Monday, October 12, 2009

Comic 648: Dead Leaves

So here boy and girl stick have arrived at the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Camera...

Er. So here boy and girl stick have filled the Grand Canyon with leaves in order to have a leaf pile-jumping session of of epic proportions...

Alright, I know it's considered impertinent to criticize the art in xkcd, and I suppose it's nice that Randall is putting in a little effort here. However, it took me more than a few moments to figure out what that huge orange blob was. Even looking at it now, knowing what it is, it still looks more like a giant pile of leaves to me than a mountainside covered with trees.

Sadly, the comic is nothing as interesting as even a shoehorned LotR reference. Stick girl wants to take pictures of pretty fall leaves; Stick boy, for some reason, feels compelled to ruin the moment by pointing out you could get the same effect in Photoshop.

So, who pissed in this guy's Cheerios? This basically falls into xkcd's standard pitfall of "Randall dreams up random shit no one in real life would ever say, hijinks ensue." Really, nobody would say this, even if just for the fact that the damned hue slider in photoshop doesn't work that way.

He also makes the classic blunder of putting the only thing approaching a joke in the alt-text. Seriously! Have the girl say that snappy little comeback IN the strip, instead of "hush." Then you can have the alt be "BITCH, oh no you didn't!" and then maybe in another panel they can do a dance-off, and he can pimp-slap her, and then she can fall off the cliff and he can scream "YOU GOT SERVED" and Kanye can be like "imma let you finish" and maybe some owls ooh they're cute and also...


  1. Let me put it out there for the record that I actually like this comic. Lets see how long this lasts.

  2. Fedoras of Passion: Love, Lust, and Webcomics
    Randall “XKCD” Munroe and Aaron “Dresden Codak” Diaz slash fiction
    Idea by Sodavich/Hipster Scumbag
    Written by Dr. Pwn
    “Ughh... fuck”
    Randall Munroe's mouth tasted like balls. He'd had so much fun replacing his couch with a ball pit that he decided to do the same to his bed. It was a nightmare. The plastic balls that seemed so soft during the day ground into him at night, causing painful bruising. He was a 23 year old jobless post-adult having his internal organs pulverized into a thick soup by a children's' sandbox frame full of playpen balls. Also, he was very horny
    “Oh god. The dream again.”
    The dream. It was always the dream. His hand traced down his chest towards the rock hard erection straining against his ironic Fairly Odd-parents pajama bottoms, Cosmo conspiratorially winking at him as he adjusted, nay, fondled his aching length. Those eyes...
    NO! His hand warped back to the neutral zone at superluminal velocities. He would not debase himself like this, especially not in front of his loyal EEE PC hamster ball pet. Seeing his shame reflected in its unblinking USB webcam eye would simply be too much.
    He cast his eyes up to the ceiling.
    “Kimi—“ his breath halted as he realized his mistake. Guilty shame aerosolized acid on his breath, he tried again.
    “What is it, my darling?” the ceiling responded.
    “A cold shower and breakfast for one, please.”
    “No prob, honey. You're so awesome.” the computer responded instantly. After regular access every single day of its 500+ day uptime, this sequence was chiseled into its RAM.
    Hanging his head under the cascade of icy cold water, Randall almost missed the dimming and flickering of the lights that signaled that his breakfast would be ready soon. This was his favorite part of the day.
    He flung himself out of the shower with reckless abandon as the room's speakers crackled to life. It's true that the conditions in the bathroom required him to replace them every couple of weeks, but they were worth every penny.
    “Mighty Morphin' Power Raaaaangers!” he screamed as he toweled off, vigorously see-sawing the towel through his hair in time with the guitar solo. He always got extra pumped at this part. On went the flooding, beltless umber trousers that clung to his misshapen secretaries' hips like a second skin. On went the blindingly white crew socks that slouched around his spindly ankles. Last, but not least, on went the loose tent of a T-shirt. Today's flavor: No More Raptors. His transformation completed, Randall Munroe felt like a new man. No. A super-man. A webcomics success story with no equal. He strode to the table with the light yet sure steps of a winner.

    The hash table was his own invention. Potatoes put in the heap would be cut and pealed before being forced through a grid of electrified high-resistance wire. The resulting hash would land in a heat-resistant ceramic bucket and be immediately consumed by him. It's true that consuming nothing but hash loses its luster after the first few meals, and it's true that his gums were getting a little spongy and the bruises from his bed didn't heal as fast as they used to, but still, it was just so cool!
    A loud crash broke him from his reverie. The machine accidentally fed through two potatoes at once which were both trying to occupy the same volume as they were forced through the screen.
    “Oh shit!” A hash collision!”
    Randall dived sideways to the safe haven of his ball couch seconds before the has table exploded like a bomb, sending each strand of the heated mesh whipping across the room, scoring burning marks into the walls, ball chairs, and the top layer of Randall's hastily improvised ball sanctuary.

  3. oh aloria


    how i love thee

    captcha: recepe. anon's odd randallfic is quite the recepe for vomit.

  4. As the machine's destructive cacophony quieted, Randall let out a breath he forgot he had been holding. Maybe it was his insistence on building the machine from overpriced household parts wholly unsuited for the purposes of his project. Maybe it was his lack of real world engineering knowledge or experience. Whatever the case, the machine had malfunctioned again. This time it almost cost him his life. No matter. He would rebuild. 21 wire whisks, five 900 watt power supplies, some ceramic bowls, a dremel...
    “Randy! The numbers are in!” Mandy interjected, snapping her owner out of his reverie.
    Randall leaped from his multicolored plastic sanctuary, scattering still-smoldering plastic balls in his wake.
    “Update the GPS. I'm heading out.” Randall pronounced.
    “Right on! Have fun out there!” Mary enthusiastically replied.
    Randall dashed towards the door. Messenger bag, iPod touch, electric skateboard, his preexisting ensemble, and a new fedora on top to tie it all together. Wheels touch the pavement, Voodoo People blasting through the headphones, fuck. Yes.
    “This is what you get, motherfucker! This is what you get!” Cory Doctorow drove his black New Balance 574s into the executive's face with every syllable. The suit's pleading cries reduced to gurgled yelps as his lungs strained to push oxygen past his broken nose and bloodied mouth. Cory picked up the pace, timing his stomps to Creative Commons music pounding in his headphones. John Holowach. Kickin' tunes. Heh. He had less than a minute to stomp this guy to death before security got suspicious. Maybe next time he would croudsource this poo poo, bring some friends along.
    The suit gave a last gasp as his skull collapsed like the revenue streams of the independent internet radio stations he had crushed under his own regulatory boots. Maybe that wasn't his last gasp. Maybe it was just a death rattle caused by his skull caving in. Cory wasn't quite sure. Stomping people to death is an inexact science. Oh well. He'd study the tape when he got home. Now for the cleanup: Spit on what's left of suit's face? Check. Grab pocket video recorder from desk? Check. Appropriate suit's wallet? (He wouldn't be needing it anymore.) Check. Now to walk out like nothing happene-
    “What the gently caress just happened in here?! Hands on your head! Now!” The security guard and his partner were not pleased. Somebody spread their boss across his office like jelly on toast. One trained his gun on the bespectacled nerd who just happened to be at the scene of the crime, rifling through the victim's wallet and the other reached for a radio.
    Cory threw himself across the room. Left arm around the neck, right hand around the gun, ???, profit. With one guard dead at his feet and the other shaking like a leaf in the sights of his erstwhile partner's gun, his bargaining position had significantly improved.
    “Drop the radio, rent-a-cop.”

  5. Riding was always one of Randall's favorite activities. The wind against his face and the indignant pedestrians inconvenienced by his ridiculous choice of transportation always lulled him into an introspective reverie. He used to wear a porkpie hat, but bought a fedora on a whim. It made him look more distinguished, the thought.
    *Ping* Randall's GPS device chimed as Mary wirelessly updated it with a new waypoint. Mary Sue was his finest creation. She shared all of his interests, was always super helpful, and would always listen to his musings without finding an excuse to leave. She was perfect. Mostly perfect, anyway. Lately, that just hadn't been enough. Their interactions had seemed hollow. It was all her fault! Those mischievous, slightly maddened eyes glittering like the spires of R'lyeh ensconced in the black deep, warm, welcoming lips quirked into an ever-present wry smirk, and fluffy purple hoodie carelessly draped over hunched shoulders had reduced his most loved and trusted companion to little more than cruel parody of the companion he'd never have.
    Then again, that's what geohashing is for! Given a random location each day and enough time, surely someone would show up who could fill the aching hole in his heart! Little did Mr. Munroe know, but that day had arrived, and that person was waiting for him beside a tepid slew near the I-95. It was a muggy, overcast day, clouds heavy with the promise of rain, but that didn't stop a dozen or so dedicated Munroemaniacs from setting up shop and handing out achievement pins to those who didn't already have a full sash.
    “Why are all of my fans fat, lifeless nerds?” Randall wondered. This was less like the spontaneous gathering of hip, happening youngsters he expected and more like a whale suicide beach. Before the icy hands of despair could once again crush his heart into submission, a friendly salutation shook him out of his reverie.
    “Hey Randy! Fancy meeting you here!” Aaron Diaz majestically strode in his direction, a snappily dressed life preserver bobbing in a sea of disfigured, marshmallowy behemoths. Occasionally one would breach the surface of matted, oily, unwashed hair to scream an internet meme to the rest of the pack.
    Randall fainted.
    Diaz shook him awake. “Hey buddy, what happened?”
    “Auto-mimetic failsafe.” They began walking to the periphery of the gathering. “My brain shuts itself off whenever I come close to thinking abou-”
    Randall fainted, smashing his head against a bench on the way down.
    The world flitted in and out of his grasp, swimming in a churning sea of blur. Finally, something came into focus. Those eyes! Those magnificent onyx pools from which intelligence shone as light from the brightest star. Those lips, almost close enough to kiss, caressing, fondling his name as it fell from her lips in panicked gasps. He held onto those features with all of his mental might and used them to pull himself back to reality.
    “Kimiko?” He sat up, cradling his head. “Don't worry. I'm fine.”
    Randall slowly withdrew his head from his hands and turned haltingly to the left. Aaron looked lost, his unfocused eyes staring into the distance, a hint of a smile on his face. “Oh god. I... I... Dres, I..” Randall stammered. Just then, heaven's firehoses opened up on the human garbage infesting the embankment, snapping the webcomics legends from their embarrassed reveries.
    Blinking through the rain, Aaron was the first to speak. “We've got to get out of here. Do you have transport?”
    “Only my skateboard.” Randall replied, glad for the change in subject.

  6. “Is there room for two on there?” Aaron asked, smiling.
    “Only one way to find out.” Randall replied, turning so Aaron wouldn't see his blush.
    Getting on the skateboard was easy, Randall thought. All he had to do was move his stance forwards a little to allow Aaron space to stand. The difficult part was paying attention while riding. Aaron's warm body was squeezed into his own by the man's arms wrapped around his midsection and the hot breath ghosting over his ear constantly threatened to drive him to distraction. He couldn't get it out of his head, now, how similar the Zeus behind him was to the glorious Athena that haunted his dreams.
    “Turn left here!” Aaron shouted over the downpour, his tight embrace the only thing keeping the two rain-soaked bodies from slipping away from each other with the slightest change in momentum. “Okay, here we are!”
    Aaron and Randall ran in from the street, their clothes soaked. They sprinted through the soaked lobby, jumped into the soaked elevator, peered through their dripping bangs to find the button for the 13th floor, and walked through the 13th floor hallway. By this time their clothes had soaked themselves out and were just wet, cold, and uncomfortable. They found it. Room 37, floor 13. 1337. Fuck. Yes.
    “Rest here. I'll slip into something more comfortable and see if I can get you out of those soaking things.” Aaron left to the bathroom while Randall sat down on his bed. It was a bed! A real bed! He let himself fall backwards onto the Yugioh comforter. It was so comfortable.
    “I hope Dres doesn't think I'm some kind of creep.” He said to himself.
    “Why would I think that?”
    Randall threw back to a sitting position, his blood rushing to his face before it realized that it had more important places to be. Standing in the doorway was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen.
    An unruly purplish-black mop of hair peaked out from under the hood of a purple-white two tone hooded sweatshirt that not quite reached a low hanging pair of Walmart jeans that offered tantalizing glimpses of skin whenever he shifted position. Supporting this tower of purple heaven was a pair of charmingly frayed red Chucks.
    “Aaron? W... w... w-” Randall stammered.
    “Ssh.” Aaron replied, putting a finger to Randall's lips, “Call me Kimiko.”
    “B... but, A-”
    “Ah-ah. What did I say?” teased Kimiko, crawling onto the bed, straddling Randall, and grinding his hardness into the confused boy's through thin layers of denim and khaki.
    “Ah! Kimiko!” Randall gasped.
    “That's better.” Kimiko said as he drew closer, “Much better.”
    Their eyes locked, Kimiko closed the centimeters between them, and Randall Munroe, webcomics legend, had his first kiss ever. His arms instinctively wrapped around Kimiko's neck as he drowned in his IRL-best-friend-cum-fictional-character's passionate embrace. Their kiss deepened, Kimiko's tongue forcing its way into his mouth, dancing with his own. Losing his balance to Kimiko's heated advances, he fell backwards, pulling the purple vixen along with him.
    The burning in their lungs finally equaling the burning of their hearts, Randall and Kimiko disengaged, panting.
    “Wow.” Randall said, after he regained his breath.
    “I'll say.” replied Kimiko, exploring Randall's body with his hands, cradling the brunette's face in his hands before edging downwards and placing kisses down Randall's exposed neck and roughly tweaking his saggy nerd moobs, causing him to gasp. Rubbing Munroe's slight paunch, Kimiko continued edging backwards, his eyes on the prize.
    “Randy?” he queried, running an index finger up and down Randall's zipper, “What do you know about this whole 'sex' tomfoolery?”

  7. I didn't even realise it was supposed to be trees till you mentioned it, I thought it was a big pile of leaves.

    I'm not sure who this reflects worse on!

  8. Randall's eyes popped wide “N... Nothing much,” he gasped “I mean, I think this kind, between you and me is different, but...” He lost coherency as Kimiko nuzzled his already inflamed manhood through his pants.
    “Maybe we should look it up then.” Kimiko said, a mischievous smile stretching his features. Urging Randall to sit up again, he kneeled on the floor between the shocked brunette's legs, extricated Randall's iPod touch from his front pocket, and tossed it to him. “Check Wikipedia. You know the wireless password.” he said dismissively before going back to more important matters.
    Randall Munroe was experiencing pure torture. He could barely keep the iPod straight, much less press the tiny buttons. Kimiko had redoubled his efforts to excite him and had just unbuttoned his pants. He made it to before the sound of his pants unzipping derailed his train of thought. The feeling of Kimiko's warm, wet tongue caressing his rock hard length through the thin cotton layer of his briefs nuked his train of thought from orbit. He could barely focus on the screen through the fog of his own lust, his involuntary moans drowning out the noise of his previously ordered thoughts.
    “Are you too distracted to finish your research?” Kimiko cocked an eyebrow, “Maybe we should take a breather. I wouldn't want to overstress you so soon.” he teased.
    “N-No.” Randall gasped, “I've got it.”
    “Really? Let's hear it.” Kimiko responded, freeing Randall's turgid length from it's cotton prison, his hot breath ghosting over the tip.
    “Directions from WikiHowww.” he moaned, “All we need is the personal lubricant.”
    “Very interesting. Where are we supposed to find this lubricant? Do you really want to go out into the rain again?” Kimiko queried, loosely sliding his fingers up and down Randall's aching erection
    “C-Croudsourcing!” he gasped “Independent bottom-up grassroots contractors working in parallel to provide us the best solution the fastest.”
    “That's what I love about you, Randy. You're so smart.” Kimiko remarked with a seductive purr, “Looks like someone earned a reward.”
    Kimiko grabbed the hood of his purple hooded sweatshirt and wrapped it around Randall's weeping erection before squeezing and roughly jerking his hand back and forth. Randall moaned and clawed at the sheets, the soft fleece caressing his cock driving him to madness. Kimiko cooed as he played with Randall's balls, causing him to spasm. Yes, these were definitely more fun than the ones in his apartment.
    “Ah! Kimikooooo!” Randall screamed as he released, his seed splashing over his lover's ever-present smirk and raised eyebrow.
    Just then a crash sounded from the living room. Kimiko went to investigate, leaving Randall lying like a puppet with its strings cut. In the living room, Kimiko found a tube of lubricant tied to a brick that had somehow been launched 13 floors up to his living room. “Hm. I guess croudsourcing really is the way of the future” he said, staring disconcertingly at the reader of these words.
    “Oh Randyyy” he called, returning to the bedroom “It's time to turn the tables and impress me with your manly charms!” Kimiko removed his shoes before flopping down at the head of the bed and undoing his jeans.
    “How did he know?” Randall wondered, hesitantly crawling towards the head of the bed but stopping to help Kimiko remove his tight jeans. He reached to help his lover remove his ejaculate-stained hoodie.
    “No.” said Kimiko with a naughty, conspiratorial look, “Leave it on.”
    Randall's length returned to full hardness at that pronouncement, he could tell that his lover was similarly excited. He grasped his raven-haired lover's hand.

  9. I probably should have added an NSFW warning in there somewhere.

  10. Couldn't you have just linked to the original story anon?

  11. I lost the link :(

  12. So yeah if somebody could delete those last few posts that'd be great.

  13. Or at least edit in a warning. If that's possible. I don't know how this place's software works.

  14. What the !@#$ is going on??

  15. the alt-text makes it a "all my relationships seem to end in despair" comic, does it not?

  16. "weeping erection".

    That is all.

    Oh yeah, and:

  17. Can we just disable anonymous commenting now?

  18. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea to me.

  19. "Cory threw himself across the room. Left arm around the neck, right hand around the gun, ???, profit. With one guard dead at his feet and the other shaking like a leaf in the sights of his erstwhile partner's gun, his bargaining position had significantly improved."

    Hahahaha, wow. You just can't make that kind of writing up.


    Uh, hang on, I'm not making any sense.

    CAPTCHA: Whali. EEVAAAAA!!!!

  20. captain tacos (the lesser)October 12, 2009 at 7:48 PM

    I agree with Jonathan: I was also unaware until Aloria's post that it wasn't a big pile of leaves.

  21. If you look close to the cliff you can see it.

  22. I interpreted "from when you looked happy" to be a line by the guy, not the girl. That makes it another item in the all-my-relationships-end-in-failure category.

  23. Wait, those were trees? I thought that they were visiting an active volcano and that was the lava *feels stupid now*

    And that photoshop comment bothered me SO much. Burn tool would have been more accurate. Actually, I had assumed that he meant the burn tool and it was a joke about how you can use the burn tool to make lava and that the joke got ruined because he used the wrong tool in photoshop by accident.

    I feel sad now for having given him too much credit.

  24. But why would that comment (the title-text) be about the failure of their relationship or something? Nothing in the comic seems to indicate that this is a big rift in their relationship. It's just one person grumbling about trekking out to see nature, about which he clearly doesn't care very much, but there is no indication that this is break-up material or that the girl has inexplicably descended into depths of depression.

  25. “Kimiko “Thunderbolt” Sarai Kusanagi Ross, would you be my first?” he choked out.

    hahhahahhaahhah oh god make them STOP

    sam i do not understand your link

  26. I am drunk. Randall Munroe is dumb. I hate everything.

    These are all facts.

    Fuck trees.


    P.S. - Amanda is still the best

  27. P.S. - Amanda is still the beast

  28. Haha, I lost it at "hash collision", that was brilliant.

  29. Sam is it that you have a megan in your contacts?

    (also i now have the spring scape as my theme!)

  30. oh no Danny has found me out

    I am actually Randall Munroe.

  31. You are Randall Munroe and I claim my five pounds.

  32. Damn, I really thought those were piles of leaves. I even figured it was somehow supposed to be part of the joke.

  33. Whaaaa the heck? I came here for a review and got a free slash fic? The horror!

    Good job there, Aloria. I didn't have that much problem figuring the visuals, but I guess I see what you mean.

    "Randall dreams up random shit no one in real life would ever say, hijinks ensue."

    And sometimes hijinks doesn't ensue. Such as this time. Which makes it dull...

    I still praise the art, though, I hope Randall never get lazy again... :)

  34. Two observations:

    1) Aloria: It took you "more than a few moments" to decipher the art? Are you sure it wasn't 15 seconds? I want you to study the comic for 180 seconds and tell me that it seriously took you that long.

    2) Is it just me or does the alt text sound like a total ripoff of

  35. Anon 9:08: I was unaware that "moments" were a SI unit of measurement, a few of which is equivalent to 180 seconds.

  36. So, has aloria done the last two posts? The last two posts have been extremely weak. Perhaps this site should get some people who actually know how to criticize so they it doesn't seem like a site run by twelve-year-olds(Carl included).

  37. I think the "Posted by..." text at the bottom of each post might be a clue, but I am no Sherlock Holmes.

  38. "I am no Sherlock Holmes."


  39. DID YOU SEE THAT? You opened yourself up for a burn about not being Sherlock Holmes (implying that you're not smart, I think??), and the Cuddlefish just POUNCED on that opening.

    You probably are so humiliated from that burn that you will not make additional posts here. This makes sense, as it was a pretty good burn.

  40. Yeah. That was such a sick burn that I now look like Jacqueline Saburido. :(

  41. Wait, that was an insult about not being clever? I thought Aloria meant that she was not a fictional Victorian detective.

    Well I guess that makes me not Sherlock Holmes!

  42. For a moment, I thought they were at a garbage dump.

  43. this comment thread is quickly skyrocketing to the top of my favorite threads ever

  44. "So, has aloria done the last two posts?"

    If you don't know who has been posting any given review, then you have not been reading the blog posts.


  45. I am a fictional Victorian detective.


  47. It could of been a shot of the trees. Then text bubbles over it being all reminescent: "That was a nice time in the forest" "Too bad we didn't go this Autumn and you just decided to shift the hue in Photoshop"

  48. "You probably are so humiliated from that burn that you will not make additional posts here."

    Actually, my goal is not to shame aloria into not posting, but rather to point out that these posts could be better. I've said the same thing about Carl's posts several times. I agree with the idea of this site, it's just the execution that I find lacking.

  49. This comic is a one-liner, and not even a joke. It is a comparison, and can't serve as its own payoff.

    Make this one panel of a larger one. The guy compares fall to God playing with his hue slider (like a very nerd Calvin and Hobbes). The next panel is another nature thing, with a similar computer comparison. The rest of the panels get progressively weirder and farther from reality as God plays with stranger options that a computer picture program has.

    But as is, this sucks Randall.

  50. Ken that is a fantastic idea but it would require more work than Randall is willing to put into the comic.

  51. Prof. James MoriartyOctober 13, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    Fuck you Sherlock

  52. Really, "Who pissed in this guy's Cheerios?"

    I feel like we've crossed some kind of boundary when a post here criticizes something as being too mean-spirited.

  53. lolz, the whole blog is getting totally burninated by the furious anon. Too bad the anon can't stick for too long, because he has to run to tell the happy news at the xkcd forum and have a collective wank with his homies.

  54. Awwwww hell, Aloira, you got burned like Thích Quảng Đức.

  55. Anon 4:23-- I am always eager to try to improve, so any constructive criticism you have is more than welcome, either here or to "the last two posts have been extremely weak" and "these posts could be's just the execution that I find lacking" doesn't give me much to go on, as it were...

  56. So, the joke is that he got an anti-static wrist clip mixed up with a condom, and used one when the other was appropriate. Also sexkcd.

    Does Randall just hate us?

  57. The whole joke about mixing those two up relies on someone using the lone word "protection" to refer to anti-static gear in the same way one would for a condom. Is that kind of euphemism really used? I've heard of such safe sex comparisons being made when teaching electronics (Always practice safe tinkering - wear an anti-static strap!), but I don't think anyone in those circles actually says anything like that about themselves.

    Of course, this joke was intentionally based on and making fun of Unrealistic Dialogue, Taking Things The Wrong Way and Unusual Euphemisms. The bingo card suggests that we aren't allowed to criticise "Stupid Person" dialogue/behaviour, even when not even a "Stupid Person" would say or act anything like that.

  58. I was going to make the same point the guy above me did: Why is this supposed to be funny? I mean, the joke is obvious, but it's just plain not funny..

    Also, maybe I'm rather jaded, but.. while it does make sense for them to be in the dark, it kinda reeks of laziness too. :|

  59. Guys, I think we might be missing the point. What if Randall's not TRYING to be funny? We all poke fun at the "Get out of my head" shit, but what if that's actually his top priority over humor?

    Obviously it's something he could never admit, but I've been talking to some XKCD fans and a lot of them are mentioning this whole nerd-camaraderie of "I get this reference, you get this reference, let's go do a physics problem set" that makes them like it.

    What if Randall's just... realized he can do the GMOOH stuff without the fans really minding? What if the fans who tell us we're terrible and that XKCD is the best humor ever are just a vocal minority, and the silent majority is OKAY with the fact that the comic's jokes are shit?

    I'mma head over to the XKCD forums and look at this strip's thread. If there's a statistically significant percentage of "I love anti-static strips" posts, I think science is on my side.

  60. Winged, would you have preferred a return to the #631 style of art? Obviously not, but I'd rather lazy than graphically disturbing, and I don't see how better art could possibly redeem this one.

    Interesting idea for a nerdy misunderstanding, poor execution, dialogue is terrible. And I've never used an anti-static strap, I know I'm asking for trouble, but has anyone ever fried components doing not practising "safe" hardware reconfiguring?

  61. Maybe.

    I have a story! Tonight I was hanging out with some friends, and one of them sort of casually opened up XKCD and read it. Today's. Then he laughed and said something about "oh man we have to get some of those anti-static strips." The other guy then went to XKCD and was like "oh man that is great." (The word he used was 'terrible,' but it was used approvingly. There is no doubt in my mind he thought it was wonderful.)

    Full disclosure: my friends know I am an xkcdsucks person and might have just been trolling me, but I doubt it.

  62. I would get new friends.

    Like me.

  63. ROB



    also I didn't get tonight's joke at first, but it's at least reasonably harmless. you can't get more blatantly lazy artwise, though.

  64. There's plenty of Rob to go around, amirite?

  65. "There's plenty of Rob to go around, amirite?"

    The joke here is that rob is fat, guys.

    Also, latest comic - on boing boing.


  66. I guess what I was commenting on, Kindred, was the fact that there really IS no art. It's just speech bubbles. But, like you said, I don't think it would have suddenly made it funny if there was any.

  67. I think, considering the context of the comic and knowing it IS xkcd, it's BETTER to have no art.

    It took me quite a while to get what was going on in that strip, and it was absolutely unrewarding. What kind of cheap, dumb joke is that? Again, I hate that "edgy" bullshit to please the geeks and make them feel all "cool" to be discussing sex. This is, in all respects, geek pornography.

  68. A few moments actually would be 180+ seconds, assuming you're from the 14th century.

  69. Why is it funny? I admit that I almost smiled when I read this.
    It doesn't have any more value than that.

  70. Rob Week is the key to lasting friendships with the Right People(TM).

  71. I won't be Rob's friend, because he called me Hitler last night. So mean.

  72. Theory as to why Randall drew the scene in the dark: if he didn't, he might have had to draw some wang, which he is obviously quite opposed to.

  73. Well, it looks like the "I like the current xkcd" streak has come to an end (at one comic). This one is baddd! The dialog is awkward and stupid, the joke is telegraphed from the first panel, and the art is quite literally non existant.

  74. This current xkcd is so confusing.

    xkcd used to be confusing with two stick men talking, but Randall fixed that with BHG and the beret guy or whatever. But now, there's literally nothing. There could very well be 6 or 7 different people, but we have no way of really knowing.

  75. What is the new joke supposed to be? It feels like it hints at one but I don't really get it...

  76. Wow. After such amazing display of Randall's artistic potential, we get... four panels of pitch black. And that's it. Wow.

    Not that I want to see stick figures doing it, Randall would probably render it as a garbled bunch of sticks and circles... but then he could have though of a better idea that could go with some good art. So, I have a theory... actually, two.

    One that was already stated, that Randall is not trying to impress anyone. He's just pandering to his fanbase, throwing random geekness and references around. That I am at least half-geek and find that unfunny, it might be worrying...

    The second is that Randall does not, in fact, have a buffer. That's the only thing that could explain his complete lack of talent on the last strips, followed by a wonderful display of it on Monday's. Because, you see, it's after the weekend, when he can actually work on the strip. I'm assumig he has other obligations that aren't his comic on the rest of the weekdays, of course.

    And today's joke is confusing. Sure, it's simple enough as "he switched an anti-static wrist strap and a condom, LOL", but I'm still trying to figure out if he was using the wrist-strap on his wang and wore a condom on his wrist while replacing the RAM, or if he was actually wearing the wrist-strap on his wrist, and thus wearing a condom while replacing the RAM... naked.

    ...oh, damn, that mental image... I hope it'll drive 631 away, at the very least...

    ...anyway, that isn't funny because it crosses the line of absurd to stupid. I mean: why would anyone use a WRIST-strap on his junk?!

    Just to finish, I think Randall should start working on a weekly basis. That'd at least give him more time to do some quality stuff. Then again, I don't think he's even trying anymore...

    PS.: Why are my comments getting so longer?

  77. Today's xkcd has some of the worst dialogue I've read in a long time.

  78. Haha, I completely agree Kirk. From very strong to very rubbish in one strip. Absolutely no effort in the art, and the joke is nonsensical to the point of stupidity. I don't think it's 'wacky' or 'absurd', rather it's a cheap attempt at a linguistic bait-and-switch, only this involves an even greater stretch than the Robo-dating 'products you like' strip.

  79. "An amazing display of Randall's artistic potential"? Wow. I mean, sure, it's a neat effect he pulled with those leaves and actually creating depth in the image for once, but "amazing display of artistic potential"?

  80. Oh, great, I lost another comment for the "xkcd sucks comment box". Argh...

    So, "amazind display of artistic potential" might be too much, but consider how many awesome pieces he's done, in artistic terms. He used color or perspective a few times before, but the best thing you'll get recently is Apocalypse, which was sometime near strip 500. This one is one of the best on the last months, and IMHO what he did with the trees is just awesome.

    Also, strip 647 numbed my senses. That this is just horribly bland. XP

  81. If all it takes to create an artistically awesome piece is to use color and perspective--at all--then your standards for art have been waaay too reduced by shitty webcomics.

  82. Maybe yes. But it's not just "use color and perspective". He used color in "Surgery" and "RPS", and it was barely just a sign that he was going somewhere instead of just drawing stick figures on white bland background over and over...

    This time the color is more elaborate. He merges the tones of yellow, orange and red neatly, the black portions give the right impression of trees and the earth tones get bluish as the mountains get farther.

    So, yeah, "awesome" is too much, but this sure is much better than most xkcds in the last year.

  83. So first it was "amazing artistic potential", then you toned it down to "awesome pieces", and then you said "Okay, awesome is too much" and now it's "it's better than most xkcds."

    So we've managed to go from hyperbole that almost suggested that Randall is the new Rembrandt to "It's kind of okay when he puts some effort in for a change." Way to backpedal.

  84. Man oh man it is hostile in hurr