Monday, February 27, 2012

Comics 1020-1022: So It Has Come To This


1021. So, on the one hand, I can't tell what the joke is supposed to be here. On the other hand, it doesn't actually bother me. It's a decent pencil sketch and though it fails to capture the murderous look in the eye of every seagull, you know, whatever. Reminiscent of the very early XKCDs, back before he felt like he had to make every comic into . . .

1022. This one isn't abnormally terrible but it is pretty much representative of what XKCD is now. This is something I've seen people say before, and as a genre of joke it's pretty common as well: say something unnecessarily dramatic in response to something mundane as a way to generate humor. Whereas most people will be content with making this joke from time to time, Randy decided, probably after seeing someone use it, to codify it into his comic forever. Randy thinks that mundane, not-really-that-funny ways of being funny are worth putting into comic form and sharing with the world. It's hard not to think that maybe he's not actually trying to be funny here. Maybe he's just trying to hijack a common joke so that every time his fans make a common joke they think of him. Regardless of whether or not he's trying, it works, and it's becoming a problem.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Comics 1017-1019: Apparently This Is Still A Thing

1017. Randy thinks that imagining something he thinks is cool is an extreme sport! He also wants us to think that he imagines something he thinks is cool while he's waiting for something. This is pretty sad.

1018. lolrandumb is not funny, Randy.

1019. Whenever Randy gets political he always does it in a really dumb way, and he gives everyone with left-leaning politics a bad name. This one has the traditional old Randy smugness--"it's totally dumb to buy advertising that everyone who views a site will see when you can just hire people to shill for you on a section of the website that most people don't read unless they want to argue with people"--where he thinks he's smarter than, you know, people who actually know what they're talking about, by drawing a completely unrealistic comparison between two things that are completely unrelated.

See, the point of political advertising on websites (or most advertising, really) is not to win people over to your side. It's about name and brand recognition. Whereas the point of hiring someone to shill for you on the internet is to sway opinions about something people are already aware of. The comment sections of news articles aren't particularly good for this since discussion doesn't actually happen there. You want to go to active forums and things, build rapport, enter a community, and subvert from within. This was my plan with joining the xkcd sucks community, for instance. In a few weeks I'll write a post about how much I love xkcd and instantly all the haters will revert to drooling fanboys, and Randy and I will high-five while he slips me a ten dollar bill for a job well done.

Totally worth it.

It seems likely that Randy may be instead (additionally?) suggesting that many or most political comments online are in fact astroturf comments as described in the comic. This has always been one of the dumbest features of online communities--the accusations that people who disagree with them are just shills--and I'd say I'm disappointed in Randy for encouraging such behavior but let's be honest. It's impossible for me to be any more disappointed in Randy than I have been for the last, oh, thirty-four years.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Comics 1013-1016: Oh Look At The Time

I usually try to do these on Saturdays but I was doing something I actually liked this weekend instead (jk jk i am incapable of experiencing pleasure). Here is a special bonus pack of FOUR shitty one-sentence reviews!

1013. Without the last panel, this one would be pretty good, relatively speaking.
1014. The situation in this comic is so contrived I can't even think about anything else.
1015. In which Randy admits that he hates his readers.
1016. Did you know that nerds hating/overthinking Valentimes is a thing?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Comics 1010-1012: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

1010. Here we have a lame superhero, Etymology Man, giving an etymology in an inappropriate situation! How wacky! As the wave comes crashing in to drown our heroes, he is still giving an etymological lecture, and generally scoring a great victory for pedantry in the process. Too much setup, not enough joke. Though as an aside: I've never encountered someone who whips out their pedantry penis about 'tidal wave' vs 'tsunami.' Is this a thing?

1011. The worst part about this one is I'm terrified this means that Randy is one step closer to bringing his hot porn star daughter fantasies to fruition. More shotgun humor from our intrepid comics auteur. How dull.

1012. Apparently Randy was so thrilled with the joke in 1010, he decided to use it again! "I can make this better," he said to himself. "The people at xkcd sucks always complain when I use too many panels. Well I'll show them! I'll put this wall of text in only one panel!" This joke wasn't particularly interesting the first time. Stop trying to make it happen, Randy.