Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Comic 682: Gag Me with a Spoon



Oh fuckity mcfuckshit, guys. I have been having heart palpitations all day, so I am really not in the mood to discuss this comic. That's right, this xkcd literally broke my heart.

OK, not really. I did kind of luck out in the respect that I'm a Star Wars nerd. Still, wow, what a crock of shit. I guess I should be all like "GOOMH, Randy!!! I totally watched Star Wars on TV during the holidays, too!" I went over to the forums to see if that's what his fans are doing, and instead got treated to a discussion of Darth Vader and Padme masturbation and god fucking DAMN IT.

Let's cut to the fucking chase here. Why the hell is Vader so tiny? Darth Vader was 6'8". He towered over most anyone. That was a big part of what made him so intimidating-- he wasn't just a dude in a crazy armored suit(stormtroopers had suits, too,) he was a dude in a HUGE armored suit. Observe the following:



Now look at xkcd-Vader flipped to compare him to the paramedics:


Handwave away the shitty art all you want, but to me a big part of the humor in the idea of Vader erotically force-choking himself to death is the fact that he's such a powerful, bad ass dude. Drawing him so that he looks like a skinny midget really spoils the joke.

The joke was also diminished for me by this little fact: When Anakin falls onto the lava during his duel with Obi-Wan on Mustafar, his lungs were seared. Part of the reason he wears the suit is because he can't fucking breathe without it. Maybe I'm way off-base here, but it doesn't seem likely to me that someone who is essentially living in a giant iron lung would be attracted to the idea of auto-erotic asphyxiation. I'll admit that's extremely pedantic and nitpicky of me, but considering xkcd's target audience is exactly the sort of folks who would be pedantic and nitpicky about Star Wars stuff, I think it's worth pointing out.

I think Carl is back to posting on Friday's comic, so Happy New Year's, bitches, and perhaps I'll sneak a little hamster action onto the blog in the next few days.

$48

108 comments:

  1. I liked it, for a change. At least there _was_ a joke. /qyf

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like how the stick on the left apparently has a broken leg.

    Also, I figured the stretcher was too short for Vader and so they doubled his legs back under him, so what we thought was his feet is actually... well, this is polite company, is it not?

    ReplyDelete
  3. The comic tried to do things SMBC-style, but the minimalism just doesn't work here. Cute, but I didn't find it particularly funny... Just kinda gross.

    ReplyDelete
  4. He was so small I didn't even consider that it was actually Darth Vader. I figured it was some cosplaying little kid pervert.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The joke was also diminished for me by this little fact: When Anakin falls onto the lava during his duel with Obi-Wan on Mustafar, his lungs were seared. Part of the reason he wears the suit is because he can't fucking breathe without it. Maybe I'm way off-base here, but it doesn't seem likely to me that someone who is essentially living in a giant iron lung would be attracted to the idea of auto-erotic asphyxiation. I'll admit that's extremely pedantic and nitpicky of me, but considering xkcd's target audience is exactly the sort of folks who would be pedantic and nitpicky about Star Wars stuff, I think it's worth pointing out.

    Wow, that didn't even occur to me. Good point.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was reading the xkcdexplained entry for this and I was kind of disturbed by the stuff they were mentioning, like the "death erection" that is common with auto-erotic asphyxiation or their saying that Randall didn't include, which is good? I guess? They also said that this joke could've been handled differently because of the fact that Darth uses a mechanical respirator, so he could achieve the same effect by simply turning the amount of oxygen down, but that wouldn't result in as hilarious a joke... now I don't know about many other people here, but I sure didn't think this was a "hilarious" joke but maybe worth a questioning chuckle.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Man, why can't you just enjoy the comic and not have a heart attack over the tiniest details?

    ReplyDelete
  8. xkcd sucks will always be the internet's top source for hamster action.

    honestly, I expected Wookie to have something to say on this comic. I told you it would have been better to save him for today...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Carl, I asked him if he wanted to comment on this strip and this is the look he gave me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I, too, could not find any humor in this comic because Vader was not the correct size. In fact, the quality of the drawings was always what attracted me to xkcd back when it was good. It was always the quality...

    ReplyDelete
  11. If thinking about a webcomic causes arrhythmia you probably should try to avoid thinking about the webcomic.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You think she was being serious?
    And are you arguing against actually thinking about what you read?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really really liked this comic.
    Really.
    Really.
    Really really.
    So what are you gonna do, HUH, CARL? HUH? HUH?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well, if "star wars" were a science fiction I'm sure we'd geek on it. But since it's a children's fantasy there seems little point. Not sure you understand Munroe's "target audience" very well. Further research is indicated.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think what contributes to him looking so small is that the paramedics heads are like twice as big as his

    ReplyDelete
  16. Since when is Star Wars a children's fantasy? I'm sure those who enjoy the Extended Universe would highly disagree. And usually those who enjoy SW most are those who love xkcd.

    Unless you were being sarcastic, in which case nevermind, its too early for me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think what contributes to him looking so small is that the paramedics heads are like twice as big as his

    1.36 times. But yes, that's exactly it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. A few thoughts occurred to me upon reading this.

    1. The mirror is obviously there for a reason, as there's no other detail in the room, meaning he drew it for a purpose. But what? So Vader can't use his Force choke on himself without a mirror? What sense does that make? Does he not know where his own friggin' neck is?

    2. Why is this happening in a regular house? Isn't Star Wars a long time ago in a galaxy far far away? Shouldn't Vader be on the Death Star, or Coruscant, or something in space? Oh wait, that would require effort to draw...silly me. But still, how much work would it have taken to draw like one of those futuristic pod bay doors or something and a giant monitor with the Wikipedia entry instead of a laptop computer at a desk?

    3. A regular person trying to choke his/herself would have their body go limp when the brain lost enough oxygen, releasing the grip they have on their own neck, preventing them from choking themselves. In the same vein, Vader's Force choke would magically disappear as he lost consciousness, ALSO preventing him from choking himself, so the joke DOESN'T EVEN WORK. This is why people who are actually into erotic asphyxiation use nooses, scarves, plastic bags, and other tools, because putting your own hands around your neck is pointless. God damn it Randall if you're going to make sex jokes at least do some fucking research.

    4. Really? Vader has a Force choke so what if he used it for sex purposes? This is like...one step above Luke flying in an X-wing with a bunch of silverware and saying "I thought you said 'May the FORKS be with you!'" Actually I take it back. This is one step below that because at least that has a pun in it and therefore some semblance of a joke. I don't even KNOW what this is except "Hey guys, Star Wars! Sex! AMIRITE?"

    ReplyDelete
  19. The only way this could work is if he just shut of his breathing thing on his suit, rather than force choking himself. That way he'd lose conciousness and wouldn't be able to turn it back on, resulting in paramedics. But then you wouldn't need the mirror (which, as pointed out, is pointless anyway) and it wouldn't necessarily have to be Vader either, just someone with an iron lung. But then all geek cred is lost and it becomes to obvious that the joke sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  20. People actually like this? I guess the standard for what passes as "comedy" is really low these days.

    the three stooges, now that was high level stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nate: xkcdexplained says that Vader can only use it on things he has visual contact with.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I wasn't aware the force needed line of sight to work.

    Forget an army of clones.

    Blindfolds: the best weapon against force users.

    ReplyDelete
  23. On first sight, I also supposed that the choking was done by shutting off his oxygen supply, which looked only logical and more disaster prone than the "Force bouncing off the mirror" thing, so I didn't really understand the mirror.

    I don't think this is a terrible joke. It might even be a decent joke, but the art really kills it. The problem, I guess, is that this kind of joke is ALREADY spoiled by coming off the hands of Randall; sexy adventures, geek culture items in strange set-ups, AND quirky uses of Wikipedia are already well known xkcd clichés, so there's no surprise factor here. (hey, I just realised I used an Oxford comma there)

    This COULD be a funny strip if the art was better and if we didn't know Randall was so obsessed with that kind of thing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. what the hell is this?

    xkcdsucks.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Seems like a troll comic.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Linux is the best OS.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Linux is the name of the kernel. GNU is the OS. Get your facts straight, dumbfuck.

    ReplyDelete
  28. (not knowing about Linux makes you a dumb fuck)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Believe it or not, Linux is actually a real OS, it was made by LINUS Torvald a famous European hacker, maybe you've heard of him?

    Linux > Windoze. it's a fact folks!

    lol oh u wind0zetards will never understand.

    ReplyDelete
  30. aloria said:

    "...but it doesn't seem likely to me that someone who is essentially living in a giant iron lung would be attracted to the idea of auto-erotic asphyxiation..."

    Dahling, you should leave the medical prognostication to the professionals. As an ex-palliative care worker, you know, easing people into the Light and remunerated on a commission basis I might add, you'd be quite amazed at the shenanigans up to which those folks get.

    Innit?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Man that xkcdsucks.com comic was awful. It made the Vader comic look good dammit.

    ReplyDelete
  32. cam said:

    "...like the "death erection" that is common with auto-erotic asphyxiation..."

    Known as 'angel lust' to those of us in the trade - a surprisingly common peri/postmortem affectation.

    "For fuck's sake Luke, use the fucking force"

    Would this re-writing not have given the line a tad more gravitas?

    Innit?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Aquarians:

    Pooping out of your elbow may seem like a mysterious otherworldly process to you and some passers by, but the end result is still ... shit. And frankly my dear, you reek of it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Capn said:

    "...Pooping out of your elbow may seem like a mysterious otherworldly process to you..."

    Au contraire, mon capitain, the process is neither abstruse nor ethereal. It is a surprisingly common pre/peri/postmortem affectation.

    As far as being a cloacan olfactory sensation - mea culpa - my stoma leaks.

    Innit?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Terrible update. Bad art (besides Darth Vader, that mirror does not look right at all), flimsy premise for a joke, and a lazy set up to get the joke across. (Which is better than not getting the point across, I guess, but seriously, is a room empty except for a mirror and a Wikipedia article on the topic in question the best Randall could do?)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Maybe the paramedics are just really fucking huge.

    Well, it's not IMpossible.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "It is a surprisingly common pre/peri/postmortem affectation."

    Deja vu much? You're getting lamer by the minute. You are a suprisingly common affectation and a suprisingly common bore.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Capn said:

    "...You are a suprisingly common affectation and a suprisingly common bore...."

    And you're surprised?

    I think that if you re-read my dross you might notice my addition of a third prefix: 'pre' on the latter rendition.
    You are correct in your belief that my renderings are becoming lamentable, alas, tarrying with a dullard has that effect on me.

    Innit?

    ReplyDelete
  39. It's just Randall trying to be Perry Bible Fellowship, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Yo, Linux is a really good operating system if you like wasting 5 hours every weekend reformatting your hard drive to make an obscure brand of USB stick work while everyone else plays video games and posts on the xkcdsucks blog.

    It's good for servers and a few other things, though.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm surprised I'm the first to bring up the alt text. It sucks, because it uses a different and incompatible meaning of "choke". As if Randall couldn't decide which way he wanted to take the joke, so he tried and failed for both.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Not to defend the alt text (because it truly is awful) but I think the usage of "choke" in it is fine.

    Choke in the comic itself is a literal choke but used to aid in masturbation.

    Choke as used in the alt-text IS masturbation.

    i think that's enough of a relationship to make them compatible.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Who called the paramedics?

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  44. Jesus Christ Dude. Get over yourself. This comic was hilarious in my opinion. I found 676 very funny because the joke was in the alt text after a lot of setup. I didn't find the ones in between very funny. Being consistently funny to all audiences is difficult. If you don't like the XKCD humor go elsewhere, I know you wrote a post about why it's vitally important that you keep doing this but it's really not. Criticism is good but given the effort you are putting into criticizing a comic you're just seeming grumpy and uselessly obsessed. I found one or two of your posts funny but at this point I'm just disturbed. I think that XKCD fun boyisim is ridiculous but that it's one of the more consistently funny webcomics and I think that's great for Randall.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I think that XKCD fun boyisim is ridiculous but that it's one of the more consistently funny webcomics

    You're wrong, and stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  46. anonymous 12:36

    Mind what the Female Moth says.
    Forewarned is forearmed.

    Innit?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anon, there are multiple people who post here. In fact, this most recent post was not written by Carl (the blog's owner whom you seem to have an issue with), but rather by aloria, who is hella-fuckin'-balls-to-the-wall awesome.

    And yes, being consistently funny to all audiences IS difficult - that's why there are plenty of mediocre comedians, comedic films, comedic TV shows, etc. and very, very few truly great ones. That doesn't make the mediocre ones any less mediocre. "Boo hoo, this is hard" is no excuse for sucking, especially when you've been at it for several years without showing any attempts at improvement.

    ReplyDelete
  48. If you're going to try and tie Star Wars and sex together, at least do it in a funny way ala Sexy Losers.
    http://sexylosers.com/002.html

    Also, not to be nerd-central, but does the Force really need line-of-sight? I remember that in A New Hope Luke wore that helmet when he was training with the floating shooty things. Unless he was just learning to rely on the Force.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The comment about the Force needing line of sight is disproved in Empire Strikes Back when Yoda lifts Luke's X-Wing out of the swamp with his eyes closed.

    So yes, the mirror makes absolutely no sense to be there.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Unless, of course, Darth finds watching himself choke erotic.

    ReplyDelete
  51. How nice of the two paramedics to pull up his pants.

    ReplyDelete
  52. HOLY SHIT RANDAL IS A GENIUS. MOVIES DONT REFLECT REALITY ACCURATELY.

    also what kind of shit scientist stands around watching a centrifuge for 20 minutes?

    Fill a beaker up or burn your asshole with a bunsen burner or something. jesus.

    ReplyDelete
  53. HOLY SHIT, it's like Randall took ANY HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE PHYSICS LAB and noticed that in real life, experiments involve waiting around a bunch. AND MOVIES ROMANTICIZE THINGS.

    The column format kind of confused me, since I first tried to read it left-to-right then top-to-bottom. No big deal.

    Anyway this kind of reminds me of a Foxtrot, let me find it.

    ReplyDelete
  54. The Foxtrot I had in mind

    Scanned from Assorted Foxtrot, a compilation published in 2000.

    PROS: Better art
    CONS: Argh blargh throwaway panels RAGE

    ReplyDelete
  55. What are you talking about Mal? There are never throwaway panels in Foxtrot, especially back in the days when Bill had the standard 12 panels instead of the 4-7 panels used these days.

    Any ways, it would appear Randall is keeping a stiff upper lip to the fact that bitching about a font type does NOT make you an expert.

    ReplyDelete
  56. What the **** those panels about charging and credit cards aren't throwaway panels?

    To me, they really feel like throwaway panels. A weak, standalone joke. It doesn't contribute to the rhythm that the rest of the comic has. I think the first three panels originally formed the top third of the comic, and it was shifted around when published in book form. IDK. I guess maybe not.

    Still. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I think the first row (including the first panel) is supposed to be cut of when printed in some newspapers (due to space constraints), therefore cartoonists usually put some weak pre-setup for a joke there.

    The latest xkcd is so terribly unoriginal, I almost feel sorry for Carl for having to review it.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Femalethoth, that's likely what happened. You see it with a lot of Sunday comics. They're usually split into two parts: the top third (usually a couple of panels) will contain a small, seperate joke that has nothing to do with the rest of the strip.

    This way, papers with space restraints can chop off the top of the comic and run the bottom 2/3 and still have a full joke, and those with a bit more can run the full comic.

    And yeah, when it went into book form, because they probably wanted to keep the Sunday strips to one single page, because of the difference in height/width with a book page as opposed to a portion of a newspaper page, caused them to rearrange the panels a bit.

    So the first two panels about charging and credit cards was the "throwaway" joke, as you suspect.

    Man my comment was way too wordy.

    Anyway today's comic sucks and the only good thing about it was that it referenced "Look Around You" which is actually pretty funny. So once again, the ONLY good thing about this comic is that it has reminded me of something that is better and actually worthwhile that I could be reading/watching instead of xkcd.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Right Nate but Cam was like "no Amend doesn't do throwaway panels" and I was like holy shit what huuuh

    Today's comic references Look Around You? I saw, like, two episodes of that when I was on vacation in San Francisco last year, and it was pretty good. So I didn't catch the reference.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I watched all episodes and didn't catch the reference either.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Wait, apparently it references a "rare pilot episode" that I didn't watch.

    ReplyDelete
  62. The reference is "Helvetica Scenario" but the stuff in the title text before that has nothing to do with the scenario as described in the video.

    So yeah, he just tossed two words in there so people would go "OMG I KNOW THAT LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL"

    ReplyDelete
  63. What I meant, Mal, was that Amend doesn't necessarily have "throwaway panels" as you seem to think they are.

    Think about most newspaper comics you read, actually Timofei hit it right on the money, the first 3 can be considered a "throwaway joke" and in a sense they are, they don't hold the same punch as the actual punchline does, I always consider them as a supplement to the end punchline, what you consider them, I don't know what the fuck, I'm a little too drunk to carry on a conversation about this right now, I'll get back to you tomorrow.

    HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE,
    From Cam

    ReplyDelete
  64. Okay it seems like those first three panels are exactly like the throwaway panels in every other Sunday strip except for some reason you say they aren't.

    They're three panels, included for maximum formatting flexibility, that have a self-contained joke so the comic can survive those panels being cut.

    That's what throwaway panels means. That's what I meant. Timofei and Nate basically restated what I was trying to say the whole time, and they explained it spuer well.


    HAPPY NEW YEAR'S!

    ReplyDelete
  65. To those that don't understand the presence of the mirror: it's there so he can watch. A fair number of people enjoy watching themselves masturbate, or doing something sadistic to others. It has nothing to do with the Force.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Compare to a PhD comic from earlier this year... or last year... whatever. I don't mind that the joke's been done before; it's the telling, not the story/joke itself, that makes it interesting.

    And 683 was almost a good retelling. Where it breaks down is in saying "an antimatter factory" instead of something more mundane like "a factory". It's small, but it changes the whole feel of the joke. Up till there, the left column wouldn't be out of place in CSI:Miami. The rat on the scientist's head just looks like a small visual gag, not part of what's being portrayed. It makes it feel like we're supposed to laugh at the genre, not laugh with an affectionate parody (then again, CSI:Miami is already that, can you parody a parody?).

    The problem is, the joke should be funny because the exaggeration used in the movies and shows is already funny. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be a joke, it would just be an inaccuracy. The extra exaggeration sounds like something someone who doesn't understand the genre or the medium would say; someone who isn't the target audience, so to speak. You almost want to explain why the genre is the way it is so that the comic can be in on the joke.

    Also, compare the reference in the alt-text to those in the PhD comic (CSI, Bones, and Mythbusters). The gag in the PhD comic works without the reference while in xkcd's alt-text the reference is the gag.

    ReplyDelete
  67. On the latest comic:

    It suffers because I could've figured out the same thing by spending 6 seconds on TV Tropes. And probably end up more entertained in the process.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Actually, I didn't catch the reference at first either. I thought it was a reference to an earlier xkcd or something. So I googled "Helvetica scenario" and xkcd, and the first result was the forum thread. One of the comments in the thread linked to the "queen atom" part of the episode, and by looking at related links I saw "Look Around You" and went "OH HEY. I remember watching all these. They're great!"

    Eh, it's still just a shameless reference to something else put in solely for geek cred, and reminds some people of something a whole lot funnier/better than xkcd that people could be seeing.

    ReplyDelete
  69. What a way for Randall to start the new year! One of the most overdone jokes about movies, executed with zero inspiration and a pointless reference thrown into the alt-text. Is this going to be the year when everyone finally realises XKCD sucks?

    ReplyDelete
  70. To those that don't understand the presence of the mirror: it's there so he can watch. A fair number of people enjoy watching themselves masturbate, or doing something sadistic to others. It has nothing to do with the Force.

    A fair number of people enjoy videotaping themselves, or lubricating themselves with hot butter as well. Why wasn't there a videocamera or a tub of butter au bain-marie in the comic?

    In other words, why add such a meaningless detail ("Also Vader is part of the demographic likes to watch himself jerk off"!) in such an otherwise minimalist strip?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Also the best Star Wars euphemism for masturbating is "Strangling captain Needa", or if you're feeling verbose: "Accepting captain Needa's apology."

    ReplyDelete
  72. What a bland comic, that. The joke is already obvious just by reading the headers, and there's nothing surprising or entertaining at all going in the strip itself. Unbelievably dull.

    ReplyDelete
  73. yeah, could vader even actually choke himself? he's already kind of unable to breathe anyway...

    ReplyDelete
  74. I actually found 683 not that bad. Look, there's some art there. (I.e. something he didn't draw before.) Plus we only get about four floating heads out of 14. I don't know the referenced show.

    Yeah, the joke was done elsewhere (and I recently wasted days on TV Tropes as well) but it still amused me.

    - Anon 07:10

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hey guys, things in movies are glamorized! Science things even!

    By the way, *nerd-culture reference*

    Another classic xkcd.

    ReplyDelete
  76. re: Amend and Foxtrot, he doesn't have throwaway panels. He and Bill Watterson are the only two print cartoonists who don't/didn't.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Man, I am looking at Assorted Foxtrot, and I am reeeeeally pretty sure that the first three panels (title, standalone joke) were originally the top row of a three-row format, designed to possibly be cut.

    You may mean that he ended up not having throwaway panels, just like Watterson. Keep in mind that Watterson worked in the standard Sunday format for years before he ended up getting the freedom to design his own layout. He didn't start out that way. And I don't think Amend started out that way, either.

    Remember that this comic is from at least a decade ago.

    ReplyDelete
  78. You WERE kinda nitpicking even though the comic sucked

    ReplyDelete
  79. Are you really complaining about height inconsistency with a film in a comic featuring STICK PEOPLE? Pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Yeah, because it's totally unreasonable to expect a guy whose art style takes all of about 5 minutes to produce to take an extra minute or so to make sure the guy the whole strip revolves around doesn't look like a weird midget.

    That's like saying it's okay to forget to wipe your ass because you're producing shit, after all.

    $2

    ReplyDelete
  81. As near as I can tell Mal (now that I'm sober), both Amend and Watterson were using the "standard format" allowed, I can't tell for sure since I'm not a syndicate runner or a paper editor so I have no idea.

    ANY WAYS, from looking through my Foxtrot collection Amend stopped his 4 row Sundays in late 1999 when he switched the size of his published books and he could no longer fit 4 rows into the smaller book and he had to go to the 2 row system he uses now. This could be for syndicate reasons as well, but I don't have his phone number so I can't just call him up and ask (as much as I would like to)

    and as I final note, I would like to point out that not all of Amend's 4 row Sundays had "standalone jokes" as flipping through my copy of I'm Flying Jack... I Mean, Roger I can count 6 out of 10 Sundays where there is no standalone joke and the first 2 panels are part of the established punchline at the end.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I'm looking through my copy of I'm Flying Jack, and it seems that most of them could at least be cut. Though there are a few that at least are extensions of the rest of the comic, rather than totally standalone. IDK.

    Anyway those first three panels of the Foxtrot I posted are hella lame is thep oint.

    ReplyDelete
  83. let's suppose you write comics for a living.
    let's suppose one day you need an idea for a comic soon and nothing is coming.
    let's suppose in your searching for a topic you hit on a star wars joke.

    that's right, a star wars joke.

    seriously.

    not an especially good one either. just another to throw on the pile.

    a fucking star wars joke.

    would you decide "hey that's pretty good lemme draw that now and upload it"?

    or would you maintain some grasp on your sanity and decide "no i am not an utter HACK and a pathetic EXCUSE of a comic. i can do better."


    if you chose option b then you (this is a fact) have better taste than randy.



    airplane food.

    mothers-in-law.

    star wars.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Mal if all you were saying was that the standalone for the Physics comic was lame, then why didn't you just say that? You said "CONS: Argh blargh throwaway panels RAGE"

    You also said "What the **** those panels about charging and credit cards aren't throwaway panels?

    To me, they really feel like throwaway panels. A weak, standalone joke." so you never stated anywhere that you thought that it was a lame joke. You kept saying that it was a standalone joke and that they are throwaway panels.

    In short your inability to just say you didn't like the joke led to several unnecessary comments, good job

    ReplyDelete
  85. In light of today's comic, Rule of Cool, Randy, Rule of Cool.

    ReplyDelete
  86. aloria is going to be donating like $1000 to wikipedia by the end of this year.

    ReplyDelete
  87. "You kept saying that it was a standalone joke and that they are throwaway panels."

    Because that is the case.

    Okay, using my masterful MS Paint skills, I have rearranged the panels from Femalethoth's scan to the format that they were arranged in the paper the day they were run. I'm also not 100% sure how to link it directly so I'll just have to make do, sorry.

    http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b320/kaemmerite/foxtrota.jpg

    In this arrangement, you can easily see how the first two panels of the comic are a throwaway joke that have nothing to do with the rest of the setup (the joke is that he is "charging" something and then tries to decide which card to "charge" it with). It is its own separate joke and is easily, easily removed without any harm to the rest of the comic.

    Like so:

    http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b320/kaemmerite/foxtrotb.jpg

    This is how papers with less free space for their comics would run it (they'd use a different font than TNR but I used that as an example of how it would appear). As you can see, the top row of panels is removed, the joke still makes sense, and no harm has been done.

    Whether Amend always did this or not? I don't know. My paper didn't carry FoxTrot until like two years ago so I missed a large chunk of the comic's history, as opposed to Calvin and Hobbes which ran for a good portion. I also have the three volume hardcover Calvin collection so I can more easily reference Watterson's work, since I have no FoxTrot books to look at.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I did say it was a weak joke.

    I thought it was clear that I wasn't raging because of the existence of the throwaway panels, but because of how awful their content was. My bad.

    And it IS a standalone joke and they ARE throwaway panels, and I kept saying that because YOU kept saying Amend didn't use either.

    ReplyDelete
  89. "A fair number of people enjoy videotaping themselves, or lubricating themselves with hot butter as well. Why wasn't there a videocamera or a tub of butter au bain-marie in the comic?

    In other words, why add such a meaningless detail ("Also Vader is part of the demographic likes to watch himself jerk off"!) in such an otherwise minimalist strip?"

    It's a common turn-on. Everyone I know enjoys watching their self. It's just an addition to the joke... Considering Darth Vader is a sadist, it should be obvious to anyone, fan or otherwise, that he'd enjoy watching himself.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Considering Darth Vader is a sadist, it should be obvious to anyone, fan or otherwise, that he'd enjoy watching himself.

    ...what does sadism have to do with watching yourself beat off?

    ReplyDelete
  91. In the future, like, half the world will be under water.

    ReplyDelete
  92. And the other half will be IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE

    ReplyDelete
  93. new one. Is the guy taking off his goggles in the third panel o_O?

    ReplyDelete
  94. How is watching yourself a turn-on unless you're gay or bi? I mean I'm straight...so why would I want to watch myself jerking off? I don't get off on seeing dudes. And last I checked Vader isn't gay, since he had, y'know, a wife.

    Unless Vader is bi, but I really can't think of any evidence at all that would support this theory. Again, I'm pretty sure the mirror is supposed to be there to imply Vader needs to see himself to use the Force choke on himself, which is disproved by Yoda in Empire, meaning the mirror is entirely pointless.

    I think the "sadism" that was mentioned is probably "Vader enjoys seeing others undergo harm, so he would want to see himself in a mirror being harmed because that would turn him on." Except he'd be looking at HIMSELF, so that'd be masochism, not sadism, and Vader isn't a masochist so it still would make no sense.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Nate, honestly, it's pretty silly to suggest that one would only want to watch himself wanking if he's gay or bi. That would mean, also, that only would only wank in the first place if he's gay or bi. I mean, a guy wanking A GUY, eww, gay.

    Besides, even without a mirror you ARE watching yourself as you do it, unless you close your eyes for the OH NOES A PENIS wontlookImstraightwontlookImstraight

    Oh, shit, we're turning into the xkcd forums.

    ReplyDelete
  96. whatever the case the reason the mirror is there isn't clear hence it was poorly implemented.

    pretty much like the whole comic itself.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Did anyone else think the mirror was some kind of portal or something?

    ReplyDelete
  98. "...what does sadism have to do with watching yourself beat off?"
    Nothing. Watching yourself beat off while *choking yourself*? Everything.

    @Nate: Fernie answered exactly the way I was going to.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I think the problem, Mal, is that "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" and while I may not see the jokes as "throwaway" you do, but that is where the basis of most of my argument (that I made while drunk, let us not forget) was that I did not believe that Bill Amend made "throwaway jokes" in his strips. Do I understand why you call them standalones and throwaways? I completely understand, the problem herein lies with our differences in taste (but in truth the Mastercard/Visa joke was pretty bad) and as far as I'm concerned, calling a joke "weak" is not the same as saying "I did not like this joke." as people make weak jokes all the time (usually in a sequence) either for breaking the ice, warming people up, or what have you.

    Well, I'm done and I will take this as my heads up that if I ever read stuff that I can argue whilst drunk, I should nip it in the bud and just wait to sober up before talking

    ReplyDelete
  100. Fernie, I'm still going to have to disagree with you. Without getting into too much detail (because that's just impolite), I know I don't look at MYSELF when I'm having fun. I'm looking at the computer monitor, magazine, TV screen, or my own imagination.

    I still maintain no one would watch themselves in the mirror unless they were at least bi or bi-curious, which there's nothing wrong with that, but let's be honest. If you're looking at yourself in the mirror what's the difference between that and looking at some other dude? You can say "Because it's YOURSELF" but that doesn't quite cut it. I touch all parts of my body in the shower because it's my body, but I wouldn't touch some other dude in a shower even though they have the same parts I do, because even if their body is similar to mine it isn't mine.

    It just doesn't make sense. I look at my junk because it's necessary to shower or get prepared to do something else, not because I enjoy it. If I enjoyed looking at my own junk, then it's pretty apparent I'd enjoy looking at the junk of other dudes too.

    I'm sure you'll disagree with me, and that's fine, I don't think I can really prove anything, and I don't really have anything riding on the argument, so this'll be the last I say about it. Although I will say, if lots of people get off looking at themselves in the mirror and they aren't gay or bi, then that one line from Chasing Amy where that guy asks that girl "So if you're a lesbian do you just look at yourself naked in the mirror?" doesn't make any sense.

    Also as far as the "throwaway/standalone" discussion, I call them throwaway panels not because of the quality of the jokes, but because a newspaper can choose to "throw away" the top row of panels for space limitations. They are throwaway panels that contain a standalone joke, so that people who are getting the chopped down version of the comic can still understand it and not go "Hey, it seems like there should be more panels to explain the setup."

    ReplyDelete
  101. http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/7148/xkcd683couldbebetter.png

    do i win?

    ReplyDelete
  102. "It just doesn't make sense. I look at my junk because it's necessary to shower or get prepared to do something else, not because I enjoy it. If I enjoyed looking at my own junk, then it's pretty apparent I'd enjoy looking at the junk of other dudes too."

    Does that make narcissists necessarily gay or bi-sexual?

    If Kinsey or any of these recent sex studies are anything to go by, then everyone's somewhere in the middle between "completely gay" and "completely straight" anyways, so the discussion is moot anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Least nuanced discussion of sexuality ever.

    ReplyDelete
  104. penis penis penis

    CAPTCHA: hunatio. A blow-job from a Hun?

    ReplyDelete