Wednesday, August 3, 2011
[Comic title: tattoo; alt text: I calculate that the electrons in radiation therapy hit you at 99.8% of the speed of light, and the beam used in a 90-second gamma ray therapy session could, if fired with less precision, kill a horse (they did not let me test this).]
I guess Randy is trying to make cancer sound badass or something? Jesus Christ. Is this supposed to be funny? Are we supposed to laugh at this description of radiation therapy? Or are we supposed to be like 'DUDE SO INTENSE I WANT CANCER NOW?' What the fuck is the goddamn point of this festering shit pile?
I wasn't actually expecting Randy to make so damn many cancer comics. Maybe one every now and then. But this much? I'm left with the conclusion that Randy has decided to make xkcd a cancer webcomic.
This isn't unprecedented. In fact, Mom's Cancer, a webcomic which was expressly about someone's mother's cancer, was created in 2004. There have been some other internet projects which are basically documenting a disease. It's the sort of thing I'm quite confident Randy has come across before. And these projects are often touching and insightful looks at terminal or chronic illnesses.
I don't know why Randy has made this decision, or if these are the only two cancer comics he'll make ever again (but, I mean, come on). It could be that he is cynically hoping to generate a larger audience by trolling for sympathy. Maybe he thinks that this project is putting a new spin on it somehow, or otherwise that it is a legitimately interesting place for him to take his (and I use the word loosely here) art.
What I do know is that if this is Randy's idea of an interesting take on the subject, we are in for a shitty, shitty ride.
There are two ways this can go. Either he eventually alienates his readership, causing them to quietly file out while he keeps making comics where Megan is declaring that "I HAVE DISCOVERED HOW TO LIVE FOREVER" because cancer cells are immortal, or XKCD fanboys just suddenly become cancer enthusiasts. The XKCD store will be full of t-shirts that say "man, fuck cancer," with the word "seriously" on the back, or shirts and prints which bear the dot pattern that Megan has on her chest. Prints of the terrible infographics he produces like the lanes comic, and the forthcoming Map of Cancer. There will be astrological and geographical puns about Cancer and the tropic thereof.
Either way, sanctimonious fanboys will continue to berate us for having the gall to dislike xkcd while Randy has something bad going on in his life.
On an unrelated note: does anyone else get the impression that Randy actually thinks barbed wire tattoos are hardcore?