Saturday, March 27, 2010

Comic 719: I Dream Of Randall

Also see this, which is one of my, Rob's, rants, and is therefore inherently better than Person #1's lazy-ass drivel.

Hello everyone. Today's post concludes my guest week and in order to get you used to carl again, I decided to be fashionably late with it. Actually, I just didn't know what to write. At the time of writing, I still don't. Let's just see what happens.

wowowowowowowow

Ok, uhm. Well, I know something I can say about this. The art, as always, is extremely mediocre.



You don't even notice it, but more than half of the comic is text, and once you reduce it to the actual pictures, you get an absolutely meaningless scene. Comics are a visual medium. Xkcd is not.

Now let's try that the other way around. I will replace all of the art with two monochrome boxes:



Is it much worse than the original? The only thing the art clarifies is that the black box is quoting this from a book, other than that, it's the exact same thing. Now, I'm not saying that this xkcd is a fucking masterpiece, but it could and should be better. Let's mash it up, SMBC style. Sorta.



This is something Randall presumably found out one way or another and came up with this plan to scare a friend, and then decided to make it a comic. Why he didn't use mr. hat is beyond me, but whatever. The problem is just that it's not really that funny to begin with, mostly because the explanation needed is a bit long, but also because he's not exactly doing a good job at delivering it. Overall, the comic is pretty meh.

I don't even really know what to say about this one, and the forumites don't either, they're just talking about whether they had that dream. Some are saying GOOMHR which is bullshit because he didn't come up with the fact that these dreams are common. Fuck you, forumites

So I went to the irc channel at #xkcd-sucks to get some help:

(09:25:07 PM) person1: if you had to describe friday's comic with one word, what would it be?
(09:25:17 PM) rmason: look at me i'm person1 and i appeal to other people's narcissism out of my own laziness
(09:25:20 PM) rmason: DERP DERP DERP
(09:25:28 PM) person1: lol
(09:25:30 PM) person1: fuck you rob
(09:25:31 PM) rmason: the word is 'loathsome' btw
(09:25:33 PM) person1: you gigantic fatass
(09:26:07 PM) Sh0rtWave: Which one's that?
(09:26:15 PM) person1: the brain worm one
(09:26:28 PM) rmason: oh wait no it's GOOMH-bait
(09:26:30 PM) Sh0rtWave: One word?
(09:26:31 PM) Sh0rtWave: hrm
(09:26:31 PM) rmason: that is my word
(09:26:32 PM) Superbest: man, it's so meh I can't even find a word
(09:26:42 PM) rmason: i had a friend share it on google reader with a 'GOOMH'
(09:26:45 PM) rmason: i wanted to murder her
(09:26:47 PM) person1: ME TOO
(09:27:02 PM) The_Autodidact: is this that one friend that you hate for posting stupid stuff on twitter
(09:27:04 PM) Sh0rtWave: Presumptuous, is the best word I can come up with after "fucking stupid", but fucking stupid is two words.
(09:27:05 PM) rmason: no
(09:27:11 PM) rmason: this is a friend that i actually like
(09:27:18 PM) rmason: it made it all the viler
(09:27:46 PM) Superbest: I guess I could say meh, but it's even more meh than that word implies, somehow
(09:27:56 PM) rmason: ultrameh
(09:27:59 PM) rmason: megameh
(09:28:02 PM) rmason: MONSTERMEH
(09:28:12 PM) rmason: I am a huge fatass


fuck you guys.
I'm done.
also randall is in your head? how ORWELLIAN! I don't feel like this post is worth proofreading, so fuck you guys (again).

198 comments:

  1. THE WORMS

    IN MY BRAIN

    GOOMH WORMS

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  2. UGH can you guys stop commenting on the art? I'M SICK OF IT. Every fucking post- "the art, as usual, is sucky" and "look how bland the art is!" Goddamnit. I liked this blog- but it was going downhill too, ironically. For the last 500 billion posts its all about how someone else did it, art is bad, and it's meh/mediocre.

    I guess I can't blame you peoplez... one of the main reasons why every comic by xkcd is bad is because the art.

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  3. It's hindering the humor, though. I'm not talking his style, I'm talking how he chooses to show situations to the viwer.

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  4. Don't give Randall ideas with those boxes! He might start replacing all his faceless characters with companion cubes just to pander more! (and since those boxes actually look cuter and more appealing than the stick figures, I bet it would work)

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  5. "I guess I can't blame you peoplez... one of the main reasons why every comic by xkcd is bad is because the art."

    it's the critic's dilemma: if something sucks for the same reason every time, your criticisms will get boring and repetitive. a sad irony of criticism: ultimately the quality of your criticism depends on the quality of the criticized.

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  6. Wow, by the end of the week you've become lazier than Carl. Remove the pics and the chatlog and there's like 5 sentences of text. It's like anti-xkcd.

    You could've at least linked to http://xkcd.com/699/ and http://xkcd.com/557/ as proof that Randy is reusing his old ideas.

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  7. Did anyone else figure out the punchline really early in Ranalogue's first line?

    In addition, this comic is super lazy in terms of Randall's "look what wikipedia taught me today" portion. The made-up parasite effects spatial reasoning. Dreams with strange spatial reasoning are listed as fake symptoms. Fine. That works. But ALL the spatial reasoning-distorted dreams involve driving? Really? Randall couldn't even bother to look at 2 different section of the common dream article, trying to find a variety of dreams that involve this distortion?

    His readers, the ones that actually like the comic, should be insulted.

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  8. This was loosely inspired by 102, except it's less comprehensibly told. "80s comedy -> TRAGEDY" thing.

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  9. Timofei - it's not laziness. I literally had no idea what to write.

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  10. It would be funnier if the woman was driving and the other guy said it. Saying it to someone sitting at the computer implies that she can look it up instantly, and means the driving-specific dreams don't make as much sense.

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  11. Anon 1:50 - If Randall keeps exhibiting the same flaws, we'll continue on commenting about it. Simple like that.

    It does get tiring, though...

    CAPTCHA: solyptif. Is that a word? It does sound like...

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  12. I fucking loathe all of these "MY HOBBY" comics.

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  13. I think that's why Art and Dialogue is viewed TOGETHER. They're nothing alone.

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  14. except, XKCD without the art doesn't lose anything. one could argue it actually gains quite a bit

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  15. At least the boxes' top side is connected to the rest of it.

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  16. Is it masochistic of me to think that at least this isn't some well-drawn comic? Wouldn't that feel like more of a waste?

    Based on some of his earlier doodles (really early, back around the time he did that silly The Cure comic), it's possible he'd be a decent artist. If he could find a decent writer, they could team up to do a comic that might actually be worth reading.

    CAPTCHA: bacro. How all the cool kids say "backroynm."

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  17. at least pretty art is fun to look at.

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  18. Granted, pretty much all the comics I've run into that have good art are well-written. Serendipity? Good luck? Mediocre taste on my part?

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  19. the link may be more causative than you'd think. if a comic has good art, that means that time was put into it. whereas Randall doesn't really have to sink any time into it, a comic with good art means there was a significant time investment--and usually it means that there had to be some fairly extensive storyboarding to make sure the art and dialogue lined up, which means either a lot of collaboration between the writer and artist or the aggregate writer/artist spending a fair amount of time working on his scripts and storyboards.

    it doesn't always work out this way, of course.

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  20. Writer-artist teams might also work because there is the potential for built-in editorial commentary on both aspects of the work. Sometimes the person who has some emotional and creative distance from whichever part--narrative or itself can offer helpful insights.

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  21. A parasite that alters your conscious experience?

    That sounds uh awesome? And criminally under-developed an idea in this comic?


    But replace worm with, say, "stress" or "mental health issues" or something that can alter your consciousness in a more plausible way, and the comic becomes oh hmmm...factual. Ordinary. And not a little depressing.


    - - - -


    This is my beef with Randy. He is settling for so little. Parasitic mind-worms. That was his 'idea' on Friday. But instead of jotting it down and thinking about it and trying out various related ideas in his notebooks, he takes that first scratch of inspiration and says THAT IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED! and throws it up online as if it's completed and satisfactory.
    And now the idea is wasted.
    And that's a little sad.

    Here's what he should do: keep writing comics and doing a thrice weekly update BUT don't actually put them up on his website. Just take a month off, and by the end of it he'll have a backlog of ~12 ideas. Now he rereads reflects rewrites them and (still coming up with new crappy material in his notebooks three times a week) chooses the best of the lot to put on the website on Mon/Wed/Friday.
    This way, he'll always have at least 12 comics to choose from, so it's unlikely they'll ALL be awful, and he's got the time to hold onto the ones that have potential and make them really awesome, instead of being forced to throw them up half finished anyway.


    Good relevant Philip Pullman quote (paraphrasing):
    The amateur believes that if he could only have inspiration all the time, he'd be a professional.
    The professional believes that if he only had inspiration all the time, he'd be an amateur.

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  22. yes. I don't know how many writer-artist teams are out there, though. so long as they work together well and are used to it and give each other feedback etc.

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  23. i think he would work better with a writer-artist-randall team

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  24. Now I'm imagining Randall just sitting in the corner on a laptop shouting out some idea every now and then.
    "Parasitic mind worms! Is that an idea!?"
    "Ok how about google search results?"
    Is it weird that he's wearing a helmet and a shirt that says "Special Little Boy" on it in my minds eye?

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  25. I don't know how you feel about Penny Arcade, but I think they're touted as a writer/artist-team success story. Regardless of how you feel about what they turn out, I think it's safe to say their story is a lot more affirming and pleasant to look at than either the drama or comic produced by, say, Piro and Largo.

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  26. I like PA. I also like A Softer World, which has a writer and a photographer (who are both very sexy people and I namedrop them frequently). I've also made some comics with my animator friend, and I think the results were pretty okay (we could do better, but given the circumstances and the time we spent together...)

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  27. ...and I just realized I stated an exception to the writer/artist-team hypothesis with my Megatokyo reference.

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  28. sometimes people are talentless hacks

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  29. Once, I was eighteen and had no experience with the real world and thought Megatokyo was funny and exciting and a breath of fresh air in my dull world. I have spent most of my life since then attempting to atone for the abominable error of my ways.

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  30. "This is my beef with Randy. He is settling for so little. Parasitic mind-worms. That was his 'idea' on Friday. But instead of jotting it down and thinking about it and trying out various related ideas in his notebooks, he takes that first scratch of inspiration and says THAT IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED! and throws it up online as if it's completed and satisfactory.
    And now the idea is wasted.
    And that's a little sad."

    See maybe I'm in denial but I think maybe the Cool Idea that this comic was born from was the idea of messing with people's heads by making bullshit dream interpretations and he just came up with a retarded and convoluted way to execute it.

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  31. Anon's got a point, I also doubt the parasitc worm came before the weird symptoms. I always have this impression that Randall works his jokes backwards, i.e., from punchline to setup, which leaves this bad feeling that the joke is like a puzzle which pieces don't fit, but they're tacked on together.

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  32. "Oh God." she thought, knowing full well it wasn't, "How did things get to this point?"

    It didn't start out so bad. He seemed an alright sort, back when it first began. Scientist at NASA, bit of a geek, but hey, what is so wrong with that, right? At least he could fix her computer when it broke.

    She got better acquainted with him after a while, and began to discover some of the stranger, disturbing quirks. His quirks weren't all bad, really. Most had an endearing, charming awkward quality to them. She couldn't hate him for them. And the ones which were, they had a deviously subtle quality to them. You could explain them. They were grey. They didn't necessarily mean something.

    They were the kind that made it easy to deceive yourself.

    She'd go through his notebooks on a lazy Sunday morning, while he was absorbed by the screen, waging bitter wars of logic at obscure internet forums. Well, "go through" isn't quite the word- they'd always lie in open sight, strewn all over the living room, the bedroom, the study. He was a man of wild ideas, scribbling on anything closeby, not bothering to keep the scribbles ordered, not bothering to close the notebooks when he's done. So she'd glance at them, out of curiousity, and also boredom.

    The ludicrous, childish ones were slightly irritating to her (she could never understand the male urge to worship immaturity), but harmless enough. Quite early on in the relationship, she'd found the puzzling drawing of some girl's behind. Jotted on the side, something about a Spanish class... Come again, isn't he always talking about that friend of his? What's her name... Macy? Megan? Mary? Something like that. Never liked hearing about her, for sure... He seems so harmless though! How could he... Perhaps it really is like they say, the innocent looking ones are who you should look out for the most.

    She wouldn't put it past him, in the end, now that she thinks of it.

    He's been so nice though. None of her other boyfriend's listened to her like that. Especially not in bed. But did he have to write about it in that little diary of hers? She even saw him draw *her* once! He keeps that one where he thinks she doesn't know, but she's not stupid. What if somebody sees it? Besides, it's just creepy, drawing people like that! And then he constantly insists on acting out all those weird fantasies with ball pits and black hats and what not... She remembers when she finally snapped when he mentioned the car. But was she wrong? You gotta draw the line somewhere! And in all honesty, exhibitionism is as good a line as any. It's downright silly, really. Doing it in the car! What are they, teenagers? And what's wrong with the good old bedroom anyhow? You'd think she was interesting enough for him without that weird crap!

    It wasn't just his kinky stuff, either! That time he tried to stuff Fluffles in a box and sell him on eBay, who the hell DOES that? It's not that he did that, either. It's how he stared at her in confusion when she explained the cat can't survive being transported in a box like inanimate cargo, and how cruel it would be to damn the poor thing to asphyxiation.

    His naivete was brutal.

    And now he quit his job, apparently to "get in touch with his artistic self". She never could figure out what browsing those disgusting porn forums did to help that, but at least it puts food on the table. It's still isn't right though. For how long can you lie to all your friends and family about something like that? What if she had to tell the truth? "He sits home all day, and looks at pornography. I'm not sure where the money comes from!"

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  33. She thought about leaving, of course. It's not as easy as it seems. It's not his unavoidable eventual histrionic break downs that most worry her. It's not the loneliness to follow, and the longing for what she'd have never had. Oh, those worried her too, of course, but thing is, it's what would happend after, that was what intimidated her.

    He obviously was up to no good. The chemicals, the cirucit boards piled in the middle of the room, the dull explosions in the middle of the night. She felt safer telling herself it is only a hobby, harmless -if childish- mucking about with some firecrackers. But by God! They were bombs he was making! And then those times that he was not at home. He never could explain that, explain where he went, explain why his disappearance always seemed to be the culmination of some "coincidentally" repeated episodes of reminiscing about that... That Mary or something.

    He definitely could motivate himself to be persistent about things. She didn't want him to be persistent. But perhaps there were ways to prevent that... The suitcase she had kept under the bed for so long, for what if not this? The tickets that she would reserve, each month, harried by indecision? She knew she had to do something one day, why not now then? Why not today?

    He had returned now into that cave of filth he carved out in the basement for himself (he claimed it helped the computers keep cold). Still muttering about parasites. Those ones particularly apt to enter penii and vaginas, by the sound of it. She shudderred. This was not a man she would enjoy getting furious at her, but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's...

    "Honey! Randy?" her best calm, carefree voice. She had a long time to perfect it, and good reason. "I think I saw something on slasher dot about copyright and lunix. It seemed the kind of thing you'd like, dear." she stood still there, very still, for one of those moments that feel an eternity. "Honey? Just thought I'd let you know. Anyway, I guess I'll go take out the trash!" She could hear it, without doubt. Hurried footsteps, furious typing. Now was the time, while his manchild mind was focused to a point!

    Suitcase in hand, she dashed towards the car. It didn't seem so heavy, somehow, yet she knew it was. She fumbled around in her pockets. The keys! They were still in the car- excellent! Now all she needed was to get away while he was-

    "Oh are you still attempting to keep our entropy at a minimum? Heh heh, I told you, it's..." Too late. Hmm. Explain? Run? He'd follow. Holy Lord she knew he'd follow! There was just no reasoning with him. Perhaps if-

    "Oh em gee, what's the trajectory on that, Houston?" the wheels screeched, drowning out his smug half-snort. All too well that this stretch of road was fairly straight, she was too busy drawing blood from her lower lip to steer.

    She focused her eyes on the road ahead to see a cat dart out of the way. Almost out of the neighborhood. A short drive now and she'd be too far to reliably go after, if her plan works right.

    Seems to work all right thus far.

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  34. Wait wait wait Gryfilion, which comic was about The Cure? Because I must be missing something if I didn't catch that.

    Plus anon's story of Randal's downfall is quite entertaining

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  35. Well, Cam, you HAD to ruin it with that interruption, didn't you? First you ruin that moment of silence in honor of... something, and now this. Good job breaking it, hero!

    Also, it's this comic: http://xkcd.com/56/

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  36. You put in the alt text for the comic image in this post "In the world of xkcd, people use one hand to read their books."

    I can therefore conclude that xkcd is set in Japan, because Japanese people read books with one hand (and Japanese books are specifically sized to make it easy to do that). Get into nearly any train in Tokyo, you'll see someone standing, holding a hand hold with one hand and reading a book with the other.

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  37. Mole, you're just upset because I comment before you do :P that and that cure comic must not be stuck in my memory banks because... it's really lame? Come on besides the fact that he attempted to sketch a face realistically the joke is sooo lame

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  38. .



























































































































    This bot test is brought to you by Robs jilted lover

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  39. what is this shit and why is it still here?

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  40. Carl hasn't given anyone comment moderating privileges.

    maybe I should start calling back

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  41. bot test? the bot took over 30 minutes to post a few blank comments?

    Bot needs a lot more work.

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  42. One thing I'm surprised that no one noticed is HOW FAR THAT HEAD IS DETACHED. Oh my god, it's nearly half a centimetre. I know it's a trite old criticism, but the distance of the head from the body left me marveling for several seconds.

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  43. Randall should just make the heads a little farther away from the bodies every day until the comic consists of headless stickbodies carrying out the action of the comic while blank circles narrate it from above, just to see how long before any of his fans notice.

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  44. Cam--

    If you're still around after Rob's most recent turned this into Spacebar Central: http://xkcd.com/56/

    Interestingly enough, the caption shows how early on Randall started strangling his jokes.

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  45. That art sure is impressive! It's like I'm looking at a real photo! Now I know why people say Randall had the potential to be a good artist: Because his drawings at their best looked exactly like everything every bored high schooler who's stared at photos and tried to copy them has managed to crank out. With slight amounts of blending!

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  46. I always thought that one was one of the worst of what I'd call Randalls "actual" drawings.
    http://xkcd.com/13/
    http://xkcd.com/59/
    http://xkcd.com/77/
    http://xkcd.com/170/
    http://xkcd.com/254/
    http://xkcd.com/405/ part of that awful Journal series but ok
    http://xkcd.com/569/

    And probably plenty I missed. Also notice how the ones I can remember become more and more infrequent.

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  47. xkcd has been too boring to make fun of lately.

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  48. Not so. The latest goatkcd was pretty good.

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  49. I think there's a joke buried here about genetic computing, but I can't parse it.

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  50. It took me a while to figure out what a MEPL was. apparently it's kind of like a MEAL.

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  51. Femalethoth--

    I wasn't saying that the art was impressive. What I meant with my earlier comments is that Randall is at least halfway decent in his art, which the stick figures and general laziness tend to belie. Coupled with a halfway decent writer, he (they) could turn out a comic that, if not the best thing ever, would be more readable and generally okay than XKCD in its current state is.

    I posted that comic simply because Cam mentioned not remembering that one in particular.

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  52. Here's my take on the latest one:

    http://www.pretentiousname.com/temp/xkcdsucks.png

    (Original, awful PoS: http://xkcd.com/720/ )

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  53. What exactly is the big problem if a stick-man's head doesn't quite join onto his body? Of all the bleating criticisms made on this tedious blog, that is the most puzzling.

    Rob, perhaps your next oh-so-persuasive rant could elucidate this point?

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  54. I don't usually take issue with the floating heads but holy crap the head on the far left is ridiculous.

    (I think the guy on the right has an acceptable level of floating-headedness.)

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  55. "I think there's a joke buried here about genetic computing, but I can't parse it."

    I think it's more like a joke of, lol, computer scientists using, lol, computer science techniques in, lol, quite inadequate places, lol, because they're totally socially inept, lol.

    lol.

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  56. @Jimmy: I know what you're saying, and I do think that incompleteness in cartoon art is a stylistic thing and can look really cool (if it's even noticed at all - I remember when I started drawing cartoons and comic-style things being surprised to find out how rarely lines actually connected in other cartoonists' sketches)

    But the broken neck thing is bad. Why? Because It's ugly. Simple as.

    It jars. It stops you from seeing what's being depicted and instead noticing how it's depicted - like I just mentioned, I was amazed to find out a lot of cartoonists' didn't connect lines. They were doing it right. I hadn't noticed their stylistic tricks. But the neck-gap you do notice. You can't help but notice. And so instead of looking at it and thinking "there is a stick man now let's see what he is doing" you look at it and get hung up on "what is wrong with that stickman's neck?"
    That is not a desirable reaction to a drawing.

    As well - artistic concerns aside - it's distracting in another sense. It shoves you into wholly irrelevant stupid pointless directions of thought (How does that guy breath? Maybe the neck is disguised by an invisible scarf? Why does this other stickman not have a disconnected head? Does that make them different species of stick-creature?) and away from the material on hand, the actual comic itself.


    Youre right: it's a TOTALLY minor detail. It's almost completely unimportant. If it had only happened once or twice, I'd dismiss it altogether.
    But it's pervasive. Pervasive and inconsistent.
    Which means it's likely a bad habit and a recurring accident.
    And BECAUSE it's so minor, so totally unimportant, so inconsequential, and yet so undesirable, it's really fucking annoying that Randy doesn't correct it.
    I hesitate to say he's a good artist, but it's not like he's only able to draw stick figures. He's able to fix this and improve it.
    So how the hell come he hasn't noticed?!
    And if he has noticed, how the hell come he hasn't corrected it?!

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  57. What's up with the lines under the table? are those their legs? how?

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  58. Oh dear God I hadn't noticed the legs
    what the fuck is that middle guy

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  59. I laughed at Leo's, especially the mepls

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  60. I'm pretty sure the key to the legs is orientation. The far left person is facing us directly, so eir legs are fairly straight, but apart. The person at the right is facing slightly rotated clockwise, so eir legs are a bit rotated, as well, and are closer together. The person in the middle rotated similarly to person two and is also crossing eir legs, leading us to the picture we see. Of all possible criticisms, that one seems to have far too easy of an answer.

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  61. Fuck Spivak pronouns in every possible orifice for all eternity.

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  62. The key to the legs is it would have been more visually pleasant if they didn't appear in the frame.

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  63. You are now noticing the fact that the aren't sitting on anything.

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  64. holy hell today's xkcd is ugly
    (there is a difference between ugliness and minimalism, cuddlefish)

    crappy five minute paint job:
    http://imgur.com/zncpH.png
    http://xkcd.com/121/

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  65. Okay, a few things disconnected...

    First, Anon 6:31(oh, god, no!), why are you using those... Spivak things? Randall draws women with hair and men hairless, so it's not like you don't know their sexes! Stop confusing me with these neologisms!

    Now... on the comic.

    First, the joke is lame. Everytime Randall makes this "nerds are awkward in real life situations" I cringe a little. Pro-tip: nerds are supposed to be smart. Awkward and a bi socially inadequate, but smart. Those things are barely edible, why are they even cooking them? They should just ditch them and tell the algorithm to try again! That would be a sensible approach!

    Now, on the art: floating heads, yadda yadda. Expanding on the subject a little, I'd be less puzzled if that was the norm, but it seems Randall tries to make the heads right, but fails. That's why it bothers so much, cuddlefish.

    Anyway, those legs are confusing and... why does MiddleStickMan have little hearts coming out of his glass? Randall's art "style" betrays him again, because I spent more time puzzled about those horribly rendered horrible meals than actually reading the strip.

    And, finally: why is that person holding that laptop like that? Who in the world holds his laptop like that?! That's asinine! It's even worse that it looks like he's gripping on the touchpad to hold it... and I hope that's not the case because, if it is, his arm is shorter than the other AND it's even stupider!

    Final notes: I like the genetic algorithm humor a little, but the comic is overall meh.

    That's all for now. Mole out.

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  66. I'VE BEEN WONDERING ALL FUCKING DAY LONG WHAT THE
    HELL WAS A

    M E P L

    FUCK YOU! RANDALL!

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  67. Best leg cases

    also while I was at it I drew some faces on it

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  68. "I said:
    I think that's why Art and Dialogue is viewed TOGETHER. They're nothing alone.

    Then Rob said...
    except, XKCD without the art doesn't lose anything. one could argue it actually gains quite a bit"

    ---

    I believe it doesn't gain anything. In fact, it loses the style. You see, the stick figures aren't a crude failure of art, that Randall just can't seem to draw any better, but it's his own style of drawing.

    The structure of a one-panel comic always includes simple art and dialogue (just take a look at all the one-panel comics that other artists produce, especially in the case of newspapers). Now, the art this time didn't have any explicit connections with the words themselves, but I think of Randall's comics as the highlights of his day. This comic may not have been a particularly humorous juncture, but it is somewhat amusing for the person doing it, is it not?

    You know, it's not that easy to paint a scene or background around stick figures. Their lack of existent area makes it hard for the passing eye to recognize it as a body unless it is against a plain background. Usually, with a scene so vibrant and colorful (not that Randall's backgrounds are like that), the stick figures can easily become lost. This is even more dangerous with grayscale lined backgrounds.

    You have to take some of this as an art, not just something five-year olds can do. An example of this is that each stick figure that represents Randall looks similar, and each all the other stick figures that depicts other characters look distinct in some way so that the reader can distinguish between individuals. It's not easy to do that.

    And if that's not enough, there are also other artistic ventures that Randall embarks upon. For example, the opening scene in #599 is not that easily drawn, you would agree. #150 calls for a lot of individual coloring that would not make each ball look out of place. And comic #77 isn't that easy to draw, either. Then things like #657 and #482 look complicated enough. Randall is not absolutely empty of skill.

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  69. You guys I honestly thought MEPLs was a computer science term that I didn't know. Like, megapixels? I don't know. Then, no, it's just MEALS written illegibly.

    I believe it doesn't gain anything. In fact, it loses the style. You see, the stick figures aren't a crude failure of art, that Randall just can't seem to draw any better, but it's his own style of drawing.

    Hahahaha no. "It's not shitty, it's my styyyyyyyle" especially doesn't fly when we've seen his attempts to draw better and they're pretty fucking mediocre.

    You have to take some of this as an art, not just something five-year olds can do. An example of this is that each stick figure that represents Randall looks similar, and each all the other stick figures that depicts other characters look distinct in some way so that the reader can distinguish between individuals. It's not easy to do that.

    Randall does it by putting distinct hats on distinct individuals. That is something a five-year-old can do.

    Randall is not absolutely empty of skill.

    If he wasn't two years ago, he is now.

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  70. Oh, and then concerning the original post itself.

    When you take out the dialogue, it does not turn it into a meaningless scene. It creates so many possibilities--what is the girl looking at? What is the guy doing? Is he reading? Is he dictating? Is the girl bored? Why? Is he punishing her with bookish boredom? There are so many different ways for them to interact, that all it needs is a little human input: imagination. And apparently, someone doesn't have that.

    And for the second part: the art does not only clarify that the black box is quoting from a book. With the characters themselves in the comic, it shows how their characters are developed, and begs the question of why it was not the girl (I can't keep track so far; is she Megan?) who is telling him about the worms, and is the other way around. It links back to their fragile (imaginary) relationship that, too. How is the girl putting up with this? How will she respond? Does this happen all the time?

    I don't see why you would replace characters with boxes, anyway. If you take any comic and replace them with boxes, they would be reduced to nothing. Watchmen would never look the same, the Sandman would look like crap. It's really a failed exploit that you're trying to use to add to your post length, which, in the end, isn't that long or valid, either, since I don't see the connection between the SMBC and the IRC channel parts and the berating of the comic.

    Well, you tried.

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  71. "Hahahaha no. "It's not shitty, it's my styyyyyyyle" especially doesn't fly when we've seen his attempts to draw better and they're pretty fucking mediocre."

    Mediocre? You think the drawings I named are mediocre? How 'bout you compare them to other webcomics? Oh, and give me examples of what you think are his attempts to "draw better" that are "mediocre".

    "Randall does it by putting distinct hats on distinct individuals. That is something a five-year-old can do."

    If you didn't get that, I'll clarify for you: It's the facial structures that Randall puts in. You can see the slight distinct forehead in Randall, the hair differences that clarifies distinction between that girl and that other girl the Hat guy is going after. (I haven't figured out their names yet; he seems a little vague on those aspects)

    Randall still has some skill, I'd have to argue. #709 and #713 seems good enough. Okay, you're right; he hasn't been doing any big comic projects lately, but I'm sure when he does, then we can judge.

    And you haven't said anything about the rest of my post. No witty rebuttals, huh?

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  72. I also thought that MEPLS was some sort of computer science term I hadn't heard before. But wow, it really is supposed to be "meals?" Good job Randall.

    By the way one of the first forum comments:

    LOL, we would do something like that too.

    Ha ha, my group would totally take stupid recipes that are unappetizing and barely edible and cook them because...I don't know, we're fucking stupid I guess!

    I'm starting to wonder if at some point Randall turned into a social scientist and xkcd became an experiment. "I wonder how shitty and terrible I can make this comic and people will still think it's great. Okay, I'll do a comic that's fucking awful and they'll HAVE to hate it right? What do you mean they still love it?"

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  73. When you take out the dialogue, it does not turn it into a meaningless scene. It creates so many possibilities--what is the girl looking at? What is the guy doing? Is he reading? Is he dictating? Is the girl bored? Why? Is he punishing her with bookish boredom? There are so many different ways for them to interact, that all it needs is a little human input: imagination. And apparently, someone doesn't have that.

    And neither does Randall, it seems.

    Glorious to see you coming up with elaborate fan-wanky explanations of their character and relationship, absolutely NONE OF WHICH is even remotely hinted at by the text.

    I don't see why you would replace characters with boxes, anyway. If you take any comic and replace them with boxes, they would be reduced to nothing. Watchmen would never look the same, the Sandman would look like crap. It's really a failed exploit that you're trying to use to add to your post length.

    Comparing the art of Gibbons and McKean to the art of Munroe: Hahahahahahahawow

    Man, stick around. I can't wait to see what deep readings you'll bring to every other xkcd.

    Mediocre? You think the drawings I named are mediocre? How 'bout you compare them to other webcomics? Oh, and give me examples of what you think are his attempts to "draw better" that are "mediocre".

    Randall's art is mediocre compared to Tim Buckley's sketches on absath.com, dude. Even if you can find webcomics that look even worse than XKCD--they're out there, I've done one--that doesn't prove that XKCD isn't mediocre, it proves that webcomics as a whole attract incredibly shitty amateur artists.

    Also everything he's drawn has been mediocre.

    And you haven't said anything about the rest of my post. No witty rebuttals, huh?

    No, it's just that most of your post I don't give a shit about.

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  74. "Mediocre? You think the drawings I named are mediocre? How 'bout you compare them to other webcomics? Oh, and give me examples of what you think are his attempts to "draw better" that are "mediocre"."

    were your arms amputated or something
    how can you possibly think those are good

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  75. Acial structures, Angular Structures? FACIAL STRUCTURES?!

    PROTIP: TO HAVE FACIAL STRUCTURES YOU MUST HAVE FACES!

    And are you really comparing Watchmen and Sandman to stick figures on white background?! Okay, come on, tell me, you're just having fun, aren't you? You're laughing your pants off there behind that screen, ain't ya? Huh?

    Gonna tell ya, that was a good one...

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  76. Damn, I was so enraged I messed it all up. =P Quoth and correct...

    "Facial structures, Angular Circles? FACIAL STRUCTURES?!

    PROTIP: TO HAVE FACIAL STRUCTURES YOU MUST HAVE FACES!

    And are you really comparing Watchmen and Sandman to stick figures on white background?! Okay, come on, tell me, you're just having fun, aren't you? You're laughing your pants off there behind that screen, ain't ya? Huh?

    Gonna tell ya, that was a good one..."

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  77. This comic is retarded: That's not how it works, that's a retarded way of setting constraints on a GA. Not to mention the whole idea of applying a GA to food is also retarded.

    Another retarded is angular, because Order of the Stick. That is all.

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  78. So it says MEPLs, not meals? Because I thought that the right leg of the a blended into the l
    but thats just bored

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  79. sorry about the typo, I was talking to someone while I was typing

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  80. "And neither does Randall, it seems.

    Glorious to see you coming up with elaborate fan-wanky explanations of their character and relationship, absolutely NONE OF WHICH is even remotely hinted at by the text."

    Really. Great explanation for your point. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about.

    And it doesn't need to be hinted at by the text. Continuous comics don't need continuous hinting, you retard.

    "Comparing the art of Gibbons and McKean to the art of Munroe: Hahahahahahahawow"

    Once again, another comment, not a rebuttal. If your arguments turn out to not make even one statement, I'm not even going to attempt to talk to you.
    My point is, I'm not comparing the art between two mediums. I'm comparing art in general. Take any art, delete the characters and replace them with boxes, you get absolutely NOTHING. You take a lolcat, delete the cat, you get NOTHING. My,is someone stupid.


    "Randall's art is mediocre compared to Tim Buckley's sketches on absath.com, dude. Even if you can find webcomics that look even worse than XKCD--they're out there, I've done one--that doesn't prove that XKCD isn't mediocre, it proves that webcomics as a whole attract incredibly shitty amateur artists."

    Yeah, I'm sure there is at least one person out there who draws better than Randall. Just one webcomic. Which is updated, I believe, once a week. Or more. But Randall is updating three times a week. He needs time to do other things, you know. It's not like he focuses all his attention on one thing the whole day. Even if you call the stickfigures mediocre, it's not like he can just change a style that millions of fans have already grown attached to.

    "No, it's just that most of your post I don't give a shit about."

    No, it's just you I don't give a shit about. Get your ass out of my life.

    "were your arms amputated or something
    how can you possibly think those are good"

    And can you prove your validity? NO. GTFO

    ""Facial structures, Angular Circles? FACIAL STRUCTURES?!

    PROTIP: TO HAVE FACIAL STRUCTURES YOU MUST HAVE FACES!"

    Hey, your protips are lame. No one in their right mind uses protips. And remember, you don't need a face to have facial structures. A structure rests on the bones and protrusions; something that artists of blanks do all the time. If you don't have the art experience, don't talk about things you don't know. I'd give you pictures if I have them on hand, but I don't. Look it up for yourself.

    "And are you really comparing Watchmen and Sandman to stick figures on white background?! Okay, come on, tell me, you're just having fun, aren't you? You're laughing your pants off there behind that screen, ain't ya? Huh?"

    I've explained this before. I'm not. I'm comparing art in general. If you do that box thing even to the greatest of all comics, you'll make it look bad. It's an unfair comparison used to spin your ideas. It's worthless.

    "Another retarded is angular, because Order of the Stick. That is all."

    Explain yourself.

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  81. hahaha, please stick around

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  82. Good God! If some people can't understand deeper meanings, why am I even talking to them?

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  83. a little heavy-handed, dude.

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  84. Well, some people, anyways.

    I see it like this, and as a reminder, I am only comparing xkcd to Shakespeare as an analogy, and is not implying that xkcd is on the same level of Shakespeare in any way, nor am I implying that everyone hates Shakespeare, nor am I implying that everyone here is stupid.

    Some people hate Shakespeare, right? But there are english professors who absolutely adore it. So, the people (mostly students) who hate Shakespeare usually don't understand the meanings behind it when they read it. Then they start hating it, and even going so far as to make up reasons to hate it.

    Then there are english professors who understand it. They love it.

    Then there comes the divide between the slacking students (not implying you are slacking) and english professors. This blog came out of that divide.

    And please remember I am not implying anything. The meaning of my remark is clearly stated, hopefully, so that no one takes a wrong twist off of it.

    I am not implying anyone is stupid.

    Anyway, that's why I think some people hate xkcd so vehemently. They just don't get it.

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  85. I am not that big of a fan of Shakespeare myself, if that makes you enraged people any better. If there are any enraged people after all my disclaimers.

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  86. I mean if that makes them feel any better. Hurray typo.

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  87. You know, Rob, your comment telling me to stick around made feel like you think I was right, but somewhere in my heart, I feel like someone's gonna come out of nowhere and smack me with another comment.

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  88. you're really not very convincing. tone it down

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  89. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  90. This is my beef with Randy. He is settling for so little. Parasitic mind-worms. That was his 'idea' on Friday. But instead of jotting it down and thinking about it and trying out various related ideas in his notebooks, he takes that first scratch of inspiration and says THAT IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED! and throws it up online as if it's completed and satisfactory.
    And now the idea is wasted.
    And that's a little sad."

    See maybe I'm in denial but I think maybe the Cool Idea that this comic was born from was the idea of messing with people's heads by making bullshit dream interpretations and he just came up with a retarded and convoluted way to execute it.


    That's completely right. I totally agree. This may not have been the best idea (I read for a minute without really understanding - too many words to make coherent sense), but the other critiques were not necessary.

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  91. holy crap you're fucking up to date with this shit. you must really have a personal issue with Randall. a failed science related webcomic perhaps? i'm just sayin..

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  92. "Yeah, I'm sure there is at least one person out there who draws better than Randall. Just one webcomic. Which is updated, I believe, once a week. Or more. But Randall is updating three times a week. He needs time to do other things, you know. It's not like he focuses all his attention on one thing the whole day. Even if you call the stickfigures mediocre, it's not like he can just change a style that millions of fans have already grown attached to."

    SMBC updates every single day and has better art. It's even in color. Also, xkcd is Randall's full-time job. If he has other things to do, then maybe he should consider making those things his real job and treat his comic as a hobby. However, if he's going to be a "professional" webcomic author then he better act like a goddamn professional.

    Also, even though fans were initially ticked at the style change between Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask and Wind Waker, millions of Zelda fans still bought the game and enjoyed it. Randall doesn't resist changing his style because his fans love it- he does it because he doesn't have an innovative or original bone in his body.

    "Good God! If some people can't understand deeper meanings, why am I even talking to them?"

    Sometimes a pipe is just a pipe. Sometimes shitty art is just shitty art. Not everything has a deeper meaning. Now, if you could show me some writings Randall has done that defend your thesis that he intentionally draws things the way he does in order to express the "deeper meanings" you've ascribed to them, I'll accept your argument as having something resembling validity. Otherwise, you are pulling shit out of your ass and trying to shape it into something resembling an intelligent argument, but really it just stinks.

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  93. SMBC updates every single day and has better art. It's even in color. Also, xkcd is Randall's full-time job. If he has other things to do, then maybe he should consider making those things his real job and treat his comic as a hobby. However, if he's going to be a "professional" webcomic author then he better act like a goddamn professional.

    Whoever said he had to be a professional or wants to be a professional? People like his stuff the way it is.

    Also, even though fans were initially ticked at the style change between Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask and Wind Waker, millions of Zelda fans still bought the game and enjoyed it. Randall doesn't resist changing his style because his fans love it- he does it because he doesn't have an innovative or original bone in his body.

    Yeah, I admit, I haven't really thought that out, but now, you can't say that Randall won't change his art style because he's not original or innovative. Have you asked him? Have you presented proof? The last thing you wrote, you asked me to present proof, and here you are, proofless. Is that hypocritical or what?

    Sometimes a pipe is just a pipe. Sometimes shitty art is just shitty art. Not everything has a deeper meaning.

    I meant the things I wrote. The things that I said, people just can't seem to understand.

    But yeah, not everything has "a deeper meaning." I don't believe that authors intentionally allude or place theme RIGHT THERE in their stories, but it's what readers analyze and take out of it. It's supposed to be a subtle talent. And now, of course, people are gonna come up to me and say, "Well, duh, Randall has no talent at all. There's nothing in his drawings." But deeper meanings are open to interpretation. I can't present them to you because you won't get it. Do you understand what I'm saying? I hope people won't keep misinterpreting everything I say.

    And I don't think I've ever insulted anyone the first time I started talking to them. This is the first time you replied to me, and you're already saying I'm pulling shit out of my ass. I don't like you.

    People sure are angry.

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  94. "Whoever said he had to be a professional or wants to be a professional? People like his stuff the way it is."

    Mr. Munroe is a professional because people pay him money to write the XKCD webcomic. He sells prints of the most popular ones, posters of the larger ones, and T-shirts as well. I can understand if he doesn't want to draw comics all of the time every day; no one wants their day job to take over their entire life. But still, XKCD is Mr. Munroe's primary source of income, and that makes writing/drawing XKCD Mr. Munroe's job.

    "And I don't think I've ever insulted anyone the first time I started talking to them. This is the first time you replied to me, and you're already saying I'm pulling shit out of my ass. I don't like you."

    Honestly, I think you should have seen this one coming. You are espousing the virtues of XKCD on a site called "xkcdsucks"; even going in blind, without reading any of the posts, can you not imagine that this site is populated by angry people who hate XKCD? I admire your courage for your willingness to stand in your minority position, but you also need to be willing to take the crap that comes with it.

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  95. "you must really have a personal issue with Randall. a failed science related webcomic perhaps? "

    Yes: RANDALL's failed "science" related webcomic. That's exactly our problem.

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  96. "Yeah, I admit, I haven't really thought that out, but now, you can't say that Randall won't change his art style because he's not original or innovative. Have you asked him? Have you presented proof? The last thing you wrote, you asked me to present proof, and here you are, proofless. Is that hypocritical or what?"

    "Original" means that it is different from things he's already done. As there is nothing different from what he's already done, his art is, therefore, definitively not original. "Innovative" also means he's introducing something new (even within the scope of only his own body of work), which he has not done in quite some time. Therefore, in the scope of the last, oh, few hundred comics, he hasn't really innovated.

    "But deeper meanings are open to interpretation. I can't present them to you because you won't get it. Do you understand what I'm saying? I hope people won't keep misinterpreting everything I say."

    I understand exactly what you're saying. I understand that you have managed to glean some sort of "deeper understanding" of xkcd and that you enjoy xkcd because of these supposed insights. I just happen to think that your "insights" are so contrived and pretentious that, were I to believe they were truly intended by the author, would make me like his work even less.

    "And I don't think I've ever insulted anyone the first time I started talking to them. This is the first time you replied to me, and you're already saying I'm pulling shit out of my ass. I don't like you."

    tl;dr BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW

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  97. Bro, if you don't want us to think you're implying anything by comparing xkcd to Shakespeare, don't compare xkcd to Shakespeare. There's a saying, I think I heard it from Terry Pratchett: Much like writings the great philosophers, the twittering of sparrows is incomprehensible to the ordinary man. We should not conclude that sparrows are beings of great intellectual maturity and depth.

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  98. Actually Alsworth, it's not that we're angry people, it's just that when people come and dump a load of shit like that, it's our job to pull the guy over and tell them that they've just dumped a tonne of shit in our backyard and why we don't appreciate shit being in our yard.

    Also
    http://www.redstring.strawberrycomics.com/

    This technically counts as a webcomic, despite it still being a manga BUT it updates 4 times a week and has a Sketch Friday where even the sketches are a million times better than anything Randal could ever pull off.

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  99. http://screwyoulauren.net/index.php?c=viral&m=index&id=3e8db9b28d6d18899235e19de4017366

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  100. I'm sorry Alsworth, I take offense to that. I am not angry. Just slightly infuriated sometimes by some webcomic artist's incredible lazyness and lack of self-respect... but otherwise a quite peaceful person!

    And no, I won't respond to Mr. Circles there. I know he's just kidding, nothing will convince me otherwise!

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  101. Cam, Mole, I apologize. Saying "angry people" was an overgeneralization, and I will rephrase:

    Angular Circles, when you came to this site, saw its header of "xkcdsucks" shining proudly on the front page (and everywhere else), and examined the last few posts, did the thought ever cross your mind, "XKCD must be a touchy subject around here"? And then, of course, there are words such as "vitriolic", "bitter", and "nastiness" sprinkled liberally into the subtitle. A site such as this will generally not take kindly to your gushing about the primary object of their anger. They may be perfectly rational and peaceful about other things - that was one of the firsts thing I discovered when I started posting, when Rob and I and others had a civilized conversation about philosophy and religion - but you will not be able to throw out "XKCD IS AWESOME!!!1" onto a blog like this without evoking ire, and it would be very naive of you to expect anything else.

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  102. http://www.samandfuzzy.com/

    1200+ strips since 2002, Sam Logan regularly updates 3 times every week (except for the annual 2 O-GAWD guest weeks).

    Sam also is the graphic designer for YES Mag and KNOW, Canadian science magazines for kids from 9 to 14 and 6 to 9 years in age, respectively.

    Sam draws a hell of a lot better, he draws much more (hurray for infinite canvas!), and he has two jobs on the side. Randall is just fucking lazy.

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  103. we even have intelligent conversations about XKCD with XKCD supporters. mostly though this is a community built on flame wars, so if you want an intelligent conversation you'd better either not say stupid shit, or you'd better demonstrate, after saying stupid shit, that you are not going to get all whiny when we make fun of you for saying stupid shit.

    alternatively you can say stupid shit which makes me want to rant about a topic which is pretty much unrelated, because I usually forget to make fun of you when I'm talking about things that interest me.

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  104. hey Rob

    get this

    the Holocaust really did happen

    what do you have to say to THAT?

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  105. Alsworth, don't make me put [joke] tags on my posts, man...

    I think this latest flame has really heaten our spirits, eh? ^^

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  106. @Anon 5:00 PM

    Don't force your beliefs on Rob. If he wants to say the holocaust is a myth that's his right.

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  107. This post made me laugh with the "quote the IRC" "fuck you guys. I'm done" ending.

    This blog is the melding of the forces of love and hate, and neither can be expressed too much in y'all's presence.

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  108. I'm surprised no one's mentioned this yet:

    "And it doesn't need to be hinted at by the text. Continuous comics don't need continuous hinting, you retard."

    Angular Circles, you dumb fuck. XKCD is not a continuous comic. There is no ongoing story, and the "My Hobby" comics are the only ones in which there's any indication that one of the characters represents Randall. Apart from that, the only recurring characters are Black Hat Dude, Beret Guy, and Megan, and each of them is defined by one specific characteristic. Besides, I'd be surprised if they show up in even a fifth of the total comics. The rest of them consist of uninteresting, undeveloped, unnamed stick-people talking about stupid things. Or having stick-sex.

    I know you're going to complain that I've focused on only one of your points and ignored the rest, but honestly I can't stand to go back up and read the rest of the shit you've typed out, much less respond to it. And lest you start whining about how I've insulted you, I feel I should point out that it's not something I usually do. Feel free to browse through some of my older posts; I think you'll find I'm generally very polite. So congratulations, you've hit a new low in Cuddlefish idiocy.

    On a semi-related note, Rob's continued tolerance of AC's complete moronitude (I feel the standard words of the English language don't do it justice) is starting to worry me. It can't be healthy, for him or for us. I imagine a tidal wave of wrath being eventually unleashed and drowning us all.

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  109. meh, AC is far too obvious a troll. I'm not in the least convinced.

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  110. Not very convincing, Rob, given you took the time to carefully reply his trollish advances. :P

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  111. Rob you fucking suck ass turds

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  112. Rob's probably right, though. I guess I feel a little silly having replied to him. Still, it was a nice chance to vent.

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  113. I think it is important to give the trolls a certain amount of attention, otherwise it'll look like you're not going to argue about it.

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  114. I have read a passable amount of Shakespeare. As an author, a storyteller, the man was mediocre, but as a writer- good god he's outstanding. Let alone all the famous speeches, each fantastic in their own right; just look at act 4 (I think) scene 3 in Richard III, where Elizabeth tears richard to fucking pieces with her words. Outstanding writing.

    Xkcd sucks. The dialogue is uninspired and often childish, the pacing is nonexistent, and the intended humor presented poorly, with no style to speak of. Would you like to know why? Randall builds around the punchlibe, and he does it badly. You can tell when stand-up comedians do it too. And it's fucking stupid. The best comedy comes when half the humor is in the tale itself. Especially when the humor itself is juxtaposition. If your punchline is a deeply absurd scenario, you had goddamn well better have a good delivery, or don't even try. Problem is, Randall tries.
    /rant

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  115. "Not very convincing, Rob, given you took the time to carefully reply his trollish advances. :P"

    Oh, no, wait, stupid me, that was Mal. My bad.

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  116. Me again, the stupid idiot. Just wanted to point out once more that I'm a fucking moron.
    Also: I have sex with Rob. It's finally out! I feel so much better now.
    Thank you and goodbye.

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  117. How cute, you can copy my name and URL. Aren't you proud of yourself?

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  118. Just saying, someone mentioned on the discussion page for Wikipedia's dream page that this should be included in the article as dreams in popular culture

    captcha is "pigness"...wow?!

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  119. It was me who mentioned that on Wikipedia. I think it would be a valuable contribution to the topic.

    On a side note: Today Rob became my official girlfriend, yay! :)

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  120. ok, I was unable to not add a further comment to the dreams:talk page about that... wow.

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  121. Heh. That's exactly what I mean. People who don't understand feels like those who do understand have "pretentious" insights. It's the same with Shakespeare, which I have used the analogy for. And if you haven't realized, there are a lot more people who "understands" xkcd's meanings.



    Bro, if you don't want us to think you're implying anything by comparing xkcd to Shakespeare, don't compare xkcd to Shakespeare. There's a saying, I think I heard it from Terry Pratchett: Much like writings the great philosophers, the twittering of sparrows is incomprehensible to the ordinary man. We should not conclude that sparrows are beings of great intellectual maturity and depth.

    I didn't expect for my post to me misinterpreted this way. What a revelation. Shakespeare was a pretty good analogy, I'd have to say. What I just didn't want people to do was misunderstand it for something else. I was just making sure that they don't think I was implying anything else. It would probably be different if I didn't put in all those disclaimers.



    Also
    http://www.redstring.strawberrycomics.com/


    OMG ANIME STYLE



    I'm sorry Alsworth, I take offense to that.
    Oops. Did I turn people here against each other?



    but you will not be able to throw out "XKCD IS AWESOME!!!1" onto a blog like this without evoking ire, and it would be very naive of you to expect anything else.

    I am of civilized conversation, too, if you didn't know. I would never write that. In fact, I am not advocating that XKCD IS AWESOME BEYOND BELIEF AND ALL WHO OPPOSE IT ARE DOOMED TO HELL AND DIEEEEEEE. I just disagree with some peoples' methods of berating Randall because I deem them prejudiced and unfair.

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  122. Whoa. Text overload?

    Sam draws a hell of a lot better, he draws much more (hurray for infinite canvas!), and he has two jobs on the side. Randall is just fucking lazy.

    Oh well. At least he makes money. Either way, I think the stick figures are cute. It's cuter than anime. Stick figures, because of the thinness of their bodies, makes me think that they're supposed to be small. And because they're small, they fit in my hand. Then I think they're cute.



    we even have intelligent conversations about XKCD with XKCD supporters. mostly though this is a community built on flame wars, so if you want an intelligent conversation you'd better either not say stupid shit, or you'd better demonstrate, after saying stupid shit, that you are not going to get all whiny when we make fun of you for saying stupid shit.

    I just want to get this clear. I don't whine. I make clear statements about what I do. I announce that I hate someone. Just like a child would do. Because I'm childish that way, but not in the whiny way. If I was whiny, I would be shouting in all capslock about how I hate everyone and why the weather is all ugly.



    Angular Circles, you dumb fuck. XKCD is not a continuous comic. There is no ongoing story, and the "My Hobby" comics are the only ones in which there's any indication that one of the characters represents Randall.

    Ohhhh. Calling me dumb fuck, now, huh.
    By continuous comic, I mean continuous as in you know who they are already, meaning parameters have been established. Look at newspaper comics. THAT'S an example of my continuous, not eight-volume comic books. And I'm not complaining. And, I suddenly decided to not give a shit about you. You've basically faded from my browser, and I can't read your illegible comments anymore.



    @ everything Veslfen said

    I don't think that's directed towards me in any way, but I just want to add that some people can say that they find xkcd enjoyable and Shakespeare extremely boring. So it's all a matter of opinions, see. If I read Richard III, I wouldn't go, whoa, uh, Elizabeth is tearing Richard to shreds with words as marked by this this this this and this, but when I read xkcd, I see a lot more than just drawings.

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  123. Mr. Munroe is a professional because people pay him money to write the XKCD webcomic. He sells prints of the most popular ones, posters of the larger ones, and T-shirts as well. I can understand if he doesn't want to draw comics all of the time every day; no one wants their day job to take over their entire life. But still, XKCD is Mr. Munroe's primary source of income, and that makes writing/drawing XKCD Mr. Munroe's job.

    I took The P's definition of "professional" to mean very good at. So what I meant is that Randall didn't have to do his best. He doesn't need to.



    Honestly, I think you should have seen this one coming. You are espousing the virtues of XKCD on a site called "xkcdsucks"; even going in blind, without reading any of the posts, can you not imagine that this site is populated by angry people who hate XKCD? I admire your courage for your willingness to stand in your minority position, but you also need to be willing to take the crap that comes with it.

    I wasn't complaining. I was making a clear statement that I don't like him. I obviously know I'll be attacked from all sides when I land in this territory.

    "Original" means that it is different from things he's already done. As there is nothing different from what he's already done, his art is, therefore, definitively not original. "Innovative" also means he's introducing something new (even within the scope of only his own body of work), which he has not done in quite some time. Therefore, in the scope of the last, oh, few hundred comics, he hasn't really innovated.

    As for that, I was asking you to present proof of why Randall wasn't getting any better. Is it because he just absolutely can't, or is he not doing it on purpose?

    I understand exactly what you're saying. I understand that you have managed to glean some sort of "deeper understanding" of xkcd and that you enjoy xkcd because of these supposed insights. I just happen to think that your "insights" are so contrived and pretentious that, were I to believe they were truly intended by the author, would make me like his work even less.

    Heh. That's exactly what I mean. People who don't understand feels like those who do understand have "pretentious" insights. It's the same with Shakespeare, which I have used the analogy for. And if you haven't realized, there are a lot more people who "understands" xkcd's meanings.

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  124. xD And I don't even know what a troll is.

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  125. Okay, great. Now I'm going to make a statement.

    I've read that numerous bloggers believe I am a troll. I don't even know what that is. And they all remain unevinced because they know I'm absolutely kidding and is actually on their side. They think I'm arguing for the heck of it.

    If that's your attitude, then I'll do the same. I am arguing to make you people shape up in their criticisms. In fact, if your criticisms make any valid sense at all, I would actually start to believe you. But I don't. And if you think I'm a troll, then to hell with that.


    P.S. I actually had to go to Wikipedia to find out what a troll is.

    "Troll (Internet), an internet term for a person who willfully, through obscene, offensive or hateful actions (a.k.a. "trolling"), attempts to disrupt a community or garner reactions, attention and controversy."

    I'm being hateful and disruptive? Uh...isn't that what people do when they oppose your ideas? And I'm trying to get attention? And controversy?

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  126. I think I just lost faith in you people.

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  127. Your trolling shows. "I don't know what a troll is so clearly I can't be one" is not a normal reaction to that.

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  128. Plus there have been XKCDs about troll. Of the internet variety. So if you were a true fan with "deeper insight" you would know what a troll is.

    The jig is up.

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  129. I'm not a troll, I'm boxxy! You see?

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  130. Finally someone's willing to stand up to the Zionist regime!

    Thank you Rob for spreading the truth about the Holocaust myth!

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  131. Man, you for a community that supposedly encourages debate, you sure are jumping all over Angular Circles for having a different opinion than you. Why am I not surprised?

    -T_A

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  132. The only REAL debate is the one Rob is having with all the Jew lovers of the world.

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  133. --@Autodidact

    "Man, you for a community that supposedly encourages debate, you sure are jumping all over Angular Circles for having a different opinion than you. Why am I not surprised?"

    He started it. Juvenile as this sounds, he came to the blog "xkcdsucks" and told us that xkcd, in fact, didn't suck. This is not going to go flack-less.

    --@A.C.

    "I took The P's definition of 'professional' to mean very good at. So what I meant is that Randall didn't have to do his best. He doesn't need to."

    No, I guess you're right, I guess Mr. Munroe doesn't need to do his best at his job. Also, the carpenter who made your house/condo/appartment/whatever didn't need to do his best when he made it. The bus driver who goes in and out of your neighborhood doesn't need to do his best at his job. The numerous syndicated comic strip writers and professional artists don't need to do their best.

    And yet, they still do. They do their best because they know they will be fired, or something similar, if they don't do their best. Mr. Munroe apparently doesn't have this problem, because some people will still throw money at him if he references geek culture at least twice a week.

    You do have a point in that people still like what Mr. Munroe gives them as it is. You are obviously living proof of that statement. We here would simply like him to give us better stuff, because we know he is capable of doing better.

    "I wasn't complaining. I was making a clear statement that I don't like him. I obviously know I'll be attacked from all sides when I land in this territory."

    I wasn't implying that you were complaining. I was implying that when you choose to land in someone's backyard, you had better be ready for them to yell at you, whether or not you agree with them.

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  134. You are the worst T_A I've ever seen... Such as I am... You didn't even put the ellipses in...

    -T_A...

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  135. Anime is what you call the stuff you watch on TV because you derive it from the word ANIMATION, Manga is the proper term for the written variant, it's like cartoon and graphic novel and I sure as hell hope you know the difference between those two and NO I am not a huge fan of either Anime or Manga but I do happen to like the story in Red String.

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  136. So far Angular Circles hasn't managed to convince me that the deeper understanding some people derive from xkcd is there because Randall is a genius and writes deep comics or because Randall's fans are megaspergers syndromin' it up and inventing relationships and motivations when none exist.

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  137. Fuck the Autodidacts that don't know how to use their ellipses...

    captcha: PHIAT. I'm phond of Phiat, but I actually prepher Phord.

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  138. Okay now I'm convinced. Definitely a troll. No one can actually be that retarded.

    While we're on the topic of better-drawn webcomics, though, I feel I should mention that EVERY other comic I read is better drawn, and that most of them come out as often, or more often, than xkcd. SMBC, Red String and Sam & Fuzzy have already been mentioned, but to name a few more:

    Dr. McNinja, whose art shouldn't even be compared with the shit Randall produces.

    Scary Go Round, 4 days a week.

    Questionable Content, 5 days a week; writing is, fittingly, questionable, but the art is again far better than Munroe's.

    Starslip, 5 days a week PLUS the author does another 5-days-a-week comic. He also happens to be the Penny Arcade guys' hero.

    Which of course leads me to mention Penny Arcade, which has the same schedule as xkcd but better art, better writing, and better jokes. Possibly an example of what Randall could do if he got a partner, but I'm not convinced he's good enough at either half to match them.

    Hell, 8-bit Theater seems like it takes way more work than xkcd, and that's a sprite comic.

    That's most of the really good ones I know of that follow or beat Randall's schedule, but if we're willing to go two days a week, or one day a week with multiple pages (Phoenix Requiem, 2-3 pages at a time; Freakangels, 6 pages at a time), there's tons more that are far better than Randall's crap comic.

    I should also point out that each of the comics I've mentioned is better written, and many of them consistently more funny, than xkcd. Basically it's a pile of steaming stick-figure shit, and I only still read it because the hate it provides me is like heroin.

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  139. http://rice-boy.com/

    That is all.

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  140. Rice Boy sounds like such a slur.

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  141. it is!
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rice%20boy
    http://www.riceboypage.com/

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  142. I've learned something! Thanks, R.! Thanks, Internet!

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  143. I have to say, the talking boxes made me chuckle. After spending most of the afternoon reading "meh" XKCD comics without even cracking a smile, the talking monochrome boxes were hilarious. Just thinking about them with their meaningless babble hovering above them makes me just about snort coffee through my nose. Most Excellent.

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  144. You people are all exhibiting signs of incomplete distate. You all sit around and bitch about flaws you find in the comic. I'm not saying that you don't have valid points, but it's just that you guys don't GET it. Bottom line: If you don't like the comic, don't read it. As one of the best xkcd comics put it, "Someone is WRONG on the internet." It doesn't exactly apply here, but the concept is the same. You guys feel a desire to share your hate to the rest of the world, as it is your opinion and you have to try to get as many people as possible to agree with you. It's actually very much like the Fans you hate so much: They go on and on about how great the comic is, and you guys go on and on about how much it sucks. the only difference is that you have a lower percentage of baseless arguments. Randall doesn't ask you to judge his comic, nor does he make you read it. He doesn't really advertise his comic, giving it words of praise out of his own mouth. He just presents it to us, and we can take it or leave it. Keep in mind that he makes a living off of this comic, and he has to give the fans what they expect. And if you had to try to make as many unique jokes as he does, (tries to), I bet you'd end up running out of material too. You have to fall back on what sells, eventually. He doesn't ask you to like it. He just draws what he knows enough people will like that he can earn a living. But I know how important publicly insulting other people is to the human race (read: Politics), so I'll let you continue in peace. Just wanted to chip my two cents in.

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  145. This has probably been said before, but Why slander the art? Does he pretend it's amazing? Does anyone praise xkcd for its art? a comic can be funny without art, so please don't use it as a last resort just in case Randall actually makes a joke you guys can't legitimately pick apart.

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  146. "Does anyone praise xkcd for its art?"

    yes.

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  147. Okay, are those people smart?

    Also, as stick figure art goes, it's really good stick figure art. You can legitimately argue that Stick figures are still only stick figures, but I have never seen anyone draw a better stick figure than Randall. It IS hard to give a stick figure that level of organicness and naturalness. But maybe I'm wrong, because I'm a Terrible artist. I can't draw at all.

    I won't argue vehemently that Part of the point of xkcd is the stick figure art, It wouldn't be the same with better art, but I believe that. But I realize I really have no business defending xkcd [i]here[/i]. :P

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  148. http://www.drunkduck.com/Happyface_Comics/

    I have.

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  149. This is completely the place to defend xkcd! We need to be challenged often, otherwise we will get lazy in our logic, etc.

    I respond to your question with this question: Have you seen a stick figure where the head was attached to the body? If so, you probably saw a stick figure that was better than xkcd's.

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  150. If you insist...

    Come on! You're kind of nitpicking there. Granted it's not too much to ask for the head to be attached, but I didn't even notice until it was pointed out. And, in a comic where it is 50-60% words (I forgot how many the post said, too lazy to check), does that detail even really bring the comic down much? I mean, it is there, but of all the things to criticize this particular comic for, why that minute little flaw? Anatomical correctness of that level is NOT important with stick figures. You don't see a body holding a book, a head talking, and a girl at a computer, you see two full people. You saw the flaw, and ran with it. It gets the idea across.

    I'm not going to keep on defending xkcd like this, since I don't really have a problem with your dislike, just your methods. Notice I'm not arguing in favor of the comic, just against your criticisms. Mostly in falling back on saying it could have better art. It's sort of fine to point out that almost every other webcomic has better art than xkcd, but since the emphasis is not on the art, that should almost never be the focus of criticism. It should focus on the jokes, humor, portrayal of characters, and proper illustration of jokes, not the quality of the art. I'm notoriously bad at analogies, but it's sort of like criticizing a comedian for what he's wearing: It's not TOTALLY out of line if his routine also sucked, but if the performance was acceptable, it doesn't matter what he wore.

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  151. but it COULD have better art, and if the art was better it wouldn't be nearly so shitty of a webcomic. comics are a visual medium, and XKCD rapes you in the eyes.

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  152. I can't really argue with you on that front, since it's mainly opinion based, and In My opinion, I have NEVER been bothered by the art. I it bothers you, you're entitled to that opinion, but that does not make it a focal point for overall criticism. That's like using similes in arguments where your metaphor itself is subjective. I WILL say that xkcd's art is not SUBJECTIVELY shitty. But the art has never been the main part of xkcd, and in all honesty, it hasn't changed much. If this blog is supposed to be investigating how the comic is going downhill, then it should focus on the content of the comics in terms of jokes, not art, since you can't really say that's going downhill. It's actually better than it was at the outset. I am a big fan of xkcd, and I will readily admit that some of the recent comics were shitty. He can get away with it because previously, when he made a joke that people didn't get, it was because it was aimed at a specific audience, it was an in-joke for perl users, or programmers in general. So if a joke isn't funny, people just assume that they missed the joke and moved on, but reading this blog, I can admit when comics are shitty, but you seem to be determined to not admit when a comic is actually good. or at least not bad.

    And honestly, it would be REALLY weird if xkcd actually had legit art, with characters with faces and whatnot, because part of xkcd is the fact that the characters are faceless, and thus without identity. the vibe would be much different if he used the two options available with actual people:

    1) Everybody is different, which is INCREDIBLY taxing on an artist, as creating diversity among hundreds of people is difficult even for the best artists.

    2) The characters are recurring, which would give a sense of continuity to the comic, which would not work because the storylines would make NO FUCKING SENSE. I mean, look at the storylines and recurring characters he HAS done. There's the Beret guy, whose existence seems to be for the sole purpose of being apeshit crazy, the journal involves submarines and hat theft, and little plot besides, and others, like Race, which have no resolution.

    As it is, the comic is sort of like a blog itself, in that it portrays an idea of the author in a sort of scattered form. It really isn't like other webcomics, which is why it seems so unprofessional in comparison. Really, I wouldn't change a thing about the art.

    Also, have you read Dinosaur comics? It's not despised for its art, but that's because it's sort of the point, I guess.

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  153. "That's like using similes in arguments where your metaphor itself is subjective."

    ...you mean like you just did right there?

    "Really, I wouldn't change a thing about the art."

    this is because you are an idiot.

    "Also, have you read Dinosaur comics? It's not despised for its art, but that's because it's sort of the point, I guess."

    that is because the art, unlike XKCD's eye-raping art, actually effectively communicates what is going on. the art is actually good. it successfully pairs with the words to create context. XKCD does not.

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  154. The first item was a joke.

    Your response to the second item is not a strong debate strategy. Again, you are ignoring any real points I might have and picking something out that really can't be definite. whether or not you think my argument is stupid has no bearing on our debate here. You're falling back on the same strategies, over and over, and can't admit if you're wrong about anything. I stand by my comment, It wouldn't be the same if there were more detailed characters. The only option really to improve the art would bring it too close to Cyanide & Happiness, that's the only other comic without recurring characters that has arguably better art than xkcd, and there are rarely backgrounds in that. It's really the quality of the jokes or content that are more important in a comic. If there's a comic that's really shitty, I mean the joke or story has NO redeemable value whatsoever, almost nobody will say "but the art was REALLY good". That's basically the inverse of your argument. Instead of saying "the joke was bad but the art was okay", you're saying "the joke wasn't bad but the art sucked". Seriously, If your point is that the comic sucks, It's not because of the art. Any art can be used as long as the content is presentable. Unless you go to TERRIBLE extremes, like kindergarten art, the art really can't ruin a good comic, unless you are convinced, as you seem to be, that there is nothing worse than the art in this particular comic. Bottom line: EVEN THOUGH COMICS ARE A VISUAL MEDIUM, THE ART IS NOWHERE NEAR AS IMPORTANT AS THE ACTUAL CONTENT!

    My third item was merely a sort of aside comment, not really intended to make any sort of point. Also, The art doesn't pair with the words so much as the words are based around the art, but that's neither here nor there.

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  155. Are you all really that egotistical that you think anyone will care how poorly you think a webcomic, that is more often than not drawn up in two minutes, and used to convey simple, random thoughts was made? It's supposed to be funny. The point was he was making his girlfriend think she had a brain parasite just to fuck with her head and she fell for it, which was funny, not to compete with Stan Lee for the title of comic book god. If you don't like XKCD, or any other webcomic for that matter, do, not, read, the, fucking, webcomic.


    Sincerely,
    Femanon

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  156. Oh, and its not art, ITS STICK FIGURES, IN NO WAY INTENDED TO BE ART, AT ALL.
    Femanon

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  157. ignore rob he is a dick.

    we may agree more than you realize (and not just about rob being a dick) - a lot of us here think a blog is better suited to Randall's talents. search the site for "picto-blog" and you will see what we mean.

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  158. "Your response to the second item is not a strong debate strategy."

    gosh, and I was so worried that I would get extra credit in debate class for this one. what high school do you go to, anyway?

    "Again, you are ignoring any real points I might have and picking something out that really can't be definite. "

    no, you are pretty definitely an idiot.

    "The only option really to improve the art would bring it too close to Cyanide & Happiness, that's the only other comic without recurring characters that has arguably better art than xkcd, and there are rarely backgrounds in that."

    Jesus Christ, is that really the best you could come up with? your own ignorance of other webcomics doesn't prove your point, kid.

    Hark! A Vagrant and A Softer World both lack recurring characters, and their art is both eminently superior to XKCD's. Penny-Arcade has recurring characters, but there is no continuity to speak of, and it's eminently superior to XKCD.

    "I stand by my comment, It wouldn't be the same if there were more detailed characters."

    yeah, your lack of imagination is totally a compelling reason for XKCD's art to continue to suck! well-developed recurring characters would actually improve most of its otherwise terrible jokes, because then the humor could at least theoretically be described as character-based.

    though I guess you're right--it wouldn't be the same. it would be superior. the whole point is that it wouldn't be the same, it would be better. the only problem is drooling fanboys such as yourself wouldn't get to masturbate to how "amazing" the art is in the latest XKCD.

    "If there's a comic that's really shitty, I mean the joke or story has NO redeemable value whatsoever, almost nobody will say "but the art was REALLY good"."

    actually, they do, all the time. lots of bad comics that have good art are supported despite a lack of writing value. indeed, XKCD fanboys often say that the art is amazing when there is no writing to speak of.

    the thing you are apparently too much of a fucking moron to grasp is this: comics are a visual medium, and it is the interplay between art and text which makes them comics as opposed to art or writing. the visual element is integral to the definition of a comic. XKCD regularly fails to successfully communicate visually. the art is often confusing, or distractingly bad, and it detracts from the quality--just like all of the innumerable badly drawn MS paint comics are unreadable because of the bad art.

    good art in comics tends to be invisible, especially to people who lack visual sensibilities (such as yourself). you don't have the opportunity to stop and think about the art because the art never leaps out at you to say 'LOOK AT ME, I AM ART.' even when it's really pretty, and noticeably so, non-visual people don't spend a lot of time on it. but that doesn't make it any less important.

    "Are you all really that egotistical that you think anyone will care how poorly you think a webcomic, that is more often than not drawn up in two minutes, and used to convey simple, random thoughts was made?"

    apparently you care enough to post angry comments on this old thread!

    "It's supposed to be funny"

    it's SUPPOSED to, yes. and it fails miserably.

    "If you don't like XKCD, or any other webcomic for that matter, do, not, read, the, fucking, webcomic."

    but making fun of it is so much fun! we get stupid comments by people called Femacon who angrily ask us if we think people care about our opinion, completely missing the irony that they clearly care strongly enough to post angry comments in the first place!

    Carl, fuck off and die.

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  159. I'm going to stop arguing with you. This does NOT make you right, whatever you may think. You've really done nothing but insult me and my opinions that you've put into my mouth, and even though we don't have a debate class, I will point out that your strategy consists pretty heavily of ad hominem attacks. I will, however, pick out one comment of yours.

    "no, you are pretty definitely an idiot."

    This was your response to my accusing you of not even responding to my arguments. You did this, oh, let's see, by accusing me of being an idiot, and ignoring the rest of my comments. I really don't see how that addresses the points I made. You have yet to back up your claims with a SINGLE objective fact.

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  160. "This does NOT make you right, whatever you may think. You've really done nothing but insult me and my opinions that you've put into my mouth, and even though we don't have a debate class"

    this is because you, and your opinions, are fucking stupid. get opinions that don't suck and maybe I won't insult them

    "I really don't see how that addresses the points I made."

    that is because it wasn't addressing the points you made--it is calling you an idiot. there is a difference! "addressing the points you made" is the entire rest of my post. but you can keep on insisting that because you are an idiot and I called you one, I'm "relying on ad hominem."

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