Hey ya, this is Ravenzomg of Ravenzomg fame, because Robyn apparently cannot find his keyboard amongst the cavern that houses his large mass. This "guest week" turns out to be a Gamer_2k4 sandwich with slices of Ravenzomg for bread, apparently.
So, let's get to business!
For ease of reference, we have three characters: Strawman, Anti-Scientist, and Biologist. If you don't know who is who, I cannot help you.
I'll try to go back and forth between good and bad things to make this seem "balanced". Or, keeping with the "theme", making this a review sandwich. As opposed to a sandwich review. Although, if you really are curious, Ham + White Bread + Marble Cheese -->toaster oven --> Delicious. Anyways, enough about my day.
Let's start with the art.
Pro: There's colour, and the art is serviceable. The slime mold is a bright yellow, instantly allowing us to seperate it as something that is not just her "hands". More than that, "research" tells me that some slime molds are indeed yellow sometimes. This is good -- we can follow along, and XKCD's minimalist style doesn't ruin the "joke".
Con: Look at the Anti-Scientist in panel four. What is she doing? She's looking towards Strawman's knee, and her posture indicates relaxation, despite her apparently yelling, "oh god, it's moving!" It's not as if the meaning is lost here, since the dialogue makes it pretty clear. But this is just bizarre, and the more I think about it the more I wonder WHY is she like this? As evidenced in panel 3, he knows how to show shock with these Void Creatures, so why not replicate it in panel 4?
The closest I get is that he's trying to show "cringing", but if so... well, wrong medium/wrong implementation.
But all in all, Randall's succeeded in (a) picking a comic appropriate for his style and (b) not messing up the art in his style to the point of confusion. So points!
Now then, my real problem... Strawman. He says nothing, and basically never moves. All he does is lean in closer to Anti-Scientist, as if he were going to kiss her, or smell her hair. It's weirding me out. So let's take him out of the first panel, storing him in the last panel, and we see why he's there. Anti-Scientist needs someone to talk to. And I mean, really, from what we can gleam from this character she's RIGHT in his case. This man doesn't seem to appreciate beauty or anything on account of his being a weird, silent, staring thing that may or may not actually be alive.
No, this third character isn't WRONG but again, it's awkward and I feel that he could've worked this around without Strawman.
Alternate interpretation: Anti-Scientist is conversing with a literal dummy, and Biologist in her excitement over molds doesn't notice this. Done.
Okay, and the actual message: The view that scientists rob the world of beauty through calculation and analysis is pretty antiquated, and honestly I haven't seen anyone communicate this in years. If anything, Randall's presentation of scientists through Biologist is (a) more accurate and (b)more fitting with society's general view of scientists: eclectic and overly excited over trite stuff in their fields of study, a sort of genius disconnected from the scheme of reality to better focus on their topic of choice.
Most of my friends went into science, and people who actually are passionate about it (as opposed to "well, it's supposed to pay well") generally find some obscure niche and love it to death. But seeing as this comic is intended towards science-steering people, I hardly see what the point of confirming the "oh we are all so quirky in a delightful way!" trope beyond tautologically, except as a sort of back-patting group hug, a validation for eccentric obsessions that 95% of the audience has in quantities rivaling the number of times they've read the XKCD archives completely. I haven't checked the forums and don't plan on it, but I'm sure it's full of "Goomh, my friends totally look at me funny when I talk about [Subject 13]!"
And as someone who calls Zerglings cute, I can sympathize with her on the last matter.
Honestly, these things are adorable, just like every other Hive creature.
And I appreciate his sentiment, that he's already said before: the World is full of some fucking awesome stuff if you look for it. But he's already said this, and #877 doesn't add much.
The "joke" is as trite as the material: Biologist-A surprises Anti-Scientist by being excited over her ugly subject of study. It's not original, and it's not particularly funny -- it's just GOOMH bait.
The "punchline" is, structurally, the realization/exposition that "Scientists [...] DO see wonder and beauty in everything". But really, the subversion occurred in panel 2 where we find out, "oh, it turns out that scientists actually do see beauty everywhere", and this "punchline" feels like a cheap tooltip explaining the joke to us.
But conversely, this is all "set up" and the actual joke is that Biologist thinks (a) the mold wants to hug Anti-Scientist and (b) this is cute. At the best it may make you half-smile, so that is alright I suppose.
But, to end this angry sandwich with a sweet slice of positivity, he took a concept related to the XKCD mission statement of Romance, Hilarity, Science, and... crap, can't remember. Crap? Crap. Yeah. And he made a comic that is clear and sciencey. Functionally this comic is pretty okay, but that's the heartless student of economics in me speaking so you can make your own Judgement.
7/10. Followed the instructions, lacking exceptional effort or innovation.