Monday, July 27, 2009

Comic 615: How About We Avoid Your Comic?

today's post comes to us courtesy of Professor Doctor Silas R.P. Wendlemeer the Third, man of distinguished class and style.
stoopid

Okay, shit, shit shit shit shit shit. I don't even know where to begin. This comic is terrible on so many levels. Now see, I came into this with every intention to be as fair as humanly possible to Randall, but I really can't find much of anything that I like about this comic. I feel I still have an obligation to find something good about what has been put forth from Randall's obviously very massive and powerful mind, but it's really taxing on me right now. I will do my best to compile a list of what is good about this particular comic:

-It was posted on time
-The boxes around each of the panels (excluding the 2nd one, for whatever reason) are very straight and quite well done
-The earth did not crash into the sun while I was reading the comic

Oh man. That's really... um... about it actually. I don't even know if we can count the boxes one since it was done with a tool [Carl adds: "you mean, done BY a tool! zing! ha ha, randall is a tool"].

Okay, now that that's over with, let's talk about what Randall did wrong with this comic.

Number one and the biggest, baddest, worstest: This joke is old, not original, and not funny. This joke has been done so many times before and it wasn't even funny then, it was novel at best. I've seen it in the Simpsons, Family Guy; hell, even fucking Seinfeld did this stupid joke in a bit of a different way (when Kramer was impersonating movie phone). Ever since there have been automated services on the telephone there have been people making this joke. Listen, Randall, if your joke can be independently invented by 12 year old kids, you are not doing a very good job as a comedian. And yes, he is supposed to be a comedian, he's writing a COMIC, not a blog.

Interestingly enough, this leads me to another disturbing point. By my understanding, a visual comic, like xkcd, is one that should combine both artwork and written comedy in a medium specially designed to make people laugh. If you can't draw, like evidenced by xkcd, you are a stand-up comedian or a blogger and that is fine you just avoid the artistic medium. If you can't make jokes, as evidenced by xkcd, you are an artist and that is fine you just avoid jokes and sullenly sit in coffee shops all day. If you can't do either, why even try to combine them? It's like if I said I couldn't play tennis or the guitar, but if I try doing them both at the same time I'd be fantastic. That's just fucking stupid.

Now let's get into the really specific content here. First of all, Randall is continuing his unhealthy obsessions with:
1. Being creepy as hell in general
2. Pretending the people are machines oh ho ho isn't that funny
3. Completely missing an (actually many) important, real element (s) that detracts heavily from the joke

Let's get to 1. Clearly, from the alt text, we see that Randall has thought this situation through pretty completely and decides that, if he were in this situation, he would make it as uncomfortable as possible for the other person. It's very obvious in this comic that this poor girl is just trying to avoid this stupid dunderhead that she inexplicably gave her real number to despite him having the intelligence of a sack of bricks, not being able to figure out what she was doing. See Randall, the problem with you writing creepy things is that you take yourself so seriously that people take what you say seriously too.

2. Oh man, this joke never gets old. It's one of Randy's favorites and it's one of the stupidest things imaginable. Why? It's. Just. Not. Funny. It's not! I think it's been covered enough here on this blog that I don't really need to say any more about it. The fact that I need to bring it up again is pretty sad, though; maybe think of a few new jokes Randy. If you need inspiration, at just about any bookstore you want you can buy 1001 jokes for nerds or 1001 jokes about sex both of which I think you'll enjoy. Be sure to tell them I sent you everyone will know me I think maybe.

3. This entire situation is just not going to happen. Ever, okay? First of all, why doesn't the girl just NOT FUCKING ANSWER THE PHONE? Oh, wait, I forgot that we don't really know how people speak or act in this comic. It's an entirely contrived situation right off the bat, which makes it less funny.

Let me take you aside for a minute to tell you about my Uncle James. He was a very close person to me and there was a time where he saw a big bunch of bikers in a bar okay. Or wait maybe they were in a circus yeah a circus. Okay and so now he walks up to them and says "Oh no would you look at that I am out of money at this current and present point in time I need more" and the bikers all look at each other and they say "well gee whiz sir we can be your ATM for now" and James gives them his card and they look at it and they give him money. Oh haha did you see what happened there? I should be xkcd.

I'm sorry but that story was important to me. Back to this comic. Once again, this sort of falls into the category of Randall not understanding how people work, but clearly this main character is the dumbest sack of shit ever to um sit in a chair. Somehow, inexplicably, he knows what it sounds like when the call cannot be completed. Yet, also, amazingly enough, he fails to realize that there's a very loud, very noticeable BEEP BOOP BOOOOOOPP noise before that message plays. ALWAYS. Characters that stupid are too ridiculous to be believable.

And somehow, he also doesn't notice breathing on the other end of the line? This girl surely has to breath or make other noises than what is on the recording, which omits all of those types of things. Yeah, I really believe this whole situation. It's really coming together for me.

Okay hang on I'm being really unfair. I need to end on a lighter note because I promised myself that I would honestly and truly say things good about this comic. I think I will try to suggest improvements.

I think the premise was okay but it really lacked that extra zing that would make it truly something entertaining. Yes, it wasn't that original or really that funny, but there are ways to have made it work. Instead, he opts for seeking out a very cliched situation to put a very cliched joke into. I do know that Randall is capable of putting his characters in unique or strange situations, so why didn't he do that here? He tried to force the realism of the situation down our throats when there was so much more to gain from being an absurd, unrealistic comic.

Also, I know I've said this already, but really work on the artwork a little more. At least fill in something interesting happening in the background or add some little visual bits of entertainment. It's far too miserably empty for such a poor joke to stand by itself.

Oh, wait! I just remembered, one good thing. Randall used timing almost properly here! There's no text after the "punchline" and it flows pretty much properly. There! I've said something good about this comic.

103 comments:

  1. There were a few things I hated about this comic too:

    The lame detail that the girl was "hot." nice touch, randy. she looks like all the other girls you draw. Unless you are saying that all the girls you draw are hot?

    The fact that the dude "got her the first time" but now she isn't answering. Why mention that it worked the first time? Sure, if this happened for real she might answer once before she knew his number, but that encourages you to think too hard about the whole thing: In that case, why not call from another phone? It would be easier to just drop the fact that it worked once and keep the whole thing as simple as possible.

    Other places this joke has been done: Anywhere someone has a voicemail greeting that sounds like they are just answering the phone (either because they are bad at this sort of thing, or because they are dicks doing it on purpose).

    the end.

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  2. oh no not the end: Also, not that it is a huge deal because there isn't much time in between panel 3 and panel 4, but the joke is so completely expected, because of panel 3, by the time we get to panel 4. Show this comic to someone who hasn't read it, cover up panel 4, and see if they can guess what is coming.

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  3. I groaned IRL at the panel four. The joke is so obvious, but he just *had* to hammer it home in the most unfunny way. God, that was horrible. And the fact that the guest reviewer said "There's no text after the punchline" makes me angry too. The closest thing to a punchline here is in Panel 3, and there is so much unnecessary text after it. So yeah, I didn't like the review either, but at least we agree that the comic sucked hard.

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  4. The weird thing to me is the standing guy's lines in panel 3. There is little reason for him to jump from "Did you call that girl" to "What does she do again?" It feels like that character basically skips 5 lines of conversation so that Randall can get to the punchline by the 4th panel. (Which is weird because the last comic had far too many panel and could have easily been condensed to make the joke funnier.)

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  5. OK, hated today's xkcd but
    "he is supposed to be a comedian, he's writing a COMIC [...] a visual comic, like xkcd, is one that should combine both artwork and written comedy in a medium specially designed to make people laugh"
    must be the stupidest, most asinine thing i've read this month

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  6. i always heard it as more of a "doo doo DOOOOT." other than that this was a very good criticism. (just don't make this mistake again)

    i also disagree with your last paragraph; for me, that the last panel was post-punchline text, and could have been done away with to make for a better comic. (or we could have done away with ALL THE PANELS and still have a better comic! oh ho ho)

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  7. Improved version.

    ALT text: "We're sorry, your ALT text could not be returned as requested. Please reload and try again.

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  8. The link doesn't work for some reason. Just copy/paste the URL:

    http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/1705/xkcdbetter.png

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  9. anon, that version is one thousand times better.

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  10. I was expecting the joke to be something like, she's at Verizon so she doesn't know the difference between $0.02 and 0.02 cents, because he doesn't know how to let that one go either, but then he goes and makes something even stupider.

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  11. Okay someone's going to have to explain how this is an example of the "what if people were machines" thing, because I just don't see it.

    I mean, yeah, the girl is talking as if she were a recorded message, but it's a deliberate ploy on her part; she doesn't actually think she's a recording (as far as we know). This is in contrast to, say, the sudo comic where Randy plays fast and loose with the laws of nature and human behavior for the sake of a Linux joke.

    (CAPTCHA: "imance". Apple users in love?)

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  12. Fantastic criticism, Prof. Dr. Wendlemeer.

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  13. Wow, the one-panel flashback is MUCH better. If Randall really is "borrowing" jokes from TV maybe he should borrow their joke structures, too.

    *loads sniper rifle for the inevitable, whiny "it's sad you wrote ALL THAT just to put someone's work down" comments*

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  14. oh jesus christ anon you made xkcd funny!

    GET AN EDITOR RANDALL!

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  15. "3. This entire situation is just not going to happen."

    Not this criticism again: a rabbi, a priest and a hare Krishna aren't going to walk into a bar together either, and when was the last time you saw a chicken crossing the road?

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  16. Vijay would you please add another "jay" to the end of your name

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  17. As it would happen, I own a chicken and it crosses the road every day, THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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  18. wow Mandy, that's some clever criticism there

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  19. can you please spell it with an "ie" instead of a "y," I am not Mandy Moore

    anyway what did i criticize again

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  20. I agree, that new version posted by anon is a much better way to approach the joke.

    I'm sorry if some people didn't agree with me when I said that he made the timing work better. I was really trying to say something nice about Randy's comic but the more I think about it you're probably right in saying it doesn't really work.

    Also Vijay, I've never heard one of those cliched jokes that I thought was actually funny. I'm a pretty logic-oriented person and usually (unless it's done very well) gaping holes in the setup really ruins jokes for me. I guess to each his own.

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  21. @Vijay:

    Also, those jokes are not meant to be observational humor, but xkcd is (hence the GOOMH sentiment). In order to observational, it must maintain a degree of realism. Therefor, cirticizing the lack of realism is valid.

    You are dumb, and you should feel dumb.

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  22. Wait wait wait... you rant about how horrible the entire setup is, then say the premise was okay? So which is it?

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  23. This post illustrates everything that is wrong with xkcdsucks. You've taken all the overwrought criticism, all the petty crusades, and condensed them into one very long post. And it's a problem, because this comic really does suck. Massively. I think Carl explained why sufficiently in the first comment. But you choose to focus on irrelevencies and trivialities instead of the suckiness.

    Creepy? No, this comic isn't creepy. It's just not. Where did you get that from? Were the Simpsons, Family Guy, Seinfeld also creepy when they did it?

    Unrealistic? Well, yes. Humor is derived from deviation from reality. Always. There is no joke that this charge can't be applied to, so it's the weakest possible criticism against a comic. Why doesn't the girl just answer the phone? Because then there couldn't be a joke!

    Bad art? Sure, but that has nothing to do with why xkcd sucks. There are lots of comics with even worse art than xkcd which nevertheless qualify as good comics. xkcd sucks due to lack of humor.

    The most recent obsession, the post-punchline? Carl's edit demonstrates its utility.

    I think you sum up the problem with your post yourself at the end: Your premise, xkcd's suckiness, is correct, but you're just following the cliched criticism that has been done a thousand times before on this blog, without adding the extra zing that would actually make it interesting.

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  24. waitwaitwait, prof, do you mean that you can't laugh at a joke if you find a gap in its logic? no suspension of disbelief, no "relax, it's just a joke" for you?
    that's... that's just sad

    also: who said xkcd is observational humor? SOME strips are observational (hence the GOOMH sentiment SOMETIMES), but that doesn't mean that all of them are. Generalizations make you look dumb. Every single one does

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  25. Meh, this blog is really turning into a big circle jerk. Carl, you aren't any good at this, but at least not every single post was swingin' for the fences. You didn't drone on and on trying to leave your mark in your one shot to make a name for yourself on this site.

    However, today's post did explain something.

    "you mean, done BY a tool! zing! ha ha, randall is a tool"

    If something like this were done in an xkcd comic, you'd be the first to say, "Ugh, Randall, we got it after the first sentence. We don't need it explained to us." You come off as someone who doesn't want other people to miss how clever he is. Unfortunately, you aren't clever. But I never accused you of being intelligent, so it's OK.

    As for Professor Doctor Silas R.P. Wendelmeer the Third...Ioh, see what you did there. Funny sounding ridiculously long name. Yeah, that's pretty much all I need to know.

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  26. Your last sentence threw me. I've said this already on the other thread, but there's an ENTIRE PANEL after the joke. Jokes are funnier if something is implied, and not thrown into your face with a catapult:

    "A man walks into a bar. Ouch!"

    "A man walks into a bar. Ouch (this is the last panel:) GET IT? CAUSE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A PHYSICAL BAR
    LIKE
    THAT HE WALKED INTO
    AND HE HURT HIS HEAD"

    Which one is funnier?
    Which one is hypothetically written by Randall munroe?

    Fuck you, hypothetical randall.

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  27. hypothetical randallJuly 27, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    Well, I don't like you anyway. You dick.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Randall just can't win on xkcd sucks. Either he doesn't spell out the 'joke' and is criticized for making the reader supply a joke, or he is criticized for adding dialogue after the punchline.

    This comic sucked, but not because of the fourth panel.

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  29. OH LOOK AT ME I'M ANONYMOUS AND I'M GONNA TALK SHIT!!

    The already prevalent anonymity of the internet isn't enough for me.. because if I used my REAL internet alias, BetterThanEveryone, you could talk about how much I suck! Well, NOT ME. I'm gonna make clever and biting critiques of your critique, because I'm so subversive and smart.

    Oh wait, you're a piece of shit.

    Shut the fuck up and let everyone else laugh when xkcd does a crappy strip. Smug asshole.

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  30. Oh hey Smevin I saw you on ComicFury

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  31. or maybe we just don't care about shitty webcomics enough to enter a pre-existing identity and just choose to use the easiest way to say what we want to say
    but, you know, as a registered user you can proudly brag about how you shut some anonymous asshole up in a blog. that looks pretty rad, actually, so i might give it a shot someday

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  32. @Amanda, no because my name is Vijay, not Vijayjay.

    @The_P
    "xkcd is [observational humour]...[so]must maintain a degree of realism"
    Really? Ever watch a TV sitcom? They mix absurdity with observational humour on a regular basis, hell the whole of Futurama was based on observational humour in absurd situations, I maintain that maintaining realism has nothing to do with humour. There are many good critiques of xkcd, saying "that doesn't happen in real life" isn't one of them. xkcd is a webcomic, of course it has no basis in reality.

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  33. i understand that, hence my usage of the word "add"

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  34. pacman was so unrealistic you guys

    what was even the ghost's motives?

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  35. Anonymous 12:03, I think Carl was parodying not only the kind of person who would make the 'tool' joke, but also the kind of person who thought it needed explaining.

    Anonymous 12:15, there is a middle ground between making an obscure joke that requires Wikipedia to get and spelling out an obvious joke with an unnecessary extra panel.

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  36. Amanda, if you're willing to pay for it: http://www.ukdps.co.uk/ServicesAndFees.html
    I'll consider changing it. OTOH I quite like my name, I've had it since birth, and it's go a good meaning (Victory).

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  37. DUDE IF YOU CHANGED YOUR NAME TO VIJAYJAY FOR REAL THAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN

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  38. I am sorry everyone I will work harder to meet everyone's specific expectations next time if you would please just send me your email address and what you want me to think and I will write a special post catered to each and every one of you

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  39. It would be a new spelling, I'll give it that much, usually it gets spelt Veejay, Vj, Vij or something. seriously, it's five letters people already have a problem with it; extending it to eight letters is only going to confuse people.

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  40. "there is a middle ground between making an obscure joke that to people unfamiliar with the subject requires Wikipedia to get and spelling out an obvious joke with an unnecessary extra panel."

    fix'd

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  41. Vijay (and for Amanda: jay)July 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    @ Professor Doctor Silas R.P. Wendelmeer the Third

    Don't like criticism? If you're not prepared to take it, you shouldn't give it.

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  42. HEY VIJAY, Y DUN U CALL URSELF VAGINA?? THAT'D BE THE SHIT!! BECAUSE IT ALRADY SOUNDS SOMEWHAT SIMILAR!! HAHAHA!! SO FUNNAY!1

    ...sigh, i'm sorry

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  43. as you should be

    we all know female body parts are the height of the bell curve of hilarious topics

    has xkcd taught you nothing

    captcha: revagsl. how fitting

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  44. I wouldn't say today's strip was "terrible". It was too lame to even be terrible. Being "terrible" would be quite a merit, but the strip doesn't even achieve THAT. The alt text was sort of ok, and I actually wish Randall would have made the comic around THAT concept. But then again, maybe not.
    Two things about the criticism: Carl often complains that the xkcd strips are too long. Look at that post! It's about 7 or 8 times longer than it should have been. By my understanding, an xkcd critic, like that guy, should focus on the strip in question and put clearly and bluntly what is bad about it. If you can't do it, like evidenced by that guy, you're a miserable wannabe writer with way too much free time who wants to find dozens of exciting (boring) ways to be mean to some guy who has a webcomic.
    Also, NOT the commentary about the art, not again, please. Randall has already shown that he can draw, and the fact is that he doesn't want to, because that's his way of subverting the webcomic medium. Don't forget Carl is a fan of Dinosaur Comics (so am I, by the way), that pushes that subversion to an even more extreme level. And don't come telling me that Dinosaur Comics is so much better and that's that, because I'm talking in terms of approach, NOT final quality.

    See? You even make the xkcd strip seem kinda good in retrospect! You BLEW it, man!

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  45. Hey, what is it with guest posters on this site who have "Doctor" in there names? They all suck.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there is plenty wrong with xkcd. You don't have to reach, the material is there. When you reach, you look stupid. This is very simple.

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  46. For fuck's sake...

    That should read "in their names". I also tried to put an apostrophe in "names", so, apparently it's that sort of day.

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  47. ooof

    Let me know when guest month is over.

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  48. Ha Dude I just found this awesome blog. Its such an original idea and I can't believe I haven't thought of it before! I mean what the internet really needs is more constructive criticism like this that is aimed at someone who spends their daily life entertaining people.

    I also truly love how organized everyone here is. I mean how long will it be until I can be a cuddle fish? Or I saw cuddle fish prime, when can I reach that rank?

    For real, guys keep up the great work. Maybe someone will find this site and truly enjoy its originality just like I did.

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  49. anyone who brings up art (read: drawings) and dinosaur comics in the same sentance is missing the point of dinosaur comics.

    I am allowed to complain about the art in an xkcd strip and like dinosaur comics. The point to Dinosaur comics is to attempt to keep that same template interesting from day to day.

    If Randall made a specific choice (and made it obvious he made this choice) to have chairs changing sizes from panel to panel or have everyone think that an android was ripping off a guys head then maybe we would be able to agree that no one can complain about the art.

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  50. That sarcastic post is original too Charles.

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  51. i don't agree with the last paragraph doing things properly is the way you should do them doing things better than average is a good thing.

    Also there are a lot of comics not made to be funny. Erotic comics for example or emotionally overloaded anime. But xkcd tried to be funny and failed again :(

    But in general the article is very well written. Thumbs Up!

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  52. yeah to add to format's comment, can we just stop bringing up DC as an example of why we can't complain about xkcd's art

    it is a bad example

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  53. ok, lets try the oposite
    to criticise xkcd because randy doesn't draw backgrounds, or faces, or because all his characters are bald and look the same, is like criticise Garfield because Garfield doesn't really look like a cat and every room looks the same and has crazy colors ("who would paint a room orange? that's just unrealistic!! it took me off the joke!!")
    well, that's just wrong. Garfield sucks because it has horrible HORRIBLE unfunny jokes which don't even make sense half the time, not because the art is bad. of couse jim davids could start drawing photorealistic cats, but that wouldn't make Garfield any better
    aaand, in a lot of senses, xkcd is just like Garfield

    better?


    (also, i'd say that drawing everything (or most of the things) as crude sketchy stick figures is a pretty bold "specific choice" made obvious since the begining)

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  54. "that's his way of subverting the webcomic medium"

    what the fuck does this sentence mean?

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  55. I don't think asking for chairs to remain the same size, or for some sort of background (even garfield lived in a dimension with walls!) is asking that much out of Randall.

    But instead they live in a plane void of any features or, in the case of the most recent one with a car, horizons.

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  56. ok, so either:
    a)you seriously didn't get the point
    b)you just choose to ignore it
    c)you are just a troll
    anyway, enjoy your art critique club, doods

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  57. yeah i dont get why saying the way the comic looks stupidly boring isn't a valid criticism

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  58. yeah i am a troll.

    i dont think you know what that means.

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  59. Asher: It means "I am a pretentious fuckwad."

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  60. Guys check this out:

    http://aliceandkev.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/announcement/

    Why does this matter? It's someone quitting while they're ahead because he realized he'd just phone it in if he continued. Also known as something Randy should consider.

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  61. my guess is, this actually happened to randall, and instead of assuming the obvious (the phone number didn't work) he assumes that she must be TRICKING HIM with her evil because she is an evil malicious what the FUCK is this guy's problem?

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  62. Actually, if you want a webcomics example, Rich Burlew of OotS basically announced at some point that he would basically update sporadically because he couldn't commit to a regular schedule with quality etc. Infrequent updating is why RSS exists. You don't have to check! You just have to subscribe.

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  63. Why does she keep talking after he says "Damn" and then HE PUTS DOWN THE PHONE! There is a click, and yet she keeps talking.

    THAT is why ANON's is better
    http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/1705/xkcdbetter.png

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  64. I love that the title of the post is "How About We Avoid Your Comic?" because isn't that a pretty good solution to curing the cancer that xkcd seems to inflict upon you? And isn't that one of your stupid questions, Carl? Anyway, this comic was at best okay and this criticism was a lot better than last time.

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  65. Cuddlefish PrimeJuly 27, 2009 at 9:57 PM

    @Chuck

    "Cuddlefish Prime" is not a rank, it is a lifestyle

    You just wouldn't understand

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  66. The thing about this comic is not even so much that the underlying joke sucks (Though it did today), but that the delivery was terrible. It's like someone trying to explain a bad comedy routine. There's no reveal, there is just enough forced dialog and contrived situations to set up the premise of the joke and just laid out there. It's worse when he doesn't know where to end it and keeps going on after he's more or less told the joke. (I think this is the reason people complain about the strip being unrealistic. It more about whether or not the situation seems forced.) If the premise is good it might earn a "huh, that's interesting". Unfortunately, more often than not though it seems Randy ran out of enough interesting ideas to even get that very often.

    Keep fighting the good fight. I've been inspired to demand more and expect less out of more things in my life. heh

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  67. I didn't think today's comic was too terrible, just that the joke has been done a million times already. Still, and amazingly, anon at the very top there showed that even an ancient joke can be told well. Why doesn't the man just get an editor so we all get a fun comic again?

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  68. So, practically speaking, what is the best way for Randy to go about getting an editor? I'm not sure why this interests me as a thought experiment but I want to run with it.

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  69. "We're hiring!

    We're looking for a full time editor to review/comment on new comic strips in order to maintain the overall high standards of quality of XKCD. This will be a full-time job with a competitive salary and many perks like free access to my ball pit and sexy cunnilingus from me."

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  70. PS: No fat chicks

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  71. this comic wasn't as bad as you make out. No, it was not good. it wasn't even funny, but it wasn't rage inducing. it was more of a "meh" comic...

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  72. Ahhh XKCD sucks.

    Even when Randall's jokes are so terrible I literally could not separate punchline from buildup, you fail to deliver.

    Way to go!

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  73. You know, one of the marvels of working with digital text is the ability to go back and edit the portions you've already written - you don't have to apologise for being unfair and continue on; you can actually take out those parts you felt are unecessary, or add those parts you forgot.

    That is, if you were actually being honest in saying you felt you were being unfair. It's like a "My hobby:" joke around here that you claim to be trying to find some redeeming qualities to the comic and failed, when it's blatantly obvious your intend is precisely contrary to that.

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  74. "The girl surely has to breath or make other noises than what is on the recording"

    Maybe she moves away from the mic to breathe in?

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  75. The comic should have had the girl giving 'please hold' messages, humming Beethoven out of tune, and presenting him with surreal menu options. There could have been humour in that.

    (I liked the Woodpecker one the other day though.)

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  76. May have been even better if it werren't a stereotypical "Woman avoiding an [assumed to be] irritating man via contrived passive methods," bit, but instead something like a playful prank between established frinds/family/whatever.

    Have a series of pannels showing him trying to call her, and getting progressively more bizzare errors or 'wrong numbers'. Then have the friend bring up that she's a voice actor.

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  77. If you don't like people acting like computers, don't read xkcd! It's like reading Cyanide & Happiness and complaining about the dead baby humor.

    Also, SHE IS THE ONE WHO DOES THE ERROR MESSAGE. Surely, she could control her breathing so that she breaths how she breaths!

    As for the beeps, all she needs is a recording to play.

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  78. xkcdsucks sucks

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  79. File this one under: good idea; weak execution.

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  80. That "target audience" crap can just go flush itself.

    There are no recordings or beeps in the last panel.

    captcha: beers (nice)

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  81. "xkcdsucks sucks"

    And there is a blog for that, under Meta.

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  82. Nulono: and if I don't like jokes about lasagna, I should just shut the fuck up about Garfield?

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  83. "That "target audience" crap can just go flush itself."

    Because you have to please EVERYONE. And I mean you HAVE TO. Even if it is rigorously impossible.

    "and if I don't like jokes about lasagna, I should just shut the fuck up about Garfield?"

    Yes, please!!

    I mean, who cares about Garfield?

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  84. So Fernie, I'm sure you've heard this before, but if you don't like the hating of xkcd, why don't you just shut up about xkcdsucks?

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  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  86. maybe you ought to look up the definition of "criticise"

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  87. When did I say I didn't like the hating of xkcd? It's exactly the opposite. Fact is, there are silly and asinine reasons to criticise xkcd, as well as silly and asinine WAYS to criticise xkcd. I come here to read the thoughtful criticism, but, well, if people want to come here just to act like trolls and spew out garbage, it's their own right. And on my comment about Garfield, I *was* being facetious. Or was I...

    (previous post was deleted because it sounded too sarcastic)

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  88. HOLY CRAP you've heard of "too sarcastic" before??

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  89. I love you guys

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  90. Oh hey guys I made a Google Account to distinguish myself from the charm school of cuddlefish

    fete me endlessly guys

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  91. Can SOMEONE please explain why the 'hot girl' keeps talking after the dude hangs up? (i.e., why does she still say "Please check the number and try again"? I am having trouble deciding which character in the strip is stupider)

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  92. Cause Randall secretly wants Megan to secretly want Randall to keep trying

    Captcha: noscar, cause the hole in Randalls heart will never heal

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  93. To whomever read ALL the above comments and has finally arrived at this one: Don't you feel so damn empty inside now?

    xkcd sucks. xkcdsucks sucks. Everything sucks. Argh.


    ...The Vijayjay stuff was funny, tho.

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  94. Are you empty inside, anon?

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  95. If you take my first name and then add something which is empty inside*, you get "anon". I think this is significant.

    *an o, you idiots, do none of you ever do cryptic crosswords?

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  96. lol i was thinking about batman today get out of my head randy

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  97. i was thinking about batman but that's just because I read yesterday's dinosaur comic's alt-text.

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  98. Carl, have you read the Dave Berry joke about Millard Fillmore and the earth not crashing into the sun? I think you have some 'splainin to do.

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  99. man, do people not even read what these posts say? I didn't write this! I just posted it! some dude with a crazy made up name wrote it, talk to him!

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