Monday, June 29, 2009

603: Idiots

you know what i like i like democracy

oh hello there, look who is posting way crazy early.

I thought this comic was really, really condescending and insulting. Of course, the first time through I was just confused as all hell. I have not watched Idiocracy, and so, like you, I did not understand the premise that we were working from. And there are more ideas being thrown out than people so it got very confusing. And there is a new hat! What the fuck. i don't have time for this nonsense.

ok first off we need a name for New Hat, um...kind of looks like a old british man shooting elephants sort of a hat, the kind of thing teddy roosevelt would wear. know what, screw it, his name is Mr. Line Through Head. yeah, look at it again, not such a great drawing now, is it? nope.

Ok the comic itself. First off, no matter what Idiocracy reference he made, it would have the tricky task of having to be comedy based on comedy. He had this problem with The Princess Bride and then again, to a lesser extent, with MathNet. If you are going to make a joke about something that is supposed to be funny, something that generally succeeds at being funny, it's hard to make an original joke that is good without just being derivative of the original. It's not funny to quote a movie on its own, it's funny because, and only because, it reminds people of something that already exists and that they already thought was funny. Once again, Randall falls victim to this trap - honestly, the best way to avoid it is to avoid making your comic reliant on someone else's comedy in the first place.

But onto the argument of the comic! Because this is a comic which makes an argument, a very political one.

First off, Stick Figure #1 (no hat) starts with a simple statement: "Idiocracy is true". Nothing too objectionable there. Now I don't know what it means for a movie to be "true" but based on the Wikipedia page, it looks like the movie is a comment on the state of advertising, corporate control, and general stupidity in our society (obviously, taken to extremes for comedic purposes, but clearly meant to show us about ourselves today). That's what I assume #1 means and he is perfectly logical to say so. So then, still in panel 1, Mr. Line Through Head reinterprets the meaning of the movie to be "stupid people have more children, though this didn't used to be the case." Now there is a little about that in the wikipedia page, and maybe it's all over the movie and I should just see it, but given that this is not, by any account, a popular movie, you have to imagine that most readers are in my position. OK - so we've twisted what the movie means. On to panel 2!

Mr. Line Through Head further elaborates, putting words into #1's mouth that he doesn't necessarily believe. Perhaps to continue the conversation, perhaps because he is not thinking clearly, or perhaps just to not be a dick, he agrees with Mr. Line. Fool! You fell into his trap!

Panel 3! The Great Reveal! Mr. Line says "HA HA FUCK YOU" and that #1 is wrong! And then when #1 says "Huh?" as in, "why did you lie to me? What does this mean? why are you such a dick" Mr. Line treats him like a stupid little bitch as though he had said "huh? what does the word 'wrong' mean?" which is pretty clearly not what he meant. Seriously, read that panel again. Doesn't it come off as douchey to the max??

Panel 4 contains perhaps the most morally superior sentence ever created about moral superiority. When I read that sentence, all I could think was, "huh, you sure sound pretty goddamn sure of yourself there, mr. line through your head." For a guy who claims to be decrying those who decry "obvious moral decay" you sure do seem to think that this is an example of moral decay.

in Panel 5 we get the lovely claim that "More harm has been done by people panicked over societal decline than societal decline ever did." That's an interesting one. How on earth do you measure such a thing? If one is in favor, say, of affirmative action, because I think that current non-affirmative action university admissions are racist, does that make me "panicked over societal decline"? Does it do harm, by hurting white people, or does it help the world by stopping racism? Whether you think that person is "panicking over societal decline" or not depends on where you are on the issue and how much you agree with them. So the idea that you can just go about proving a statement like Mr. Line Through Head's is absurd.

In Panel 6 I was hoping for one of those "As the author, I don't actually agree with this" endings that some comics have. Like the sarcastic last panel of 589, where Randall makes fun of the sort of people who act like the characters in the first panels. But alas, no. All we get is "ha ha you are UGLY, man who looks just like me but without a line through your head!" And it's so forced in there, too - what does that even mean? Stupid people have to choose between #1 and sex with stupid people? So does that make Does that make him the only smart person anywhere? but Mr. Line Through Head just finished bitching him out for being stupid. I don't get it.

And then the overarching problem with this whole shit storm of a comic is that no where is there any proof or evidence offered for the claim Mr. Line Through Head makes. Ordinarily claims made in comics don't need them, but in this case, since his whole point is about one guy being too sure with no evidence, I would have like to see something. In the alt-text, on the blog, somewhere. So why should I believe Mr. Line Through Head? He has no better evidence than #1 or anyone else, so who gives a shit what he says?

oh also he spelled "zealots" wrong because he is unprofessional and a hack and only fixed it when people noticed, and he didn't admit he changed it. that's downright orwellian, Randy.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Comic 602: Broken Social Life

Overcrapified more like

So apparently Randall Munroe (or his stand in, Generic Stick Man) is awkward at parties. This is because he cannot handle much social interaction and would rather think of math! Things would be so much easier if we could all just hang out with robots.

This comic has of course inspired on the forums (as well as in comments here) lots of "oh man i TOTALLY do that to, get out of my head" type responses. That's what I hate about xkcd: He just writes about nerds bein' weird and awkward and everyone identifies with it and is like "oh man that is so awesome, I am validated now because Internet Man has the same issue, that makes me less weird" and that somehow translates into "xkcd is funny."

But enough of that. The real problem with this comic is that we've seen it before. Yes, he has some more interesting that usual visuals (both party-turning-into-the-dude's-mind kind of thing and the visualization of prime numbers) that prove, once more, that Randy knows basic photoshop. But "I am bad at social interaction but have to pretend I am not because of social pressure" is an old xkcd trope. You see it in 358 and a while ago in 92. Of course, this one is even pander-ier to his fans.

But I do have some nice things to say this time! this makes me feel good. He finally has put some work, apparently, into the art. That's rare, and it's nice to see him not be so damn minimalist. Good job expressing your thoughts in a good combination of words and pictures! this is what comics are for. yay

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Comic 601: You Lose

so dumb!

deep breath. let's try to stay calm as long as we can.

First off, yes, this comic is a reference to the movie WarGames, except replacing horrible nuclear destruction with love. And for those of you thinking, "huh. I never think about the 1983 drama thriller film WarGames starring Matthew why do I feel like I was just thinking about it recently?" The answer is that you probably read Dinosaur Comics! Which had a WarGames centered comic 6 days ago. Now I'll admit that the joke is different - T-Rex uses the WarGames strategy to make a non-evil e-mail checking AI bot, and xkcd, well, you see the shit xkcd did with it. But still! Randy, listen: If you see a comic and go "ho hey, WarGames, that was a nerd movie I recall! I should make a comic off it and no one will be the wiser" we all read dinosaur comics too! Well some of us. So we see clearly where you are getting this from! And it comes off making you look like a hack (more so than usual), a crappy comedian (more so than usual) and a total d-bag (more so than usual). And remember - this comes only days after he did the same thing with SMBC.

Oh what's that you say? This comic sucks a large quantity of balls totally seperate from the fact that Qwantz got there first? Oh my goodness yes you are right. How could I forget.

This is not just Troubled Romance. It is, but it's not just that. In the context of recent comics - I can't attract humans so I will try to make fucking robots be ok, my childhood habits led me to have terrible relationships with women, I am stalking a girl named Megan as she goes to the sex stores, and of course, boo hoo relationships are hard and complicated and I can't have all the casual sex I want - this just comes across as a cry for help.

Really, Randall? Now you think love is a lie and a false promise of joy that none can ever attain? To be fair, I lack what you humans call emotion so I have no particular opinion on this idea. But - I do know that Randall has also been known to draw comics like this one, or this one, or this, or this, or this, this, or this, and that's just the first 150 or so. Only a few short years ago it was all "gahhh, I am in LOVE, it is glorious! The sun shines rays of joy on myself and my significant other, it is always a perfect day, and nothing can stop this wondrous love we share" and now it's all emo shit like "you will never find love. it is a lie. i will not stand for anyone to be happy."

Randall: assuming this isn't all just to fuck with me or your other readers, assuming this isn't an attempt to make xkcd about more than the comic, but use the comic to tell a fictional tale about the person drawing it - ideas I have strongly considered, especially after this new comics - assuming you are just writing your thoughts out in comics - good lord man. That is what love is. It can be great and make you happy, it can end up sucking and making you feel like crap. Did you not know that? it's pretty well known. How are you only learning about this now? And more importantly, why are you letting it interfere with your comic? Unless you are just trying to get sympathy from any other people who recently broke up, it just comes across as...whiny? emo? petty? stupid? all of those.

Seriously how can you have your AI character -given your love of computers- declare that love is a losing game for all involved. Do you seriously believe this? have you never met a happy couple? Or thought one could concievable exist? god dammit it I hate you.

hey did you see that I stopped saying nice things about each comic? I really did try, but it was too hard.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Comic 600: Fucked Up Robots

Fuck. Where do you even begin with this? I don't know. You could say that with a comic as terrible as the first Android one, you should not follow it up. You should burn it. You should apologize to the world for unleashing something so stupid and awful. But to write a sequel - only 5 comics later! - as your 600th comic! - ugh! - just a terrible decision for Randy to make.

But like so many sequels, this one fails to live up to the (low, low, low) standard of the original. Let's take a look at what is happening here: The girl has a boy robot and the boy has a girl robot so the two robots sex it up (offscreen, luckily). That's not funny - that's...logical. The joke I suppose is in the colorful simile offered in by the girl, but I sure didn't laugh at it. Probably because it is so clearly wrong: robot sex, if the robots look like people as they do here, doesn't look like sex toys stuck together, it looks like people. Think about it: Imagine the hot robot action going on in panel 4, and imagine the...mantlepiece decoration Randall claims to own. Not exactly the same, hm?

So the comic is dumb on that level. But of course, for those of us with more than a passing interest in xkcd, there's the fact that here we are with yet another sex obsessed comic. We're at 4 of the last 9, by my count. And they aren't just, so to speak, normal sex comics - they have this very very strange feel to them that I usually describe as "creepy" but perhaps just "troubling" is better. Think about it - 596 was about stalking a girl while she bought sex toys (not to use! they were for her mantlepiece!). 598 was all about having a messed up view of girls because of over exposure to crappy porn. And of course, the last Android one and this one just make me continue to think Randall has got so frustrated with Megan humans that he is talking about fuckin' some robots. Probably his sense of PCness and anti-sexism was gnawing at him because he only objectified a woman last time and he had to make up for it by showing he isn't biased, he can objectify men too! nicely done.

stop with the sex obsession randall. we do not want to read about it. I will have to start a Repeat Offender page for it.

happy fucking 600th comic, randall. best of luck with your next 600. bitch.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Comic 599: Begrudgingly Enjoyed

wait what
Finally, finally, a half-decent comic. The road has been long and the enemies have been fierce, but we have finally found ourselves with an xkcd that, by current standards, is not terrible.

I can't complain about the art thanks to wacky colored-in meteor panel 1. I can't complain that the joke is old (though the concept, 'monumental moment in human history spent on nerd thing' is old) though apparently I'm the only one who saw it comic. I guessed it was an Erdos thing at the 7th panel, but I guess I am just a nerd like that. It's an obscure joke, yes, but obscure at least differently from how most of his stupid references are. Sure, most readers still probably won't get it, but at least it's something new.

Of course, a nitpicker might say (not that I would, but someone might) that an Erdos number is clearly based on co-authoring a paper with Mr. Erdos, not based on him signing the same friggin piece of paper. That's obviously cheating; why not just get him (while he was alive, of course) to write you a check, then write your name on it?

Oh and I've said this before but just to be clear: Just putting a beret on a stick figure is not enough to make him a recurring character. He has to have some amount of character, he has to be in some way consistent from time to time. Mr. Beret utterly fails this test.

Why am I so sure that the next comic will make me angry as usual? I don't know. Actually, I'm posting this after midnight so I can just go check! Hey, it's going to be 600! Hope it's not self-congratulatory, as he does not deserve that.
Yeah we're going to have to have some talking to do about this one.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Comic 598: Seeing Things Online

oh hey guys, look, randall just discovered sex for the first time again. I assume. It certainly explains his recent fascination with the topic. This one features, yet again, graphic stick figure man-on-woman oral sex, which seems to be all the graphic sex he can draw, oddly. Though he makes up for it by drawing it far more often than I am comfortable with. Oh my, Randall is so awkward about sex, and he doesn't want to be to be seen as so terribly un-PC that he would draw a woman blowing a man, because heavens that is sexist or something. Randall tries to hard to be unsexist, and it shows, so very clearly.

Oh what's that you say? This was a pretty good joke, so I should shut up and admit it? It actually presents a humorous situation with a well executed punchline? Oh well my friend I have something to show you:

Why, it's Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal! Specifically, the one from 5 days ago! Why, they are having awkward sexual encounters because of the poor technology on which they watched pornography a decade earlier. Go. Go on, xkcd-apologists. I know your strategy. Tell me why these jokes are better. Tell me that SMBC isn't popular and no one reads and so Randall doesn't read it so he must have thought of the joke on his own. I am not going to settle for a "Oh well xkcd did it better anyway" because that is not a justification for stealing. So give me your best defense.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Comic 597: Internet Fail

This is going to be a short post because, well, there's not much to say. This comic doesn't offend me or enrage me, but sure as fuck doesn't amuse me or make me laugh. I think the joke it just kind of dumb. I agree with the people who say it seems like a joke you'd find on, but I don't think that should detract from it - is funny, so emulating it can be funny as well. The difference is the humor there comes from the fact that they print real conversations (or at least ostensibly real ones - all I know is I sent them a fake one and they never printed it) where Randall makes up stuff and when you are making up stuff, a funny quip or humorous event needs to be a lot funnier than in real life.

Here, try it at home: Imagine something really funny that someone once improvised. This could be like at an improv comedy show or just in real life, something clever someone came up with on the spot. Now go tell the joke to someone else, and see what they think. Probably they will not think it was nearly as good as you did when you first heard it. There's something about knowing it was improvised, knowing it was in some way real, that adds a lot. And that's why today's comic fails to amuse me. TRY AGAIN.

Something Nice To Say: He took the time to draw stuff today! that is nice. Though do you see how the chair is twice as tall in panel 2 as it is in panel 3?

elsewhere in the webcomicsosphere

I will get to the newest xkcd in a minute. But first - who has been reading MS Paint Adventures? Everyone bugged me about how freaking great the last story, Problem Sleuth, was and I tried to read it but after 250 comics it was like "End of chapter 2!" and I was like "out of how many?" and it was like "26!" and I was like "fuck that!" and then the end. People tell me it takes until about 700 to get good. This is my summer project.

But that is beside the point. The point is, when he announced a new story I was like "well ok, I will read this one in real time and it won't be too hard and then I too will be in the crowd of happy happy people who read this comic."

So: Now it is two months later and I am still reading. I think there has been one panel that made me laugh. I kept thinking to myself, "this guy better know what he is doing" and my friends were all like "trust me, it took a while for Problem Sleuth too" and I was like "yeah ok but whatever, he better know what he was doing" and that was before the insanity that was the end of Act 1 and the beginning of Act 2.

And then there was this recent installment, which just bothered me. I don't think the format he has there is conducive to humor, or for that matter, story telling. It takes a long time to find all the content he's put in, it's frustrating to find because of the controls and movement, and I just feel like I'm missing things. His blog says he wants to do this more often, so I retierate: he better know what the hell he is doing.

Also, woah hey, redesign, crazy! I think it looks pretty classy. Oh and I thought today's Pictures for Sad Children was pretty great. Oh webcomics. How I love you, for the most part.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Comic 596: Stalk Show


Sometimes Randall Munroe draws comics and I go "ewwww, that's creepy, that makes me feel gross." And I write that on the blog and invariably, some people go "what are you talking about, there's nothing creepy about that, you just use that word to describe everything, lame"

Can we all please agree that this comic is fucking creepy? This is stalking, what is happening here. Nothing else. That's creepy, all the time. Ok? What Mr. Hat is doing is following where this person is at all times (yes, she has chosen to in some cases broadcast where she is, but Mr. Hat's exposition makes it clear that she does not intend for to be followed in this case).

Then there is the "Megan" question - as you all know, Randall has this habit of always having his weird breakup comics (and, as in this case, a few others) feature a girl named Megan, and there is Much Debate over how seriously to take this - whether it is just a stock name and Randall just likes using it all the time, or if he actually has had some serious unresovled drama featuring a Megan. Obviously, if it is the later, then that ups the creepiness in all these comics exponentially. It also means that Randy is really just weird, and not very careful at all. That's why I tend to fall on the "It's just a name" side of the deabte. But who knows? As he uses it more, it makes me feel a little creepier even if it's just a name.

Oh my goodness so far into a post and I have yet to get mad at the humor! The humor is bad. The joke is bad. First off, it's another Noodle Incident joke - where he doesn't actually tell you a funny situation, he just gives you some Guarunteed Humorous Material and makes you imagine what funny thing happened - in this case, he gives you Sex + Electronics/Tools -> ? -> Injury and you get to figure out what ? is. It's perfect - because if you can't come up with something funny, it's your fault for having a crappy imagination, and if you can, well, give Randy credit because he inspired it with his ideas. FUCKER.

Anyway, whatever you thought of for the hilarious situation, it wasn't that good. It just relies on the usual middle school awkwardness about sex that makes it always funny no matter what. Add the usual middle school humor about people getting hurt, and you have yourself a joke that will not fail to entertain 14 year olds, time after time after time, with no extra work required! From a standpoint that is only a little more advanced, it just seems lazy. And it is.

With the alt-text ("The G1, especially with the new Android upgrade, is way better than I originally thought.") he just isn't trying anymore. That's OK randall. Your jokes are bad when you write them, so you might as well stop writing jokes at all and just skip to basic technology reviews.

XKCD-Obsessed-With-Sex count: 3 out of the last 5! And one of the two that didn't was about uterus-based-humor.

Update: god fucking damn it I promised to say something nice about each comic and this time I didn't even remember. I found something else I disliked though! Two things actually. One was the excellent point made by Commenter Raekwon the Deaf about how when Mr. Hat says "when they're doing something discreetly" it really does telegraph that the joke will be something awkwardly sexual and embarrassing. That's basically all the word "discreet" is used for.

And then what pissed me off (and this is one of those little things) is the names of the stores: "Eastview Adult Toy Store" and "Lakeview Sex Toy Shop" are made from the same formula. Can't even think of a clever sex shop name? Come on. (hey! that's pracically a name right there). And then the hardware stores are "blue collar name + 's + what sort of thing we sell".

Oh right I was here to say something nice. Ah crap. I really can't think of anything. I will try harder next time (though I may fail again, 597 sucks ass too)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Comic 595: Do Androids Sleep With Electric Sheep?

robots suck all the time
So I guess they are at a party? Or at least he is drinking Something Classy with a cherry. There's no explanation of why he has that, but I guess we can suspend our disbelief if we need to. It's not like we need this to make any sense. Why does he have the cherry? So the robot girl can take it from him. It's like they always say: "If there is a cherry in the first panel, it must have its stem arc welded by the third"

Now honestly with this comic I am not even sure I get what is supposed to be funny. Clearly it has to do with a robot you can have sex with, and apparently she thinks that welding a cherry stem (what would that even mean?) is an answer to the question of whether you can have sex with her, which it is not. Ha ha, silly robot! I guess then the "remove your pants" thing is supposed to mean "yes, this robot would like to have sex with you." So the cherry thing goes along with it.

I find this comic so unnerving in so many little ways. First off that its premise is "I don't have a human girlfriend so I got this robot, that's not weird." Then that the logical response would be "Ha ha, I just met your girlfriend so I'm going to ask about SEX with it/her!" I know Randall is really intent on this "incredibly open discussion of sex with casual acquaintances" but it's just stupid in practice. At least for a comic.

And then of course the "this is my girlfriend, and you asked an inappropriate question, and now she is trying to sex you up, why don't I just stand here silently." Just because that might be how you would act, randy, does not mean it makes sense.

Randall you have to draw better. You really do. You can't have your robots look exactly like people! You have to make them at least a little different. ok?

In short: This situation was all far too contrived to have any redeeming value.

What did I like about it: Honestly there were a lot of worse things Randall could have done and he wisely didn't. A "cherry" pun. Not having the character refuse robo-sex. Panel 3 shows he has put a little more effort into the art than usual.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Comic 594: Hurts

this sucks, period

You see, none of us read xkcd for the clever wordplay and witty social commentary alone. We read it for the art. Look at that art! The female is carefully placed off screen, so we must wonder: What does she look like? But we know the answer: She looks like a stick figure with shoulder-length hair, just like every other xkcd woman. And so the genius of Randall is complete: He has drawn a woman, but only in our minds. He is brilliant like that.

"Ugh, stupid uterus" has to go on our list of Stupidest XKCD Quotes, along with "do me without a condom." Randall just doesn't know how humans talk, or at least human females. He has to quickly get across the point that this woman is on her period, and he can't think of any better ways, and so he goes with the "just come out and say it, who cares about whether it makes sense" method.

He also makes sure that we understand he has made a funny in panel 4, via a similar method of "Have the other character get angry, so you know a bad pun just went down." Randall just because one character says it's a bad pun does not absolve you of the fact that your comic just got its laugh (if the reader laughed) from a bad pun. You can't just replace good humor with bad humor and apologize, expecting that to be enough. It's not.

Also, and again this is one of those things where I'm not a woman, but are women on their period actually incapable of motion as implied by "If I could get up..." ? I have known a small number of women and I imagine they had periods at some point but I don't think any were actually rendered immobile. I don't think.

Guys what else should go on the "dumbest sentences ever uttered in xkcd" list? we can make this a thing.

update: Ah crap, I forgot I meant to say something nice about all these. Um...if I get in the right frame of mind where I like terrible puns, I can vaguely enjoy the feeling where you read the phrase "uterus-hertz" and do that sort of mental double-take and realize its second meaning. Of course that's true for all puns, but still, I promised I'd try.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Comic 593: Pages of Nonsense

full of giberish

Now a lot of people who are beginning to lean towards the "huh, this webcomic does suck a little" have told me that they like this comic. I don't know why. For those of you silly people who had not heard about the Voynich Manuscript (unlike me - thanks again, Unusual Wikipedia Articles!), I have no clue why you would find this comic funny: It presents a historical oddity and makes a joke off it, which I suppose could be amusing at the Annual Conference of Voynich Enthusiasts but for those of us not plaugued by wondering what this manuscript is, why should we care?

If the comic were about some unsolved mystery that we all actually knew about (I don't know what, but people have heard of Amelia Earhart, so work with that), it would be more interesting.

There's also the fact that Randall twists the truth to make his joke work: People don't know that it is full of recipes, and descriptions of other worlds and stuff. The punchline only works if you assume that the text of the book is something like a D&D manual, and it's only funny if no one has a clue what any of the text is. So the whole thing doesn't work. Commenter Fred put the whole thing very well on the last posts thread:

It is an INCREDIBLE stretch to even imagine that the Voynich manuscript looks like what a 16th century D&D manual would have looked like. It doesn't have any tables, the closest thing to 'lists' are paragraphs marked with a bullet (which -might- be recipes) and there's no telling if it has "long dry descriptions of nonexistent worlds" because NOBODY CAN FUCKING READ IT. How does stickman know the text is dry? Where did 'descriptions of nonexistent worlds' come from? I mean, the only thing the manuscript has in common with a D&D manual are things Randall -imagined- are in the manuscript.

"Hey, I wonder what the Voynich manuscript is all about."
"Isn't that obvious? Look, it's page after page of romance, sarcasm, math and language, surrounded with a lot of crappy drawings."
"Dear lord, it -is- obvious!"
500 years earlier: "Forsooth, if I deconstructeth the intricacies of sexual relations then Megan might still love me."
Alt text: You confuse me! You have apparently crammed two separate ideas right after each other, and made it sound like a question immediately followed by another, but they don't make sense together.

Oh right I was going to say something nice about every comic: Um - I guess I like the drawing in panel 1, it looks pretty accurate. And also the "show us don't tell us" nature of the punchline.


On another note, of late there have been way more comments than there used to be posted on the blog. Generally that is awesome, most of them are good and debate humor from all sides. I want to encourage people who disagree with me to keep posting. As you can see, there are also lots of less, shall we say, meritorious posts, and that sucks, but we will have to do our best. You should know, however, that I am not going to be writing comments for a while. This is a) because it would take too much time to respond to even a fraction of the comments we are getting, and b) so you know anything from "Carl" is not actually from me. I'll use my unobscured space here in the posts to let you know what I think, and whether I, in fact, enjoy sucking ass turds.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Comic 592: Drama Is The Opposite of Comedy

Dramatically sucks more like

I told myself I was going to try to find something I like about every comic, just to do something new and maybe slightly more constructive. It would be a good way to think about things. But then I read this comic and I was like, "Well let's wait a comic before getting started...." because 592 is just awful.

Now it has some of the usual problems with xkcd that we see all the time - "boo hoo, I struggle with relationhips constantly" with a healthy dose of charts as well - but there's crappiness of a nature exclusive to this strip as well.

Probably the worst thing is that this is an old fucking idea (as well as, ahem, an old 'fucking idea' ZING) with an old established outcome that is somehow presented as being clever and insightful. Probably the best, best-known, and most similar to the xkcd example I can think of is the Seinfeld episode that wikipedia tells me is called "The Deal" Seriously, read their synopsis of it - it's the same fucking thing (as well as the same, ahem - ha ha, nope).

But it's an older idea than that. Hell, the idea of having a friend with whom one has sexual relations yet with whom one is not romantically involved should even have a name! Something like "Compatriots with advantages," say, or "chums with perks" or maybe "mates you mate with" or "comrades with values" or "partners minus costs" or "friends with benefits" or something to describe this situation Randall has created. I don't know, you guys pick something.

Now I know some people have said this comic reminds them of a Dinosaur Comic but honestly I don't really see it - maybe in that qwantz has a way of saying "woah, here's a problem with the world, why hasn't anyone fixed it?" and then in the next panel the problem has been fixed. But honestly I didn't really see a connection.

In conclusion: This idea is old, don't throw your fucked up relationships on us, you sucks, stop graphing things it's why no one likes you, i hate you, the end.

And I swear I am going to be more positive in the future! SWEAR

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Comic 591: Cornucopia of Hatred

so shitty!You'll note that today's picture and link to the comic is much larger than usual, and we'll get to that in a minute. But oh goodness there was so much fun to be had with this comic, don't you think?

For one thing, there was the actual seriously funny idea of what would happen if Twilight people attempted to penetrate the dense jungles of 4chan. Of course, the hilarious things that would happen are exactly the opposite of what Randy draws, and that just makes it funnier. Rather than take over and ruin the fun of the usual /b/tards, they would be utterly shocked and horrified within seconds and run screaming to their parents and cry for a while, and what isn't funny about Twilight people doing that? Nothing. Nothing is unfunny about that. So the double level of humor is that Randall got it totally wrong as well.

Then there is the crazy idea that Ms. Meyer a) monitors twilight fan pages, b) takes offense at anything bad that happens on any one of them, c) can trace the website where such bad things were planned, d) cares enough that she will mix her characters in with the 4chan people, and e) doesn't care enough to know that 4chan people would love nothing more than such publicity. GOOD JOB MAKING REALISTIC CHARACTERS, RANDY! this is why people want to punch you in the face.

Next in our cavalcade of joyous things is the fact that that isn't what 4chan even looks like, fucker! You have it set up like some type of message board where everyone has an avatar or something, and all the posts are super short and are all aligned together. Whereas in fact it is way messier than that.

Also, dude, and this is serious: enough with the 4chan. We get it, you like the site, awesome, spiffy, that takes real skill, etc, it makes you cool, etc, none of us are capable of such things. Also it is always hilarious so that is nice. Stop it though. We get it, we swear we won't forget, can you stop now? Awesome.

Hell, we didn't even get to see their trolling! That might have been fun but we just skip from "let's do this in the future" to "it has been done, please stop it" without seeing the actual event itself! lame.

But I'm not done! Let's talk about art. As a crappy artist, I try not to mention this too much, but come on: I've mentioned before that faces can be a good thing and today's comic is further proof of that. Why can't 4chan man have a face? Why leave out his eyes and nose and mouth and ears but include the zits? Why include zits where his eyes should be? This is like when you drew creepy wrinkly morgan freeman or horrible snake monster attacking that girl's head. I understand that lazy drawing is kind of your thing but seriously, do you not see the problems it can create?

OK OK OK I swear I'm almost done! I will get this blog post up before midnight!

Lastly, general unprofessionalism. Take a look at the comic you put on your site, Randy. Look at line two of panel one ["I'm in..."]. Look at how you made a mistake somewhere, and instead of starting again (it was still at the beginning!) or using, I don't know, the fucking eraser tool on photoshop, you just were like, "WHATEVER, DUDE, AHM MAKING MAH OWN DAMN COMIC" and just crossed it out. WHAT? you can't just do that! Ok maybe sometimes you can but come on! We're supposed to be reading text on a computer screen! I understand the strikethrough concept but that's not what you have there! You have scribbles! what the fuck??

And you spelled "Stephenie Meyer" wrong! Granted, I misspelled "Twilight" when I looked it up on wikipedia just now but I'm just some nobody on the internet. You are a professional comic! This is what you do. Can you really not be bothered with these things? Was there really not enough time between last Friday and last Monday to start this comic again, without mistakes? Is this really how you present yourself? I know this is coming from a guy who left out the end of a sentence in his last post but again: I am not a professional!

Now granted he did fix it -after like 2 days- with the usual "no acknowledgement anywhere that i fucked up, giant d-bag that I am" but as you can see, I have reconstructed the original, crappy version of the comic above. Sorry it's not bigger but hey, fuck you. It's big enough.

So with a thousand different reasons to LOVE today's comic, I know - i just know - I will be disappointed by tomorrows.

What did you love most about this one?

update: oh my god. i know i predicted that 592 would disappoint me but oh. my. GOD.