, at least in my experience, but it's just an observation. Not in the least bit funny.

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  46. Well, yeah. It's a pretty accurate description of what sitting around browsing TVTropes is like, but it's not really that funny.

    ALSO GODDAMMIT the "TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life" article ALREADY has the last panel from XKCD as a picture on it.

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  47. @Adam: When I was linked to TVTropes, I was fully warned by the friend who linked me. Also, I found this blog through TVTropes.

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  48. Which is exactly why this comic made me sad on so, so many levels. (I was just saying what Randall meant and definitely don't agree with it.)

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  49. I really liked this one. And what I thought was a little ironic was that your criticism of 499 lead be back to another comic I really liked, so I had a chuckle over that. And then it linked me back to 292, another one I liked from before, which game me yet another chuckle. :D Thanks xkcd sucks, for brightening my day :D

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  50. "But come on, criticisms for "another nerd reference"? People, ever heard of "sudo make me a sandwich" or "Robert'); drop table Students; --"? Please."

    Yeah, but those were funny! Anyway, what I meant to say was: another punchline consisting solely of referencing something nerdy, without an actual joke in sight?

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  51. rob your presence tastes bitter, and smells spiteful

    i am kidding

    man it is humid over on the east coast

    captcha: hangsf. Go hang(yo)s(el)f

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