2015-10-28

XKCD Isn't Funny - #Bill Gates - XKCD Marks the Spot


"It's funny that XKCD did a thing for Polio Day because XKCD is also a disease.", I tweeted, shortly before realizing that I should review the thing and I'd just wasted a perfectly good opening line.

You'd think that Randy would see the opportunity to get a comic published on Bill Gates' blog as a chance to expand his audience. This isn't something throwaway, this is essentially a commission. So I really question why Randy didn't put more effort into this.

One of the main things wrong with this comic is the lack of context. Who are these people? Why is this being presented to them? Why is the presentation so short? None of these questions are actually answered, we're left to guess. Maybe the guy is supposed to be Donald Trump since he keeps saying stupid things and has bad hair.

Another thing is that the stupid character we're presumably meant to laugh at isn't stupid in any kind of realistic way. He's almost acting like a bad political cartoon's depiction of millennials, with the way he only seems to understand exciting new technologies. And then on top of that he just keeps going even after being corrected multiple times. Half the panels are redundant. No one who'd passed 9th grade would do this! If someone did, I'd commend Randy on his exemplary satire of them. But 'they' don't exist.

Art-wise, the polio arrow things look kinda neat, but everything else is pretty dire. Panels one and three in particular, they look scribbled. As if those three people behind the desk didn't seem stupid enough, what with their silence and not doing anything. And in panel four, the line for they guy's body goes over the panel border! These are amateur mistakes! On Bill Gates' blog.

Less unforgivable but still bad: the idiot guy would have to stand up for panel six to be composed the way it is, but he's sitting back down in panel nine. This would seem to represent an increase in intensity or passion, but no other verbal or physical cues are given from him or the presenter chick to indicate that.

This is a comic that I just think Randy didn't think through or even work very hard on. Maybe he got tired after doing the diagrams for panels two and seven. I'm frankly amazed that Bill Gates didn't ask for something better.

Also the line about smallpox is wrong, the government keeps some in a vial in a coffee can in the White House refrigerator so that they can kill us all if we start a large-scale rebellion.