Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Comic 721: Falling Flat

Flathead
There's so many little things about this comic that bother me. No one problem stands out, but together they make me pretty annoyed.

#1, the game hasn't come out yet. It's not even testable in beta form. So either Randall hasn't played this game and is just having his characters talk about it by estimation, or, more likely, he got a chance to play it and is writing this comic based on that experience. Perhaps he got to play it at PAX East last weekend. In the end, what this comic is saying is "I got to play this awesome nerdy game that isn't even available to anyone." A few months ago I complained when he made a comic about Scribblenauts on the day it came out, but today he's outdone himself, and made a comic about a game that hasn't come out at all yet (unless you were at PAX East. but were you?) In other words, what he said.

#2, the comic forgot to tell a joke. The first panel establishes that they are in flatland, the second, that the author has played a certain game, the third, that the game can be related to the book Flatland, and the fourth, that the dude has drawn around the square to make him look like a popular children's cartoon character.
http://www.tvverdict.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/spongebob.jpg

Now that may ordinarily be enough to be considered a joke, and, in many ways, it takes the form of a joke: It comes at the end of the comic (though not the very end - see #3), it is irreverent and suddenly changes the topic, and includes a person being humiliated, perhaps without their knowledge. Usually, these things are good ingredients for a joke. Today, they just don't add up. I've read the first (and as of now, only) 65 posts on the xkcd forum and NONE of them expressed amusement at the spongebob concept.

#3, "Yes it was" = post punchline dialog

#4. Some people are going to point out that there are two puns in this comic, and that perhaps they are worthy of note. I disagree. The first, "what's up?", could be a pun because a resident of Flatland should have no notion of what "up" is. Of course, that's not true; just like you could look at a map of the earth and say "Alaska is way up by Canada" even though you really mean Alaska is way North by Canada, and not that it is "a certain distance away from the ground." In any case, "What's up?" is an idiom, and is rarely meant literally (unless you need to know what is high off the ground). Flatland has plenty of uses of "up" in other senses (I just checked). So I guess it may count technically as a pun, but it's a silly one (especially as A Square is the one resident of the land who actually knows the answer).

The other pun is in the last panel, "That was out of line." Because, you know, things in flatland...are lines! Sort of, at least. But that's the extent of it - usually a pun will have a second meaning, but this doesn't. To say something is out of line means that it was not cool or perhaps not allowed, or insubordinate or something, which sure, the stick figure is saying he was. But what's the second meaning? Nothing. It'd be like if the last line were "well I guess we've come full CIRCLE" or "this adds another DIMENSION to our relationship" or something like that. Yes, you worked a word related to the topic into a phrase - so what? That's not enough on its own.

#5. The drawing. Look at the square in panel 3. Just look at it! someone just took perspective 101, I see. On the other hand, there is a horizon in this comic - I'd like that more often.

#6. The alt-text. Apparently, this was a joke that Randall made at a convention last weekend (see these two posts). Not just any joke, a joke he said he wouldn't put online! Apparently Person #1 got to see this comic a while ago too? tell us more! Anyway, I think the fact that he went and ran it anyway shows that he is as desperate as we all thought. Anyway, it doesn't make sense, apparently touching someone = having an orgy. I'd hate to see what a packed flatland subway looks like.

------------------
Update: Randall had to push his "color name survey" off the front page to bring people this message: "Note: People searching for Miegakure are finding malware. The real site's here.
Any claimed downloads are fake. It's presently only playable at expos." (incidentally, is the last line barely visible for other people? did randall fuck up the formatting or is it just my browser?). Anyway all I have to say about that is maybe your readers wouldn't be searching for playable copies of that game if your comic hadn't implied that there were playable versions of it out there.

146 comments:

  1. carl OBVIOUSLY there is no such thing as a flatland subway, because for something to be a subway it must go UNDERGROUND, but there is no such thing as "under" in flatland! that is like the ENTIRE POINT and you are possibly the worst poster since WALLY HUGE to make such elementary errors of eleemosynary!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm familiar with the idea of flatland but the joke on the blackboard makes no sense to me. Is the priest part completely arbitrary or is there a reason I should be seeing that?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had to look it up on Wikipedia -- polygons with a ton of sides (approximating circles) are priests, or something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. the more sides, the higher class you are. so womens, in the rather conservative world that Flatland is, are straight lines, the underclass are triangles I think, labourers are squares or pentagons, artisans are like hexaYOU KNOW WHAT READ THE BOOK

    ReplyDelete
  5. Also! Guys! Make sure you read Flatterland, by Ian Stewart. It's really good!

    ReplyDelete
  6. why does this has the sexkcd tag?

    ReplyDelete
  7. As an aside, how weird is it that lines are women in Flatland? I mean... gender != social class, you know. It's even weirder than Carl posting on the same day that the comic came out!

    Anyway, I already commented on the comic, so... I guess that's it.

    Mole out, and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Guys, this strip was awesome! I couldn't stop laughing.

    I'm seriously thinking about sucking Randall's dick now. I wonder if he'll let me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The more I think about it, the more I like that the women in Flatland were women.

    Since women are inferior to men, gender as an official social class makes perfect sense.

    I bet their Jews are dots.

    Mole out, and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It was both written in Victorians and a satire on Victorian attitudes, so the women are all presented as idiots - but because they're lines they're really sharp, and so they kill people really easily. But I covered this when I said "GO READ THE BOOK".

    Incidentally, the disclaimed saying "people are searching for this and finding malware" now at the top of the site is funnier than the strip.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @ Ann Apolis

    The women are presented as idiots because women have the mental capacity of 12 year old males.

    Since you're a female, I wouldn't expect you to get his so, no worries.

    However, you really should get back to the kitchen before you get in trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Man, our trolls are actually geting stupider!

    ReplyDelete
  13. These trolls are ruining this site!

    They're detracting from Rob's message of truth about the "holocaust."

    Go Rob, keep speaking the truth!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Last night when I read the comic, I googled the name of the game and found the official site right off.

    Although I see what happened. I just googled the name, and clicked the first link. Other people probably googled the game and the word "demo" and all the results are virus/malware since there's no real demo.

    I would think people who are so smart as to enjoy xkcd, unlike us lowly unintelligent peons, would be way too educated to fall for something like that. Learn something new every day I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The new site would be cool... if it weren't stolen from here:
    http://goosh.org/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looks Randall just discovered Unix.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Try typing "man randall what were you thinking?"

    ReplyDelete
  18. Penis, penis penis penis, penis penis penis penis penis.

    ReplyDelete
  19. His April Fool's isn't even a joke, wtf?

    ReplyDelete
  20. well, it still managed to top the comics sub-reddit.

    ReplyDelete
  21. that's because Reddit is nothing more than a line of fuckwits all waiting for their chance to fellate Randy.

    ReplyDelete
  22. xkcd's April Fool's joke is very representative of the problem with Randall, and xkcd.

    Instead of writing an April Fool's joke (in which you're supposed to *trick people into thinking something fake and amusing is real*), he has thought of a geeky thing and gone with that. It's not a fool, it's just a reference that his core audience will appreciate.

    Same thing goes for the comics. The joke is never anything more than a bolted-on reference to something he gleaned from Wikipedia. He either hasn't thought about it, doesn't have the key skills required to integrate an idea into a final form without being overt and brash, or doesn't care because it gets him attention from idiots and sells t-shirts. Or all of those things.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, come on, attacking the unixkcd thing just shows that you're trying too hard to hate everything about xkcd. xkcd has plenty of legitimate things about which to bitch, but the unixkcd AFD setup is actually relatively creative and well done compared to a number of internet AFD setups. Remember, most sites that even do it don't attempt to do any sort of trickery and make it very obvious. Or am I supposed to be fooled by Topeka and textp?

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's creative, and well done. It's just not an april fool's joke, nor funny.

    This is the point that you have missed.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "It's just not an april fool's joke, nor funny."

    And the fact that he pulled that trick EXACTLY on the first of April implies that there was an attempt at being both.

    ReplyDelete
  26. man xkcd is awesome
    I just played around on the unixkcd
    ask it to 'make me a sandwich', then tell it to 'sudo make me a sandwich', it's amusing and a good reference

    you'll never like xkcd and you're clutching at straws to find reasons to hate it
    if you use the reason of reading a comic as the cause of you downloading malware then you shouldn't really be on the internet

    ReplyDelete
  27. man xkcd sucks
    I just played around with unixkcd
    ask it to 'make me a sandwich', then tell it to 'sudo make me a sandwich', it's a tired joke that wasn't funny th efirst time

    you'll never dislike xkcd and you're clutching at straws to find reasons to hate it
    English is not my first language

    ReplyDelete
  28. guest@xkcd:/$ help
    That would be cheating!
    guest@xkcd:/$ sudo help
    That would be cheating!
    guest@xkcd:/$ :(
    Unrecognized command.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I don't seem to be able to get the alt-text now that he's got that UNIX thing on. Anyway care to tell me what it is, so I can fully appreciate his genius?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh man, randy sure got me. He got me good. I sure do feel like the fool now.

    Well played, Mr. Munroe, well played.

    How he got me? I don't really know. But, come on, its not his normal webpage anymore! Total fakeout!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Less of a prank, more of a new site layout. I guess the joke is the difficulty of actually getting to where you want to go. But it's still fun to mess around with, and I think it's fine for Mr. Munroe to include in-jokes in the code because, you know, it's HIS SITE. (Although it does say something about his modus operandi with the comic...)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Well, his unix-like page layout sure is neat, but have a few problems.

    One being that it doesn't override browsers' shortcuts, so it means I, using Opera, can't type "-", "/" or ".".

    The other problem is merely moral, since we can clearly see that's what he's been working at instead of working towards better comics all this time...

    ReplyDelete
  33. There's also "whoami", "look", "go south", "quit"...

    It's kind of a silly time-waste, but I don't think it's the worst thing he could've done (and I'm guessing it took at least a slight amount of effort).

    ReplyDelete
  34. Elsewhere: "emacs"; "cat" (on its own).

    I think it's nice. I mean, the YouTube textp is hardly fooling anyone, is it? The 3D Google StreetView is not going to make people say "oh, you got me". What they've done is added an amusing new 'feature' for the day. It seems unfair to single xkcd out for doing that too.

    ReplyDelete
  35. ""It's just not an april fool's joke, nor funny."

    And the fact that he pulled that trick EXACTLY on the first of April implies that there was an attempt at being both."

    Him and the rest of the internet. It's not like xkcd is unique in this. A large portion of the internet is very similar in that regard today, so creative and well-done are the best we can hope for.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Though, if you look at the very bottom you'll see that he didn't actually make the layout himself. Not sure if I can complain about it, but for a few minutes it did look like he'd tried to pass it off as his own.

    ReplyDelete
  37. YOU GUYS YOUR SARCASM IS SO FUNNY

    I ENJOY READING IT

    BECAUSE YOU ARE GREAT AT SARCASM

    YOU REALLY ARE.

    ReplyDelete
  38. guys i have a problem

    i just am unable to get outraged from thinking about pedophilia

    what should i do

    ReplyDelete
  39. This strip was hilarious to me, but I had a few advantages:

    A)I got a chance to play Miegakure at GDC
    B)I'm not some obsessive Randall follower, so I'd never seen the priest/orgy quote before
    C)I was a big fan of Flatland when I was in high school
    and D)I'm easily amused.

    Incidentally, Miegakure may not be the best game (the controls are somewhat poorer than they should be) but it is mind-blowing. Good concept.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Miegakure isn't even four-dimensional, it's just another one of those perspective-shifting platformers.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ok, I'll admit it: xkcd.com is fun to visit today. Not for the comic, mind you, but the interface is pretty cool.

    man cat

    ReplyDelete
  42. @ Anon 4:25

    if you use the reason of reading a comic as the cause of you downloading malware then you shouldn't really be on the internet

    And yet that's exactly what the fans on the xkcd forums are doing. That's, y'know, kind of the point I was making in my last post. Randall puts out this comic, his fans go "Hey what is this game I have to play it or Randall won't let me suck his dick" so they googled for a demo and found malware (as there is no online demo of the game) and then they bitched about it to Randall I guess since he felt the need to post a message informing everyone on his site (until the site layout change today).

    So I guess thanks for agreeing that xkcd fans should get off the internet?

    @ Anon 10:09

    Miegakure isn't even four-dimensional, it's just another one of those perspective-shifting platformers.

    I saw a video on youtube of someone playing a level and my immediate first thought was the same as yours, "How is this 4D? It just looks 3D to me with the ability to shift perspective."

    Then again I don't really understand the whole fourth dimension thing at all. I tried reading the Wikipedia article on it but all it succeeded in doing was hurting my brain.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Well, that's the thing. A human can't see in more than three dimensions, and it sure as hell can't be visualized on a two-dimensional display. The site for the game itself even says that you have to "swap dimensions" therefore, change perspectives. It's just a stupid attempt to try to appeal to nerds... which I suppose makes sense for a video game developer.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My get my opinion out on the internet!!!

    April fools layout today is pretty fun and cool.

    Comic still sucks.

    kthxbi

    ReplyDelete
  45. Type 'go down' in unixkcd for your daily dose of Randall's oral fixation

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'd like the April Fool's Day thing if it didn't provide another opportunity for fanboys to pimp XKCD at me.
    [Background: I am a computer engineering student. Lately, I've taken to playing MUDs in class because all of my professors are boring as hell. Today after class this guy who I don't know came over and looked at my screen for a few seconds, and seeing lots of text on a black background, struck up a conversation:]
    Him: "What're you doing on a terminal?"
    Me: [What business is it of yours?] "MUDding"
    Him: "Do you read XKCD?"
    Me: [*sigh*] "Sometimes"
    Him: "Well, you should check it out today" *leaves*

    And so then I had to go take a look... oh, what do you know, a UNIX interface. I think I'm going to go home early today so no more Linux geeks try to talk to me.

    ReplyDelete
  47. but your linux geek mom's gonna be there! :O

    ReplyDelete
  48. For the person wondering, typing "cat alt.txt" gives you the alt text of the comic you last displayed.

    ReplyDelete
  49. One pertinent point made is that the effort that went into making the "unixkcd" thing would explain the lack of effort at making the strips.

    Then, we find out that Randall actually DID NOT make the thing.

    ...

    ... and WE are clutching at straws??

    ReplyDelete
  50. You know what's funny about this Flatland comic?

    Panel 2.

    All these cuddlefish who come through here defending Randy's 'style', saying the stick-figures and monochromaticism is an essential element in xkcd's unique minimalist look.

    And then we get things like Panel 2.



    And actually it appeals to me, that style? Mixing up minimalist line-drawing panels with solid chunky coloured ones. I'd like to see more effort done toward establishing it as an actual design.
    Buuuuut that won't happen.
    But I'd like it to.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Anon 1:20: haha april fools?

    Or did that actually work for you?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anon 1:49, it worked before Randall changed it up a bit. When this was first up this morning he must not have been ready, because the welcome message was different and only mentioned the commands last, next, and previous, and first. Also, alt text wouldn't pop up then. Now it does when you hover.

    Btw, if you type goto anything, a sarcastic comic comes up. Thanks Randall

    ReplyDelete
  53. It's also worth pointing out that unixkcd snoops on every unrecognized command by fetching a nonexistent URL which will show up on the server logs.

    Perhaps Randall has been sitting by his monitor all day, tailing his logfile and watching the realtime stream of failed commands that his so-called fans are trying.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Femalethoth (on a different comp)April 1, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    i really "roffled" my ass off when i typed in "help" and was informed that i was "teh faggots"

    ReplyDelete
  55. @ Anon 9:56

    Try sending pedophilia to the FBI, they'll put you in helpful program. You have to send them the images though, otherwise they won't take you seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Randall just added instructions on how to get to the xkcd store, I guess he couldn't stand going a single day without selling his bullshit

    captcha: borium. an element of pure boring, and what xkcd is composed of.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Over the course of today, "help" has been returning various things.

    "You can do this."
    "That would be cheating!"

    ReplyDelete
  58. If you type "cheat" it says "free shipping enabled" with a link to the xkcd store

    ReplyDelete
  59. Randall ineptitude, from the source (his mod; not in the github version):

    nano: "Seriously? Why don't you just use Notepad.exe? Or MS Paint?",

    (later)

    nano: "You should really use an editor."

    Good job, you defined it twice, so the second one overrides the first. FAIL.

    ReplyDelete
  60. All commands as far as I can tell:

    http://pastie.org/private/er9nteuhlpmopdvedj9dbg

    ReplyDelete
  61. This seems to fit right into the theory that Randall is making deliberately stupid crap to see how much he can get away with.

    Maybe Randall should just post a photograph of his cat for Monday's update, since that would probably be more pleasant to look at than another "joke".

    ReplyDelete
  62. I like how "Computer Problems" puts the woman on the same level of intelligence as a cat.

    ReplyDelete
  63. man someone sure wasn't happy with the stuff Randall did with the unix stuff (granted, if it's true that all the unrecognized commands were LOGGED then me swearing my ass off just got logged, so fuck you Randall)

    ReplyDelete
  64. Cool, all the times I insulted xkcd it got logged.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I have not been reading xkcd (or, as a necessary if somewhat unfortunate consequence, this blog), for the last several weeks, but I have just discovered something that a search of the xkcd boards and this blog does not seem to have been heretofore discussed: the first part of #335 (the hole-in-the-mattress comic) (i.e. the hole in the mattress to make cuddling easier) is eerily similar/exactly the same as an idea that the main character has about halfway through Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

    ReplyDelete
  66. If the woman's statement in the last panel is read sarcastically, then it would fit Randall's habit of making women superior to men. But I don't think that's how it's intended. So maybe Randall is fighting for feminism by showing women can be just as stupid as men, or something? Gah never mind, I don't want to know how his head works.

    And how, oh how do people on the forums think this comic is good? I want to believe that they're all expert trolls pretending to like the comic for the lulz, but my imagination isn't that vivid. I mean honestly, HONESTLY, there was no joke this time. "They are grossly oversimplifying how computers work" is not a joke (especially when computers do not actually work like that).

    ReplyDelete
  67. You guys, I -- I sort of liked 722. Is there a support group for this?

    ReplyDelete
  68. today's xkcd is really terrible

    ReplyDelete
  69. I understand the comic (I won't call it a joke), but for the life of me, I can't understand why for THIS comic, people are still saying "Randall get out of my head!!!"

    Why yes, my thoughts always involve games that haven't come out yet with extremely obscure literature. Oh, and lesbians.

    ReplyDelete
  70. There is a joke, it's essentially "If you look at what We Nerds do all the time, on a vaguely abstract basis, it sure doesn't make a lot of sense huh!!!"

    I mean it's not brilliant, but not completely reprehensible. It's kind of like that Douglas Adams quote about the little green pieces of paper, only not as good.

    ReplyDelete
  71. 722 is OK, but that's mainly because it's a ripoff of this Onion article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-90-of-waking-hours-spent-staring-at-glowing,2747/

    The Onion article is far superior, btw.

    ReplyDelete
  72. http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=548&butiwouldratherbereading=xkcd

    It is fun, because the random link will bring you to an xkcd guaranteed to be better than one by Randall!

    ReplyDelete
  73. The last few months have been uniformly terrible, but I kind of liked 722 too. Reading misogyny into it is reaching -- not that Randall doesn't deserve that kind of skepticism.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I really like that Dino Comics. Randall's characters have no personalities. In the Dino Comics parody, we've got Randy's character, but with T-Rex's personality

    ReplyDelete
  75. You're kidding, right? You "liked" 722? How is that possible? It almost strikes me as an absurdist joke on readers who complain -- it's so plain and unfunny and obvious it reads like a satire of an unfunny comic.

    Even the alt-text is dumb. Perhaps this one is the real April Fools joke.

    ReplyDelete
  76. http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=548&butiwouldratherbereading=xkcd

    WHAT NOW???

    ReplyDelete
  77. Interesting; the only other Dinosaur replacement variant that seems to work is &butiwouldratherbereading=pennyarcade

    Kind of sad to find out how boilerplate the placement of the art on the comic is, every single day. Is that part of the joke?

    ReplyDelete
  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Oh. My. God.
    Megan is Randall's cat

    ReplyDelete
  81. Thanks for the explanation, Ann. And to Femalethoth, have you MET the Internet? Not everyone reads the same things you do. I hadn't heard of or seen Dino until today, in this thread.

    Upon examination, though, I clearly should have stopped by the home page, as he or she happens to explain most of it, as Ms. Apolis (an MD I presume) points out.

    But really, after a dozen or so, doesn't it become less an "exploration of the form" and more of a "boring crutch for someone who can't be bothered"? Or is that xkcd? :)

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  82. If you think having the exact same panels every time makes it easier to write, you're a pretty dim bulb.

    ReplyDelete
  83. No, it doesn't. That he's still managing, even after a dozen or so, to create comics which fit the art and have memorable characters &c, is part of the reason it's still an interesting commentary on the format.

    The thing about XKCD is it's just lazy. The laziness doesn't add to it, or inform the context, or provide commentary for the comic's form. He's not pushing boundaries or doing anything interesting with it. It's just there.

    "If you think having the exact same panels every time makes it easier to write, you're a pretty dim bulb."

    As Randy demonstrates by his complete lack of constraints. That he can do 17-panel comics as well as one-panels along with his array of two-, three-, and four-panels, indicates that he figures he can just change the format to fit his whims.

    This isn't itself a problem, but given that it serves to enable Randall's laziness, I think XKCD would actually see a marked improvement if he just decided to stick with a fixed number of panels or a fixed size for the comic, because then he might have to think about it, and cut out unnecessary panels (he has so many), etc.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Corollary: Tim Buckley

    ReplyDelete
  85. this is true. I think his constraint is entirely the wrong length, though. three panels is nice and short, which would probably be best for Randall (and I bet would make CAD more tolerable); something longer shouldn't be fixed to panel length but size, like Scary-Go-Round does.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hey trolly Femalethoth person, is there some strange misfiring synapse in your brain that causes you to conflate ease of writing, upon which I made no comment one way or the other, with ease of drawing the comic? How can you possibly misinterpret calling fixed artwork a boring crutch for someone who can't be bothered to compose interesting or original drawings as somehow having something to do with the writing, which obviously does change and is, of COURSE, constrained rather than eased by the confined form factor? In other words, what are you, stupid? Or stupid AND trollish (and by dint of this post, successful at it)? I'm thinking the latter, but please feel free to explain.

    I nearly forgot, you're the same moron who assumes everyone else in the world reads the same comics and web sites you do, in exactly the same depth. So never mind. I'm going back to choice (a). You're merely stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Lmao, Anon 3:35/1:41 fails utterly at making their point in a clear and coherent manner and then blames it on Mal being a troll. Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  88. But really, after a dozen or so, doesn't it become less an "exploration of the form" and more of a "boring crutch for someone who can't be bothered"? Or is that xkcd? :)

    Oh, right, obviously you meant it's an artistic crutch. It's right there!

    Sorry for annoying you with my incredible obtuseness.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Right, because "it" referred to the fixed artwork, which is, you know, the entire structure that the comic is using and which I asked about earlier. What in the world did you think "it" meant?

    You're forgiven. Thanks for confirming, though I see you have an equally obtuse fan. :)

    ReplyDelete
  90. "it" clearly referred to the comic as a whole. what you're doing is essentially saying that walking is just something lazy people do to have to avoid driving. it may avoid the hassle of driving but it's still a hell of a lot more work.

    ReplyDelete
  91. What is wrong with you people that you could even possibly imagine considering the idea that Dinosaur comics is at all funny or clever?

    Honestly, the way you go after xkcd, I'd expect you to talk shit about all the bad webcomics.

    Dinosaur comics is much worse than xkcd.

    And yet, all of you do the same sycophantic ass-kissing to Ryan North that you hate on xkcd fans for.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Listen, I don't understand this purposeful obtuseness (to use Femalethoth's word), but I was clearly responding to to Dr. Apolis's post, who had kindly stooped to answering my actual question. He or she wrote:

    "yeah, the fact that each comic uses exactly the same art (well bar the guest comics) is part of the joke, cos it's supposed to be an Oh My Goodness Exploration Of The Form..."

    The fact that each comic uses exactly the same art is what "it" was here. Are you all 3 really this stupid and uncomprehending, or have I stumbled into a performance art troll piece?

    ReplyDelete
  93. no, you just don't know how to use your pronouns properly. it's a common problem among fuckwits.

    "Dinosaur comics is much worse than xkcd."

    there's lots of anti-DC trolls here. not one of them has actually produced a plausible reason that it is So Much Worse than XKCD. maybe you could enlighten us

    ReplyDelete
  94. First, I want to make it clear that I'm not the same anon arguing over the definition of the word "it."

    I came on here expecting my usual dose of unwarranted hate to warm my dead and blackened heart but instead got a sickening saccharine dose of qwantz love-fest.

    Why does Dinosaur Comics suck?

    Easy, to not suck, a comic needs to be funny. Can you show me an example of something funny on that website? I haven't seen it

    ReplyDelete
  95. nicely deflected! but if you can't actually produce a reason for disliking something (saying 'show me why I should like it' is not, in fact, a reason) I have no reason to treat your opinion as worthy of consideration

    ReplyDelete
  96. Well for us to do that we're gonna need an objective definition of what constitutes "funny" or else no matter what we present you're just gonna be all "lol thats not funny u tards"

    ReplyDelete
  97. You're kidding, right? That's how you apologize for sadly misinterpreting something that was right in your face? I used a pronoun but failed to spell out for you what the pronoun referred to (naturally destroying the purpose of using a pronoun), because you didn't bother reading the preceding post, and you still won't?

    Holy shit, you really are just base trolls. Can't you concentrate on the bad xkcd comics instead of this nonsense? For FSM's sake, a poster was kind enough to answer a simple question, and you bear down like lonely skeletal starving bears looking for meat. At least if you were open to logic or wit it might be entertaining. I was under the impression the people here were smarter than that. If your goal was to drive people away from an echo chamber, I suppose you're succeeding. Ta.

    ReplyDelete
  98. @ Rob

    It's really funny that you said this:

    "you just don't know how to use your pronouns properly. it's a common problem among fuckwits."

    And then finished up with this:

    "there's lots of anti-DC trolls here" [sic]

    ReplyDelete
  99. "You're kidding, right? That's how you apologize for sadly misinterpreting something that was right in your face? I used a pronoun but failed to spell out for you what the pronoun referred to (naturally destroying the purpose of using a pronoun), because you didn't bother reading the preceding post, and you still won't?"

    the purpose of a pronoun is to refer to its antecedent when doing so is unambiguous. you have clearly failed in this regard, because if you were unambiguous then people would have known exactly to what you were referring. nice try!

    "there's lots of anti-DC trolls here" [sic] "

    there's also no pronouns in that sentence

    ReplyDelete
  100. "nicely deflected! but if you can't actually produce a reason for disliking something (saying 'show me why I should like it' is not, in fact, a reason) I have no reason to treat your opinion as worthy of consideration"

    My reason is that it's not funny. There are no jokes. I made that clear in the original post.

    ReplyDelete
  101. oh wait, my bad, "there" is a pronoun which is used in that exact fashion. you are probably complaining about the subject-verb agreement of 'there is' instead of 'there are' but that has nothing to do with pronoun usage. but nice try?

    ReplyDelete
  102. "My reason is that it's not funny. There are no jokes. I made that clear in the original post."

    ah, so your reason is that you're too stupid to understand comedy where the joke doesn't follow the standard format of 'setup -> punchline'?

    ReplyDelete
  103. It's funny that you write like that and insult other people's grammar. Unless you believe ambiguous pronouns are the only type of grammar problems that makes someone a fuckwit. Which would make you an idiot.

    ReplyDelete
  104. I believe that the only types of grammar problems that makes someone a fuckwit are grammar problems which cause the writing to fail in communicating with the text's ability to communicate its original purpose. confusing "who" with "whom," for instance, is irrelevant, but using "it" to refer to an ambiguous antecedent which causes people to misunderstand your intention makes you a tard.

    hope that helps!

    ReplyDelete
  105. Ha ha ha ha ha! Yes!!!! It's the old "you're not smart enough to get it and that's why you don't like it" line!

    I could say the same thing about every xkcd you hate but I won't because it's a terrible argument.

    If you're claiming Dino comics are in fact funny, I'd LOVE to see an example of a funny one. Please, just humor me because they all seem incredibly inane.

    ReplyDelete
  106. In that case:

    "I believe that the only types of grammar problems that makes someone a fuckwit are grammar problems which cause the writing to fail in communicating with the text's ability to communicate its original purpose."

    Is not a model example of effective communication. I understand it but Hemmingway you're not.

    Actually, I thought that other anon's use of the word "it" was every bit as clear as this post.

    ReplyDelete
  107. "Ha ha ha ha ha! Yes!!!! It's the old "you're not smart enough to get it and that's why you don't like it" line!"

    well, you are saying there are "no jokes." the only vaguely plausible reason I can think of for you not believing there is a joke in DC is that you lack the ability to actually appreciate (or even notice) jokes which don't follow the setup-punchline format.

    if you are capable of appreciating them then you'll have to provide a reason you haven't been able to detect them, because they are really incredibly obvious.

    of course, I confess I don't believe you actually "don't see what the joke is," because it's more likely that you dislike it without actually understanding why, and are simply being intellectually dishonest, than it is likely that you actually just think "none of them have jokes."

    ReplyDelete
  108. "Actually, I thought that other anon's use of the word "it" was every bit as clear as this post."

    mhm. and how is it possible to misinterpret that, exactly?

    ReplyDelete
  109. oh look I quoted the wrong bit.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Randall's link section at the bottom of the site:

    "Comics I enjoy:
    Dinosaur Comics" (it's not even alphabetical)

    His fans hating on DC is funny.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Goddamn everyone, why can't you people get NAMES? I don't know who anyone is. I'm not even sure who Rob is after wading through all that.

    Dinosaur Comics = Seinfeld. I think. Er, I haven't actually ever seen Seinfeld

    ReplyDelete
  112. I can guess what you meant to quote.

    Your sentence wasn't vulnerable to being misinterpreted, I'll give you that. I was insulting you about the clarity of your writing. Which, I believe, is close enough to being the same thing.

    I'm not being intellectually dishonest, I'm just being dishonest. I actually laugh at DC and I do it for the same reason I laugh at xkcd.

    I find this blog a riot because to me xkcd, DC, penny-arcade, etc all go in the same category. Namely, I consider them webcomics that are funny in a nerdy, random way and sometimes make me thing but aren't as funny as stuff like C&H and Red Meat.

    It cracks me up to come here and see the hate for one comic and love for another that are, to me, pretty much the same thing.

    I also just enjoy coming here for the hate and trolling. The best trolling is trolling trolls.

    ReplyDelete
  113. *sometimes make me THINK*

    DC has never made me thing.

    ReplyDelete
  114. 5:17

    http://lol.i.trollyou.com/LOL-I-TROLL-YOU.png

    ReplyDelete
  115. We are Anonymous and we legion.

    ReplyDelete
  116. 5:19

    I made no logical fallacies I'm aware of.

    By any objective standard, DC is stupid but for some reason, it makes me laugh. It's fun to make people defend DC because most of them have the same reaction.

    ReplyDelete
  117. "The best trolling is trolling trolls."

    ReplyDelete
  118. But the best troll trolling is trolling trolling trolls! AHA!

    ReplyDelete
  119. The best roll rolling is rolling troll rolls

    ReplyDelete
  120. Actually, this brought up something I'm curious about: Why do you think Dinosaur Comics is (are?) good?

    Rob, you said it might because that guy wasn't used to the format, and I think I'm not used to the format, either. Could you walk me through it? Can you explain to me why any dinosaur comic is funny? I honestly have no clue why it's hailed as comedic gold, and the first time I saw the site I thought that the comic being funny was an ironic in-joke, and that it was called good because it had dinosaurs.

    Honest to God, I'm not trying to troll/incite insults/whatever, I am honestly curious.

    Also taking a name to avoid confusing people.

    ReplyDelete
  121. it's not really laugh out loud funny. it's just fun to read, for me anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  122. "Honest to God, I'm not trying to troll/incite insults/whatever, I am honestly curious.

    Also taking a name to avoid confusing people."

    What's with this nicey-nice shit on a hate blog?

    Try starting with the first DC. The action was explained in the first one, and re-explained in the next few, after that it was just accepted. I find the juxtaposition of the images of T-Rex shouting or stomping on a random woman with whatever conversation they're having funny.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Lester RoquefortApril 2, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    I'm not one of the peeps who thinks DC is the best comic in the universe or anything, and I actually
    don't end up reading it every single day, but it is something I do like to read occasionally. I like it partially because T-Rex is an endearing character, despite the fact that he's only a few pieces of clip art. He's a bit naïve and tries to grasp ideas that are over his head, and the ways he misunderstands those ideas, in lots of cases by taking them way too far or just outright not getting them, are a source of humor.

    ReplyDelete
  124. the best pole pulling is public pool pole pulling

    ReplyDelete
  125. You know, the problem wasn't that he used "it" ambiguously. I knew he was using "it" to mean "the constrained format of Dinosaur Comics". The problem is that it wasn't clear whether he meant "the constrained format is an artistic crutch" or "the constrained format is a crutch for the entirety of the comic" or whatever.

    My point is that the constraint of Dinosaur Comics makes it harder for Ryan North to create Dinosaur Comics, not easier, and so referring to it as a crutch is stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  126. "Rob, you said it might because that guy wasn't used to the format, and I think I'm not used to the format, either. Could you walk me through it? Can you explain to me why any dinosaur comic is funny? I honestly have no clue why it's hailed as comedic gold, and the first time I saw the site I thought that the comic being funny was an ironic in-joke, and that it was called good because it had dinosaurs."

    well, the six-panel format doesn't lend itself to a setup-punchline gag. there are people who don't like or get this setup. the humor derives from the characters and their situations, and in most cases the absurdity therein. (the absurd, of course, is not inherently funny, but the particular ways it manifests can be funny.)

    so saying "there's no jokes" is usually a way of saying "I don't like or understand the format." British comedies, movies like Ed Wood, tend to follow this format more, and a lot of those who appreciate it generally prefer it for being more cerebral than your garden variety setup-punchline gag.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Pictures For Sad Children
    that is all

    ReplyDelete
  128. How could anybody read this comic and not be delighted?
    http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=1680

    P.S. The joke is in the title text and makes the comic.

    P.P.S. Mario 3 is the best game ever. 4 ever.

    ReplyDelete
  129. " No, it doesn't. That he's still managing, even after a dozen or so, to create comics which fit the art and have memorable characters &c, is part of the reason it's still an interesting commentary on the format.

    The thing about XKCD is it's just lazy. The laziness doesn't add to it, or inform the context, or provide commentary for the comic's form. He's not pushing boundaries or doing anything interesting with it. It's just there."

    When the fuck did xkcd sucks get so pretentious?
    They're just webcomics for fucks sake.

    ReplyDelete
  130. yes, of course. enlighten me, then: at what stage does discussion of artistic form (in this case, webcomics) become valid discussion? does it need to be published in print? does it need a story?

    ReplyDelete
  131. Go to unixkcd, and type:

    wget http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.com/

    (I am posting this from inside unixkcd)

    ReplyDelete
  132. this is just awesome:
    http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=548&butiwouldratherbereading=xkcd

    ReplyDelete
  133. Rob you fat sociopath stop ignoring me

    ReplyDelete
  134. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CINCINNATI ZOO AND XKCD SUCKS HURF DURF

    HUUUUURRRRRRR ONE'S GOT AN AFRICAN LION THE OTHER'S GOT A LYIN' AFRICAN HYUK HYUK

    ReplyDelete
  135. Also the Cincinnati Zoo smells better.

    ReplyDelete
  136. "so saying 'there's no jokes' is usually a way of saying 'I don't like or understand the format.' British comedies, movies like Ed Wood, tend to follow this format more, and a lot of those who appreciate it generally prefer it for being more cerebral than your garden variety setup-punchline gag."

    For the movies, I think this is because they're usually misrepresented. If you read the back of the box, they'll say things like "hilarious" or "riotously funny". This makes me think I'm going to bust a gut (e.g. Supertroopers), not chuckle in quiet amusement (e.g. Little Miss Sunshine). Expectations also play a role since I think most Americans see "comedy" and expect 90 minutes of hilarity.

    A good example of the different approaches might be the British film Death at a Funeral and its American remake (not comparing quality of execution, just the approach to humor).

    ReplyDelete
  137. Speaking as a DC fan, I can say a lot of the humor in DC is gotten from the characters. Unlike most of xkcd, DC has story arcs and recurring characters, which can add a lot to a comic if the character is fleshed out. This is why even xkcd sucks people occasionally like Black Hat Guy (he is a recurring character with defined traits) but not Beret Guy (because he is a recurring character who has no personality).

    The same is often said of Achewood, it is a character-based comic, and that's probably why I haven't gotten into it or even like it, because I don't feel like reading all the archives so it's pretty much nonsensical and unfunny to me. On the other hand, I've read most of DC, so I understand the characters and how they act and react.

    Anyway I think the fact it has characters is what makes a lot of the humor in DC, although the fact that it isn't setup/punchline probably has a bit to do with it too. Things are usually more entertaining when you have someone specific to attach them to...probably why Full House was on the air for so long despite the show being completely awful.

    ReplyDelete
  138. "For the movies, I think this is because they're usually misrepresented. If you read the back of the box, they'll say things like "hilarious" or "riotously funny". This makes me think I'm going to bust a gut (e.g. Supertroopers), not chuckle in quiet amusement (e.g. Little Miss Sunshine). Expectations also play a role since I think most Americans see "comedy" and expect 90 minutes of hilarity."

    I very rarely enjoy traditional American comedy movies. the jokes just feel too forced.

    "A good example of the different approaches might be the British film Death at a Funeral and its American remake (not comparing quality of execution, just the approach to humor)."

    ugh. I saw the trailer for that at, uh, Shutter Island, and I was so offended. this is what we have become.

    ReplyDelete
  139. The thing that makes DC for me is how well he works with the limitations he's set for himself; the fact that the comic has multiple characters in it, who are honestly pretty damn well developed for it being the same picture each day. Also, having characters like Norris the bug, the raccoon neighbors, God, and the devil, who always have to speak from offscreen, but are still fairly well developed (The devil's video-game obsessed, the neighbors are creepy, etc)

    TL;DR: The "style" helps and makes it.

    With xkcd however, I've felt numerous times that his "style" is hindering rather than helping (actions not being clear and the like).

    Anyway. Wall of text about why I like DC. Take it as you will. D:

    ReplyDelete
  140. I couldn't be fucked reading through 150 or so comments to check if anyone had mentioned this:

    "Flatterland" by Ian Stuart sucks balls (this is a response to Femalethoth (3rd or so comment)).

    However, "Sphereland: A Fantasy About Curved Spaces and an Expanding Universe" by Dionys Burger and "The Planiverse" by A.K. Dewdney both rule hard. They are both inspired by Flatland. In fact, Sphereland is set in Flatland and expands on some of Abbotts ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  141. that game don't come out till next year where the fuck did you get it

    ReplyDelete
  142. Reminds me of 707. In fact, the second panel of 707 should be tacked on tacked on to the end of this one, since awkward, ungenuine laughter is pretty much the only proper response to this.

    ReplyDelete
  143. carl sagan? anyone?

    ReplyDelete