XKCD Isn't Funny - #1360 - OLD FILES

I don't find this comic actively unfunny, it's kinda neat seeing the evolution of filenames visually depicted like that, but at the end of the day (which it is, actually, 11:15PM as I type this), this is a "I was an angsty teenager once" joke, which I think was funny maybe the first hundred times I heard it.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1359 - PHONE ALARM

I guess Randy was too tuckered out with doing the artwork for the last comic to do anything but a flowchart. It's kinda sad because it's honestly not a terrible joke for a visual gag. The joke here is that when you use your phone as an alarm, the alarm sound is similar to the phone's ringing sound, so a person might try to answer the alarm like a phone.

That joke is pretty much dependent on the image of the person confusedly holding the beeping phone to their ear, saying "Hello? Hello?". It's not hilarious, but it's decent, maybe even alright. I'd probably still have criticized it if that was the only thing in the panel, but it wouldn't have taken much to add things and make it a fairly good comic. Like maybe "I'm sorry, it's too early for morse code, you can tell me why you're screaming later." or a second panel where the answerer would tell someone else "My phone is having some identity problems, it wants to be an alarm clock now." or "Did you know that when your phone reaches a certain level it evolves into an alarm clock?"

These are just off the top of my head, mind, but they're decent examples of how this same joke, if given a bit of artwork (literally just a stick figure in his bed with a phone to their ear) and a caption or panel could have made this into a funny comic, instead of a graph joke.


XKCD Is Alright Sometimes - #1358 - NRO

I actually like this one. The art's nice (heads are a bit weird tho), the dialogue is natural, the pacing's good, and the joke didn't have to be explained to me. Good job, Randy! More like this, please.


XKCD Isn't Even Funny - #1357 - FREE SPEECH

The first four panels are true enough, and it is in part due to those rights that I'm allowed to write this hateblog. (I live in Eagleland, so I have rights, unlike you savages in Cananada and France.)

First off, Randy actually called this one a public service announcement. That is literally what I called his two comics about Heartbleed as an insult. When Randy wrote "PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT" at the top of panel one, he admitted he wasn't trying to be funny or even entertaining with this.

I don't even need to say anything more. He didn't want to be interesting today, he just wanted to yell at people for a bit and draw a door. A nice door, sure, I've got no problems with the door, but it's not enough to make this more than a glorified tumblr post.

[EDIT:] I'm retroactively giving this the "WORST XKCD EVER (SO FAR)" award, specifically because it wasn't even trying to be entertaining or interesting or funny in any way. Every other comic was trying to be, at the very least, vaguely interesting. Even 631 was trying to be funny (I think), and even if it failed badly, at least it failed.

If XKCD, at its very best, is a rocket taking off, then a standard-level stinker is a rocket that explodes, a particularly bad one is a rocket that kills a bunch of people, and 631 was a rocket that blew up before it even launched. This one was a rocket that was planned, and as the plans were being sent to everyone they were intercepted by terrorists and used to kill the president.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't link to a much better deconstruction of this comic done here that was linked in xkcdsucks' parody of this comic. Read that. It's good!


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1355 - AIRPLANE MESSAGE

I really do hate this type of "cool fact", the kind that tells you the bare bones of something interesting but nothing else about how it works, why it's like that, or anything else but the absolute minimum.
Example: "Kangaroos can't fart." That doesn't tell you why Kangaroos can't fart (bacterium that eat the chemicals that cause gas) why the information is useful (people are trying to transplant the bacterium to cows to lower the amount of methane they produce), and, most irritatingly, it's almost always phrased in the simplest possible way, which a lot of the time, makes the fact harder to verify. So let's put the expected joke right up here: Citation needed.

Here are my questions about this fact: What's the most potent chemotherapy drug? Why does adriamycin come from dirt? What makes the dirt from an Italian castle more useful for the purpose? How is adriamycin extracted from the dirt? I don't know, but I am literally going to refrain from looking any of it up out of spite. Piss off, Randy.

Also, the letters on the banner would be too small to read from the ground, even if you could sneak in and change a banner without it being noticd, which of course, you couldn't.



same as yesterday

Since Randy's decided to give us a PSA instead of a joke, I'll give a little announcement of my own.

I recently started my very own record label, where I'll be uploading my music for the forseeable future. Also it'll be entirely pay-what-you-want (even $0!) so you don't even have to pay if you don't want to. Neat! Check it out!
I currently have a few albums and EPs in the works for future release. The most finished are Fast Food Friday, the debut album by my drum 'n' bass project Mick, and Seapunk Is Stupid, the debut thing by my vaporwave/sound collage project Vaporlnd. I'm really proud of what I've got so far, but I'm going to be polishing it up extra shiny before I release anything, since I want it to be quality stuffs for your enjoyment.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1353 - HEARTBLEED


Since Randy's decided to give us a PSA instead of a joke, I'll give a little announcement of my own.

I recently started my very own record label, where I'll be uploading my music for the forseeable future. Also it'll be entirely pay-what-you-want (even $0!) so you don't even have to pay if you don't want to. Neat! Check it out!



sad, so sad.

I have a feeling I'm going to get very angry by the end of this post. Let's address the (many, many, many) problems as they appear.

1. The first panel sets this up in a swamp. For a strip as minimalistic as XKCD, it's rare that we get anything that isn't related to the punchline, so this adds an unnecessary detail for no reason.
2. The first panel has an unusual level of detail. Why isn't it continued in the other panels? or at least in the final panel which is full sized.
3. Why is the cosmologist on a tire swing? Explainxkcd says that it's a metaphor for the "big bounce" theory that I personally adhere to. However, the cosmologist on a tire swing-
3.5. The cosmologist on a tire swing introduces herself as "a cosmologist on a tire swing". That's an awful and clunky way of expositing that the person knows about universe things.
3(cont). -the cosmologist on a tire swing is swinging back and forth as she goes back and forth with her different possibilities about the nature of the universe, so it makes it look like the swing is a metaphor for people going back and forth on this subject, which doesn't really happen. To quote my beloved Dara Ó Briain, "People say 'Science doesn't know everything!' ...Science knows it doesn't know, otherwise it'd stop." One of science's core tennants is admitting when it doesn't know something, and that is not going back and forth on an issue.

Allow me to briefly get out of the sauna of fury to say that I like the panel formatting. -not the way the dialogue or anything is spread out, that sucks more dick than I do on a good Friday night- I like the way the panels are arranged, the two sets of three overlapping panels looks nice. And now that I've said that, back in again.

4. Why does the swing seem to be accelerating? That leads credence to Explainxkcd's explanation, but again, it just adds a layer of detail that wasn't needed and doesn't help the joke.
5. There isn't a joke. I have no idea what the funny part is supposed to be.
6. "Cosmology sounds pretty confusing"/"Wheee!" is stupid. This is supposedly Randy's example of an kind explainy teacher type figure, so to just ignore a child's new disorientation in favor of having fun on her swing -which she's been doing the whole comic- changes up her apparent character into more of a teasing jerk sort of person.
7. How did they not see her coming in the opening panel?

This one was awful. At least with the other recent terrible ones I knew what the awful joke was supposed to be. Reminder: This is Randy's job. This is what he does for a living.

[EDIT:] Thanks to the lovely people in the comment section, I now understand the joke slightly better, so please check out their explanations and ignore some of my previous issues.

[EDIT2:] There's a very insightful comment by one Anon Fakename who claims to be a physicist with cosmological experience. It's really good and you should read it, it makes a lot of points better than I did.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1351 - METAMATERIALS

I've been at a vacation resort without internet for the past five days, so forgive the lateness of this post. I'm going to admit I actually chuckled at this one. Sadly, it was because I misread the comic.

When I was reading this, I read it as the standard "Roses are red | Violets are blue" beginning to a poem, so it was funny to me when I read "alter their hue" and had to go back to double check. The joke there would have been on the reader, making them go back and read the words again and notice they read the words wrong. That would have been a very clever play on our expectations if it had been intentional, akin to "Did you know the the human brain doesn't notice when the the word "the" is writen twice?"*

Let's pretend that was the intended joke, in which case the fix is actually quite simple. Take away the color and detail of the first two panels and make the flowers look more alike (still different enough to notice when looking back, though). That way people that pay more attention to the comic would also be fooled.

Also apparently metamaterials don't actually work like that, but honestly who even gives a crap about a four-day old XKCD? (Answer: ME APPARENTLY)

*I tried to find the original post of this, but couldn't find it. I didn't come up with this line, so if anyone can find the link so I can give proper credit, that'd be swell.