Happy New Year, everybody! And speaking of years, XKCD finally has enough comics that if each one was a year, we'd be in WWII! Just in time for WWIII!!! Heh heh heh nahhh forreal though good on Randy for making enough of these that by the end of the year he'll have hit the current year in strip number count.
I am a fan of the old "that was a year ago!" etc -type jokes, since I'm a fan of dad jokes in general. Unfortunately, I think that the presentation kinda obscures the joke.
The first three panels should be shrunk down, to at least half their size, probably a third. We just need to see that the guy is playing the game from before the new years midnight to after new years midnight. Drawing it out over three full panels makes the reader focus on the game, which is the least important part of the comic from a humor standpoint. Especially with the double name-drop, in the dialogue and the title, it makes the comic come off like an ad.
One sec, I'll do a quick mockup to show how I think the formatting could have been done better:
Now I know you're all in awe of my amazing image editing skills, but hold that for a moment. You see how speeding up the setup makes the punchline seem better? (Whether or not the punchline itself is funny is irrelevant to this particular point)
The added countdown in panel 2 also adds some missing context. (I'd have written out 'Happy New Year' but I don't have the humor sans font downloaded.) We all understand it now, 'cause of it being the new year and all, but in five weeks someone who's only just now seeing the comic will see it unmoored from time, and they'll be all confused and stuff (until the last panel but they'll still have to do like a double-take thingy)
Oh yeah, I almost forgot: apparently the iTunes paypal gift card thing doesn't work for all countries, so I'm doing an Amazon gift card this time, and the code is "JJM5-RDB63J-Y3AB". I thiiiink that will work, as long as you use the "amazon.com" address instead of .co.uk or .fr or .etc. Regardless, I hope you all had a good New Year's Eve, and that you have a good 2018. <3