Saturday, December 12, 2009

Comic 674: An Alternate View

Some strange man calling himself "Bob Dole" sent me a review of the most recent comic and I thought I would post it, just so you all know I am fair about these things. Bob Dole, everyone:

Hello, Bob Dole here. Despite the name and my illustrious political career, I am just the average humble XKCD fan. So please, don't view this as some sort of elitism when I say that XKCD is the greatest comic in the world and if you don't laugh heartily at every single one you are a mental midget of the most miniscule magnitude. That is to say, your brain is short.

With that out of the way, I hope Carl will allow a small voice of dissent among the XKCD hating crowd and post this.

When I read an XKCD comic I like to go panel by panel, from left to right as if I am reading a book or a holy manuscript, digesting each panel in its entirety. I then read it again, usually this time with my pants off, and take it in as one cohesive unit. Finally I read it a third time and make sure to hover my mouse cursor gingerly over the comic so as to call forth the title text all whilst rubbing cocoa butter over my sun spotted skin. I read this particular strip a whopping sixteen times and, I tell you, my skin has never been smoother or more aromatic. Nor have my sides ever been so thoroughly split.

But enough about me! Onto what you all came here for: the comic. And boy is it a CLASSIC!

Just looking at the first panel I know it'll be good since it hits most of the pillars of XKCD comedy.

Romance? A man and a woman and a child. How can that be anything but romance? Check!

Science? Well, they 'made' a baby. And considering they have just become aware of that fact and that the baby is saying "baby!" only leads me to believe it is some sort of sophisticated cyborg they built. That is the height of science! Check!

Sarcasm? "Don't panic." is clearly sarcasm on the woman's part since she should be celebrating for creating such a spectacular work of engineering. It is safe to assume she is sarcastically quoting Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and not actually panicking. Check!

Math? The baby saying "baby!" is clearly a reference to Pokemon. And anyone that has played Pokemon knows that its a game of math. Every single thing is assigned a number and the majority of gameplay consists of adding and subtracting the numbers. Oh man do I love Pokemon. And XKCD. An XKCD that mentions Pokemon? Pure heaven. Baby! Er, I mean, check!

The second panel has the characters in the same pose. This is something XKCD has always been great at: creating a thread of continuity throughout all of its panels leading to a comic that flows smoothly and does not suffer from the jarring jumps that a change in scenery or posture can bring. Its the type of consistency that every other webcomic can only hope to achieve. The one thing missing is that the baby isn't saying "baby!" That is the only thing that could make this panel better.

I am, however, a bit perplexed by what the male figure means by "do what comes naturally." I hope the next panel will illuminate me.

Oh yes, the silent panel. This is classic XKCD right here! They give both the readers and the characters a moment to ponder. Ponder what, you might ask? Anything! Like what might happen in the next panel or possibly the meaning of life. It's really quite poignant. I can't help but notice the baby has stretched its arms apart. What is that little tyke doing? I can only assume that it is "doing what comes naturally." Again, I wait with baited breath as to what the next panel will bring. It just must inform me what that natural thing that is to be done is! I just wish the baby was saying "baby!" again. Oh well, I guess Randy can't always be perfect.

Ha! The moment of clarity! This is what I read XKCD for. I was left in the dark the last two panels and had NO clue what was going to happen. This totally caught me off guard. But given the short timespan of "soon" there is only one possible conclusion. For those of you that didn't catch it, and I assume there are quite a few out there since this is one of Randy's more subtle jokes, the baby was going through mitosis in the third panel! "Do what comes naturally" is some kind of audio trigger phrase built into the baby's positronic brain by its amazing creators that causes it to self replicate! Wow! That's some high science right there. And math since it's dividing into two! There is no way I could see that coming! Bravo Randy! Bravo! Now if only both babies were saying "baby!"

Now that the exhilirating panel by panel read through is complete I can look at it as a whole. It's practically the perfect comic. The only thing I would have liked to see, apart from more "baby!" would have been a black hat on the man in the comic. I do so love the chap in the black hat. I think adding that would have put a sinister bend on the comic like perhaps he is building an army of self-replicating cyborg babies in an effort to bankrupt the diaper industry by straining their manufacturing capabilities to the breaking point. But still, it is amazing as is. Don't get too greedy, Bob.

Finally onto the title text. All I can say is the fact that it contains the term "sampling bias" in it makes me feel REALLY smart. And the mother pun since the comic was talking about babies? Genius.

This is Bob Dole and I love XKCD and so should you.


  1. Finally! Some semblance of sanity!
    A hypothetical theory:
    Allow me to metaphoricate. This bileful blag is a dam forged from pure Insanity amidst the gorge of the human psyche, blockading a stream of Sobriety. Much sanity is evaded as it is in too small a dose to overcome the immense inanity of this Abominablog. This means that only True Inevitable Sanity can overcome its debilitating effects.
    Robert Dole, Sir, I believe that you (like I) are a paragon of mental stability and ponderance, and that TOGETHER, as ONE, we can not only go above the dyke* but DESTROY IT, eradicating these peons who are in insipid unity the foundations of this damnable dam!
    AS ONE

    -William Monty Hughes, esq
    IQ 224
    "Cogito Ergo Sum"

    * As in, a dam. Not like A-man-duh or A-whoria.

  2. WILLIAM! have you forgotten that you have ben ETERNALLY BANISHED from this very blog-site? BE OFF WITH YOU, lest I find the need to call my security forces in! You shall not mock me in my own home, William! You have only one excuse for not exiting the premesis IMMEDIATELY, and that is that your girth makes hasty travel an impossibilty. STILL! Be gone within a reasonable time frame!

  3. *as in a dam. Not like A-mun-duh or A-whoria.

    I like that!

  4. I will literally kill anyone who uses the word "blag" unironically.

  5. Excellent! One of the best xkcdsucks reviews on the site! And no only because it finally adds some balance to the site...

    More posts by Mr Dole, please.

  6. you know, I always thought I hated XKCD...but as it turns out, I guess I just didn't understand it.
    Thanks Bob Dole for opening my eyes wide. I now have disposed of the rose tinted glasses that I've been viewing the world with.

    MENTAL FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. As usual Bob Dole see's the truth in the matter. And what's more his word picture of sun spotted skin has inspired me to buy shares in Cocoa Butter!

  8. Its funny how it says
    "This is Bob Dole and I love XKCD and so should you" Then straight after it, it says Posted by Carl, in big letters. Coincidence? I think not. It must be Carl's devious plan to make everybody think that XKCD viewers all rub cocoa butter all over themselves whilst reading!.

  9. "...the baby was going through mitosis in the third panel!"

    Haha, Bob Dole, you hit the nail on the head.

  10. Bob Dole here and to the comment that suggests I may be Carl I can only say that is tantamount to character assassination and I suggest it be redacted before I charge you with libel.

    Carl, while generous enough to post my review of the magnificent XKCD, is still a hateful charlatan who does nothing but stifle Randy's creative output through his negative posts and I will not stand for anyone suggesting we are in any way related.

    You have been warned, Anonymous 2:59.

    As to the rest (particularly Hans Moleman and that hooker fellow) I absolutely elated that my review has either reinforced your previous positive XKCD notions or even brought to light another way to enjoy it.

    And finally for the right good gentleman William Monty Hughes: playing off of your analogy of this blog (sorry, I refuse to call it a "blag") as a dyke that blocks the flow of comedy coming from the hilarious ocean that is XKCD I am but a needle poking a single tiny hole in its foundation.

    But drops will slowly fill through that hole and before long the hurricane of humor will come bearing down, the levee will break and we will all be awash in Randall generated bliss.

    That day? The Rapture.

  11. This can't be the Bob Dole, he didn't even plug Viagra once.


  12. I have stopped supporting Viagra because of their rigid ad structure. I had to read off of a teleprompter and couldn't just tell the world about how much more hardcore lovin' Lizzy was getting.

    Now I just grasp my pen and yearn for grander days.

  13. That was an excellent post. Yay!

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Oh Bob Dole, we made a mistake in not electing you.

  16. 'rigid ad structure'
    Well what do you expect?