Sunday, August 2, 2009

Comic 618: Can't They All Just Blow Up

just wanted to make sure we had a record of this. Apparently those times we thought "wow, this seems thrown together five minutes before midnight" were correct.

unprofessional! How much do you want to bet the comic will be about conventions? update: Good thing no one bet with me.
late update: oh hey, TomR sent me his post. let's see what he says.


explode! explode!
Hey, I'm TomR. Youll probably know me more from the CouldBeBetter forums than the blog, because Internet Explorer hates Blogger, and I'm not going to change browser just for one site, especially when most sites are designed for IE in the first place (TO Carl - maybe not put this in because people be angry and like "NOOO USE FIREFIX BECAUSE I HAVE NO FRIENDS")(tomr - you should use firefox, dammit! also, I have no friends. --carl).

So, comic 618.

Right, the first thing about this comic is that it's a reference to something. And if you don't know what it's talking about, then don't even bother reading today's strip. We don't need your kind here. Hey, WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT BEFORE? That's right folks, xkcd number 50!



I've been seeing a lot of this shit in xkcd lately what with the whole pep rall thing then the Idiocracy and sheeple comics. Apparently Randall can't make up his mind about things.
I'm beginning to think Randall ghostwrites for, or will be writing for, Cracked. They use an xkcd comic in this article (last night when I read this it was uncredited, so I was thinking all "but didn't they do all that shit when people used THEIR articles without permission? Hypocrites! Hey, like xkcd!" and that's where this paragraph came from, but now they've put a little "thanks xkcd" thing in there, which makes it maybe a little better, but the idea is still floating about in my head), both sites have a bunch of sycophants following the links to whichever site the writers found and think they are better than everyone else, both make mountains out of molehills, and both are shit.

Anyway, back to the comic. There are two ways to make a reference to something: the right way, and the Family Guy way. The right way is to make it a throwaway line, and give it contet so that people who don't get the reference can laugh at the base joke, or at the very least not be confused. Then there's the Family Guy way: just slap it in there, and if someone doesn't get it then, well, they're a moron. Guess which way Randy did it?

The joke isn't up to much even if you do get the reference: Armageddon (or Deep Impact, which is supposedly the better film because it is more scientifically accurate, even though Armageddon is much more fun. The critics claim Deep Impact is better, but they also claim that Wild Hogs is shit and The Dark Knight is great, so what do they know. Of course, Randy had to choose Deep Impact to keep up his nerd cred.) Except it turns out that there was a friendly boy on it who just wanted to be friends! D'awwww!

Jesus fucking Christ Randall, why not just draw the fucking Teletubbies and have done with it.

132 comments:

  1. One of the very few things I still feel able to take pride in re: the infinitely terrible webcomic I used to do is that the updates were always prepared well ahead of time--usually at least a week in advance, occasionally up to a month or so. They always were updated on time.

    The rest of the comic was an unmitigated disaster though :|

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  2. today's comic is such epic fail. he went for the ultra obscure reference, and it's totally lost on me.

    fuck you for making me feel lame, randall. the last time i felt this way was half an hour ago, when i accidentally turned on family guy and sat through one ultra obscure reference joke before i threw the remote at the tv.

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  3. I have to say I liked this one quite a bit.

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  4. Ok I kind of remember the Bruce Willis movie this one is referencing but I still don't get it.

    Anyone want to explain this one?

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  5. The Little Prince was a novel that had a kid living on his own planet, which apparently is the asteroid Randel is blowing up here. Nukes + children = sad people?

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  6. Well gee that's incredibly depressing, and not in the comic is horrible kind of a way, then.

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  7. I liked it, too.

    The Little Prince was an incredibly famous short novel about a young child exploring the solar system on his planet and meeting people. If you culturally illiterate bastards ever read, you would know that the comic has nothing to do with the fact that he's a little kid and everything to do with the character as an icon. It's funny because.... well... if I have to explain humor to you, you probably shouldn't be reading webcomics.

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  8. I have to say that if you haven't read The Little Prince, something marginally bad deserves to happen to you, like you stub your toe, your shower breaks or the next film you rent out is subtitled in Lojban. It's not even that long. Just go to a library.

    That said, it's more or less irrelevant to this comic, basically ensuring the emotion is "aww".

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  9. eat a dick, ann. maybe i read it when i was younger, but i forgot it. sorry we can't all be a paragon of literature like you.

    and yes, it is pretty relevant to this comic. otherwise you find yourself asking "why the hell is there a kid on the asteroid."

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  10. I mean, the details of the plot are pretty much irrelevant. Kid on asteroid is all you need to know.

    Kick a tree, fatface.

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  11. I, like my other illiterate internet bastards, have never read The Little Prince and therefore did not get the joke until someone here explained it for me. Props to Randy for making a space reference that isn't Firefly, and for exposing my literary ignorance. Now that I am aware of the novel, and am aware that Randy is aware, does anyone think that the barrel kid (1) was inspired by The Little Prince, or is this something you particularly snooty commenters have already discussed?

    By the way Carl, there is no way Randy would draw a comic about a convention as Megan would not have sex in the middle of it (unless it's in the future!)

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  12. greg:
    Not only are you free of the danger of being labeled a pretentious snob w.r.t. literature, as Ann so clearly is, you are also safe from any accusations of using paragon correctly. Thank god you didn't say "A paragon of well-readedness", or "...we can't all know about every 'paragon of literature', as you seem to." Otherwise, we might have to think you are something other than a zit-covered, twelve-year-old pertual virgin, or a college kid who gets play from his many-rolled WoW-playing girlfriend and is proud of it, or a cubicle-dwelling catastrophe who sneers at the people with careers whose network problems he must diagnose.

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  13. Man, I just make an overgeneralised rude comment about people and they start getting shirty with me. What is the world coming to?

    @Tomical: the second comic (or rather, weird sketchy thing) certainly is, or was from halfway through onwards, anyhoo.

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  14. Yeah, Anon, that's what I thought when I read his comment too. He used paragon incorrectly. Must be fucking covered with zits.

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  15. ABBA i will be accepting your payment over paypal thanks

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  16. yes, i misused paragon. thank you, anon, for setting me straight. until now ive thought of myself as being a decent human being, but after the way you totally smacked me down, i know now that my whole life is a lie.

    i don't think i can think you enough for how you've helped me.

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  17. /s/think/thank

    please don't kill me for making a typo!

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  18. How about your capitalization?

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  19. References to The Little Prince aside, I have to feel this is pretty terrible. The first few panels are nothing but a hyper-abbreviated re-enactment of Armageddon (or Deep Impact as the alt-text suggests), and then WOT A TWEEST: The asteroid was actually a harmless kid's. Note that none of this was anything but pop culture references, to films that came out 11 years ago and a short story that came out 66 years ago. This is actually much, much worse than the hypothetical guy quoting Portal in 2013.

    As an aside, this ought to go in the "BAM! It's serious and depressing now!" category.

    Of course, it's not THAT depressing, because of course there's no reason why the movie should be connected with the short story. Oh, right, they both involved asteroids! Well, okay, The Little Prince took place on tiny planets, not asteroids. They're still SO CLOSE! Okay, so, uh, I guess it would be sad if they accidentally blew up the Prince's home. How did they not notice him, anyway? All the planets he goes to are tiny. Heck, would his planet even constitute a threat to the Earth? Even noticing that the Prince is gigantic compared to the lander for some reason, the scale still seems pretty whack.

    Okay, but no, whatever, too much thinking. What this comic really is is simply a copy and paste of 375. Look: Each of them consists of a hyper-abbreviated XKCD transcription of a scene from a very famous movie, followed by a non sequitur shoehorning in of a very tangentially related other famous work of fiction, all completely devoid of any humor. They're exactly the same joke, with 2001 replaced by Deep Impact and Portal replaced by The Little Prince.

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  20. Oh, and his incompetent art is doing him NO favors, since in the last panel the Little Prince is barely recognizable.

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  21. It's kind of weird how the Prince is half drawn as a stick figure and as he appears in the book.

    How long until 618 appears on the Little Prince Wikipedia page?

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  22. HOW ABOUT YOUR MISSPELLING OF PERPETUAL
    HUH HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT ANON

    Or the way you misused it. See, it doesn't make sense to call a twelve-year-old a perpetual virgin. A twelve-year-old virgin is not an unusual thing. I don't even particularly care about Greg, but you're a vicious fucking jackass.

    Anyway I see Malethoth has posted since I started writing this. I thought today's comic was OK if obscure, but he pretty much summed up my thoughts on its flaws.

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  23. I'd just like to point out that

    1. I am not a "culturally illiterate bastard", and
    2. I recognized both _The Little Prince_ (from having read it) and _Deep Impact_ (from general pop-culture inescapability), and
    3. I "got" the joke, and
    4. THE JOKE IS NOT FUNNY. THE JOKE IS COMPLETELY UNFUNNY AND TERRIBLE.

    Also Antoine Saint-Exupery had more satirical skill in his middle finger than Randall Munroe has in his entire, pathetic, oral-sex-obsessed, Megan-stalking manchild body.

    (Also also arrow keys and copying and pasting don't work in this comment box and what the hey Blogspot?)

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  24. Urban Space Cowboy:
    They do if you have a Google/Blogspot/Livejournal/Whathaveyou name. Same with spell check. And probably a gazillion other things. Paragon.

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  25. My thoughts on this comic were pretty complex, since I also didn't get it at first. At first I thought it was terrible.

    Then I thought - oh, there's a reference I didn't get. Lame, not another one, let me see what it is.

    Then - oh, I've heard of that book. So he just stuck a reference inside another reference and called it a joke? That sucks shit.

    Then - oh, I get it, in the book the planet visits Earth. I guess that WOULD be mistaken for an approaching meteor of death. Heh. That's actually kind of funny.

    I think this could have been a clever and workable parody, but was ruined again by horrible execution. I'm not sure how I ever thought Randall was out of ideas. That's not his problem at all.

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  26. I got both references, thanks to the one year of failing french I took in middle school (It wasn't actually called failing french, that's just what I did. Fucking french.)

    And, well

    what's the joke? I see two references, but, y'know. Kid on meteor getting blown up is not really funny. It's not particularly unexpected, clever or witty. It's just... meh.

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  27. Eh. Futurama pulled the Little Prince reference much better, and without killing him. Mild 'oh hey, he reads' and nothing else from this one.

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  28. Awww you guys I feel so special being a part of this community where we all hate a webcomic together.



    Kind of like Nazi Germany.

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  29. So the whole basis for this comic is that Randall was able to think of two stories with space rocks in them. Hey, this comedy stuff doesn't sound so hard after all! Check this out: what if in Moby-Dick, Ahab thought he was chasing a white whale but it was actually an iceberg! And then the boat hits the iceberg and sinks! Just like in Titanic! That was a movie with a boat. I SMELL CROSSOVER

    The worst part, of course, is the alt-text. Randall, dear, we've been through this before.

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  30. Also Ann, if you know of any movies with Lojban subtitles please let me know

    That would actually kind of kick ass

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  31. I haven't ever read the book and I got the joke and I liked it.

    HURR DURR I'M A BAD PERSIN

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  32. So I got the "destroy the asteriod" reference because Armageddon was just an amazing movie have a good memory for movies. And whenever I hear "an asteroid is going to collide with the earth" or some such nonsense I always think of Bruce Willis. And then it turned out to be Deep Impact anyway, which I have never seen but do want to see but I am pretty sure does the same sort of thing? But I mean, he wasted like three panels on explaining that reference.

    I have read The Little Prince. I have also read it in French. Photographic memory remembers the iconic drawing of the little prince wandering the surface of his little planet thing. Did not understand the reference from that drawing. Like, at all. Randall, if you can't draw the damn kid, don't try to use one panel to explain who he is and then rely entirely on the alt-text to explain it for those who couldn't decipher your weird little lego-man.

    That said, I thought that the alt-text was all right. And an okay idea, I guess. Not amusing, though, just reminded me of beret-man and his "mom can you hear me" business.

    okay guys i am tired, good night and have fun discussing and guest posting and all that jazz

    okay wait first let me say that greg, you have been quite burninated.

    ahhh also Cuddlefish Prime please make this crossover, you can have the ten million dollars ABBA will give everyone

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  33. Amanda: Deep Impact does all the same things but worse. Imagine "Armageddon" but it's about a variety of people on Earth instead. And Bruce's mission failed.

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  34. what do you mean by "a variety of people on Earth instead"?

    AND HE DID NOT FAIL HE DIED FOR HIS PEOPLE (oh is that what you mean, not just America is on camera during the crisis in Deep Impact?) AND WAS LIKE BEN AFFLECK YOU TAKE GOOD CARE OF LIV TYLER OKAY I THINK YOU ARE OKAY

    and then they went on and made Jersey Girl.

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  35. Wikipedia informs me that of the two films, Deep Impact was considered more scientifically accurate by the relevant experts, and got better reviews from critics.

    THE CYBERMIND HAS SPOKEN

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  36. I actually thought this one was really good. Reminds me of the sort of thing PBF would do back when it was running.

    The alt text sucked, but apparently there were people who needed the joke explained to them, so...

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  37. I laughed out loud, but only because I didn't get it and accidentally made up my own joke, that I thought was Randall's joke.

    I thought he was making an allusion to the 'fake' moon landings. Thus implying that instead of sending a spacecraft to the asteroid, NASA just filmed themselves putting nukes in Earth and then blowing up Earth.

    Not sure why I found that so amusing.

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  38. I needed the joke explained to me because I sure as fuck didn't recognize that thing as The Little Prince and his planet. To be honest, the first thing that came to mind was the boy from the cover of A Boy and his Blob.

    I don't really care about how The Little Prince will get killed. I care very little about The Little Prince, and the way I figure it, if his asteroid/planet is due to collide with earth, he'll die anyway. Might as well blow him up and have just him die, instead of both him and six billion other people.

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  39. I found this one vaguely amusing by the standards of xkcd as of late. I only even bothered to read this one because Bad Astronomy linked to it in more of a "YES I KNOW ABOUT XKCD STOP LINKING ME TO THIS DAMNIT" way (although he did admit to liking it, QUELLE HORROR).

    by the way Carl this comment form is still pissing me the fuck off with no copy-paste and now I can't even use the damn CURSOR KEYS, what the fuck is up with that Carl?

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  40. please direct your hatred to this finely crafted and elegant link. http://xkcdsuckscommentboxsucks.blogspot.com/

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  41. Is it just me, or does the little prince of this comic strip look more like a lemming than a human?

    In fact, judging from the body proportions of the little prince figure, he looks more like a gangly teenager than a little boy.

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  42. I hope the guest post doesn't go to great lengths to try to make up ridiculous "flaws" to mock, because so far all the attempts at dissecting and overanalysing were truly awful. If there's one highly distressing thing in it, it's the alt text. Okay, unfortunate crossover fanfic surely deserve jokes, but it clearly sounds like Randall is explaining the references to those who didn't get it.
    Matter of fact I didn't get the ref at first, but fortunately, I got it before checking the alt text. I think it was the flower that tipped me off, I don't remember. When I got it, I merely felt like laughing (I didn't laugh because I'm in the workplace), and I don't find it depressing. I don't think Randall was trying to be serious, really -- at least I hope so!
    Yeah, I count this as one of the 'good' recent strips; it was enough to make me forget about the last one (thankfully).

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  43. "Bah, funny reviews make up flaws to mock."
    "Bah, serious reviews are boring."

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  44. I'm not sure if it has been pointed out yet, but xkcd already referenced Little Prince in the alt-text once:

    http://xkcd.com/2/

    I think the latest comic would've been funnier if it was actually the tree-asteroid that was flying towards the Earth. It would be like a meta-reference, which is very xkcd-ish.

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  45. Yikes, guys.

    The Little Prince is a 'fairy tale' about a pilot who crashes in the desert, and hallucinates that he's traveling with this little kid to different planets, learning lessons about what matters in life and what doesn't, and how people can get so wrapped up in the situation at hand that they miss out on life. Ultimately, the kid dies, your high school french teacher gets choked up and ends class early.

    The joke revolves around NASA getting wound up to nuke the Little Prince. It only works if you know the book, and you're conned into the asteroid-blow-up story, only to recognize LP in the last panel. It's funny, because he's an ambassador of warmth and good will, and, whoops, we've got a history of blowing things up and asking questions later. Likewise... The flower, the volcanos, and the goofy hair are imagery from the book; I don't think claiming Randall sucks because you didn't immediately identify the reference is his fault.

    Sorry that the Little Prince, translated into a million languages and read by millions of squishy hearted people (and the theme of a bar in DC) is not in the Interhate canon...

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  46. Thanks for explaining what everybody already knew.

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  47. Unfortunately, the artwork fails the reference. As it is drawn, an alternate story/punchline is suggested. The man in panel 3 looks like he is a robot cyclops, and is introduced directly after the woman remarks that a robot has planted the nukes. Cut to the final panel, and a dude is standing on the asteroid looking pretty doomed. Did the robot switch places with the man out of a need for self-preservation? Hm, that is pretty funny. Oh wait, the alt-text is telling me what the joke is supposed to be. "The Little Prince"? Wikipedia says it's a famous novel from the '40s. Okay, we're back to Saturday morning cartoon territory.

    Everyone who knows about The Little Prince probably went "Ohh it's the Little Prince!" and felt a light excitement. That's called "referencing". Referencing triggers a natural childhood emotion that makes you feel good when you recognize a cultural icon out of context. Because of this, referencing is a cheap gimmick to make your comic seem interesting, as it's easy to do and works independently of the overall content. It's lens-flare for story writing, and as such, is a sign of a terrible product.

    Honestly, the robot-switches-places story that I thought was going on would have been 10x better than this.

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  48. Kirk linked to my blog! :D

    *sniff* And I thought no one cared...

    (By the way, you can copypaste and scroll and all that good stuff if you click "Preview" and then close the little preview frame thing. I don't know why, but it seems to work.)

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  49. You know, now that I look at it, this version of the little prince looks a lot like the shamwow guy. And I would be fine putting him on an asteroid and nuking him.

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  50. "The artwork fails the reference"

    Bullshit. The picture represented in the fourth panel is the single most iconic picture from Le Petit Prince - Randall didn't need to do a good job to make it clear what it is. He's got a guy standing on a little planet with a tiny volcano and a rose. THAT IS THE LITTLE PRINCE. Sure, if you haven't read the book you're not going to get it. But if you have, and ESPECIALLY if you're going to claim that you have a photographic memory (no offense, Amanda), you can't expect me to believe you don't get it.

    Secondly, it's not fair to label this as JUST a reference; the Little Prince's presence is actually a part of the joke. It wouldn't work if you just had some dude standing on an asteroid; it only works with the Prince because, as 8:34 said, he is "an ambassador of warmth and good will" or whatever. The joke is a result of the juxtaposition of the connotations of each reference, not of the references themselves.

    Not that that makes it particularly good.

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  51. Steve I have taken your comments to be the most grievous offence on this here Internet. We are no longer friends, okay?

    The thing is, Randall's Little Prince (oh god that is just not a good mental image there) does not look like the little prince. There is a little flower, yes. Also a volcano. But just because you have this vague little outline of what should come to mind doesn't mean you should know based on that shittastic hobo-next-to-a-lump-in-the-ground drawing that it's the little prince. Just like if you see a fish that looks like a jesusfish with a stripe through it, in a fish tank with a starfish and a few other fish that look really similar, you won't automatically think of Nemo (well, maybe you will--I am trying really hard to think of a more iconic scene anyway).

    Also, Carl: I keep meaning to say this and then I keep forgetting. I like the placeholder idea, but when you actually put up a post could you post a comment also and say something like "post is updated"? Unless that is too much work.

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  52. Nuffin' against the shamwow guy. He uses his money to fight scientology

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  53. "Bah, funny reviews make up flaws to mock."
    "Bah, serious reviews are boring."

    Since when reviews need to be complete bullshit in order to be funny?

    Also, regarding references: there's hardly anything worse than making humour solely on references, but that doesn't mean references themselves are necessarily bad! References are used everywhere, and sometimes they're used *well*, that is, when they're not there just for the "coolness" factor. Randall definitely has been falling on the "reference = geeky cool" trap very often ("The only winning move is not to play"? ARRRGH, the pain), but this time around? The Little Prince, except from the illiterates who never heard about it (sarcasm!), is pretty much universally known, and the joke is constructed in a way that links the two ideas very well. It didn't feel contrived like the "Analysing love" one felt.
    You may disagree, but going around criticising references as being mandatorily bad is WAY too cheap.

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  54. Oh, I thought of an example of a joke where explaining it doesn't make it less funny: Good satire. Christopher Guest films and Stephen Colbert become more funny the more you know about the subject material they're satirizing and how they're deliberately exaggerating it.

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  55. I got about excited about seeing the Little Prince + Deep Impact reference as I would had it been spraying Agent Orange on the 100 Acre Woods or fucking pointing out that the rolly thing from Shel Silverstein's "The Missing Piece" totally looks like Pac-Man. See? That even sounds like an xkcd comic-- You got the missing piece guy rolling around then some ghosts or Mrs Pac-Man come and fuck his shit up or something. Just because I randomly pull some book reference out my twat and throw in some sci-fi or nerdy twist doesn't make it funny or clever.

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  56. I think Randall should write an electric skateboard/Rocket Power crossover.

    WICKED BEEF, SQUIDMEISTER!

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  57. Oh no Amanda, what do I need to do to make us friends again? If it is hating xkcd then I will totally do it! But it will have to wait until Wednesday.

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  58. Angry Little Girls shamelessly references Peanuts in the character designs, using referencing as a shortcut to create easily-recognized characters. Without Peanuts, we wouldn't have Angry Little Girls. Yet this form referencing isn't so bad, as there is a product after the reference that people can enjoy.

    XKCD is notorious for referencing everything that Randall realizes has a following (to the point where his fans must update the reference's Wikipedia entry after each comic). 618 takes the popularity of The Little Prince and points at it...there is nothing there after the reference. The resulting product seems to be "The Little Prince is a sign of goodwill and exploration, and America is totally against all that." What makes this a particularly bad form of referencing is that Randall needs a second reference to shortcut that sentiment into the comic. The alt-text confirms this (and actually brought it to my attention).

    What little enjoyment that can be gained from this comic is the small thrill of recognition, which is a cheap way to entertain an audience. I say this because there is no product after the references.

    References are like a dramatic pause. Used properly, they can add a great deal to an already excellent product. When used in excess, you're left with nothing but dead air. In the case of 618, we're left with the latter.

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  59. Plus, even if "Humans are so quick to destroy even messengers of peace and understanding" IS his message, it's totally ruined by the fact that nobody realized that the Prince was there. It's like if in The Day the Earth Stood Still, instead of Klaatu announcing his beneficence immediately, remained holed up in his spaceship and waved nukes around.

    Humans annihilating an imminent, insapient threat is a completely different thing from humans annihilating a messenger of peace and understanding.

    So, we have to read the message somewhat differently: Think of all the times humans have destroyed things of great beauty because they didn't take the time to understand what they were truly dealing with.

    Which is, I suppose, a decent enough message. Too bad you have to get past two layers of dead references and a red herring interpretation to get to it. Also too bad there's still no joke or anything that hasn't been said for like eighty years in more lucid, eloquent forms.

    Yes, I am complaining that Randall is late to the party. I resent people who incompetently repeat messages that are both old and widely available in superior wording.

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  60. Steve, I don't know how I could ever forgive you. Okay wait you are forgiven. Just don't make me mad again, it might take me a whole day to re-friend you then.

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  61. Mal - I am real happy that you referenced Christopher Guest. His movies are great, and are certainly better the more you know about the material (they are also terrifyingly more accurate and less exaggerated). But the king of this concept, as far as what I have read, is John Hodgman. Read "The Areas of My Expertise" (that advice goes out to all of you); he has jokes in there that are crazy obscure. They are funny on their own, but if you know what he's taking about you stop and go "wait, did he just reference some obscure fact about antartic geography that only three other people in the world know?" It's crazy.

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  62. Also The Big Lebowski is still funny even if you explain what it's about, what it's an affectionate parody of, et cetera.

    Wow, I guess it's only crappy comedy that gets ruined when you explain it.

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  63. Actually The Big Lebowski is more funny (funnier, whatever) when you know what it's about. I watched it the first time going in cold.

    I hated it so much.

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  64. I have to say that if you don't know about Antarctic geography, something marginally unpleasant deserves to happen to you, like you get your thumb caught in a door, your lights break or the next film you rent out is subtitled in Esperanto. It's not even that hard. Most of it's ice.

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  65. who cares if it's subtitled? just ignore them. the worse thing is if it has been dubbed poorly.

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  66. Actually, Antartica has a diverse geography that just happens to be covered by ice. But don't worry, we'll get rid of that stuff soon enough.

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  67. I see your poor dubbing and raise you a Shatner.

    (I actually own this on DVD. Their Esperanto is awful, if you're wondering.)

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  68. Amanda: I mean Steve Buscemi isn't emptying minigun clips on the surface of the asteroid. Everyone couples up and stares at the horizon instead.

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  69. Meh, I got the Little Prince reference but I still thought it sucked.

    Off topic: maybe I'll get sick of it eventually, but isn't SMBC like a gazillion-times-better version of xkcd?

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  70. He did do a graph joke recently. It was actually pretty funny.

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  71. My inner nerd was criticizing the fuck out of the SMBC graph comic because of all the ways in which it wasn't a valid graph but it was still infinitely better than any graph joke xkcd has ever done.

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  72. Even if the graph isn't valid (I don't think either of the axes should be measured in delta form, since it's not the change in certainty he's measuring), I really liked a lot of the lines in it.

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  73. I tend to like most SMBCs. For as many comics as he produces, most are pretty good.

    xkcd is probably the only comic that I generally hate most of them. I would have stopped reading it if not for this blog.

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  74. Yeah, the delta thing is what annoyed me, but also the lack of an X-axis descriptor. Really it seems like it should have been Certainty vs. Extistentialism, or maybe keep it as it is (aside from removing the "delta" symbols) and put "Worthlessness" on the X axis.

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  75. Say, did you know that the Little Prince Wikipedia page a link to today's XKCD existed until it was reverted? "Wikipedia is not advertising space for webcomics..." There's an editor on our side! History.

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  76. Note that Randall has seemingly never discouraged this endless Wikipedia vandalism, despite the fact that he is most assuredly aware of it.

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  77. I want my childhood back.

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  78. Hey.. guys... Randall just admitted to making the comics in a few minutes right before midnight. Really. Think about it.

    lol captcha is "unducks"

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  79. The little prince comic was just macabre...not funny...

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  80. Wow. Really, just wow.

    I left this blog for, what, a month? It hasn't been all that long since I stopped reading xkcd (and xkcdsucks, by extension) and yet, look. Rampant Stockholm syndrome has apparently developed in the comments, as evidenced by the cries of, "Wow, this Little Prince comic was actually pretty okay!" Either that, or you all have been so starved for humor that given the slightest morsel of familiarity, you mistake it for entertainment.

    Yes, I knew it was the Little Prince when I saw it. Yes, I have read the book before, in English, French, and Latin. (I would totally read it in Lojban, too, if they had such a thing. .i'aru'ero'a.) The picture he drew was fine. The reason it sucked was that it didn't say anything - or at least, it didn't say anything funny. Let me give you what this comic would look like in bash.org format:

    #618 +(-8325)- [X]
    <Randall> haha hey guys remember deep impact
    <Randall> that was a great movie
    <Randall> it would have been funny as hell if they nuked the asteroid when there were people on it
    <Randall> OH SHIT what if it was the little prince
    <carl> get the fuck out of here randall
    <Randall> remember that shit from elementary school
    <mouthbreather> hahaha
    <carl> what the fuck
    *** carl sets mode +b Randall*!*@*.*
    *** Randall has been kicked by carl (seriously shut up)

    There is literally nothing going on in this comic save for references to other works. That is the sum total here. (True, I still actively enjoy Dresden Codak, which often does the same thing to a fault - but at least the artist puts some fucking effort into the thing.)

    A month away from xkcd has not made me look on it with kindness. It also has not improved in the interim. It is still the same shit it has been for the past few hundred comics.

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  81. Tomical, old news. Every monday wednesday friday the xkcd fanboys start an editwar on wikipedia

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  82. This comic sucks. Not just this one in particular but the whole thing.

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  83. OK guys sorry I couldn't do the post yesterday, I was entertaining. However, I am writing it up RIGHT FUCKING NOW, OKAY?!!

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  84. I have to agree that all xckd has been nowadays is references, and for geekier people to be all like "hey, I know what he's talking about, haha!".

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  85. Hey, at least xkcd updates on time.

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  86. @Aisamanra - Dresden Codak is actually one of my personal pet peeve terrible comics, although part of that is the fact that I've actually been on a forum with Aaron Diaz and he was an insufferable jerk to me and everyone around me. But then part of it is that I just really, really, really hate Hob.

    I'm also obscenely jealous (in a very, very angry way) that he was able to make a living based on one comic every three weeks for nearly two years, and then was able to make several thousand dollars doing the print run of Hob.

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  87. Yeah, and now he's only posting comics every few MONTHS, although his last couple have been pretty decent. Still, I have to wonder if he's still doing cartooning full-time, or if he's just using that as part of his bullshit mystique.

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  88. Uh Anon8:17, did you entirely miss the post?

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  89. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/09/08/03/2344249/

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  90. man, even /we/ knew about this before this jackass noted it (did you all read the first reply thread hahahah)

    anyway what a waste of paper

    also i just realized that having xkcd toilet paper would be so funny

    CAPTCHA: nesses. we wipe our nesses up with xkcd toilet paper

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  91. basically what we have learned from summer of madness is to never leave carl a side note and hope he edits it out when you ask him to do so

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  92. ... worst rant ever

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  93. I read the little prince, and I still didn't get the reference until I read the alt-text. Further, there was no joke. He's nuking a child. How is this in any way funny? I like dead baby jokes and still found this grim. Gah.

    Now, what's this stuff about the Big Lebowski? I like that movie, but never knew there was anything deeper to it. Anyone care to enlighten me?

    captcha: lament - what I do every time Randall makes a reference in place of humour.

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  94. Mike, there was no joke in the alt-text. The only thing it did was tell people what the comic was about. I thought this comic sucked. Randy might have been trying this time- it at least had a comedic element, something unexpected. (How hard he was trying is another question.) But mostly it was just referencing two fictional works so that his fans would say 'OMG I saw Deep Impact 10 years ago and I read Little Prince 15 years ago! I GET IT!!!'

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  95. DANGIT. The Little Prince is actually GOOD. Randall does not get to make references.

    It's like that Calvin and Hobbes thing all over again. Sigh.

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  96. xkcd is licensed CC-by-NC, dude.

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  97. Justin, I know there wasn't a joke in the alt-text. I suppose I framed my sentence poorly. I was just saying that the reference didn't click until I read the alt-text. Then a new, separate thought was "There is no joke," unrelated to the alt-text specifically. Theoretically, it should have been a new paragraph, but I didn't feel like pressing the enter key after the little I'd typed.

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  98. Insensitive PersonAugust 4, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Man, nothing gets my goat like people who don't have the same cultural context as I do! I can only pray that God smites them down like he smites all of those unbaptized babies.

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  99. I don't get it. Why do y'all think this is supposed to be funny?

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  100. WOW NOBODY HAS EVER ASKED THAT BEFORE

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  101. i use internet explorer and have no problems here


    he is either crazy or using ie 8 (which is a bad idea) or any ie that isn't 7 (which is a bad idea)

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  102. anon 3:20: You should switch to Firefox. IE will force you to upgrade, and then you will be sad.

    On an unrelated note, I have no friends.

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  103. Just because you don't get something doesn't make it unfunny. Also, I have never seen Armageddon or Deep Impact, or read Little Prince, and I still got the joke. This whole blog is people making mountains out of molehills. Next time you want to call someone a hypocrite, remember what blog you write for. It reminds me of people who complain about British humour. Like I said, just because you don't get it, or care for that form of funny, doesn't mean it isn't funny or it isn't quality. Grow up and stop complaining that you don't get jokes written for an esoteric niche.

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  104. Wow, nobody has said that one before either! We are on a roll with the cutting, unique insights that we certainly have never been confronted with already and aren't addressed in the FAQ!

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  105. if only these questions were asked more frequently, I might make a page of such "often made queries", or OMQs. But they aren't! So I don't know what to do.

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  106. Wow. Dude who wrote the actual XKCDSucks article was a total fucking dumbass or a troll, because... Wow. Just wow.

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  107. Would you like to elaborate on that or not?

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  108. Ok, didn't get the reference, my bad. But did anyone else who didn't get the reference think the asteroid looked like a giant boob? Anyone?

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  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  110. I don't think the review was too bad, but it was filled with nonsense. The Penny Arcade strip? It was just a commentary -- not a criticism! -- on how it's made specifically for people who have sufficient knowledge on video games (target audience!!), no matter how obscure it may be. Obscurity, ya see? HOW OBSCURE IS THE LITTLE PRINCE, man? But, really, what's with that paragraph before the closing line? Either that was (badly executed) irony, or you really have no clue. ANY "meteor" disaster film would have worked, but he only namedropped "Deep Impact" to make the (pretty worthless) title text work (the similarities between the first three panels and Deep Impact are almost none at all).
    The commentary about the reference, once again, makes no sense. The reference is not just "a passing commentary" in the comic: it is THE PUNCHLINE. Not only that, but it's not the reference that is awkwardly squeezed into the comic, but the joke itself is constructed around it. I can say the same thing about the "Analysing Love" comic, yet I found that one awful.
    I can understand why one wouldn't like the strip at all, but I believe the problem was not in the execution, but in the idea itself. It was executed quite decently... okay, the dialogue in the third panel is atrocious, and not even the "I had to fit a lot in a very small space" justification does much good. "Hooray!" "We are heroes!" is a pretty silly way to celebrate the saving of the whole planet.

    Rushed art? Okay, that's a plausible explanation. But it doesn't help either.

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  111. This "Wow. Just wow" language needs to stop or the Internet is going to grind to a halt while everyone glues their hands to their Picardesque heads.

    Try a "thesaurus-palm" next time.

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  112. I'm not sure what's dumber really, the comic or these recent Anons.

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  113. Mike: Yeah, I mistunderstood you. I reread what you wrote and it makes sense now. I first thought you said that you didn't get the alt-text.
    Like you, when I saw the last panel, I didn't get what it was supposed to be until I read the alt-text either. That's what you get when you don't draw.

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  114. Meh. Ok review. Not worth the wait.

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  115. This one was pretty bad, but OH WOW COMIC 619 SUCKS BEYOND ALL BELIEF. Good job, Randy, you're griping about something that almost every other Linux user is griping about on just about every distribution's forums/lists. I absolutely cannot wait for the review of 619... Let the anger fly.

    -- Long-time Linux user.

    P.S. for those who actually give a shit enough to investigate solutions for the Intel graphics issue instead of whining: If you use Arch Linux, which usually has the latest builds of everything, or Gentoo, which lets you build whatever the hell you want, you'll notice that the Intel graphics chipset support is becoming pretty nice. Unfortunately, the intel devs removed XAA acceleration, which was producing extremely smooth video, 3D graphics, etc. on my machine, to make way for the new UXA architecture. But if you go back a few revisions, you can easily get excellent 3D and video performance. If you're reading this, Randall, I sincerely hope you give it a try and do some research because no matter what Ubuntu says, Linux will always be for those who like to investigate their own problems.

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  116. As a cracked writer, I'd just like to say; fuck you, for comparing us with xkcd, you dipshit.

    Also, check the 'Worst Webcomic' thread on cracked's forums. XKCD gets a mention. I guarantee we're not in league with Randall.

    Up yours,

    Sloth

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  117. I agree, I like cracked, but I hate xkcd.

    Also, internet explorer? Really?

    IE users like to use the "what do you care what browser I use, you obnoxious dipshit?" argument, but it fails because I'm a webdesigner and I have to deal with this shitpiece of a browser. There are two kinds of people, the ones that use IE because they don't know better, and people who use it consciously. And I hate the second kind more because it feels like they are consciously causing me work.

    But enough about browsers, the review itself, meh. It was ok, I guess. Better than the guy doing the interview with Beret man.

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  118. Oh and yeah, the latest comic. It was bullshit. The fact that it's simply not very true has already been commented on - but I want to focus on the humor. It's interchangible.

    "Oh hey I just fixed the leak in the roof"
    "Yeah that's great, but when are you going to fix the alligator attacks?"
    "who wants that?"

    Yeah, I know. It's not funny, but neither is the latest xkcd. This is the kind of thing you would see on a sitcom. A bad sitcom. I am telling you guys and I will not stop telling you, xkcd is turning into a sitcom.


    SITCOM SITCOM SITCOM

    Person #1 out

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  119. Is this "The Little PRince" thing an an american childrens book or something. I dont think I've ever heard of it before. Still I dont think you really need to know what the little prince is to get the 'joke' such as it is. The styling of the joke is similar ot the old perry bible fellowships.

    Does anyone thing that, once again, the third pannel is prety superfluous. OR at least the first line that basically repeats everything from the first two panels. The change from 'we're heroes' to blowing up the kid is of course the joke.

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  120. @Person #1
    I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE BETTER THAN THE GUY DOING THE INTERVIEW WITH BERET MAN
    I'd like to thank my parents, my friends, and everyone who supported me and...
    Oh it's just too much! I love you all!

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  121. I never watched Deep Impact. I never read the Little Prince. I still found this comic hilarious.

    (Note: I do know what the Little Prince is. Just never read it).

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  122. I know a guy who refuses to make his website work with IE. "Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer."

    Also, Cracked is awesome.

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  123. This post sucks. Who is this talentless guest writer?

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  124. Frogwarrior, I can't blame him. Not one bit.

    My father uses IE. He's pretty tech-savvy too. He knows about Opera, firefox and all those browsers. He even tried chrome. But he still uses IE.

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  125. NOOO USE FIREFIX BECAUSE I HAVE NO FRIENDS

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  126. @Person #1

    "And I hate the second kind more because it feels like they are consciously causing me work."


    *bows*

    then i have fufilled my purpose in life

    being an irritable, ie using, anonymous misanthrope

    thank you


    captcha: triall

    i found it funny somehow

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  127. To be fair most people know what The Little Prince is even if they never read it.

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