Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Comic 616: Get Out of My Head, Batman

today i have entrusted JK with the responsibility of handling this blog like an adult.
Lose you lose you lose you LOSE

When I read the first panel of this comic, I thought I was doomed.

The fact is, I've had problems with landlords before. I've toured an apartment where the floor sloped at a thirty-degree angle, and all I could think about was how fast I could sign the lease. (FYI, someone beat me to it.) So when I read that first panel, I thought I had Randall Munroe in my head. I thought he was going to say something that would really resonate--and of course, it's hard to criticize someone who can pulp your cerebellum at the first sign of dissent.

Then Randall took a right turn onto Non Sequitur Plaza.

I would never criticize a comic for being too weird, wacky, or unrealistic. Of course a real person in this situation would never say what the main character of this comic says, but several good xkcd strips have worked just this way. There's no 'joke' per se, but the situation itself is enough to provoke a smile--the strip which is self-referenced in the title-text [alt-text! --carl] is an example. However, this type of comic, done poorly, sets itself up for a harder fall.

This comic seems to indicate a belief that growth means the sacrifice of that which is not grown-up. In other words, it isn't enough to gain new tastes as you age; you have to lose old ones, too. Playing with blocks is for kids; to grow up, you have to stop (never mind architects and engineers). Thinking about imaginary characters is for undeveloped minds (forget about novelists, filmmakers, and writers of webcomics).

What's really purile about this strip, in fact, isn't those few traits which are supposed to be childish--it's the whole frame of mind which is worried and eager to prove that it is very grown up. This is a topic which xkcd has handled much better in the past, as Randall evidently knows. That makes the current crudeness doubly disappointing: the strip which is referenced in the title-text is basically this one, but better.

"I'm pretty sure I stopped growing up in my teens." Yes, that is correct Randall. You go through the first years of life as a child, all the while accepting growing responsibility. At last, at the age of 18 or so, (earlier in many cultures) you become a full adult. With full legal rights, such as *signing the lease on a building*. This is how it is supposed to work.

"I've been faking..." Faking what? Faking growth after you've finished growing? That's like taking the trend line of your height between six and sixteen, noticing that it goes up, and deciding to wear higher and higher-heeled shoes for the rest of your life.

"..for years." Specifically, in Randall's case, for the years 20-24. I hope he wasn't expecting to see the wisdom of old age develop sometime in there. At this rate, by the time next year rolls around, he'll be senile.

I was going to say something unkind, to the effect that we wouldn't notice, but really, we would.

Take care of yourself, Randall. I read your webcomic.


[don't forget: the topic of living on his own but acting like a child was also present in 131 and 418 --Carl]

201 comments:

  1. "I've been faking..." Faking what? Faking growth after you've finished growing? That's like taking the trend line of your height between six and sixteen, noticing that it goes up, and deciding to wear higher and higher-heeled shoes for the rest of your life.

    commentariat, raise your hands if you've got a great idea for comic #617

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  2. Oh, incidentally... Hmm. I was about to complain about the use of "impact" as a transitive verb as an adaptation of the noun form into a neologism, but it seems that the acceptability of that use is contested. I was taught that "impact" as a verb means something rather different than the noun. To quote Wiktionary's first definition:

    To compress; to compact; to press or pack together.

    So, not the same as "to have an impact on." But the second definition

    To influence; to affect; to have an impact on.

    even has the same wording. They do say that's the contested definition, but I'll let Randall be a descriptivist if he wants to. Mumble mumble computational linguistics why not?

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  3. I didn't think this comic was half bad. No awkward sex jokes, no ultra-obscure references. Third panel was a waste of space, but I got a chuckle at the Batman bit. This "review," on the other hand, is another story. I always like to read these because often they're better than the comic, but some of the more recent ones have really sucked. The point this comic was trying to make is abundantly clear. It's not some deep philosophical statement, but a young adult, apprehensive about buying his first house. As lame a premise that may be, it's a fairly relatable concept. It's also a premise that JK, who I take to be the writer of this gem, missed entirely. Instead of something more suitable, we get a boring, unnecessary rant about irrelevant semantics and philosophy, utterly devoid of any humorous elements. Get Fred back in here. The writeup on #613 was great.

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  4. The joke is that what the stick figure without glasses is saying is supposed to be funny.

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  5. Someone less lazy than I should go back and find the comics like 441 where he makes the exact same goddamn joke only with kids or some crap instead of houses

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  6. None of that has anything to do with why this comic sucked. It sucked because the punchline sucks. Humor from non-sequitor is usually pretty low even at its best, and "Batman" isn't shocking or jarring or interesting or clever or anything.

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  7. So, let's recap:

    It sucked because it had no punchline, and desperately needed one. His really tame example of a young adult desperately scared that he's not grown up isn't surreal or crazy enough to be funny on its own.

    It also sucked because seriously drawing glasses without drawing eyes BUGS ME. ARGH.

    Fortunately, I would say that he seems to be making the point that being desperately scared that you're not grown up is a BAD thing--although I can't tell if he would embrace an alternative like C.S. Lewis's idea that the desire to grow up is, itself, juvenile, and a continued embrace of childly things is healthy (probably, considering 150), or if he just thinks that people shouldn't be afraid that they're not grown up and just grow up already.

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  8. Hey Mal, I found it for you: 441.

    I echo JK's basic sentiment that this was like the ball pit one, only less good. I think even Randall felt that way, because he apparently tacked on a reference to it in the alt-text hoping that people would mistake enjoying the memory of that comic for enjoying this comic.

    CAPTCHA: hatin. GET OUT OF MY HEAD, CAPTCHA!

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  9. Wow. This was frustrating.

    Started off good, we get stick figure with glasses (!) Something different!

    Kinda turns into another "im so immature but in a good way" comic, but I found the batman comment pretty funny.

    Then the stupid alt-text ruins it again. LOL plastic balls! How quirky!

    Jesus.

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  10. http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/282/wat.jpg

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  11. Suddenly you realise that the stick figure without glasses is another author-insertion by Randall and the alt-text becomes very, very sad.

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  12. I was surprisingly satisfied with this comic until I read the OMG PLZ MEGAN HAVE CREEPY UNSANITARY BALL PIT SEX WITH ME alt-text.

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  13. Pandering to man-children has never been funny.

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  14. Does Randall have something against straight lines. That table is awfully drawn. Invest in rulers!

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  15. "title text" is the correct terminology. See the HTML:
    ... title="You should..." alt="Lease" ...

    The "alt" attribute is shown when the image is unavailable/missing (it's the _alternate_ text), while the "title" attribute is shown as a title for the image and therefore the hover pop-up. Older browsers used the "alt" text for the pop-up, but that's incorrect and long since gone.

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  16. This is honestly one of the best ones in awhile. Although it's not "funny" it's a fairly good observational-type-thing. Maybe I just enjoy it since signing my mortgage is still fresh in my head.

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  17. IF the comic does not suck, the review will suck.
    If the review does not suck, the comments will suck.

    Christ. I'm done with this site. It's just a zero-sum game at this point.

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  18. Maybe I just misinterpreted the comic or the reviewer did so, because I think the review didn't quite relate to what the comic was referring to. Indeed, xkcd has talked about grown-ups acting like children or something, but this is something quite, quite different. It's an extremely superficial and hurried approach at a very complicated topic, of exactly where is the line between effectively being an adult and TRYING to be an adult. I think it's a great topic to tackle, and Randall did a good job. There was no punchline at all, but that's not a problem. The title text was stupid, and that WAS a problem. But on the whole, I think it was an ok comic, definitely hundreds of miles ahead of Monday's supreme lameness.

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  19. Someone with ADD takes out a lease...

    It's quirky, I admit I was entertained. I was really hoping for a punch-line though. There's a lot of funny stuff that could happen with this basic premise, and it's well within Randall's area of expertise.

    The art desperately needs to be cleaned up, I like Randall's minimalist style, and I'm not OCD about straight lines, but there are blatant mistakes in the art. Baldhead looks like he has some zombie-rot in his skull in panel two. The leg of the chair protrudes into the seat in panel three. And what's with the spatial anomaly near the end of the tabletop in panel four? Copy-paste fail?

    The setup dialogue by Mr. Banker is a bit awkward. This could be fixed by having him talk naturally in each panel instead of having him blurt out the setting in one line. Of course, this would diffuse the non-sequitur, but it would also add to Baldy's awkwardness and improve a not too bad strip IMO. Other than that, this hypothetical situation has a very realistic feel which I enjoyed seeing for once in xkcd (That is assuming someone is weird enough to speak their mind to a bank teller) Baldy's rant doesn't seem terribly contrived at all.

    Overall, not terrible but wastes a lot of potential. Keep trying Randy!

    CAPTCHA: SESTICK synonym for reading xkcd, or what Randalls characters get when they go sailing

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  20. What a shitty comic. Sure, it was "quirky" and "xkcd" but every crappy show on broadcast television uses this joke formula.
    Here's an example I came up with in about 30 seconds.
    PANEL 1:
    Woman: I've had enough sexism in the workplace.
    PANEL 2:
    Woman: We women need to make a stand for ourselves. We deserve equal pay, equal opportunities and equal status.
    PANEL 3:
    Woman: We- Dick... Dick!
    Male coworker (Dick): Sorry, what were you saying? I was staring at your tits.

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  21. A huge xkcdiac, I actually thought this one sucked.

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  22. Those SESTICK jokes were actually pretty funny.

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  23. "Hi! I'm timmy, I have a short attention span and..." *short pause* *walks away*

    No, I'm not implying that he stole the joke from fairly oddparents (for those of you who knew what I was quoting). I started my comment with this example because of something which we call execution.

    Let's see

    "I'm sorry I didn't hear any of the words you just said, because I was distracted with thinking about batman"

    This is EXPLAINING the joke. It's not telling it, it's once again expecting that all of his readers are fucking retarded (which is strange because most of his readers are incredibly smug) and need the joke literally laid down in an easily comprehensible way. HEY GUYS

    GET IT

    HE'S LIKE

    THINKING ABOUT KID STUFF

    WHICH IS FUNNY BECAUSE IT'S STILL RELEVANT TO WHAT THE OTHER GUY JUST SAID

    IN THAT IT DOES AFFECT HIM

    HA

    If there is one thing that smug and condescending people (much like myself) hate it's other smug and condescending people. Put randall in a room with another randall and have them talk about a subject that they are both relatively familiar with, there will be no survivors because I doubt randall could stand his own words, were they not uttered from his rightfully condescending mouth, because he's brilliant and smart and the only person alive that understands implications ever. He reads youtube comments and expects that everyone but him is at that mental level.

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  24. Umm, the Batman comment isn't a non sequitur. It's an illustration of how he's not a grown-up. It's also the punchline. Know what you're talking about before you criticize something.

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  25. @7:41 Umm, no one said the Batman comment is a non-sequitur. The alleged non-sequitur occurs in the second panel, in which his reply is irrelevant to the logistics of the lease. Know what you're talking about before you criticize something.

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  26. Ladies and gentlemen, aa97464 has taken his ball, and he is going home.

    @ 7:41 Anon: Sadly, it's a SUCKY punchline. It would have been WAY better if, instead of explaining the punchline in an awkwardly long sentence, he had instead had a thought bubble above his head with a picture of the Bat-symbol or Christian Bale or something. "Dur dur dur I was thinking about Batman" is just clumsy.

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  27. I noticed that my post lacked something. As much as I disagreed with today's criticism, I think it was a very good one. JK did a good job and deserves recognition.

    My biggest disagreement is with the idea of "becoming a full adult at 18". LEGALLY that might be the way it works, but the comic questions EXACTLY whether that effectively works with people. I have the feeling I "grew up" a lot since I hit 18, but I really can't be sure whether I grew up ENOUGH in order to take up a responsability such as, say, a lease. The law says I did, but that doesn't make it true.

    Regarding the lack of a proper punchline, now I'm starting to think that the strip's closing line is quite cumbersome and awkward. I think you guys are right when you say it COULD have been worked into a proper joke.

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  28. "It also sucked because seriously drawing glasses without drawing eyes BUGS ME. ARGH."

    Malethoth,
    Are you kidding me? Seriously, are you fucking kidding me? Unless I'm unaware of some exceptions, there have never been eyes in xkcd. Would you rather he abandon the style and draw eyes? And how much ire would he raise around here by doing that? What were you expecting? God damnit...

    Stick to criticisms that make sense and can hold up. That's goes for posters and commenters. If ya have to look really really hard, maybe you're really really wrong.

    I'm with aa97464.

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  29. LET'S THINK OF A PROPER JOKE GUYS

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  30. Well he really shouldn't have set up the punch line so awkwardly. A *real* artist/writer would have drawn/written a comic that SHOWED how the character/randall is immature and irresponsible, and then hit us with the punch line.

    But since Randall is the literary equivalent of Bambam, he just hits us over the head with the moral/setup like a giant club wielded by a giant baby.

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  31. @Asher: dude, that is actually pretty clumsy. You compared him to Bambam, and then you compared him to a baby wielding a club. It just clunks slightly.

    Admittedly I'm not sure how you'd improve it, but still.

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  32. What I think I mean is that you should continue the simile rather than ending it and starting a new one which is almost identical.

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  33. Ann Apolis,
    It could be improved by removing the redundancy.

    "But since Randall is the leterary equivalent of Bambam, he just hits us over the head with the more/setup."

    Though, it's funny that Asher complained about Randall heavy-handedly making a point by heavy-handedly making a point...unless Asher was trying to be ironic.

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  34. Holy shit,
    "leterary" should by "literary" and "more" should be "moral". I gotta stop drinkin' before lunch...

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  35. and bambam was never really giant was he..

    ARGH what have you done why are we talking about this!

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  36. Hey hey hey you guys the new xkcd will now be: GUYS guess what when I turned 18 I didn't feel any different overnight. What's up with that?

    Also I liked the SESTICK jokes. Cleverly done.

    Nice post, JK. I especially liked

    Thinking about imaginary characters is for undeveloped minds (forget about novelists, filmmakers, and writers of webcomics).

    ZING

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  37. this is why we can't have nice things you guys.

    anon 8:44: mal (from xkcdsucks) is allowed to say he hates that the guy with no glasses. Just because no character has ever had eyes doesn't mean a guy with glasses and no eyes can't look terrible. You are acting like no eyes is one of the base assumptions of an xkcd.

    You know what I can't remember an xkcd character with glasses ever showing up before! so since the glasses are new, thinking they are poorly done is a valid criticism. You are worse than the xkcd apologists who defend domething like a chair changing sizes as 'art'.

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  38. Alt text vs Title text (which I guess I'm too late for since some Anonymous 5:14 already called Carl on it, but I don't care), as well as a bonus edit!

    http://i31.tinypic.com/55iici.png

    Also 616 was pretty bad, as if 441 wasn't bad enough the first time.

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  39. format,
    Yes, he is allowed to say that. And I'm allowed to say what I think as well. What is your point?

    He didn't criticize how it was executed. He basically said, "Something that one would never expect to see in xkcd is not there and that bugs me." You don't like detached heads? Fine. You don't like no eyes? I think you're reading the wrong comic.

    It was a pointless comment. He might as well have said that he doesn't like mainly monochrome comics.

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  40. I didn't even get this comic. What the hell is going on here? Why does he just jump into this conversation when signing a lease? Doesn't he realize that if he presents himself as irresponsible the landlord might change his mind?

    Also, what does building LEGO buildings have to do with being a responsible tenant? Why on earth would it detract from the common sense not to mess up the place? I could understand controversy if people argued about LEGO enthusiasts being more responsible tenants or just the same, but this... I guess LEGO's are meant to symbolize childishness and immaturity but HELLO, they DON'T! I mean really, playing with dolls, you might get a wisecrack or two for it now and then, but does anybody seriously associate LEGOs with immaturity? Really?

    And what's JK on about? He's not eager to prove himself grown up, he's eager to prove he's childish! If anything this portrays a desperate, panicked man who is unable to come to terms with the responsibilities that have been forced on him as he aged into adulthood (Why else would he desperately scream "I was thinking about Batman!"? The whole point of spacing out is to pretend to listen and not, thereby avoiding the other persons possible irritation at being ignored- explaining the thing defeats the whole point!). Only even from that perspective, The comic still says nothing. The authors little agent in the narrative makes absolutely no impact on the world, and not even in that meaningful way where the fact that he makes no impact would be the whole thesis.

    This comic simply doesn't say anything. It's like picking up a book titled "My anxieties about facing adulthood", only to find the pages blank. Yes, some of us are worried that we're not ready for being grownup despite "being there" temporally. But the comic amounts to absolutely nothing more than a me too: It's already obvious that this sentiment is not unique and surely some other people must exist who share it. Stating that fact teaches us nothing new, it's a waste of our collective time. If Randall had attempted to deliver some fresh insight into the matter...

    But there I go on a tangent. At any rate, it seems this comic is not about being afraid of growing up, it's about... Um, right, what *is* it about? The same thing 150 was about? Hell no. For me at least, 150 was about how becoming a responsible, mature adult did not necessarily involve giving up fun things in life, and moreover there is much to gain from not giving them up. What is McStick giving up in this comic, exactly? He just goes, "Uh, you guys, I'm not like giving up my childish habits, but I was just wondering if you're still ok with that cuz if you're not you can tell me?" and everyone goes on about their business and when McStick says "Um, well, are you ok?" they say "Hmm? You said something?"

    And finally, what is wrong with this landlord? Now I'm not from the US so I don't know how things work over there, but here if you walk up to a landlord with heroin needles sticking out of your pocket, and yell, "Hey can I rent your house? I'm also a convicted arsonist because I LOVE fire and I it also helps destroy the bodies of all the prostitutes I drug up and kill." You won't sign a lease contract, you'll sign a statement at the police station.

    And why on earth does the guy in glasses not... care? Doesn't he stand to lose a lot if the tenant ruins the building by acting irresponsibly? Of course all that impacts his ability to fulfill the terms! I mean for crying out loud, if you're convinced by the little monologue of his then he's childish, immature and very probably as reliable as a child of four (and there's a reason 4 year olds can't rent buildings). If you assume he's talking nonsense, on the other hand, he clearly has some psychological issues and again, warrants at least a raised eyebrow FROM THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY THE IRRESPONSIBLE PERSON IS BEING ENTRUSTED WITH!

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  41. I've been debating for a while what to do with the second bedroom in my condo, as I like living alone and don't have any hobbies that would benefit from a dedicated room. For a brief moment, I thought to myseld, "hey, wouldn't it be funny if I filled the whole room with those ballroom balls?" Then I realized that was an xkcd concept and for a moment I had risked becoming that quirky nerd girl of every xkcd fan's dreams. I'm not sure I want to love anymore.

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  42. LIVE anymore. I don't want to LIVE anymore. Everyone knows love is for suckers.

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  43. YOU GUYS. Carl already knows the difference between alt text and title text--he WRITES HIS OWN for the little thumbnails for every damn post.

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  44. I have to disagree with the poster and the comments so far; the second panel is not a non sequitur. The landlord asks if he has any concerns, he responds with some concerns he has. The fact that his concerns are not what the landlord was expecting are part of the (mildly humorous/interesting) setup.

    However, from there the comic falls apart. The sentiment being expressed (worry about having to be responsible for things, feeling like you're not old enough yet) are certainly things people feel and worry about all the time.

    Except Randall once again proves that by not being able to write, and refusing to get an editor, he can fuck up any premise or intelligent idea, and people will still defend it because they like the idea inside (even if its expressed in a moronic way).

    Long story short, this comic sucks.

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  45. Are you kidding me? Seriously, are you fucking kidding me? Unless I'm unaware of some exceptions, there have never been eyes in xkcd. Would you rather he abandon the style and draw eyes? And how much ire would he raise around here by doing that? What were you expecting? God damnit...

    I'm not saying he should draw eyes, I'm saying he shouldn't draw glasses. Actually, fuck it, he SHOULD draw eyes, I don't know why the fuck "NO EYES" has become a defining stylistic element of XKCD. Next thing you know, its defenders will be saying "shitty humor" and "retarded, misplaced condescension" are defining features, and suddenly the "target audience" shit starts up again. GUYS if you DON'T LIKE comics that are FUCKING TERRIBLE, you shouldn't be reading XKCD, because BEING TERRIBLE IS WHAT MAKES IT XKCD. Durrrrrrr.

    Oh, uh, we've seen a guy with glasses before, in that one where Rick Astley made a cameo. Probably at least once during that fucking Leet story arc, too.

    FERNIE! Fernie Fernie Fernie. How can you say Randall tackled this topic well? Someone who tackles the topic of reaching adulthood but not realizing it is C.S. Lewis. He demonstrates understanding, compassion, and general clarity of communication. Even Edward Eager, the Half Magic guy, does a decent job of understanding that children and adults can share confusion over boundaries. Here, Randall just dumps an ADHD retard on our laps, foiled by the world's most apathetic real estate agent. How the fuck is that a good way to tackle the subject?

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  46. Shitty comic. Excellent analysis, Ar-Pharazon. Why don't you do a guest post for SOM?

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  47. I have to disagree with the poster and the comments so far; the second panel is not a non sequitur. The landlord asks if he has any concerns, he responds with some concerns he has. The fact that his concerns are not what the landlord was expecting are part of the (mildly humorous/interesting) setup.

    It's still a non sequitur, because it doesn't follow what went before. When Ms. Wormwood asks her class "Any questions before we move on to the next chapter?" and Calvin replies "Should cannibalism be grounds for leniency when sentencing murder convictions, since it's less wasteful?", it's still a non sequitur because it doesn't follow what went before. Oh! It's a question! Jesus, come on.

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  48. Finally, a well written guest post. I didn't fully agree with it, but at least it was well written. The only real problem with this one was the alt\title text, the rest of the comic was ok, and the joke could have been improved with a simple change to the last panel as Frogwarrior pointed out, but it still gave me a smile

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  49. "How the fuck is that a good way to tackle the subject?"

    Are you always that angry and judgemental, or are you just trying to adhere to a "role" that fits the "theme" of the blog? For goodness' sake, CALM DOWN.
    I guess it's useless for me to try to explain, because my view won't make sense to someone who goes out labelling characters as "ADHD retards" based on mere three panels of a webcomic.

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  50. Also, I hate niggers.

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  51. Annoying niggers such as Fernie.

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  52. "Actually, fuck it, he SHOULD draw eyes"

    Well, at least now I finally know that you're full of shit. Why don't you just start criticizing the shape of the stick figure's heads because they are too round(even though they always are)? Or like I said before, how about you bitch about how most of the comics are monchrome(even though they usually are)? I think that would be very constructive. It's the fucking style of the comic and it always has been that way.

    "I don't know why the fuck "NO EYES" has become a defining stylistic element of XKCD."

    Neither do I, but do we ever see eyes? It is extremely rare that we do, if it has even happened.

    "GUYS if you DON'T LIKE comics that are FUCKING TERRIBLE, you shouldn't be reading XKCD, because BEING TERRIBLE IS WHAT MAKES IT XKCD."

    No eyes and monochrome are facts. The quality of the humor is debateable. Try making a shittier example next time.

    I'm not a defender of xkcd, I'm just criticizing your comments because they are ridiculous. If you're gonna try to critique it, pick something that makes sense.

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  53. Ar-Pharazon, I also think you ought to do a guest post.

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  54. "Title-text" IS the correct attribute, not "alt-text".

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  55. I guess it's useless for me to try to explain, because my view won't make sense to someone who goes out labelling characters as "ADHD retards" based on mere three panels of a webcomic.

    Actually, it's useless for you to explain, because you went out labelling this as a good exploration of maturation and the trepidation of becoming adult based on a mere three panels of a webcomic! Come on, Fernie, his entire character exists solely for those three panels. He wasn't here in any of the six hundred comics before this one, he won't be here in the next six hundred. His entire existence was created and displayed in those three panels. There is nothing else.

    And what IS the sum total of his existence? Terror at becoming an adult, terror at remaining a child, and desperate attempts to avoid answering serious questions and slam home pop culture references. That's it. That's all we have to judge, and it's not like we're judging a deep character based on a three-panel excerpt, we're judging a character whose entire existence comes in three panels on the basis of those three panels.

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  56. Neither do I, but do we ever see eyes? It is extremely rare that we do, if it has even happened.

    Robert Smith comic had eyes.

    As for the rest of it, just because the style is there doesn't mean it's not terrible.

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  57. Also those barrel comics, with the kid floating off in a barrel.

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  58. Anyway the point is just because the artist is aware that his art sucks and deliberately chooses not to improve doesn't somehow magically make that a legitimate choice. I'm speaking from personal experience, here, since I'm a shitty artist who did a comic way, way, way, way worse than XKCD has ever been.

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  59. Fernie: you're over 18? I had you pegged at 15, 16 tops.

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  60. "Robert Smith comic has eyes."

    1 out of 600+...that'd be the "extremely rare" I was talking about. He long ago quit doing things like that and for the last several hundred comics a style has be settled.

    "As for the rest of it, just because the style is there doesn't mean it's not terrible."

    Well, that's completely subjective. And I realize critiques are subjective, but you have to limit yourself to things that can almost be objective, or at least argured beyond the point of "it sucks".

    There have been funny xkcds that had "terrible" art. And the shitty joke ones would not be improved with "amazing" art.

    Here's all I'm trying to say: for better or worse, that is that style. So why criticize it(more than once, anyway)? It'll always be the same. Therefore, your cricisisms will always be the same. I mean, you just wouldn't like it from the get go, so what's the point?

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  61. Here's all I'm trying to say: for better or worse, that is that style. So why criticize it(more than once, anyway)? It'll always be the same. Therefore, your cricisisms will always be the same. I mean, you just wouldn't like it from the get go, so what's the point?

    Yes, and shitty humor is ALSO, apparently, his style. There's an FAQ section for questions like this.

    Well, that's completely subjective. And I realize critiques are subjective, but you have to limit yourself to things that can almost be objective, or at least argured beyond the point of "it sucks".

    No, we don't.

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  62. Cricicisms!

    Beautiful art can save a bad joke. Indeed, many beautiful things do not have jokes at all, or even writing.

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  63. @ Ann Apolis

    I realized it was redundant as a finished writing it, but feared people wouldn't remember bambam from the flintstones... randy, i am in your head.

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  64. "Yes, and shitty humor is ALSO, apparently, his style."
    I have to disagree. The super combo meme one a while back could be labeled as a "so bad it's good"-syle attempt at humor, but I think he is genuinely trying to be funny. He isn't TRYING to make bad humor. That's not a style, it's a consequence of his writing.

    "There's an FAQ section for questions like this."

    Yes there is. And in one of those FAQ sections it states that one of the goals of this site is to "get Randall Munroe to shape up and make better comics". Which leads me to...

    "No, we don't."

    OK, sorry, you're correct. Replace "you have to limit yourself" to "a good critique limits itself". I'm not saying that you agree with the stated goals of this site, but if you do, you'd do better to stop criticizing the "lazy art" and focus on stuff that might actually change. Seeing as how the style is familiar to people who read the comic, I doubt that will ever be changed. Granted, nothing will probably change in the long run, but getting Randall to focus more on good jokes would be far more successful than getting him to focus on his artistic choices.

    ReplyDelete
  65. "Actually, it's useless for you to explain, because you went out labelling this as a good exploration of maturation and the trepidation of becoming adult based on a mere three panels of a webcomic!"

    *Gasp*! I characterised a comic strip as "good" based on the entire comic strip itself! Absolutely unacceptable.

    ReplyDelete
  66. GUYS GUYS GUYS

    the bassist for Led Zeppelin turned up at 10.26 and you're still buggering on about EYES?

    ReplyDelete
  67. "Beautiful art can save a bad joke. Indeed, many beautiful things do not have jokes at all, or even writing."

    The second sentence doesn't follow from the first. Do you have an example of how beautiful art has saved a bad joke? To be sure, are you saying that something(a webcomic, for instance) could have a bad joke, but that the art would be so good that I would still laugh?

    ReplyDelete
  68. For the record, there are even some stick figure comics with eyes, the latest I could find being 38.
    He even had eyes in 9, the first and what should have been the last comic about the cast from Firefly.

    ReplyDelete
  69. @Anon 12:35

    No, he's saying it could be a good strip, regardless of its joke. It might not be funny, but its quality would come from a different source.

    ReplyDelete
  70. *Gasp*! I characterised a comic strip as "good" based on the entire comic strip itself! Absolutely unacceptable.

    Actually, you characterized a comic strip as...

    "It's an extremely superficial and hurried approach at a very complicated topic, of exactly where is the line between effectively being an adult and TRYING to be an adult. I think it's a great topic to tackle, and Randall did a good job."

    which is a MUCH more specific and therefore less defensible claim than simply that the comic was good. I'm also not sure how the comic can be both "extremely superficial" and "hurried" and also do a "good job" at tackling "a very complicated topic."

    ReplyDelete
  71. "Extremely superficial" and "hurried" are not causes or consequences of the comic being bad (at least not in MY view, that is), but merely due to the comic's purpose. Randall wasn't trying to do an essay, or a deep philosophical point, and I think that's entirely understandable. And as far as a superficial and hurried comic goes, I think it was done well -- or at least well enough to fare much better than some of the previous strips... which, on second thought, isn't that hard.
    Ok, perhaps I overestimated it, but I still think the strip is far more on the "good" side than on the "bad" side.

    ReplyDelete
  72. So, what IS the comic's purpose? What message is it sending, what is Randall saying about that line? So far, all I know is that it's a superficial, content-void statement along the lines of "the line is confusing, and probably exists."

    I guess I just have a hard time seeing how a three-second glimpse into an interaction between two morons can be anything but, you know, what I just said. Obviously he's not making a deep philosophical point--is he making any point at all? If so, what? If not, how can you judge that he made it well?

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  73. I seem to have acquired a name troll; how cute. I suppose I should put a stop to that.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Also, @Amanda
    Sorry, now I've been forced into actually using my Google account I can't add that extra "jay" to my name that you liked so much...

    ReplyDelete
  75. I still hate niggers though.

    ReplyDelete
  76. @Vijay -- You can change the display name, actually. I'm using a Google account and changed it to Malethoth (Mal from xkcdsucks)

    ReplyDelete
  77. HEY TWO THINGS:
    1. xkcd IS multicoloured. If you look there are shades of grey and even blue and orange.
    2. IT IS FUCKING ALT TEXT CHANGE THAT SHIT NO WAY WHY GOD I HATE NERDS

    ReplyDelete
  78. @Mal
    thanks for the heads up on that.

    @TomR
    Tell that to the W3C.

    @My name troll
    I'm flattered but 4chan is already missing you.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Actually I'm the founder of the American navy

    ReplyDelete
  80. Play "The Ocean" then

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  81. This SOM is disappointing so far. Maybe I expected too much.

    ReplyDelete
  82. ...it's guest posts, dude. What were you expecting?

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  83. @Dylan: god god god damn it! I thought "hmm, i shall search led zeppelin's discography for an amusing navy related song title pun opportunity! there will be laffs a plenty!". And then I saw "The Ocean", and I thought "maybe I could use that!" but then I thought "actually, it's quite generic and quite obscure. perhaps not."

    AND NOW THIS!

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  84. Rob: Maybe they were expecting criticism of the caliber of the site's Hamilton & Jefferson (us)?

    ReplyDelete
  85. I have this kind of theory about the alt-text. One could read into it that the girl is actually buying anal beads and that this would lead to an awkward exchange.

    Then again, I learned about anal beads from Wikipedia. Hope he didn't intend it.

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  86. carl, you said exactly what I always thought about these kinds of strips, but could never put together into words (at least not without working on it for a long time)

    so carl, get out of my head

    get out of my head, carl

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  87. "I guess I just have a hard time seeing how a three-second glimpse into an interaction between two morons can be anything but, you know, what I just said."

    Well, maybe I am pretentious; maybe you are shallow; or maybe both. But I actually see a lot to think about in that strip. My line of reasoning is more or less that, well, the guy is saying all of that and it sounds like a pretty valid and relatable feeling. The fact that he's saying it out loud is highly improbable, though. One approach is to go "OMG xkcd is UNREALISTIC therefore it sucks!", and another approach is to try to understand WHY it is unrealistic... Mostly because, even thouhg that might be a feeling every adult faces at a certain point (or even constantly), maybe part of being an adult is not in BEING mature, but in PRETENDING to be so, by hiding and concealing those uncertainties. Perhaps the guy in the glasses also feels that way? But he doesn't show it, and that makes him look mature and grown-up, therefore people trust him. Maybe THAT is the secret to being a grown-up? Making people trust you, even if it requires playing a fake role?

    "Obviously he's not making a deep philosophical point--is he making any point at all?"

    I don't *think* he's trying to make a statement to change the world; perhaps he's just showing a random observation of his? Like he always did with his strips? Maybe it's just a "weird thing that crossed my mind"? I'm sorry, but I can't see why I should expect the comic to show EVERYTHING to me already pre-processed and pre-interpreted, and why I should refuse to try to think it a little further. Sure, some of Randall's strips are so poor that any attempt at thinking it further failed miserably (including android girl/boyfriends, playing 5 year old games and being trapped by TV Tropes), but this one succeeded. Maybe it's not Randall's merit, and it was just a happy accident. Who knows? I'm not trying to give a definitive answer to that, and if it sounded like I were, I apologise.

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  88. I actually thought this comic wasn't as bad as the other recent ones he's done. It's not great, but not bad enough that I wanted to hate it. I also think it's better than that stupid ball pit one.

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  89. Sorry to barge in on your little discussion guys, but you know, this is just starting to irk me. So...

    "...another approach is to try to understand WHY it is unrealistic..."

    It's unrealistic because 4chan rotted his brain and living on his sycophants' money has degenerated his artistic energy into a moldy shell of what it was.

    "Maybe it's just a "weird thing that crossed my mind"?"

    You know, sorry to rain on your parade but everyone already *knows* that. We (used to) go to xkcd precisely *for* that. Thing is, the weird things that crossed his mind used to be interesting, not to mention that the effort he put into expressing them was far greater and his condescension much less pronounced. Now, he's practically noise: All we get are the senseless ramblings of a foolish, sex obsessed, selfish, irreverent, boorish adolescent mind, in the worst sense of the word.

    BTW, @Amanda: Really? You guys'd read that stuff?

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  90. Vijay, it's okay. Though I am now suspecting you might create your own name troll to get out of calling yourself Vijayjay. OH WELL

    Ar-Pharazon: yes. I mean we read all sorts of stuff already, yours just seems like it would be especially good.

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  91. Yes, A-P. You're easily one of the better critics on this site.

    ReplyDelete
  92. thomas: I can see how he would be confused. "oh man, a whole summer of thomas and rob! THIS WILL BE THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED" and then, nope.

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  93. Here's a TV Tropes term for you: Fan Wank. I just vomited onto my monitor, thanks Fernie.

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  94. Jay, You and Vijay should get together.

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  95. God no. This is the second fucking time someone's tried to hijack my name on this blog, and I resent it.

    ReplyDelete
  96. So which one of us is this? http://twitter.com/xkcdsucks

    ReplyDelete
  97. http://twitter.com/WHM_IQ224

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  98. Making a fake Google Account to impersonate someone on an anti-xkcd site is a new level of patheticitude.

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  99. I can't go on. Randall deserves to die, and it is coming soon.

    OUROBORINDRA

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  100. Ugh.

    The alt-text. I have never before felt a violent urge towards Randall Munroe until this very moment.

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  101. Guys this describes xkcd perfectly (well it used to at least).

    I have nothing to say about the latest comic since it appears to be two different ideas randomly thrown together (treat the two rows as two different comics and you might see what I'm getting at).

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  102. I don't even understand what this comic is SUPPOSED to be about. People go crazy over tequila? I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

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  103. @Malethoth

    It's about that professor that was arrested for trying to get into his own house so the President invited them to talk about it over beer.

    Natually 1 million times more stupid yes but that's where he got the idea.

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  104. for a second there I thought the bearded guy was supposed to be gordon freeman, but then it turns out he's supposed to be that black professor dude... HES NOT EVEN BLACK

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  105. It's about that professor that was arrested for trying to get into his own house so the President invited them to talk about it over beer.

    see i'd never even heard of that

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  106. Cuddlefish PrimeJuly 30, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    What the bloody fuck is going on in 617

    Why is Gordon Freeman partying with a cop at the White House

    I don't even

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  107. Cuddlefish PrimeJuly 30, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    Oh okay, I guess it's supposed to be Henry Louis Gates. But why is he white? And why is Obama also white?

    Randall, I think you need to get out of Massachusetts for a while

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  108. It's odd how some professor I've never heard of and some generic cop who arrested him get some detail, but the president of the United States doesn't. He looks like the same guy applying for a lease, or the guy cluelessly calling a girl, or the guy casually discussing group sex, ect.

    Capta: Chics

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  109. You know what this comic reminded me of? LAW FOR KIDS.

    http://i27.tinypic.com/33asd91.png

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  110. Cuddlefish PrimeJuly 30, 2009 at 9:51 PM

    R., that is simply awesome.

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  111. what... what the shit

    i don't even know where to start with this one

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  112. @Cuddlefish Prime

    Gordon Freemind

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  113. "Grad students" are becoming as bad as "frat jocks" in the "oh man we drank so much did I tell you about last weekend WELLLLL..." category.

    The comic was decent (if bleached), but the alt-text sucked.

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  114. alt text was super shitty

    why did willy hughes fuck up his own initials

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  115. Its better if you imagine the characters are Gordon Freeman, Barney and G-Man

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  116. Wow, this has got to be the worst one in a while. And the alt-text is nauseating at best.

    The guest post for this one practically writes itself.

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  117. xkcd doesn't do skin tones. The color used for the peoples' faces is just as appropriate for the white cop as it is for Obama and Gates.

    If you know of any white people that are white colored, suggest they see a doctor.

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  118. That was Obama? Doesn't even have any distinguishing features. AT ALL.

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  119. Jay impersonator #2July 30, 2009 at 11:53 PM

    I actually liked this latest one a lot. On TV and the radio, it's ben nothing but Henry Louis Gates being invited for beer the past few days, and I know several grad students who play drinking games far too often. Both of the above may have contributed to the comic AND its alt text getting chuckles from me.

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  120. Wow, Bob! I thought you were dead!

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  121. I bet Randall is one of those people who go "No thanks, -I- don't NEED alcohol to have a good time" when you offer them a beer.

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  122. hahahah

    and then ends up hammered within an hour because he can't withstand the peer pressure

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  123. I also bet that Fernie is going to be the first person to pointlessly debate that people are free to choose not to drink alcohol at 'social gatherings'.

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  124. I don't need alcohol to have a good time either, just like I don't need pepperoni pizza to have a good time

    I just, you know

    like it?

    ReplyDelete
  125. HAH!

    Tequila is a strong intoxicant! Consumption can often lead to WACKY HIJINX

    wait where have I heard this joke before?

    that's right, NOWHERE, because Randall is a comic genius

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  126. oh man I just read the alt text and I am laughing even harder. did you know that grad students can sometimes drink a lot? HAH!

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  127. oh geez I just realized, I'M A GRAD STUDENT! and I just had a few beers the other night! then I went drunk driving and accidentally killed a man. GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDALL

    ReplyDelete
  128. ...Man, I reckon that Randall read this blog post, saw "I would never criticize a comic for being too weird, wacky, or unrealistic," and thought "HO HO HO I'LL SHOW YOU."

    617 is just absurd. And not in the least funny. :/

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  129. "I also bet that Fernie is going to be the first person to pointlessly debate that people are free to choose not to drink alcohol at 'social gatherings'."

    Matter of fact I am that kind of person. I enjoy watching (through the Internet, that is) people groaning in frustration as they run out of intelligent things to say and start going into "badass" snarking. Gee, some guy has got a TV trope for me? Vomited on his monitor? Awesome, I'm going to use that on my next college assignment.
    Regarding new comic, damn, I didn't even check the forum thread but I KNOW the fans will be all over the walls with laughter and wacky awesome anecdotes. See, folks? I have nothing to say about it because there's nothing interesting going on in this strip at all.

    I just hope the guest writer does a good job, like JK did last time around.

    ReplyDelete
  130. hahahah Fred you WON THAT BET

    ReplyDelete
  131. I thought 617 was funny.

    However, it is definitely not about Romance, Sarcasm, Math, or Language...in any way.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Wait, Fred, are you implying that people aren't free to choose not to drink at 'social gatherings?'

    'Cause that's, y'know.
    Kind of retarded.

    ReplyDelete
  133. I must admit, this comic was pretty bad. The worse part is, the forum was so disappointing, I mean, here I was looking for some needless Randall praise to mock, and all I got was fights over who made the thread first, and whether alt text or title text is the correct term.
    Randallites, you have disappointed me.

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  134. Sounds a lot like Randal is talking about himself in this comic.

    ReplyDelete
  135. "Randallites, you have disappointed me."

    Well, in a way, they haven't. They surely managed to provide even a worse show than the actual strip, at least.

    ReplyDelete
  136. I enjoyed 617 quite a bit, yes indeed

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  137. This comic is the kind I might find funny if I was 16.

    People drinking isn't funny anymore when you're an adult, at least not when the whole joke itself is that alcohol makes you go crazy. But I suppose it goes hand in hand with the previous 'Randall is a man-child' comic.

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  138. I WIN AGAIN.

    Frogwarrior: take very, very good notice of the word 'pointlessly' in my comment.

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  139. Yes, but it was a worst show in all the conventional ways, I can get a mindless discussion about people yelling "First" anywhere, and I've grown sick of hearing Alt v Title so many times here. I want the special kind of idiotic show that only happens in Randalldom, with GOOMHRs and Megan-lovers abound.

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  140. This was my all-time favorite post on this site. I loved how JK gave relevant, insightful criticisms and de-constructed the comic in a logical, even-handed way. Carl constantly INFURIATES me by rejecting the concept of a comic outright, or by denouncing the situation as unrealistic, as if humor can only ever be found in in realism. Equally irritating is how he holds xkcd up to some impossible standard (like today with the "don't forget" footnote, do you truly expect an author to write 600+ comics without revisiting themes?)

    All in all, I loved today's fallacy-free post. Hopefully JK will be back to write more, or preferably, replace Carl outright.

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  141. @John: I am 16 and no, it is still not funny

    ReplyDelete
  142. We finally got a 'DOWN WITH CARL' post! The summer of madness is a success!

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  143. @Rob Did someone just win a bet off me?

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  144. @Endless - There's a difference between revisiting a theme once or twice and repeating a joke ten or a dozen times.

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  145. How did some of you not know what it was about? Seriously, I live in the UK, and even I've heard about that incident.

    Now for the comic: It was better than the previous one, and gave me a brief smile, but wasn't a classic by any means.

    ReplyDelete
  146. @Endless: Nah, but in some of the previous guest weeks there was a fair amount of DOWN WITH CARL sentiment.

    ReplyDelete
  147. @Malethoth - is there? If it's done in rapid succession than definitely, but over the course of 616 comics, a dozen strips playing off the same concept is minimal, less than 2%. (Have there even been that many? I'm not sure but twelve seems high)

    Even so, I'll be the first to admit that Randal often crosses the line between playing off an old theme and repeating a joke. This comic is an example. My problem is that Carl seems to be unaware that that line even exists.
    I feel like if Carl were reviewing Calvin and Hobbes, every time Calvin's daydreams crossed over into reality Carl would mockingly exclaim, "Haha, look! Calvin's imagination is making him act weird in real life again! That's Komedy Gold Bill!" and then go on to cite all previous similar comics, completely missing the fact that imagination in an integral part of the strip and character.

    xkcd isn't anywhere near as good as Waterson's work, but the comparison still holds.

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  148. OH WOW XKCD IS TRYING TO BE TOPICAL

    and thanks to the colbert report, I actually get this. (I don't live in america, so this isn't that important to us)

    Well, I see what he did there. But, really, is it too much to ask to give a black man a little skin tone?

    OH NO

    WAIT

    IN RANDALLS PERFECT WORLD

    EVERYONE IS WHITE

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  149. One of the many, many mitigating factors for Watterson's tendency to have Calvin imagine he's a dinosaur so as to avoid the tedium of the classroom is that he consistently draws them with beautiful and new artwork each time. Obviously not something XKCD could ever aspire to.

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  150. Also Endless, Carl doesn't necessarily feel that just because a trope is repeated it is bad; he just catalogues repeat offenders because they tend to become bad very quickly when he starts recycling the hell out of them.

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  151. But much of what he deems "recycling" isn't. And often he labels comics underservedely. Especially under "quirky relationships" and "machines acting like people" although he admits the later is broadly defined.


    Sidenote: who said the quote at the top? the "vitriolic and bitter" one.

    ReplyDelete
  152. "Carl" hasn't posted the new review.
    RANDALL is at a convention.

    Crandarl, don't think that you're fooling anyone here!

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  153. LOMPTA WE ARE WAITING FOR YOUR REVIEW WHAT IS UP

    DO YOU NOT THINK 617 SUX OR SOMETHING

    captcha: stsopers?

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  154. 4:51: because CARL IS RANDAL AND RANDAL IS CARL OMG OMG OMG CAN YOU NOT SEE THIS OBVIOUS TRUTH OMG OMG

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  155. If you look at it the 'wrong' way, in the 7th panel it appears to be that the cop is throwing a cat.

    CAPTCHA: birasipu. Sippin' a beer in Japan? :p

    ReplyDelete
  156. However, despite my apparent bipolarity, I actually liked the comic, because it was both unexpected and somewhat original. The joke isn't so much about the tequila, you see, as about a gathering of the president, a cop, and a professor meeting for beer ending badly, with all three of them behind bars, instead of just the professor. But then again, deconstructing humor does it no favors, not even if it's particularly ingenious humor, which I'll be the first to say this strip arguably isn't. Douglas Adams? Reducable to wacky irreverence. Done a thousand times before. Nothing to see here.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Wow, so, as it turns out I never miss a word unless it makes me look totally retarded. Sorry Fred.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Fake Jay, you are an asshole.

    ReplyDelete
  159. I think this is the new "if you don't like it, don't read it" argument. "You can kill any joke by deconstructing it!" No you fucking can't, shut up. I'm not telling you WHY I didn't like it, I'm expressing that I did not like it in a way I think is entertaining. Do you see the difference?

    Of course you do. Now go impersonate Endless, I don't like him.

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  160. Apology accepted, captain Frogwarrior.

    ReplyDelete
  161. @Jay 10:22, actually, yes you can. Whether it's relevant, who cares, but you can kill any joke by deconstructing it. It's in the rules, like.

    ReplyDelete
  162. @Ann Apolis -- Don't think so. There are certain jokes where the deconstruction is either obviously incomplete to anyone who's heard the joke, or it still makes sense why the joke is funny.

    ReplyDelete
  163. HEY GUYS, is it just me, or have the last few SMBC graph comics been, like, good? For example, today's made me laugh, especially the high-existentialism/low-certainty end. For another example, uh, maybe he hasn't made many graph comics lately but I liked this one.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: I myself am two years into a philosophy degree.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Can't say I enjoyed that graph comic, or much of SMBC lately. This may be because I recently plowed through the entire archive in a day.

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  165. @Jay - Ouch man. That cut me deep.

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  166. why can't this next review up, I hate comic 617, and I demand that there be a full review to explain my hatred more articulately.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Can someone put up an actual example of a joke that can't possibly be deconstructed in any imaginable way? Until someone does that, the "any joke can be killed by proper deconstruction" argument is perfectly valid. Doesn't make you can't ignore it, of course, since conveniently ignoring relevant facts is the best way for one to act like an asshole.

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  168. "Doesn't make you can't ignore it, of course, since conveniently ignoring relevant facts is the best way for one to act like an asshole."

    Wait, what?

    ReplyDelete
  169. Any joke can be deconstructed, doofus. The point is that the deconstruction doesn't always kill the joke.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Additionally, just because one argument hasn't been proved demonstrably false doesn't mean that the other one is demonstrably true. "Any joke can be killed by proper deconstruction" is NOT automatically true simply because no one has provided a counterexample.

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  171. I think it's not so much deconstruction that kills a joke/story/concept as oversimplification. To use someone else's example from earlier, "Haha Calvin is daydreaming again KOMEDY GOLD RIGHT THAR". By omitting all the details that make the situation unique and interesting, one can obviously make it sound as bland and recycled as one wants.

    That said, I don't think Carl or pretty much anyone else around here tends to criticize xkcd in this way (except as incidental mockery). The mere fact that we often get a three- or four-paragraph critique of a one-panel graph comic shows that there must be some actual thought and analysis going on.

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  172. I like to think the latest SMBC's red button picture is referencing xkcd.

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  173. I like to think that swine flu will mutate and kill everybody within a month.

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  174. I like to think that people are basically good.

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  175. I like to think that Rob is not fucking awesome.

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  176. So there was this girl in the tram today, she seemed kind of lost so I was about to ask her if she needed some directions, when she suddenly jumped out of the train just when the doors were closing. What was that all about?

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  177. That is, people are basically almost as good as I am.

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  178. I third it, noting that if I had been asked to do a guest review it would have been up yesterday, by which I mean Friday.

    (I fail to note it would have consisted of the sentence "XKCD? MORE LIKE BEER KAY SEE DEE" and several frowny faces.)

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  179. Yeah uh Fernie your logic could use a little help.

    Anyway can someone give me an actual joke to work with here? Then maybe I can try to deconstruct it and keep it funny but I am not going to make any promises.

    ReplyDelete
  180. @Anon, 4:37: Would you prefer it if Rob fucked you?

    ReplyDelete
  181. @Amanda:
    Person A: "Is this a photograph of you with R.E.M.?"
    Person B: "Yes, that's me in the corner."

    GO TO TOWN

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  182. I've always felt that this one Groucho Marx line was stubbornly resistant to analysis - when Groucho is examining a man who has fainted (In "monkey business" according to google) and after looking at him and looking at his watch, says "either this man's dead or my watch has stopped." It always seems like it makes sense at first, but as you look harder it just falls apart.

    As to Endless' nice factual question: My blog's slogan is taken from a lovely anonymous comment on this post. Before that the slogan was "a sarcastic, bitter, and generally misunderstood critique of comics that you don't need to critique" which was taken from an anonymous comment here.

    I am very unlikely to change the current slogan so don't bother trying to outdo it.

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  183. wouldn't dream of it. It's beautifully accurate.

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  184. Hahaha Ann Apolis. I am not even going to try.

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  185. CS Lewis, in the book Of This and Other Worlds wrote of the dangers of criticising individual works in a genre you don't like. If you don't like mystery novels, you will be blind to the specific strengths and weaknesses of this particular mystery novel. You will write a critique of the genre disguised as a critique of the work.

    Authors at this blog would do well to keep this advice in mind.

    Others were talking about CS Lewis and kids growing up. I recommend Lipstick on my Scholar.

    TRiG.

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  186. You are a fucktard, Trigboy. Randall could do anything and still suck. His writing sucks, 'kay?

    Your post reeks of "TARGET AUDIENCE!" shit.

    ReplyDelete
  187. And is a goddamn C.S. Lewis reference. I LEFT THAT BEHIND WHEN I GRADUATED PAROCHIAL SCHOOL, YOU MOTHERFUCKER

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  188. it's spelled "puerile."

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  189. ugh, you are right. JK is never allowed to guest post here again. YOU HEAR THAT, JK?? YOU HEAR IT?

    i cannot edit his text out of a respect for his original words, i feel that they must stand on their own

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  190. Wait a minute...how was 418 about acting like a child? Children don't own stoves, or cook bacon whenever they want.

    ReplyDelete