Friday, July 24, 2009

Comic 614: Drill Baby Drill

Today's Special Writer is Jake. Let's see how he did.
Woodsucker oh ew that is gross too

Jake:
It's 10:09 in the AM and this is XKCD Sucks. I'm your host Jake and with me today is XKCD's very own Beret Man.

Beret Man:
Thanks for having me, Jake.

Jake:
So, Beret Man, we have you today in the comic. Tell us what's happening here.

BM:
Well, Jake, Randall has the dark haired chick (probably Megan, but as this isn't about sex today, I can't be sure) and me talking about a woodpecker (on second thought, maybe this is about sex... o.O). The dark haired chick tells me that the woody-- woodpecker was hatched about a year ago and I make the observation that it's the little guy's birthday.

Jake:
Okay, some birthday action going on here. So then the dark haired girl takes off and we see you standing there alone. What's going through your mind at that moment?

BM:
Well, to be honest, not much. You see, right there in the panels after the girl leaves, Randall has me pondering if anyone told the woodpecker it was the little guy's birthday. So after pondering this a bit, I decide to run out and buy the avian a POWER TOOL! Because, you know, that just makes so much sense in Randall's mind as far as the joke goes, bird has a birthday, so I, Beret Man, will run out and spend some cash buying a power tool to make the little guy's life just a little easier. Ha ha! That's funny... right?

Jake:
I
... see... I guess then the alt text is telling us that you'd go all the way to make it happen, you're even willing to splurge on an extension cord?

BM:
And if Randy would add yet another panel, I'd probably even be shown paying for the electrical bill or building a wind turbine. The possibilities are endless.

(Long story short: this comic blew. Hard. There's a lot of Randall's simple drawing and as far as I can tell, this comic is trying to be more existential than funny. Or maybe not... I usually get where Randall is going, even if I don't think it's very funny, but today threw me. I was going to totally analytical and go point by point through the comic, but today's was just so pointless that, well, you just read the result in this post. Kudos to SNL and Tim Meadows for providing the format for today's post and thanks go to Carl for giving me this shot.)

141 comments:

  1. i really like the usage of BM for Beret Man.

    heheh. poo.

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  2. Erm...I'm not sure I like the format of this blog post. Sorry, but Ariel just isn't doing it for me.

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  3. Today's blog post textually describes what's going on in the comic, and then ends with "Long story short: this comic blew".

    First: I think we all have at least one eye working and WE COULD SEE what was going on in the comic. You don't need to re-tell it to us textually, thanks.
    Second: I think people usually come to this blog EXACTLY to know the "long story", not the "short story".
    Third: PLEASE tell me that format was NOT an attempt at humour.

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  4. Right, that the comic described; what was your actual criticism?

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  5. That's sad when the comic is actually better than the post making fun of it.

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  6. this post was basically xkcd. trying to be funny by making references (snl? really?). failing utterly.

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  7. The woodpecker gets a power drill because it's easier to drill a hole then to peck one in.

    How could you not get it?

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  8. Carl I am noticing that when you write "Today's Special Writer" and capitalize "special" and "writer" it sounds like the guest poster has some mental retardation.

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  9. also I feel like the post coulda been better. Perhaps if it had just been written in paragraph form rather than this faux interview?

    captcha: laticil. sounds like a medicine for latinal itch.

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  10. This is another comic in which the characters do not talk in the way that real people do.

    Another example of how Randy's scripting is just a half-assed shell of what it once was.

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  11. the real problem here is it's another long, stilted and unnecessary setup for what at best is a slightly clever idea (a woodpecker would be crazy - but oddly logical - if it had a drill instead!)

    really this would just be better if it was just the last panel, and wasn't Today's Comic but was instead just a doodle in his notebook.

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  12. God damn you Randall. God DAMN YOU!

    I was all set for another Garfield-but-with-science-jargon comic.
    And you had to go and make something decent.

    Sure, the tone is a bit too Buttercup Festival-esque, and the alt-text seems to be attempting to explain beret man's actions which is missing the point as to why the comic is good, but still.
    The bird is flying away, why, exactly? Why does he have a powerdrill? Does he understand the concept of gifts? Why would he take the powerdrill above tree level if he understood it? Or does he think its like a sweater from Grandma? Does he even care that its an overture of friendship? Is it a comment on man's technology being redundant? Or the real truth of nature being that it is completely indifferent to us, and any sense otherwise is an illusion (i.e.- the bird has the drill because its shiny)?
    This is probably the best strip in at least the last 100. It could've been better, but its on the right track.

    The blogpost itself is stupid, and only serves to help establish XKCD sucks as a forum for vitroil 24/7, regardless of Randall's actual quality.
    It spends the majority of its length complaining that Randall decided to lay off knock-knock jokes for a while.
    Of course the comic threw you. That's why its awesome. The best emotion any good piece of media can invoke is curiosity and wonder.
    Those are always the best XKCDs, even if some didn't make much sense.
    Because I mean, let's be honest, I don't think anyone reads the thing for humor.

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  13. I don't understand why people like this one. If the art were good, it could pass for charming, but that's about it.

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  14. Jake, we know how to read. We know what happens in the comic. And your conclusion was very unfair. Although this comic was far from the laugh out loud funny of xkcd's glory days, it was still one of the best comics in the past several months. Just because this blog is named xkcdsucks, that doesn't mean that every single comic necessarily sucks.

    I know that you wanted to chastize randy for making a shitty comic, but this is what we didn't want this blog to become.

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  15. The dialogue is a tad unrealistic, but that problem is almost insignificant. I thought the comic, as a whole, was pretty good (although the alt-text was abysmal). Just because you're guest posting doesn't mean you have to come up with a reason xkcd sucks; if you like it, say so. If you don't, then say so in more than a handful of lines rather than going and explaining the comic to us.

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  16. <(^.^<)

    (>^.^)>

    ^(^.^)^

    v(^.^)v

    <(^.^)^

    ^(^.^)>

    <(^.^)>

    I love you guys!

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  17. 614 is just a failed attempt at profoundity.

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  18. Adam, the art in this comic definitely passes the xkcd standard of "good." Nobody said that this was the best comic ever, it was charming and cute, that's all.

    I think we were all just happy that it wasn't a Wikipedia joke.

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  19. I say: cute. And you can do a lot worse than cute.

    (See yesterday's comic, and the one before that, and the one before that...)

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  20. Surprised the wikipedia article for 'woodpecker' hasn't been edited yet...

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  21. Justin, seriously, even in "xkcd's glory days", did any strip made you actually "laugh out loud"? because xkcd may be many things, but i never considered it HA-HA funny, but more like oh-that's-pretty-clever funny or i-can-sort-of-relate-to-that funny
    just sayin'

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  22. Check out the Stick figure article on Wikipedia...

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  23. "Check out the Stick figure article on Wikipedia..."

    Surprisingly, xkcd is only menitoned once. Below the Order of the Stick.

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  24. zaws, now that you mention it, there have only been one or two that have caused me to laugh audibly. You're right that even the best comics have been ironic or clever funny. Like "hmm" rather than "haha."

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  25. the katamari one always makes me laugh

    though now that i think about it, it has the extra dialogue thing going on (though i think it's okay in this case)

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  26. Amanda, seriously? because the art there is even worse than the recent stuff, does that rainbow look right to you? and, even worse, tv sets DO NOT emit rainbows! so, what is that, a projector? who plays videogames with a projector pointing at himself? Randall clearly has never played videogames, and is just referencing one hugely popular to make people say "ooh, i know what is he talking about, therefore that's funny".
    And who talks like that, improvising HUGE walls of text? and while playing Katamari, no less. And Megan's last sentence, the punchline of the strip, is just a horrible display of negative prejudices about gays. He is basically saying that his ex is a homophobic bitch
    (it didn't say that was Megan, but it's a woman, so i assume it's her, because Randall is such a creep)

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  27. to make things clear, i'm not saying that recent strips are any good, or that old ones were bad. i'm not even saying that xkcd was or wasn't EVER good. that's just a matter of personal opinion. you like it, it is good; you dislike it, it isn't good. that simple.

    what i'm saying is that, if anyone comes here and, among the list of thing that are wrong with xkcd, criticises it because it has bad art, and it's not realistic, and has bad conversations... well, maybe that anyone missed the point, just a little bit

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  28. I think zaws is being sarcastic.

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  29. NINJA'd, damn. I blame La Roux.

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  30. zaws i can honestly say i have no idea what you are talking about. Certainly not this comic?

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  31. @Zaws

    Randall's had some of the most saccharin, gag-inducing puppies and rainbows comics I've ever seen, which he's done in absolute earnest.

    His comic outright says romance is part of it, so I don't have too big a problem when he oversteps the line between cute and wades into Dire-Wolf of Langerhans territory. I don't like it mind you, but it's not a surprise.
    In Katamari the girl condemns the sappy drivel which Randall oft takes to, yet the guy's only response is to become so effeminate and flowery he literally causes nearby electronics to emit fully-differentiated rainbows.

    Notice, however, he does this after his female's condemnation. His response to her is to become gay-er (comically so), without even bothering to challenge her assertion.
    Thus the ultimate message is that Randall's avatar sees nothing wrong about being gay, indeed the stick figure man embraces and amplifies his stereotypically "gay" activity when it is pointed out to him as something to be ashamed of.

    Art does blow ass though, I agree.

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  32. I think this blog post was written by Randall or one of his minions.

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  33. oops, sorry, i was thinking about this one. but in the one you point the first 2 panel are essentially the same and could be cut, leaving just the final 2 and nothing would be lost. And the art is awful too, i mean, Megan and the bald guy are levitating or what? it would be much better if randall had just drew a line under their feet, but he is too lazy to do that. And it's just a "Tetris effect" joke, and people has been making tetris effect jokes since the good ol' days of the game boy. so it's fair to assume that he just lifted it from someone else, because he is a plagiarist, amirite? And....
    i think you get my point

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  34. Sorry, that link is faulty. And while I'm here impersonating zaws, I'm a serious motherfucking idiot.

    Try this one

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  35. zaws: no, not really, I don't.

    I think that the repetition of the first two panels is actually important to this comic, to build up the joke. The reason we point out superfluous panels now is that Randy will often draw really pointless panels. Like the woodpecker one? Do we really need to see him walking towards the tree for like 80 panels--my feeling is that these panels are only needed if someone wants to cut out the comic and make it into a flipbook.

    It would probably be better if he drew a horizon line, but I think at that point he was still getting better at drawing. The heads are still connected to the stick figures, so that is enough for me; the car isn't even copypasta. So I would say that this has far more art than many of his later comics.

    Lastly, just because it follows a "Tetris effect" or whatever doesn't mean he's ripping off anything (though, disappointingly, the comic is very similar to an internet article), and we have never claimed he was copying someone else's idea just for having a similar TYPE of joke. We have, however, pointed out that someone else has done this joke before too, and done it better. That is it. No one ever said OH HEY RANDY HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW THIS JOKE EIGHT MILLION YEARS AGO EXISTED AND YOU TOOOOOTALLY SORT OF SAID KIND OF A SIMILAR THING. We call Randy a ripoff when we see a comic strikingly similar to another comic that we know he reads, after a week.

    second zaws: I agree (maybe that's the point I was supposed to get?). Thanks for fixing the link.

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  36. Justin: Yes, if our standards have lowered that much, then this is an excellent comic.

    zaws: I'm going to go with yes on this one. I laughed at Random Number, for example. (No art in that one, either.)

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  37. Jake, you're awful at criticizing.

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  38. This comic is terrible. Why in God's name do you need a sixteen-panel setup for such a weak punchline?

    He could have had the last panel only, with text to explain that the woodpecker has received a drill as a present. That isn't funny, but then neither is the idea. What Randall should have done was think of a better idea and write a comic about that instead.

    But then, Randall doesn't have many funny ideas, and he is no good at writing comics.

    OK, I'll attempt some constructive criticism. 610 and 612 were good. The ideas were funny, but more importantly the jokes were told using the minimum amount of panels and text.

    The problem is that these examples seem to be down to luck. Randall has no idea what he is doing, and despite having drawn 600+ comics I don't think he has learnt anything about comic-writing, other than that it can sell a hell of a lot of T-shirts.

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  39. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Woodpecker&diff=304013065&oldid=304005323

    W
    T
    F

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  40. Jake you guest-posted and that makes you a winner in my book. :)

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  41. second me, thank you for the link thingie. and about the "i'm a motherfucking idiot" part, yes i agree. i don't even know why i'm writting here, since i'm not gonna change any of your minds and you are not gonna change mine. Mainly because i too think that xkcd sucks and agree with many of the posts, but i have far too free time in my hands so nevermind
    and, Amanda, don't get me wrong, i wasn't mocking you or that comic. Honestly, i didn't know that one and is easily one of the funniest i've seen. i was just using it to show that you can find flaws about anything if you really want to find them.
    and that it doesn't have to have "good art" to be funny or good. see Dinosaur Comics. it's just clip-art copy&paste. LAZY! but it's also much better than xkcd (and most of the better drawn comics out there).
    and that it doesn't have to be realistic and have real sounding conversations. and, even in so little panels, it can have repetition and stablishing shots if done correctly
    the thing is, xkcd does suck, but not because any of those things, but because it is filled with old memes and bad jokes, seen a million of times better done before; and it often has too much talking, to a point it explains, and kills the joke; and it uses repetition and stablishing shots done WRONG...
    but other commenters here seem to just go for the lowest-hanging fruit, and that's what i was trying to mock (but failing to do so)

    so kthnxbai

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  42. yeesh, both xkcd and xkcdsucks sucks today. i think we need a xkcd_and_xkcdsucks_sucks blog.

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  43. Hmph.

    Absurd is funny.
    This strip is funny.

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  44. jakesucks.blogspot.com

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  45. Eh, post was okay. Link in comic redirects to something NOT XKCD, so maybe Randall redirected any traffic from this blog to... something else. FIIK.

    Anyways, the alt-text for this one? Christ. That comes off so pathetic? "We're friends, right? Please say you're my friend? I'm ever so lonely. All my people friends hate me because I have no personality. :( " Also "Did, did no one tell you?" Why would anyone a) do that, b) say that.

    Finally, cut out about 3 panels of the gift. Tighten up the comic, increase the impact of the event.

    captcha: britica. The abridged Britannica?

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  46. i am confused about many things


    mostly why in the name of god you would think that is how criticism should be laid out, and why in the name of god anyone could find that post in any way funny

    the comic made me almost smile for 2 seconds, which is more than I can say of the post

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  47. zaws: The problem is that only one of the three "flaws"--useless panel, art, possible plagiarism--that you pointed out earlier could use real improvement. You were being mocking in picking out these non-flaws and using criticisms we have used before purposefully incorrectly. You are doing the same thing when you talk about the "lazy" art of DC. That is a different story; yes, the art is lazy if you think about it and he never has to draw in new things, but at the same time it limits his style. He has to make dialogue fit and, more importantly, flow. This is quite hard to do with six panels of the same drawings every day, I think.

    You are right, a comic doesn't have to be realistic. You are also confusing "realistic" with "believable."

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  48. Hmm. I actually liked this one.

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  49. @Mike: or, the link is misspelled as http://xlcd.com/614. I wonder which it could be?

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  50. does it have to be beliavable?

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  51. go jake

    you the man

    (not sarcasm!)

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  52. @ann

    No, I think it's the redirect thing. Only Randall's powers have grown so vast that he is able to WARP THE VERY FABRIC OF THE INTERNET ITSELF AND CHANGE THE LINK.

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  53. I'm usually in league with the opinions here, but I dunno, I thought this one was cute and avoided being OMG SO RANDOM or OMG SO CREEPY. I could see a similar plot working in pfsc, except the bird would probably rebuff the gift, leaving the beret man staring at it and wondering what has brought him to the point in his life where he is buying power tools for animals.

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  54. Jake, for what it's worth, I liked your post. It was a nice, new refreshing thing to see.

    Also I think the alt-text would have been able to salvage the comic if it read "He's already got one," or something along those lines.

    But of course Randall leaves me unsatisfied yet again.

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  55. Did anyone notice that Randy removed the "without fail" in that update schedule at the top of Xkcd?

    It's like he knows what we all know.

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  56. Unrelated, but I wonder why Randall uses "we" on the store page (as in, "we get a lot of emails asking about donations").

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  57. Anonymous:
    It's 8:24 in the PM and this is the comment thread. I'm your host anonymous and with me today is xkcdsucks' very own Jake.

    Jake:
    Thanks for having me, anonymous.

    Anon:
    I'm not your mother.
    In any case, I see you're writing a guest post today. What's it all about?

    Jake:
    Well, you see, I haven't quite wrapped my head around the "criticism" part of this blog, so I decided to do a little "tonight show"-type gimmick with one of the characters in the comic instead. It's kind of like fanfiction, except it bashes the subject matter.

    Anon:
    I see. What made you think of this idea? Did you consider adding valid points or actual criticism along the way?

    Jake:
    Well, I'm not a very creative person. A lot of times Carl likes to complain about unrealism, so I decided to just do that and run with it.

    Anon:
    I see. It seems that a lot of people actually thought today's xkcd was kind of decent when they usually think otherwise; has this had any effect on you as far as your statement of "long story short: this comic blows?"

    Jake:
    No, not really.
    I mean, it's xkcdsucks. We bash xkcd, right?
    Isn't that what's cool?
    What I did was cool, right?

    Anon:
    I'm afraid I'm not the authority on that.
    Anyway, thanks for elaborating on your post, Jake. This is Anonymous with xkcdsucks, signing off.

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  58. I too thought this one was pretty decent as a comic. It didn't have any of the elements that I most dislike about Xkcd.

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  59. I have almost nothing to defend, considering that the blogpost did almost nothing to attack the comic. Oh well.

    I found the comic just amusing. Kind of a... sit back on the patio chair and wonder for a bit. The idea of a woodpecker with a drill isn't exactly an "Oh wow, I see what you did there," or an "Oh my god! I can't stop laughing," it's I think grabbing back at XKCD's former charm, like the boy in a barrel, or red spiders.

    I think the joke could have played itself out with just the last panel and maybe a present box or tag saying "Happy Birthday." I think the mild suspense leading to a cutesy anti-climax was the goal here though.

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  60. TheMesosade hit it right on the head. This instantly made me think of the boy in the barrel or the flying farret. It definitely harkens back.

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  61. TheMesosade ++ You got it perfectly.

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  62. I liked this comic, again. Not in a "LOL IM LAUGHING" way but it was cute, and sort of nice, and fun. It's a comic that makes me want to use this smiley: ":3".

    There was nothing bad about it - you can nitpick about "LOL TOO MANY PANELS," but i honestly feel like a lot of you just want to hate xkcd, regardless of the reason.

    I'm certainly not a fan of a lot of recent comics, but this was... nice :)

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  63. I don't see why this mediocre piece of shit strip is being lauded. It's barely cute at all. It's just awkward.

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  64. let's be real for a sec: xkcd does indeed suck a lot of the time, but not ALL THE goddamn time. Stop making up shit for the mediocre comics, and continue to bring the hammer down hard on his shitty ones.

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  65. Meh. Not too good, not too bad just kind of...

    Meh.

    The alt-text helps 'cause the first thing I thought of was "that's stupid, how's expect the bird to use the drill when it's obviously not the battery-operated kind." When authors point out holes in their own plots/logic it can work out pretty well. See Order of the Stick (recent OOTS is on MUCH higher footing than recent XKCD in terms of quality though).

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  66. Well, 11:50, there's always someone doing that, but if you look at the comments of this and the last blog you will recognize that we do in fact not all hate this comic.

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  67. I'm pretty sure he got the idea from Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles..when summer glau was talking to birds and kept calling them "Bird"

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  68. I was wondering how you would deal with a funny XKCD comic. Not well, evidently. Carl needs some sort of screening process for the people he lets use this thing.

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  69. I'm also wondering how people would deal with a funny XKCD comic. I can't wait until there'll actually be one.

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  70. do xkcd fans really find this to be "funny?"

    what a bunch of sycophantic suck ups

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  71. Right, I'm out.

    I liked this blog a lot -- I really did. It was good to find a place that looked at XKCD critically, that saw how much it was being half-assed and how weak it had become. But part of what I liked about this blog was that it was essentially fair minded. When a strip was good, it said so. When a strip was weak but was trying, it said so. When a strip was okay but flawed, it said so. When a strip was bad it said so with great vitriol.

    However, in recent weeks it's become clear that xkcdsucks isn't a name any more, it's a mandate. The strip sucks, therefore every strip must suck, period. And now that we're in this ill-advised "guest month," every new poster has exactly one day to put forth how much xkcd sucks.

    Today's strip? Didn't suck. It showed a lot of work, the art was a fair sight better than we've seen in XKCD, the beret man came close to developing a personality, and the joke -- while not a fall down laughing gag -- worked for what it is. It's not one of the best XKCDs, but it sure as Hell wasn't close to the worst, and it did not 'blow.'

    If this blog's just going to be "xkcd is bad and wrong and wrong and bad because we all know xkcd is bad and everything is bad!" then it doesn't do anyone a damn bit of good -- it's just grinding an axe, shouting "why do people still read this! It's bad! It's always always bad!"

    Only it's not. It may be bad, it may (rarely) be good, it may be meh.

    Disappointing, really.

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  72. It's cute. It could have been better (like if the bird had been a normal bird and just stared at the present, though the forumites aren't quoting Monty Python as much as I'd feared) but it's cute and has a clear punchline.

    Also we're getting maybe a clearer character for Beret Man(a well-meaning simpleton), and the 'awkward' dialogue is all his and in keeping with that character, so it's not an infraction.

    Too many panels maybe, but it's the difference between taking two seconds to read and taking 2.3 seconds.

    This is what XKCD used to be (with 17 times as many panels, but still). A silly idea in crude visual that you briefly laugh at to yourself.

    XKCDsucks sucked. Is anyone suprised this finally happened? Imagine if XKCD had a Summer of Madness with fans (not fans with webcomics, just regular fans) drawing their own comics.

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  73. Anon 5:48: Come back August 7th D:! I promise to be fair.

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  74. Anon 5:48:
    Don't let the door hit your butthurt on the way out.

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  75. No one redirected any traffic guys. Jake just mistyped the url as xlcd.com so on and so forth

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  76. @ Anon 5:48

    "Today's strip? Didn't suck."

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just like, your opinion, man.

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  77. The image links to http://xlcd.com/, not to xkcd. Can Carl fix this?

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  78. I think this guest month has been ill advised. A guest poster gets one day, and they get a strip like this. Not particularly good or bad.

    What can you say really?

    I know we all hate Carl and his stupid face, but he is at least generally fair-minded when it comes to less crappy xkcds.

    Not that I particularly liked this strip, but it is a far cry from the worthless piles that most of the 600s are.

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  79. Anthemyst, you are completely right. That would have been a much better punchline.

    I didn't like this post either, but I kind of sympathize with Jake here. It's so much easier to write about a crappy comic than an OK one.

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  80. All of you (ALL OF YOU) are very stupid people.

    Seriously. "Waah this blog is always focusing on the negative bad things and you guys are just hating XKCD for the sake of hating it!" "Waaah, how can any of you possibly like this strip that I don't happen to like very much?"

    Shut the hell up. Just shut up. Like, whatever you were going to say? SHUT UP. SHUT THE FUCK UP. YOU ARE A FUCKING MORON.

    What is it about the ones that more people like that brings out the stupid in all of you people? Is there some sort of law that you can't be vaguely fucking intelligent about it? What the hell is wrong with you? Why do you even bother with continuing breathing?

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  81. Way to try and misdirect the criticisms of xkcdsucks by trying to start a flame war instead.

    You're gonna have to try hard than that to ruffle my feathers, but the lack of any content except "PEOPLE WHO LIKED THIS STRIP ARE RETARDS" cetainly goes to the point that many have been making than xkcdsucks is not about criticism of xkcd for better or (more often) worse so much as justifying a pre-judgment that every single strip these days will suck.

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  82. We have birds reading xkcd sucks?

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  83. Hmm? I'm saying everyone who posted in this thread is an idiot, not people who liked this strip. You are an idiot and you should feel bad about that.

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  84. Your webcomic review comment is bad and you should feel bad.

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  85. It's more "your general stupidity is bad and you should feel bad." Commenting is only endemic of a greater problem (viz, crippling stupidity).

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  86. Sorry Rob, but I'm much too smart to be a moron. Logic wins again!

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  87. Jay I am willing to make an exception for you, THIS TIME

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  88. What about me? What about Amanda? What about Anon 4:18?

    YOU HAVE NOT THOUGHT THIS THROUGH

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  89. Hooray, I haven't posted in this thread yet! :D

    ...

    ...

    DAMN IT

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  90. I am a total moron and therefore fully qualified to post in this thread.

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  91. exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis

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  92. What about me, Rob? What about your good old buddy that you would share a heart with, was it not for his distancing name?

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  93. I only posted here to tell Jake his guest post was shit.

    At least we can all agree that Jake's post was shit, right?

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  94. How long are you going to take considering them? It's just, I'm going for a job interview in a couple of hours, and I don't want to have to tell them I'm a moron.

    YOU'RE RUINING MY LIFE ROB

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  95. I hate this; you're all making Randall look good by comparison. And I don't want him to look good.

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  96. Sophie Schröder-DevrientJuly 25, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    Is that really all you can muster? A recap of the strip with an insult tagged at the end? How tragic.

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  97. @Anonymous July 25, 2009 2:21 PM: Yes, I really hope we can all agree that Jake's post was shit. Judging from the little disclaimer at the end of the post, it seems even Jake agrees.

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  98. I'd laugh so hard if it turned out Jake is actually Belial (or another sycophant) trying to discredit the blog.

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  99. This review sucked. Anyone can pick apart a joke and add a tagline and make it sound stupid. This strip was weirdly cute, which is really what xkcd is all about.
    Did anyone like this post? I DO feel bad picking on something that nobody likes, it's like mocking the dumb nerd in your English class or CAD.

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  100. The criticism sucks.

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  101. I thought today's XKCD was a little better than normal, though not great. I also didn't much care for today's guest post, but hey, on Monday we'll have a new author.

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  102. I'm sorry Ann, my office is closed for the weekend. You'll have to try back on Monday during business hours Eastern time.

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  103. You know how every time a webcomic does a guest week pretty much all of the guest comics suck ass?

    It turns out xkcdsucks isn't immune to that.

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  104. this comment sucks


    this one, right here, right now, that i am typing


    everyone else is cool

    i want to be cool too

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  105. It's amazing how much energy some people have put into defending a dull episode of a dying strip.

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  106. Okay Jake, you don't get the right to call Beret man a lame character, because your portrayal of him in this post is really poor. If you're going to insult the comic, point out that he could have removed half the frames and gotten a significantly funnier comic.

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  107. "This strip was weirdly cute, which is really what xkcd is all about."

    Oh really? I thought it was about romance, language, math, and sarcasm.

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  108. It is.

    Beret Man is in his girlfriend Megan's house.
    He uses language to talk to Megan and the Woodpecker.
    He uses math to deduce that it is the Woodpecker's birthday.
    And um... He's being sarcastic about the whole 'give a power-drill to a woodpecker' thing.

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  109. @8:25 Anon:

    Nah, you're too young. Maybe when you're older.

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  110. You're all fucking retards. All of you. Every last goddamn person in this comments thread (with the exception of myself) is a slack-jawed, spineless, braindead motherfuck, and I'm tired of listening to (or rather, reading) your inane, repetitive, unoriginal comments that fail to display even a tenuous grasp of the ideas of relevance, intellgience, or ingenuity. Go fuck yourselves.

    This comic was Randall's pathetic attempt to be charming and whimsical (à la Buttercup Festival, which is infinitely superior and, at time, deliciously pretentious) while also being funny and cute, and it fails in all respects due to Randall's fundamental failure to grasp the idea of comedic timing. Anyone who liked this comic only did so because the recent onslaught of shitty comics has lowered their standards enough for them to enjoy it.

    Fuck all ya'll. You gay.

    ~Poore

    (Amanda is still exempt)

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  111. But I am very intellgient.

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  112. Spending an hour reading this blog resulted in my not enjoying the latest xkcd. I think I've been cured. Thanks!
    (Yeah, I'm the guy whose 'not getting it' joke on the forum was misinterpreted as encouraging Randall. It was a terrible joke, so I concede that I did deserve to be told off.)

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  113. At least Monday's guest poster gets a typical 600s lame xkcd to work with.

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  114. Man, I kind of liked this one. It seems like a clever thing to do, even if it would probably be pretty obvious. The alt text was a MY HOBBY that isn't just "Being annoying", and added tot he joke, and whatever. I thought it was better than usual.

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  115. would have been better without the entire last frame...

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  116. I liked 615 too.

    Why does she keep talking after he hangs up? And wouldn't it become apparent after a few tries that the message doesn't quite sound exactly the same each time? It's not a trivial feat to precisely replicate a recording on cue, even if it's of your own voice.

    But whatever. I like the concept and the execution. Successfully avoids memes and casual stick-sex. Cool, funny, a good comic.

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  117. 615 was just pretty fucking flat. A girl doesn't want to call him back? funny?

    I thought 614 was kind of cute and probably would have been a comic I liked if it was done in the style of Minus. http://www.kiwisbybeat.com/minus.html

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  118. Yuk Yuk:

    Come on, you know that's not fair. You can make anything sound stupid by writing a sufficiently vague and simplistic summary of it. Obviously, the funny part (YMMV) was not that she doesn't want to talk to him, but rather the clever way in which she avoids doing so.

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  119. Like the concept of 615, but I think it could've been done much better. For example, the idea in the alt-text sounds much more funny than the comic: show him going through the "automated system", have him realize that the other end is an actual person, then show the person on the other end of the line. The way he did it seems kind of lazy :/

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  120. 615 was kind of decent. At least there were none of the standard eyesores like unnecessary or horrible dialogue. I've already seen both the joke in the strip and the one in the alt-text done a million times, so it didn't exactly strike me as all that funny anymore, but it was still okay for a 600's XKCD.

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  121. Is it just me or are the xkcds sucking less lately? Maybe Doctor Horrible had an impact after all.

    We also have proof once-and-for-all that Randy frequents 4chan:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/94pf2/att_is_now_blocking_all_access_to_img4chanorg/c0bf7y6

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  122. 559 points just for being xkcd

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  123. Rubbish review. Stop trying to be witty and avant-garde. Say why it sucks and we'll largely agree with you. Or bitch at you cos you're morons, and we figure anyone who posts on "XKCD sucks" has to be able to take as well as give.

    So, once again, this is a good idea handled badly. For a change, Randy wasn't lazy enough.

    The joke is quite cute. "It was a woodpecker's birthday. I bought it a power drill. He seemed happy". This needs three frames to tell. It's short, snappy, the logic of a woodpecker liking a power drill makes sense, and you'd have to have a heart of stone not to at least smile. (I do realise I'm talking to a crowd of stone hearted cynics here)

    Instead we end up with 17 frames which turn the story into

    "I saw a woodpecker. I was told it was hatched a year ago. It didn't realise it was his birthday. I thought for a moment before walking to the store where I bought him a present. I put the present under the tree and waited. The woodpecker jumped down from the tree and investigated the present. He eventually opened it and found the present was a power drill"

    Notice how the joke gets lost.

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  124. what the hell is wrong with you people? Have you not seen this joke before? I have seen this joke on sketch shows that suck just as much ass as xkcd. It's not original, it has the classical extra-panel explaining the joke, because randall thinks that we are retarded and, come on. This is about as funny as "the pope, a rabbi and tom cruise are on a plane"-jokes. Really? She's faking the voice? Ha. Ha. haha. yeah, I get it. She's faking the voice because she's trying to avoid him, and she works at verizon doing that voice, so she's really good at her job. Thanks for explaining that to silly old me, last panel. Now that I understand it, thanks to randalls motherly care, I obviously find this hilarious. I will now go to randalls house and we will have sensual sex. Because that joke is just that damn HILARIOUS

    fuck you all

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  125. damn right person#1

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  126. you do realize that randall is a /b/tard(read: sick fuck) who are disgusted by sensual sex?

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  127. Sensual sex is like rape, right?

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  128. I like to imagine that these 3 anonymous are all the same person

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  129. Today's was a weak, WEAK strip. Didn't even crack a smile. I hope today's guest does a GOOD job criticising it, because I'm sure there's plenty of material for that. Prof. Dr. Silas? Please, DON'T do like Jake. Do better. Thanks.

    To end on a mildly positive note, the alt-text was ok. I think if Randall had switched the theme of the comic itself with the alt-text, it would have fared way better.

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  130. Agreed, Person #1 and Fernie Canto.

    Of course, if Randy had used the alt-text as the theme he would have found a way to make it unfunny.

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  131. Guys, I want another guest post. Damn it this is what I meant when I said that xkcd was turning into a fucking sitcom.

    This is like something you would expect on "two and a half men"

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  132. Extra xkcd strip today:

    http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/7571/xkcd.jpg

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  133. White beret man is even referred to on Wikipedia as "the existentialist". This is totally his character, and I'm glad he came back.

    >> http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/7571/xkcd.jpg

    Um, I think you got radius and diameter confused.

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  134. What does that mean, though? that he just does random shit? I hate people using the word "existentialist" to answer any problems with his character.

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  135. I agree 100% with Poore. That said, he's a shithole who should die in a fire.

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  136. Jesus christ! The stick people are doing things that seem nonsensical! Dear lord is he -awful-

    Really guys? Really? You didn't enjoy the inane silliness of this whole comic? compounded by the alt text!

    Eesh.

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  137. Wow Jake. This is by far the worst post I have seen on the site. Did you criticize the comic? No. Carl has said that he always tries to expand on his thoughts in the FAQ section, whereas you didn't even begin your thoughts.

    And what's up with the "long story, short" part at the end? People read criticism to get the long story, not some stupid Q and A that didn't do anything other than restate the comic in text.

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  138. For the record, I really liked this one. The buildup is much too long, but the final panel with the woodpecker carrying the drill made me snigger.

    The recent 'windows copy dialogue' one also made me laugh... I think there's hope for Xkcd after all!

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