Sunday, April 18, 2010

Comic 728: The Future Is Now

iPadding

This comic is so boring. You read it, and it does not cause any interesting thoughts in your brain. You go "huh."

I am also sick of the style of comics, of which this is one, that say "I have X product!" This one is I have an ipad. There's also I've Played Miegakure, I've Played Scribblenauts, I have a Kindle, I have a fancy-pants laptop (but what about....a fancy pants-laptop??) etc. I am sure there are more. Remind me if I missed any. (this is entirely looking past the "i have a girlfriend" style of comics, a beast unto themselves.)

the further boringness of this comic speaks for itself.


No, wait, one other thing:

Collecshits

Too similar? I say: probably!

100 comments:

  1. I think 729 is the best one in a long time. The artwork is competent, the idea is at least somewhat creative and original and it was well executed. The alt text is stupid but oh well.

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  2. Why do you feel so threatened by the concept of a woman outwitting a man, Carl?

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  3. Latest comic is just "hngurh."

    Seriously, Randall? You're doing jokes about a cat having fantasies of pwning its owner? Is that really where you are going with this? This is a joke about a cat having a little dream about overpowering its owner. Only wrapped up in "lol laser pointers!"

    OH BUT THE ART IS SO NICE--wait, actually, I don't hate the art in this one. He does a nice job of drawing a cat with just its silhouette eyes and claws, which is kind of striking.

    Anyway Christ, whatever, Randall can suck Darby Conley's dick.

    Comic from circa 2000, IDK the exact dates.

    Also Scott Adams' dick, why not. Comic from July 14th, 1991.

    Seriously. Utterly ancient. "Pet having dreams of disproportionate power == COMEDY GOLD" is old fucking hat, and spicing it up with "Cat chases laser point == ROFLMAO" does not fool me.

    the idea is at least somewhat creative

    This is why I find examples. This sort of shit.

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  4. At first I wanted to say what sort of affiliation I was before I wrote this post (xkcd supporter, xkcdsucks supporter, both, none, whatever) but then I decided not to.

    Femalethoth: In my opinion, it's not exactly the same thing, because he also wraps it up in "it was all just a dream," which I hear is also a hated [TV]trope. The main difference is that you don't realize it's a dream until the last panel, which in this case makes it a pretty good joke. Not stellar, but better than many of the previous xkcds.

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  5. New comic is something I feel SHOULD be a great comic, but ends up only decent. Something about the execution just doesn't feel right to me...nice idea, though

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  6. lol Xkcd is funny and your all dumb. its because u just dont get the joke in 729. its not that the cat is taking up the laser pointer in real life, but that the whole thing is a dream. duh, you guys just have too try to make xkcd sound bad cuz its youre jobs.

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  7. Femalethoth, I think this is better than the examples you linked to, because it goes beyond just having a pet dream about having power. First, it presents it in the opposite order of the other comics, so that you're surprised at the end. Also I looked at it as trying to show what a cat might actually be hoping will happen when it's chasing a laser pointer.

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  8. I guess making it a reveal that the cat's dreaming is different. I don't know. Wacky and implausible stuff semi-related to science and nerdy shit happens in xkcd all the time. This time it turned out to be a cat's dream. Whatever. That's surprising?

    Also I looked at it as trying to show what a cat might actually be hoping will happen when it's chasing a laser pointer.

    That's not actually a difference. That's exactly what the comics I linked to are about, except comically exaggerated and anthropomorphized.

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  9. I'd argue that the execution is worse in Femalethoth's examples. In fact, those examples seem more guilty of XKCD's faults of ordering things wrong. Each of them segue's into the dream by showing that the animal is, in fact, dreaming.

    In contrast, XKCD's strip opens with a cat + laser pointer joke setup, which could possibly go other ways (just a distraction, a lead in to some conversation regarding the stupidity of cats with someone else). Instead, it quickly jumps to absurdity, and then an explanation.

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  10. Absurd humor is hard. Randall attempts to use it all the time, and never does it particularly well, and thus poisons all of his subsequent attempts to use it.

    Absurd shit happens constantly in xkcd. Sometimes, the absurd shit is setup for some other punchline. Sometimes, the absurd shit is a punchline in its own right. Either way, wacky un-real things happen constantly in xkcd to the point where it's useless to complain that any given interaction ever is unrealistic or implausible. Randall has annihilated any sense of plausibility from "normal" xkcd, which means that "absurd" xkcd is less extreme by comparison. When absolutely nothing in the work has a grounding in reality, and none of the unreality is particularly clever, it all turns into homogeneous sludge.

    Plus I'm honestly not sold on the amusingness of "Absurd sequence of events -> Sequence was a dream!" Isn't that what you'd expect, that absurd occurences are not, in fact, real? Do jokes normally reveal that the universe is less bizarre than we've been led to believe?

    I don't think so.

    Particularly since, again, Randall has diluted his absurdity to the point where a cat grabbing the dot of a laser pointer isn't even that remarkable. It's not "everyday -> incredible psychadelic trippiness -> it was a dream ha", it's just "everyday -> it was a dream".

    Which means that the joke's actual content is the humorous juxtaposition of a harmless kitty with its fantasies of domination.

    Hilarious stuff.

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  11. Do you have an issue with a female coming out on top in an argument Carl?

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  12. holy shit.

    holy shit.

    did randy just do a joke about a cat chasing a laser pointer?

    did he... really? I find it hard to believe. That comedic goldmine has never been struck.

    TAKE A BREAK, RANDAL. I'm sure you've got some good ideas but you need to give them time to completely form instead of crapping out a comic every other day.

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  13. the problem isn't that a woman is coming out the winner in an argument, it's the fact that Randall always ALWAYS shows the woman as the winner, always the woman as the more intelligent one, always as the dominant figure (yes we can argue back and forth all day about how drawing a stick woman giving a stick man head would be really awkward to draw but the fact of the matter is that Randall could just not draw stick figure's giving head but fuck if he doesn't want to not show a man pleasuring a woman that way).

    The problem is not that a woman won an argument, the problem is that Randall loves to white knight and he is yet to show a woman on the losing end of an argument in ANY capacity

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  14. I know that you all are unjustly criticized by idiots on here for being over-critical regarding Randal's "lifting" of other comics' ideas, but give me a break. "Animal dream sequence" is so fucking vague and general that it's just laziness if that's all you have to say.
    I wasn't overly impressed with this one, as I thought the whole dream was unnecessary and having it as a crazy sequence of events would have been better. He could do the dream idea through the alt-text if he wanted to diffuse the absurdity a bit. Overall, I grinned. At least I didn't wince like I have for the past few.

    And @Anonymous 10:09,
    I could do that for just about every comic Randal or anyone else made. "Oh, what's this Chris Onstad, a joke about Comic Sans? COMEDY GOLDMINE" blah blah blah, kill yourself you sophistic little twat.

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  15. Why is that a bad thing? The vast majority of the time in fiction women are always shown on the losing end. Or they're overshadowed by the male characters, or they just exit to prop up the males characters or to be sexual fantasies for the male audience.

    I honestly don't see how that is a valid criticism. Stick to the substantial stuff guys, you shouldn't need to grasp at straws.

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  16. Again, the problem is not ANYTHING to do with fairness. So women have always been portrayed as sexual symbols in other works of fiction, that all of a sudden means that it is ok that the woman is the dominating figure in a work of fiction? Your argument (if it actually is one) is just as flawed as ours and all I was meaning to say is "why can't Randall even it out, or better yet just not do comics where someone has to be a loser in such a capacity as this?" tell me, is it so hard to just have a comic that doesn't send people into fits of rage over one small (somewhat insignificant) issue about the portrayal of genders in a work of fiction?

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  17. I know that you all are unjustly criticized by idiots on here for being over-critical regarding Randal's "lifting" of other comics' ideas, but give me a break. "Animal dream sequence" is so fucking vague and general that it's just laziness if that's all you have to say.

    "Animal dreaming about having disproportionate power over its owners" isn't vague or general.

    Vague and general would be if I said "Oh, look, Randall did another comic using only black, white and red, haven't seen THAT done since Frank Miller."

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  18. I think sometimes you guys miss the actual thrust of XKCD's jokes on purpose because it makes them easier to criticise. It's a shame, because there's still quite a lot which could be criticised if you stuck to legitimate points.

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  19. No no, this is fresh because it's geeky, on account of the laser pointer and because it says nom nom.

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  20. @Anonymous [the one 5ish posts ago]

    The issue with the way Randall portrays women is that he's objectifying and reducing them just as surely as if he was submitting them to abuse. His female characters (or is it 'character?') are all one-dimensional, uninteresting, and seemingly crafted so that he'll get romantic/sexual 'props' from various female readers who've never seen a 'positive' female character before. The geek white knight women shit is bathed in chauvinistic ideas of chivalry and 'taking care of women,' and it fucking infuriates me to even think that a woman could find it progressive.

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  21. I enjoy the lack of words.

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  22. something i didn't realize until i read this feud on the status of women in these comics, is that all of the people i know that like xkcd (a decent amount, mind you) are females. Take it for what it's worth?

    also, in 729, the amazing amount of words used to describe what i can already see is frustrating. otherwise, eh, it doesn't strike me either way.

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  23. something I realized well before I read this feud on the status of women in these comics, is that all of the people I know that like xkcd (a decent amount, mind you) are males. Take it for what it's worth?

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  24. I actually found this one chuckleworthy.

    I thik this is mainly because of two things,

    Less is more, randall hasnt glazed this comic in pointless shit and text- I could easily see him opening this comic with

    "hey look I got this new laser pointer, look at this"

    amd clozing it with somekind of bad b-movie reference "no! bad kitty!"

    This brings me to point 2.

    I CAN FUCKING TELL WHAT THE FUCKIS GOING ON

    HOLY SHIT

    Counterpoints- the complete antethisis of this joke is the 2face acne batman comic.

    While the laser pointer comic wasnt an outrageous thigh slapper, I think randall could vastly improve himself if he followed the good points of this comic
    "less akward dialouge, visual jokes the reader can understand"

    looking forward to the review

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  25. Ah, yes, love the new one. But this one... I don't even get it. What's the point? That we have really neat technology, and even more neat technology is being developed? That's not funny. It's not even a new or interesting idea.

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  26. I dislike xkcd as much as anyone else, in fact i only keep up with it because of this blog, but the new one's pretty good.

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  27. Anonymous 1:28:

    Sandman did everything, just like the Simpsons, Southpark, Shakespeare, Seinfeld and Samurai Jack.

    That the joke's been done before is not therefore inherently bad, nothing is totally original, and imo 729 is not that bad a comic. It's smile-worthy if not uproariously funny.

    A touch too many panels maybe.

    Anonymous 1:18:

    For what it's worth, "the plural of anecdote is not data".

    On that topic of gender representations in fiction, the pendulum's been swinging the other way for a while now, as the Bumbling Dad and Closer to Earth pages on a certain website can attest. So whatever.

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  28. Sigh. I guess all you need is a cat and a laser pointer and people are all over your dick.

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  29. oh, gender representation in fiction.

    arguing that the pendulum is swinging the other way isn't exactly, hm. accurate? and it certainly doesn't indicate that we as a society have suddenly adopted a healthy view on gender politics. (hint: the Magical Negro is still a racist trope.)

    if I may steal a quote from Saul Alinsky, as quoted on that certain website: "The fact that people are poor or discriminated against doesn't necessarily endow them with any special qualities of justice, nobility, charity or compassion." mostly when women are portrayed as necessarily more intelligent than men it's the product of male writers, especially since they generally exist only as a straight man to the comically stupid antics of the males.

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  30. Bandcorporatio, for what it's worth, you can pretty much add outright lies to TVTropes pages and no one will dispute them.

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  31. A cat wants to eat a laser pointer's beam. Okay, this is something that happens, so I am with Randall so far.

    A cat succeeds in a eating the beam. Okay, this is a bizarre twist but follows naturally from the situation. Go going, Randall.

    Cat gains laser powers. Well... alright. Would have made more sense if the cat had eaten the laser pointer itself, but as long as this turn goes somewhere, Randall is still good.

    Cat uses powers to attack its master. Really? That's the best idea Randall could come up with? Why would the cat has this motivation? How is this clever? How does a laser pointer evolve instantly into a laser death ray?

    Like so many other comics, Randall shows he can't turn a decent idea into a decent joke.

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  32. Well, the comment form has once again eaten my comment... urk. Let's try again, three points:

    Point #1: The newest comic is pretty interesting. It's not humorous, because making it all a dream is a huge anti-climax, but the art is competent enough to work without dialogue(thank goodness). That said, I'm guessing Randall has just became a cat owner. But that's just speculation...

    Also, the cat in panel 2 looks suspiciously like the "Puma" logo... I'm hoping it's just a coincidence!

    Point #2: regarding Randall's white-knighting... reversing the discrimination is just as annoying as the usual thing. It creates boring characters that can do no wrong and are always on the winning side, and also things like that "Porn for Women" strip. In humor comics, in fact, that's even worse, because now you have a character you can't make fun of, and then what's the point of having her around?

    Point #3: I was thinking... when was the last time the name "Megan" was actually mentioned in xkcd? Last time I recall was on that "tech support organogram" comic, in the alt-text. Has Randall finally got over that? Or are we really supposed to assume every dark-haired woman is called Megan by defauly? And how come Randall didn't even try to poke fun at that, dang it?

    That's all for now. Mole out.

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  33. And I forgot one more thing in Point #1: this comic feels a little like the old-times xkcd, without random references and nerdity thrown around just to please his fandom. It's just an idea that came. It's pretty cool.

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  34. Yes number 1, I fully agree that "NO XKCD RULEZ." There is not a single XKCD that does indeed "RULE". Even taken as full body of work, I can truly say that it does not "RULEZ" in any way, shape, or form.

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  35. The latest was good but like a few others I was disappointed with the last panel. It would have been a lot better with the cat lazing a bird out of a tree or a dog chasing it. Hell, even a tie-in with SNL LaserCats would have been better that the uninspired ending we got.

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  36. In anticipation of Monday's comic (the laser pointer one) I'd like to point out this AWARD-WINNING quote that found its way to xkcdb.com on Sunday night, about an hour before the comic was posted:

    <&Randall> flyingferret: run a comic tonight or just take a naked picture and post that instead
    < flyingferret> run a comic tonight
    <&Randall> flyingferret: Okay.

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  37. Two hours before midnight, Sunday night:

    Randy: What am I going to do for tonights comic?! The deadline is fast approaching!
    Guy: I dunno man. But check this out.
    Randy: haha that kitty is chasing a laser.
    Guy: Can you imagine what would happen if he caught it?
    Randy: HE'D SHOOT LASERS AT YOU. GOT IT.

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  38. This comic made me lol. I won't try and explain why, but that's that.

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  39. irt. Rob:

    You are correct. What I should have said is that gender/race/whatever representation in fiction is (sometimes) going the way of overcompensation.

    It does not mean we're more enlightened. It just means we want to appear as different from our unenlightened forebears as possible. So if they wrote about light-headed belles prone to get a case of the vapours at the sight of a mouse (which I guess they technically did not, I am exaggerating here), we'll be writing our heroines as wise-cracking Kung Fu killing machines.

    irt. Anonymous 7:26

    Certainly true. But with the likes of Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin (for a start), they may be onto something here.

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  40. "It does not mean we're more enlightened. It just means we want to appear as different from our unenlightened forebears as possible. So if they wrote about light-headed belles prone to get a case of the vapours at the sight of a mouse (which I guess they technically did not, I am exaggerating here), we'll be writing our heroines as wise-cracking Kung Fu killing machines."

    true. though of course we've still got our own sexist portrayals--it's just more subtle these days since it tends to not be consciously done.

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  41. Writing superior women may not be correct, in the sense that it is still sexist or discriminatory or however you want to put it. However, I think there was some idea that it's better to slightly overcompensate in these situations, rather than showing the ideal, to provide more momentum for the society to move in the "correct" direction.

    You know, like that analogy with firing a bow where you aim above the target.

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  42. well, there's also the problem that the related archetype of the stupid male is creating its own problems. but yes, you could argue that in many cases it's better to overcompensate.

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  43. Hermaphrodites are the superior ones, they have the powers of both males and females

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  44. The cat comic is actually the first XKCD I have liked in quite some time now, enough to actually comment here and defend it (I am a strong XKCDsucks supporter, btw). That is not to say I would not make changes to the comic. The idea is interesting and I have not seen it done before. Femalehoth, I don't think your examples are really Randall stealing anything. Yes "animal dreaming of powers" has been done before, but I don't think that is the joke here.

    Cats chasing laser pointers is something we have all seen, so exploring the motivation behind the cats interest is interesting. It is something we all wonder about, but don't have an answer to.

    Who cares is the conversation come from anon 10:20? Does inspiration have to come from somewhere specific for the output to be legitmate? This seems like a red herring.

    The comment saying him eating the laser pointer would have been better I think is just wrong. The cat is chasing the laser dot, not the pointer, and should therefore eat the dot.

    That being said, the change I would make would be to not end it with "it was a dream." I think it would have been better to end with the cat actually having those powers, and possibly leaving the house to be a superhero, or something non-dream based.

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  45. You're all forgetting one thing: having a powerful female character does mean you still don't think women are inferior.

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  46. (1) no it doesn't (2) that's not what sexist means

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  47. I'm actually glad the comic ends as a dream, because otherwise it would fall into that vomit-inducing "LOL ABSURDITY IS SOOOO QUIRKY AND SMART" xkcd trope I've come to hate.

    As it is, it's a simple, clearly executed idea with well-done art. I liked it.

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  48. D'oh, there should be a "not" int there. soemwhere. I dunno.

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  49. Let's do a rundown of female roles in recent xkcds:

    728: Female character patronises male character, putting his nerdy excitement in perspective - The kind of characterisation you're complaining about.
    727: Both characters are male. Nerd peeves to straightman
    726: Female character is actor for silly nerd hijinks
    725: Female character has non-speaking part
    724: No characters
    723: Female character prioritises retweeting over safety, as does male character.
    722: Female character's role is to play along with male character's over-simplified melodrama.
    721: No female characters
    720: Female character's role is to comment on male character's ridiculousness, along with two male characters
    719: Female character is victim for male character's prank
    718: No characters
    717: One male character
    716: Female character's role is bystander to male character's drama.
    715: No characters
    714: Female character's role is to peeve about social assumptions about women.
    713: Female character's role is to give male character someone to explain hijinks to.
    712: No female characters
    711: No female characters
    710: No female characters
    709: No female characters
    708: 3 female characters - 1 whose role is to comment on the situation, two to establish an RPG.

    Out of the last 20 comics, 11 feature female characters. One features a female character belittling a male character, 6 feature a female character as a bland straightman, 2 feature female characters behaving as ridiculously as the males and one features a woman doing a "silly boy thing" on her own. The joke's more often on a male character because a stickman's an easier default for a male author (plus, easier to draw), but I don't really see a problem.

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  50. How do people find this funny?

    Dreams are about doing things that are fantasies. In one case, it's turnabout - the cat picks up the pointer and makes the human chase it. In the second, it's the cat being a cat - i.e. growing to immense size and batting around the human like a mouse.

    In contrast are the Dilbert & Get Fuzzy comics. In Get Fuzzy, the characters assume that the cat is dreaming about cat stuff. But that's not true, the character is dreaming about something decisively un-catlike. This is a joke because it plays on the person's assumptions.

    Dilbert is similar, only differing by expanding on the idea. Because Dogbert is a well known character (to regular readers), these fantasies are associated with the character.

    Now with this background, look at the current comic. It's not setup as a dream sequence, so readers don't expect "oh, kitty dreaming" then get surprised with "zomg kitty laser!" If you move the sleeping kitty to the beginning of the frame, you get "zomg hilarity!" (or at least, Dilbert-level zomg hilarity)

    Another option where the comic makes sense is to have the cat doing cat-like things in the dream, only moreso. The cat finally catches the dot, the cat finally chases the dog up a tree, the cat opens a can of tuna, etc. Then at the end of the comic, we find out that it's all the cat's fantasy.

    Like has been discussed many times, jokes require a setup and then a punchline. Randall seems to run away from this as fast as possible.

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  51. Site ate comment.

    Long story short: if the cat were dreaming up front, it would be funny. As it is, not funny.

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  52. Redrafted the laser pointer one. Couldn't think of a good punchline though, so if someone's got of one, put it in man, put it in!

    I know it's kinda minor but THAT IS EDITTING FOR YOU. Tell me this version's not at least 1% better.
    http://i40.tinypic.com/no7tyg.png


    My first reading of it was "Hey good! It's visual, there's no unnecessary blah".
    And my second reading was "Oh wait. Yes there is."
    Shame.

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  53. Praise though: the cat is well drawn.

    The cat has more personality than the combined personality of every stickman from every comic yet drawn.

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  54. Andrew, 20 out of 700 is less than 10%. It's not enought to build a veredict, especially since many of those comics aren't relevant. If we're studying the role of females in xkcd cosntrasted to males, we should look only those comics which have both male and female characters. Or else it's as if you were srudying the relationship between cats and dogs with dogs and cats standing alone.

    Also, if I counted right, one of those 6 in which female is a bland straight man is actually "female is a vehicle for the voice of the author, preumably defending feminist interests, but actually not getting the joke at all". You know which it is, come on!

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  55. I'm going to point out that you referenced another XKCD joke in your post when you moved the hyphen. Not that this invalidates your point, just thought that it was interesting.

    -An XKCD fan.

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  56. I'm going to point out that you referenced another XKCD joke in your post when you moved the hyphen. Not that this invalidates your point, just thought that it was interesting.

    fucking DUH.

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  57. I'd like to ask why the drawing of the cat is so "good"? I mean it's not a stick figure, but he didn't really draw it well.

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  58. I think one thing a lot of people, particularly a lot of people on the Internet, need to remember is that if you're doing a parody, for the love of God, make sure your parody is funnier than just mocking the original material would be, and definitely make sure you're more entertaining than the original material taken unironically. Otherwise you just look dumb.

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  59. Who in the what now did a parody of what?

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  60. Funny? Maybe not.

    Funnier? I sure as heck think so.

    http://i43.tinypic.com/eklr3m.jpg

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  61. 2nd anonymous - "Also I looked at it as trying to show what a cat might actually be hoping will happen when it's chasing a laser pointer."
    femalethoth - "That's not actually a difference. That's exactly what the comics I linked to are about, except comically exaggerated and anthropomorphized."
    You could say that if you had posted the Far Side comic "When Dogs Dream." But it doesn't really apply to the comics you did post. Dogbert hopes he will become Saint Dogbert as a result of what? Bucky hopes he'll get a motorcycle as a result of what?

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  62. "Another option where the comic makes sense is to have the cat doing cat-like things in the dream, only moreso. The cat finally catches the dot, the cat finally chases the dog up a tree, the cat opens a can of tuna, etc. Then at the end of the comic, we find out that it's all the cat's fantasy."

    I mean I hate XKCD so much but when its detractors suggest stuff like this is funny, you have to wonder.

    xkcdsucksbutsodoesmostofxkcdsucks.blogspot.com

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  63. "I mean I hate XKCD so much but when its detractors suggest stuff like this is funny, you have to wonder."

    Totally.

    I'd like to add that those who suggest moving the final frame to the beginning are clueless idiots who should never opine on what is or isn't funny ever again as their humour is less fresh than a six day old turd.

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  64. "well, there's also the problem that the related archetype of the stupid male is creating its own problems."


    Ahahahahahahahaha! x'D

    Comedy gold. Brilliant, bravo.

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  65. Professional Mole, the sample may be small, but it's sufficient for my purposes of rebutting the idea that female characters in the xkcd universe can do no wrong.

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  66. irt. Andrew:

    Well, let's do some summarized descriptive statistics. Or something. On XKCD 708-729.

    708..729: dude is the butt of the joke. Either said dude engaged in heelarious(ly stupid) antics or the lulz are had at his expense.

    EXCEPTIONS:

    724, 718, 717, 715, 713, 712, 709: nobody is the butt of the joke, because that position is either taken by a disembodied/non-person entity (ex. 713) or there is no joke (ex. 709).

    FURTHER EXCEPTIONS:
    723, 722, 719: arguably (also) a dudette is the butt of the joke here.

    The CONCLUSIONS of this extremely thorough and methodical research on a totally random and representative sample is that XKCD shows a tendency to write jokes on

    dudes 54.5%
    dudettes 13.6%
    nobody in particular 31.9%

    of the time.

    Take that as you will.
    ===

    irt. Professional Mole:

    I agree with what you're getting at, but minor nitpick here. We can study, say, how many pets of all kinds there are in the USA, without limiting our inquiry to only those households that have all kinds. It all depends on what questions we're asking.

    I think Andrew asked something simple. How often do women, in the XKCD-verse, behave less-well-adjusted to the situation, and end up becoming the subjects of comedy.

    I think you also asked something simple. When men and women appear together in the XKCD-verse, are the roles they play actually egalitarian?

    Different questions those, so part of the disagreement may stem from that.
    ===
    And now for something completely different.

    irt. Anonymous 4:14

    I don't know. How do people get names?

    Anyways, a) the "it was just a dream" bit at the end was a better punchline than cat gaining laser powers, because if your universe is wacky (like XKCD wants to be) then the punchline is to reveal the sanity of a situation.

    And b) some (Monty Python, I guess) would say that something can be funny even without ending on a punchline.

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  67. "Comedy gold. Brilliant, bravo."

    you've obviously never met someone who idolizes Peter Griffin or the main characters in dude comedies as their greatest role models.

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  68. Rob, no, I havent.

    Please tell me they dont exist

    please

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  69. they do. it's pretty horrifying.

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  70. "I mean I hate XKCD so much but when its detractors suggest stuff like this is funny, you have to wonder."

    I think the poster said "makes sense," not "is funny."

    That's Dilbert-level 'funny.' Or Far Side.

    Setup: Cat finally catches red dot.
    Punchline: Cat is dreaming
    (See the Far Side comic "when dogs dream")

    Setup: Cat is dreaming
    Punchline: Cat is dreaming about having laser powers.
    (See the Dilbert & Get Fuzzy comics)

    Randall confused these two ideas of a joke.

    Neither one is particularly funny, but at least Randall would have the elements of the joke in the proper order.

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  71. And seriously, when the content of Randall's comic is so fucking pedestrian, it doesn't matter if he switches up the order slightly. Making the fact that the whole sequence it was a dream the reveal instead of the setup does not actually add anything to such blandness.

    Seriously, how is it funny for the reveal to be that the absurd events were not actually absurd, but merely a dream? How is that humorous content?

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  72. i guess the idea is that a cat having such crazy dreams is supposed to be funny. The problem is that the cat just doing these things in real life is funnier, as it is more absurd. The problem is not that he told the viewer it was a dream, the problem is that it's working against the climax.

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  73. the joke is very much a cat person joke. basically: "your cat is evil and wants to destroy you." cat people find this funny.

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  74. if i was a cat i'd probably just use my laser powers to unlock the cupboard where food is. randall does not understand the psychology of cats at all

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  75. If I was a cat I'd basically be Hitler.

    Oh and happy 4/20, everyone.

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  76. I am not a cat person, and I still think cats are evil and want to destroy you. I don't think you need to be a cat person to appreciate a minor bit of pop pet psychology.

    Anyway, yes, ending it as a dream sequence is unfortunately not a great punchline, and yes, Randall has a habit making poor punchlines. This comic (and many, many other Xkcd's) deserves this criticism. So why bother complaining about elements of the comic that aren't actually flawed? The idea of a cat getting laser powers and using it to destroy its owner is completely apropos for the style of comic that Xkcd has, and it is not unoriginal. It would have been nice to see the cat go and do something even MORE apropos, like go conquer the world, or completely lose interest and start playing with a piece of string, or something, but such is hardly necessary to make the original situation worth showing.

    In short: good idea, decent execution, poor punchline. Which puts it well above average on the Xkcd funniness scale.

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  77. I think what Rob was saying is that you have to be a cat person to think "lol cats are psychopaths" is funny.

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  78. CONGRATULATION! You're a humorless faggot!Enjoy continuously wasting your time on this pointless blog. Yes I do realize I am wasting my time as well by posting here by the taste of your butthurt is oh so delicious.

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  79. In a completely unrelated note... Randall's cat's name must be Kirby.

    Yes, I'm just being silly. Mole out.

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  80. Oh, a congraturation to you too!

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  81. let's see... homophobia, check. accusations that people who dislike something he likes are humorless, check. abysmal spelling and grammar, check. "I realize I'm wasting my time here" disclaimer in vain attempt to appear clever, check. butthurt use of the word "butthurt," check.

    I think we have bingo!

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  82. Ronald h.w. law's blog is even worse than xkcd.

    http://trojanbucket.blogspot.com/

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  83. C'mon Rob we all know you're a humorless faggot.

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  84. Dan (hope I'm the only Dan!)April 20, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    WoooO!! ... just modified 729 (and clarified the joke)

    hope you all like it! (and hopefully someone can post the link to it when the review of 729 comes out (if you like it!))

    ... incidentally, this is my first comic modification and first post here! :D

    http://i42.tinypic.com/29qb9tt.png

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  85. Dan (hope I'm the only Dan!)April 20, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Also, the idea's been done before (quite closely in fact) in Calvin and Hobbes...

    the general premise was you see Hobbes (the equivalent of the cat here) terrorizing everyone and destroying everything with super powers, then thereafter a dream bubble, where Calvin was like "aww... such a cute kitty, I wonder what [innocent things] he's dreaming about"

    ... clearly my example of Calvin and Hobbes would be better with a link to the actual comic, but, c'est la vie!

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  86. "Yes I do realize I am wasting my time as well by posting here by the taste of your butthurt is oh so delicious."

    On the other hand, the taste of YOUR butthurt is simply pathetic.

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  87. The goatkcd of 729 is fucking perfect. In fact, I think Randall wrote this one with the goatsefied version in mind.

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  88. Happy Columbine Day, everyone.

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  89. Since we're all discussing 729...

    I like the idea. The cat CATCHES the laser pointer for once! The cat was smarter than the guy with the laser pointer. Possibilities are limitless!

    Problems however:

    1) The sound in the panel 7. Yes, there are sounds like 'click' and 'tug', but the whole comic is pretty silent, and not having the sound spike only to fall again is pretty lame. This is a pretty minor quibble though, and I'll let it slide.

    2) The whole laser pointer==death ray thing. Why does having a 'laser' point give a cat a 'laser' ray? The two concepts are only connected by the English language, which the cat doesn't understand. If it knew English, it would either know not to chase the pointer (because it has more than common sense), or not need the pointer (because it was a super kitty anyway).

    3) The dream thing. I absolutely loathe poorly executed dream sequences, and this, I'm sorry to say, is one of them. It's mildly funny that the cat is dreaming about eating the laser pointer, that's why real cats chase them, isn't it? But point 2 makes the resulting phase of the cat's dream absurd. I'll restate that. Not only is what's happening in the dream absurd, the fact that it is BEING DREAMED is absurd! Randall: If you are going to make an absurd comic, do it [well]. If you are going to encapsulate this absurdity in a dream sequence, do it. I won't like you, but do it. Do not, do NOT fail at encapsulating absurdity by making the existence of the encapsulation itself absurd!

    (tl;dr - a normal cat wouldn't dream about panel 7, so why make it a dream?)

    Conclusion) Timofei wins. The juxtaposition of power and noms is clear. It stays away from the 'err, what?' factor that the death ray introduces, and there's no letdown by taking the 'itsadreamsodontworry' cop out.

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  90. Anon 4:53, awesome comment.

    Ronald h.w. law, CONGRATULATION, you're our new Angular Circles.

    Mole out.

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  91. I like yours Dan (the only Dan here as far as I can tell). But then again, I liked #729 and think the pedantry here has simply gone too far. Take Anon 7:48, he didn't confuse those two jokes so much as try to squeeze them both in, diluting each joke into the mediocre blandness we know and love Randall for.

    Still, it flows in it's bumbling half arsed way and the premise and joke concept are done well for once so I'm letting him off the rest and giving this one the thumbs up, and so should you. And I know I gain superpowers when I eat laser dots in my dreams, so no more saying that's unrealistic either.

    Let me put it this way, if someone was wearing this as a t-shirt my first reaction wouldn't be to punch them, so it must be a good xkcd.

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  92. Hey look, it's a bunch of unamusing stuff drawn inside a circuit diagram.

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  93. I can see...the future!
    I see...a t-shirt!

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  94. Holy mother of mackerel, XKCD is two ahead of Carl.

    WAKE UP AND GIVE US A RANT ALREADY

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  95. Dan (Hope I'm The Only Dan)

    I'm sorry, I've been here for a while. I think we can get on though.

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