Monday, June 20, 2011

Comic 914: Carl "Ugly" Wheeler's Kidneys

[Your friend and mine Carl "Ugly" Wheeler sent in this guest review. -Ed.]

ice

Hello, all, Trusty Carl Wheeler here, back for my one day a year where the prison i am in lets me use the Internet. Today's comic is utterly atrocious, as always, and you knew that it would be bad from the first panel, which features Mr. Beret.

Mr. Beret is a man who shows up in most of the worst comics. His character is basically that he is stupid and misunderstands things, in an "I was raised by wolves and only just this morning came back into regular society" sort of way. So, expectations are low, to say the least.

Here's what I thought happened the first time I read this comic: Mr. Beret buys some ice, is invited to a sketchy party, and has his liver removed and he wakes up in the bathtub. This is a common urban legend (see here for the usual Snopes treatment) and I was most mystified on two fronts: Why did this comic simply illustrate a well known story, and why did Randall think this would be funny?

You see, I was under the mistaken impression that the bath tub in panel 4 is filled with ice that is covered in blood. Now I know how wrong I was: The joke is that rather than having his kidney stolen and awaking in a tub of ice, he has had his ice stolen and is now awake in a tub of kidneys! A ho ho ho, great laughs are had by all. But the point is, the drawings are so poor that it's not calear what is going on.

In some ways, I wish he had just illustrated the original story; that way, he wouldn't be responsible for how dumb the joke is. The joke is really just taking two words from the original ending and switching them. I tried this with some other Snopes articles to generate a few new comic ideas:

---In the last panel, it turns out cancer is a great way to cure lemons!
---the punchline is, your family sends you a postcard that is disguised as a virus!
---it was actually american POWs who betrayed Jane Fonda!
---and of course, Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by John F. Kennedy is disguise (this one is actually pretty obviously true if you really think about it)

Anyway, the point is: None of these really make any sense. There's not much humor to be found in just changing things around to make less sense. If we knew why the girl wanted to steal ice, but had a great surplus of kidneys, then we could see how an understandable situation turned into the humorous reversal of a common tale. On it's own, I can't get past questions like: Where did the organs come from? Why can't they buy their own ice? Etc. It's just too far removed from anything understandable for me to laugh at.

I did laugh at one thing, but it was an "at you not with you" sort of situation - the fact that the party has a huge banner reading "PARTY!" on the wall. Not like the 99% of parties that have no such labeling, or the 1% that are specific (like, WELCOME BACK, CARL or HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY ROB or something like that). Nope, just PARTY! plain and simple. Why? Because Randall still does not know how to show us there is a party, and has to instead tell us with a huge fucking sign!

Love and kisses, till my internet time is taken away,
Carl

=======

Rob again. I also wanted to add that it is my 88th birthday, and I have lately noticed a shift in style of XKCD. It's hard to put my finger on it, but the persistent use of color and a few of the recent comics seem like he's trying something new. Failing, of course, but making a spirited attempt nonetheless!

105 comments:

  1. WELCOME BACK, CARL

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  2. Lies, it's obviously just Gamer in disguise

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  3. Those were kidneys? WTF.

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  4. I thought the guy was wearing an ice pack on his head (not familiar with xkcd regular characters, sorry). If you assume this and/or read the strip right to left, it almost makes more sense.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. Damn, now nobody will read my terrible XKCDxMLPxSomeAnonymousComment fanfic in the last thread.

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  7. The Ghost of Megan PastJune 20, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    What Timofei said. Previous post's thread gave most deserved parody of an xkcd comic in a long while.

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  8. Another AnonymousJune 20, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    YOUR DREAMS WERE YOUR TICKET OUT

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  9. Why didn't Carl just post this himself?

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  10. I have no idea. I even asked him and he was all *mysterious silence*

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  11. Lies, it's obviously just Gamer in disguise

    To be fair, he pretty much repeats everything I said in my post over at XKCD SUCKS.

    And yes, it is very strange that the person who owns the blog submitted a guest post instead of just posting himself.

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  12. To be fair, fuck you.

    The only thing similar between the two reviews is the source material. You seem waaaayyy too cocky for your own good. I bet you and your neckbeard get beaten up a lot

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  13. Carl, your typing is so poor that it's not at all calear what's going on in your review.

    Also, are we making fun of rob for being old rather than fat now? What prompted this change?

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  14. @Gamer_2k4 I've just read your blog and you pretty much repeat everything everyone's said in the previous thread and on the xkcd forum. Possible conclusions:

    (1) You're a super genius and everyone writing before and after you just copied original thoughts which only you could come up with;

    (2) There's not much to say about this strip and once you've taken a small sample of people then everything everyone else says is either going to be a close variant of one of these things or completely stupid.

    This site is only worth coming to for the bitchfest in the comments: it's cathartic to have something inane at which to let off deserved communal steam. If you have something substantial to say and no-one gets round to making it into a post proper, why not just put it in the comments? You'll get way more readers and you won't needlessly Fracture The Community.

    in b4 what community / moar like commJEWnity amirite / etc

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  15. ...In the last panel, a penny is killed by a person dropped off the Empire State Building!
    ...It turns out that you are swallowed in your sleep by a spider eight times a year! (Actually I quite like that one.)
    ...Beret Guy is watching lightning during a TV storm. And the lightning explodes when it gets struck by the TV!
    ...The punchline is that a black hole from the Large Hadron Collider is destroyed by a planet!

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  16. @ThePirateKing
    We changed because gamer came along and stole rob's record of fattest man on the Internet. Now he's just old, lonely, and inadequate.

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  17. ...It turns out that you are swallowed in your sleep by a spider eight times a year! (Actually I quite like that one.)

    Not safe for work, or mental health.

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  18. Also, Gamer, you might want to de-admin Raven and Ann before your hubris brings on their inevitable rebellion.

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  19. reluctant suicide bomberJune 20, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    ...the cross was nailed on Jesus;
    ...not all sex objects are women;
    ...the Fonz jumped the shark by jumping the shark;
    ...marriage is a union between one woman and one man;
    ...under capitalism, man exploits man - but under communism, man exploits man;
    ...black men gave monkeys AIDS.

    LOLOLOL COMMUTATIVITY, SUBSTITUTABILITY OF NIG-NOGS AND SO ON.

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  20. It's not as if I'm ever going to write anything for it, it's just Raven told me to click a button so I clicked it

    I am not a complicated person

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  21. @Gamer your guest reviews here have actually been quite good. Don't spoil it by letting it go to your head.

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  22. Actually, I kinda like the "PARTY!" sign. Seems adequate for a party. I'll make one for next time I gather round with my imaginary friends.

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  23. Gah, grow some ovaries, Ann! It's time you stood up for yourself and stopped letting Raven tell you what to do! She will respect you more if you do, trust me.

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  24. WHO HERE DOUBTS MY AUTHORITY?!?

    i didn't feel like logging in because it's just easier to write it in an e-mail and make rob do the formatting work.

    i would have made a joke about Rob being fat (which he is) but it wouldn't have made as much sense to talk about a party sign that said "CONGRATS ON BEING SUPER FAT, ROB" the way i did it made more sense and was just as insulting!


    but he is fat, it is true

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  25. I actually thought this one was pretty funny.

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  26. Carl how is life in the Bahamas

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  27. More like HAPPY 900TH POUND ROB

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  28. Oh, hi Carl. Fancy to see you here, people have been trying to reach you in Webcomics.me, too. Those bumbling idiots...

    Aaaaanyway... I've been caring less and less for xkcd, to the point that I don't even bother writing a (hopefully) insightful comment about it in xkcd sucks or whatever is the newest iteration of reboot. That coupled with the increasing sidetracking of the newer reviews, makes my life pretty much unchanged. Except without xkcd, which is always an improvement.

    But to this comic. I'll have to admit I like this comic. Because, I have to admit again, I like silly visual humor such as this. At a closer look, switching the words in an old urban legend is neither funny nor insightful, but most jokes aren't either. Thus, this comic is worth a laugh.

    Then again, the heads don't connect in the first panel, the background in the second panel only intensifies the sensation of emptiness in the rest of the comic and the kidneys look just barely like kidneys. But, really, it's not that bad a comic.

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  29. Those are supposed to be kidneys? You know for as much as randy loves wikipedia, he could have spent two seconds to find out that's not what a kidney looks like.

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  30. Wow, I thought it WAS BLOODY ICE until I read this.

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  31. Yeah, I thought the joke was that she'd used his very own ice to steal his kidneys. Nice one Randy.

    Also,

    xkcd character in having his sack removed by a woman shocker.


    captcha: inest

    so close but yet so far :(

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  32. because the first thing that comes to mind when you wake up from a drugged state, neck deep in a bathtub full of kidneys is WHAT HAPPEN TO MY ICE?????

    give this man a Pulitzer

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  33. they look more like potatoes

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  34. Carl's not lying. He really did delete my post at 12:26.

    THE BLOGMASTER HAS RETURNED!

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  35. Carl's back! Even if only for one review!

    Kind makes you think that Rob is a talentless shitbag when you read their work side by side, doesn't it?

    I never realized that before!

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  36. You know I live a life of danger
    For the FBI
    Keeping tabs on our nation
    On the land, on the sea, in the sky
    But every single night
    Before I go to bed
    I get down on my knees
    And thank God
    I'm a secret agent man

    Secret agent man
    Secret agent man
    They've given me a number
    But they've taken 'way my name
    I got one hell of a job to perform
    For the U. S. of A.
    Got the responsibility
    Of our nation's top security

    But every night and day
    I salute the flag and say
    Thank you Jesus
    Cause I'm, I'm a secret agent man

    You know they got me doin' this
    Doin' that
    And a little bit of something else
    Fighting cavities of evil
    Safe-guarding America's health
    But not an afternoon pass
    I don't get up off my ass
    Thank you God
    Cause I'm, I'm a secret agent man

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  37. So the party banner says "Party," the store is named "Save Mart," and the bag of ice is labeled "Ice." Way to push the envelope, Randy.

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  38. Maybe he's trying to get a job as a political cartoonist?

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  39. Then the bag would be labelled 'ECONOMIC CRISIS' and the shop would be called 'EUROPEAN UNION'.

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  40. According to this, many xkcd readers are geniuses and will explain the jokes for us feeble-minded if we look in the forums. Obviously written by one of the forumites.

    Captcha: maters. The antonym of xkcd fans.

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  41. it's tvtropes, what were you expecting?

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  42. A theory I proposed recently: TVTropes has been overrun by xkcd fans ever since 609, the comic that linked to TVTropes. Just look how many trope pages are illustrated by xkcd comics.

    Then again, this is just a hypothesis, and TVTropes may have been like this before 609.

    Oh, and TVTropes mentions us here.

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  43. Nah, it's always been like that. TVTropes is a bastion of the "geek culture" that are supposedly the only ones who can truly appreciate XKCD.

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  44. I've decided not to link to xkcd anymore. You see, I could have made the '609' a little link to comic 609. But doing that would have increased its pagerank and favoured it on Google search results. And we sure wouldn't want that.

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  45. Thanks for that comment, Ann, I always laugh heartily when given a chance to remember that American political cartoons are still stuck in those simpler times of clearly labeled metaphors. What a country!

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  46. The setup to this joke could've lead to something decent if there were a punchline.

    I would have laughed if the last panel were just this link: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewforum.php?f=7

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  47. In regards to 915...

    ...What the hell is a "Wikipedia signature?"

    CAPTCHA: corkstap, for your bottles of cheap wine.

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  48. Also another stupid example of Randall telling, not showing: instead of us seeing the people/still frames, we see... the box with the characters and pictures implied.

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  49. 915 wasn't bad. One thing I've noticed though is the reappearence of White Hat Guy. We last saw him in 836, Randall's 'slings and arrows' speech. In both cases his purpose is quite clear, as Randall's strawman. I maintain that this comic is better because White Hat Guy at least has more of a purpose than just saying one line.

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  50. But if you locked a cuddlefish in a box with 900 xkcd strips would they admit that some of them suck?

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  51. 915: Randall realizes the world is not full of adventure anymore. It is not enough to suffer alone, he must smash the innocent of their delusions by absurd example manufactured by his hand, surely the greatest proof of all to his dreary claim of a monochrome world viewed from the room he never leaves, the only windows leading out made of LCD.

    The world is cold and uncaring, and so he should be too.

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  52. No lies this time, I actually chuckled a bit at 915. Not at his attempt at LOLRANDUMB with "canadian surrealist porn" (mentioning porn in a list is cheap komedy laffs for any sexually insecure teenager/20something in much the same way mentioning 'poo' or 'underwear' is cheap komedy laffs for any 8 year old), but rather the actually not-that-bad-you-guys dialogue in the final panel carrying out the joke.

    If it sounds artificial and ridiculous, that's because it's supposed to.

    Also, LOL at Jon Levi's TVTropes link to xkcdsucks. What, is that their idea of an olive branch? "Well, it's impossible that xkcd could actually be a bad comic, so they must just be disappointed from all the hype it's been getting!"
    Hope springs eternal, I suppose.

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  53. yay, more pandering to the tastes of nerds

    I'M A CONNOISSEUR OF ANIME, YOU PHILISTINES JUST CAN'T APPRECIATE ITS DEPTH

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  54. This would have been funnier if they'd been locked in a room full of My Little Ponies.

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  55. Thanks for CALEARing that up!

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  56. @Ves, that's not what those tropes mean at all actually...

    Hype Backlash is where you hear so much hype for something ("This movie is going to blow your mind!" "Game of the year! Right here!" "This book will change your life!!" etc.), that once you actually read/watch/play it, it doesn't live up to the hype, and thus, while it's certainly not spectacular, it will seem worse than it actually is (Extreme hype for something average gets people to call it horrible, just look at the people who loathe Halo).

    Fan Disillusionment, on the other hand, is where you were a fan of something, but then, over time, the quality of the word degrades, or it goes down some path you don't think it should have, and you eventually reach the point where you stop being a fan of the work.

    Personally I think Fan Disillusionment describes this blog perfectly, the FAQ sections state that

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  57. This latest comic is actually pretty funny. Good show.

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  58. Pardon me, gentlemen, but I should like to take this moment to formally announce to the frequenters of the xkcd sucks establishment and any passerby that this comment predates all others in this thread.

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  59. @Twilight

    Well, I had only read Hype Backlash from the link. Yes, Fan Disillusionment is actually really accurate, props to them.

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  60. Man, Randall probably drinks Thunderbird and thinks he's smart for it.

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  61. Gamer, I think you're operating this thing all alone and attached the name Raven for hype or something.

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  62. Randall still thinks life is adventure. He just thinks such adventure takes the form of fleeting transitive experiences. It's all about fucking on an uncomfortable pile of plastic balls, not about acquiring a sophisticated understanding of your surroundings.

    See also: relying on Wikipedia and Google as your only sources of knowledge.

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  63. @Anon 7:06 - well, you obviously haven't fucked a lactating woman on an uncomfortable pile of plastic balls, else you would not denigrate it so. It's a transformative experience.

    It's like I always say - you haven't truly lived unless you've fucked a woman on an uncomfortable pile of plastic balls (this is true for both men and women). Also, something about Ursa Minor Beta, but that's not important right now.

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  64. A bit late, but:
    The World Trade Centre blows up suicide bombers.

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  65. @Oh god the formatting:

    I promise I'll let her take Friday's strip. If I think it's particularly awful, I'll just write another review in addition to hers.

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  66. World Trade Center blows up US Government.

    Amirite ;-)

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  67. In Soviet Germany, the people have a strangehold on the Jews.

    /russian reversal
    /godwin
    /randall wit
    /humour hara kiri

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  68. This thread is bad and you should feel bad.

    Captcha: prerav. The abbreviated form of the dark era before yours truly, obviously.

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  69. http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ln8qlsXJxE1qdaiu7o1_400.png

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  70. @Ravenzomg a FGAS with hipster glasses isn't helping your case.

    captcha: inuate. wh ar u inuatin bout m soriety ficer

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  71. raven send us pics of your fat

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  72. I thought the abbreviation "J.B." was pretty funny because academics use that sort of thing a lot.

    That said, I do think that Randall is the worst sort of vapid iconoclast ('Why have culture when you can have mathematics? Academia is so stupid except when it's in science, although I wouldn't know about that because I'm not actually a scientist, just a comic writer!'), so this comic doesn't really do it for me.

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  73. I wonder what that girl would think if she saw me using her picture. I think that'd be pretty weird. Then again, it's better than me captioning the picture I suppose....unless she thinks I'm awful, which is probable if she were to read this site.

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  74. Step 1: Randall makes claim.

    Step 2: Randall invents hypothetical scenario in which claim is true.

    Q.E.D., bitches.

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  75. Xkcd's problem is more a problem of lack of mastering the tools of the sequential art than a problem of content. 915: the joke could be funny. I don't mind randomness: I laughed (in my head, I never lol, ever) at "surreal canadian porn", and the idea of pictures of Joe Biden eating a sandwich as an art form is amusing enough. But, god, this comic is painfully long and wordy. Main problem: you have a first punchline in the 3rd frame, and then the last frame is just illustrating the punchline (well... illustrating...) That's a lot of post punchline dialogue. Words are not the best friends of comics, and refraining from using too much of them is generally worth the effort. Also, trying to find a decent punchline when you have an amusing idea can transform a "that's kinda funny" into a big "HAHAHAHAHA" peed my pants.

    Pee.

    lol

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  76. The filthy river creature has a point. +1 Rochambeau.

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  77. One notable example is one where two shipwreck survivors are clinging to a shellfish-encrusted rock in the ocean, and one says "Don't worry, we'll have plenty to eat; the oysters go all the way to the top!". You'd have to know that oysters actually live underwater to get the joke.

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  78. Phrases I hate that xkcdsucks-frequenters always say:

    1. Amirite
    2. Cuddlefish
    3. Show, don't tell

    By posting this I'll have ensured that those phrases will never be heard on this site again.

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  79. Anonymous @ 11:21- show, don't tell us that xkcdsucks frequenters always say such phrases. I certainly don't see the first one very often. I don't think you're an xkcdsucks regular at all; you're just a cuddlefish amirite?

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  80. 916: Security through obscurity does not a joke make.

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  81. Anon 11:28 - GOOD ONE!!!!!!!

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  82. 916 did NOT make me vomit up my breakfast, so that's good.

    Do you guys think that we could get Lulzsec to take down xkcd? It would create much "butthurt" and "lulz" as the kids say these days.

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  83. On the one hand, I hate plutarchy. On the other, I hate leet haxors who haven't evolved as a species since winnuke was first released to kick Windows 95 users off IRC almost 15 years ago. On the other, I hate xkcd. And I'm as concerned about people I hate receiving credit as I am about their not suffering.

    This is a tough one. Maybe I should stop expressing my psyche so openly - I believe the standard is to pretend that you have healthy thoughts. May each survive on his merits and those who need help receive it, God bless America, &c.

    captcha: clensd. Thus I am.

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  84. Being fed up with post-punchline dialogues and other too verbose comics, I'm trying a (probably very short-lived) blog with shortend versions of xkcd strips.

    http://xkcdredux.tumblr.com

    Just for fun, let's see how long it lasts...

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  85. I wonder when Randall's gonna stop making comics and just start giving handjobs to forum members. It would be pretty much the same, except he might make friends.

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  86. I'd rather lulzsec spilled Randall's email account just so I can grep them for 'megan'

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  87. @xkcd redux: I would have visited your link if you'd bothered to make it clickable.

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  88. WHAT-AM-I-FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOOOR?!

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  89. Randall was a connoisseur. A gobbler of whangs par excellence.

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  90. Is there like some online script thing where I can take an xkcd comic and replace the speech. You know, something for the chronically lazy who don't want to mess with formatting by downloading the comic and the font and opening it up in some tool and shit. Cheers ears.

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  91. @Anon 5:57: Click the name on the post.

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  92. I'm not anonymous. My name's "That's what she."

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  93. Brilliant review. In fact, I didn't get the joke until I read this review. 914: Big downthumb.

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  94. I'd just like to say that 912 has perhaps the greatest goatkcd of all time.

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