No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

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Tiem
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Tiem » Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:42 am UTC

I..I'm not exactly sure what to think about this idea anymore. I got into xkcd, and like everything else I enjoy, I developed a minor obsession. Then I went on vacation, and came back, showed pictures, talked to family, yadda yadda yadda, and sat down, terribly excited to read the six new xkcds. And for the first one or two, I was thinking, 'Well, they're not the best, but even the greatest webcomics have misses.' Then I read the rest of them, and checked the comic every MWF to see the new ones. Some of them had great ideas and setups, and I tried to laugh at them, but I just didn't think they were funny. Then I thought, "What the hell is wrong with your brain, woman? Laugh, damn you, laugh!" And that's coming from the person who read through the whole webcomic several times and quoted it every 3 seconds. ("I thought we were on our way to a bakery!")I dunno, maybe I'm just not getting it, or maybe it's not as good. But I'm just severely overanalyzing and overthinking a stick figure comic. :|
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Chfan » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:14 am UTC

The quality has definitely declined over time. But I don't think it's quite over the edge of bad just yet.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Midnight » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:35 am UTC

Chfan wrote:The quality has definitely declined over time. But I don't think it's quite over the edge of bad just yet.

No, it's not Ctrl-Alt-Del at all. But did ANYONE wipe tears of laughter from their eyes at the university-website one? Cause I did when I saw the 'search history' one.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby theoreticallypossible » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:47 am UTC

i went through the comics and gave them ratings out of 5 - just based on personal opinion,
then i imported data into excel and graphed. voila.
definitely looking down
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Graph of xkcd quality over time

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Giant Speck » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:52 am UTC

First of all, wow.

Second, I bet that'd look better as a line graph.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby theoreticallypossible » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:09 am UTC

haha okay line graph...:

hmm, i think you're right.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Giant Speck » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:10 am UTC

I have no idea why I thought a line graph would look all that different. :oops:
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:16 am UTC

Maybe if you did something like this so that we could see trends?
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby theoreticallypossible » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:52 am UTC

sorry i dont think excel has that function! :/

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:12 am UTC

You should be able to put a moving average trendline in, knock it upto 10-20 points or something.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:12 am UTC

The graph I linked was made with Excel 2002, although I don't know how. It's a line graph of the average of the previous 10 items, so maybe you could make a separate column or whatever that does that with a formula?

Or what Gelsamel said.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby diotimajsh » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:06 am UTC

Did anyone ever follow through with the "'XKCD sucks' sucks" blog idea? Because the idea does occasionally strike me as somewhat amusing. E.g., "While XKCD Sucks started out as a clever and incisive critique of XCKD, it has been clear to me for a while that its posts now lack the wit, relevance, and bite they once held. While once there were some truly great posts with hilarious and exemplary XCKD-mockery, the site has since become a cesspool of tired, worn-out, repeated criticisms and unthinking, bitter slander directed toward XCKD and any who dare to express approval theretoward."

Though, I'm sure the novelty would wear off after one or two posts.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Vaniver » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:38 pm UTC

So, I stayed up too late last night reading this website.

Honestly, I mostly agree with Carl. Has no one noticed the giant thread of people redoing or recombining comics to make them better? And I think his suggestion of Randall Munroe's Illustrated Picto-Blog would work a lot better than xkcd as it is now. If a blog post is just a appropriate observation, that's fine- but when that's one of the comics I like the most despite not having a punchline (besides "believing in supernatural stuff is dumb!"), that suggests there's not much going on in the humor department. And things like the end of this blog post work better with all that setup- if he had just assembled the illustrations into one comic, I doubt it would have packed the same punch (or had the nerd appeal of actually working out an idea).
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:52 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Has no one noticed the giant thread of people redoing or recombining comics to make them better?

Like Garfield Minus Garfield, xkcdsw only works because you know that something is missing or has been changed. To take the first one as an example: What the hell would be the point of that comic if you didn't know that something else is supposed to happen in the end? The ICT trolls would be screaming bloody murder if something like that were ever posted on the xkcd front page.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby guyy » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:23 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Has no one noticed the giant thread of people redoing or recombining comics to make them better?


That thread's title isn't sarcastic. The (intended) point is to ruin the joke of a comic by replacing it with something mundane/horrible or removing it entirely.

As for this thread's topic, I think its creation date (and xkcd's ongoing popularity) reveals more than anything else.

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby theoreticallypossible » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:05 pm UTC

HERE's the graph with moving trendline... wow, i didn't even notice how meagre most of the comics were until i graphed everything...
(5pts is absolute "classic" for the rest of the century, 4pts is ROFL for weeks, 3pts is a good chuckle, 2 is "lol" and 1 is "smirk". 0, however is *shrug*.)
I think quality is definitely better than quantity.
if randall is trying to hard to crack out a comic every few days periodically, he should just reduce the frequency and increase the quality.
There's brilliant stuff - but too much trash and not enough treasure.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Vaniver » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:55 pm UTC

guyy wrote:That thread's title isn't sarcastic. The (intended) point is to ruin the joke of a comic by replacing it with something mundane/horrible or removing it entirely.
And yet, many of them come out objectively better than the original. A lot of them are worse and are only funny because of their connection to the original- imagine a thread where people were actually trying to improve the comics. One of the points repeated by the xkcdsucks people is that the comic would be better with an editor- and that seems likely to me.

It would be interesting to see how people's reactions to xkcd comics compare- my suspicion is that the ranges for most of them will be relatively small.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:34 pm UTC

theoreticallypossible wrote:HERE's the graph with moving trendline... wow, i didn't even notice how meagre most of the comics were until i graphed everything...
(5pts is absolute "classic" for the rest of the century, 4pts is ROFL for weeks, 3pts is a good chuckle, 2 is "lol" and 1 is "smirk". 0, however is *shrug*.)
I think quality is definitely better than quantity.
if randall is trying to hard to crack out a comic every few days periodically, he should just reduce the frequency and increase the quality.
There's brilliant stuff - but too much trash and not enough treasure.
Perhaps.

Problems : I just grabbed a sequence on a 0 line 465-473 to be specific.

Those include the Improvised Dialog, the Quantum/Regular teleporter one, the Furry one, House of Pancakes, the one about Pluto...

Ones I personally really, really like and would rate along the 3-5 parts if I had to do a 0-5 scale on them.

... I mean... hell, 361 (which you rated 3) and 466 are basically the same (Geeks aren't like normal people hur hur!) and I like both of them. You liked one, but not the other. You ranked 359 a 5. It's a 2 at best.

So... what now? How do we reconcile this? Can we? Hell, you didn't like 737! What's wrong with you?


...

My point, in case it's not clear, is that people have different opinions and all that. If you think there's been a quality shift... maybe their has, maybe there hasn't. How long have you been reading the comic? When did you notice the quality shift? What other comics do you read? What other comics have you read? Have you noticed a shift in them? How old are you? What's your current life like?

Yes, your age and current life experiences are going to color your enjoyment of things. It happens. Most likely, you don't like the music that you liked when you were 12. Did the band change, or did you?
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Midnight » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:57 pm UTC

I believe that the alt-text for today's comic would make an even funnier comic than today's actual comic.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby theoreticallypossible » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:50 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:... I mean... hell, 361 (which you rated 3) and 466 are basically the same (Geeks aren't like normal people hur hur!) and I like both of them. You liked one, but not the other. You ranked 359 a 5. It's a 2 at best.

So... what now? How do we reconcile this? Can we? Hell, you didn't like 737! What's wrong with you?


i gave 359 a 0. the 5pts was for "flies", no.357.

SecondTalon wrote:Yes, your age and current life experiences are going to color your enjoyment of things. It happens. Most likely, you don't like the music that you liked when you were 12. Did the band change, or did you?


I don't think it's the audience (e.g. me) that's changed, (seeing as i ranked the comics all in one go). From a restrospective view, the ones i used to like were still the one i gave 5's and 4's.
The comics individually don't change. But as a progression, yes, it is possible.

anyway, what do you reckon overall?

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:57 am UTC

Overall, I don't think it's changed much. I think that people are picking up on the repetitions of common themes and wanting something different. (There's also the issue that if he does a romance, math, sarcasm or language comic that doesn't include the other three as well, someone in Indiv. Comic Threads will say "What happened to the X? This comic used to have X in it, but now it's only W, Y, and Z." but.. that's another ramble) Randal also likes to experiment with his tools from time to time, and those always have people annoyed. But mostly, he keeps covering the same ground from different angles. Whether or not that's a bad thing is up to you. I mean, since mid/late 2007 or early 2008, I've pretty much seen the comic as this cute thing on the front of a building or whatever that I pass when I wander in to the place I want to be, so.. there you are. It's not why I'm here anymore and hasn't been for a long time.. not because I found them bad or a quality slip, simply that I found something far more interesting beyond the door. But I'm digressing... moving on...

There is the argument that he's used too many (sometimes geek) pop culture references lately. To that, I'd simply point out #14 and #16. It's always been there. It'll probably always be there. I'm not going to say that Randal and I are just alike, as I'm sure we're not. But after reading quite a few of the comics, we share a somewhat similar headspace on a few things, as I'm sure he shares with you and most other people who read the comic - hence the "Get out of my head, Randal!" meme. And I can see exactly what it is he's doing -

It's a dude thinking of wacky things, drawing them in stick figure form and putting them on the internet for our consumption. There's no driving plan, no grand scheme, no connecting thread between them except for a few isolated elements. Outside of a few serial ones, they can (and are probably meant to) be taken on their own with little to no context.

I dunno.. I suppose part of my ire at these sorts of posts is that the dropping point keeps moving, and seems to coincide with the the complainer's 6th month anniversary of finding the comic, which leads me to believe it's not the comic, it's the reader - when they can read page after page after page in an archive binge, they find lots and lots of joy (even if it's only every 5th comic or so) but when they have to wait for it to show up every couple of days (and it's still every 5th or so that they really like), the quality has slipped for them.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Felstaff » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:09 pm UTC

xkcdcriticismsucks.blogspot.com
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Vaniver » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:15 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I dunno.. I suppose part of my ire at these sorts of posts is that the dropping point keeps moving, and seems to coincide with the the complainer's 6th month anniversary of finding the comic, which leads me to believe it's not the comic, it's the reader - when they can read page after page after page in an archive binge, they find lots and lots of joy (even if it's only every 5th comic or so) but when they have to wait for it to show up every couple of days (and it's still every 5th or so that they really like), the quality has slipped for them.
My 6 month point would be, going off of my forum join date, #248, and a year after that would be #410. Comparing that year to the year starting with #624, both of which I originally read in 3-a-week updates and just reread in an archive binge, I think the earlier one is better.

I think pretty much every comic out there reads better as an archive binge- and so while it's going to be more noticeable for comics like xkcd where the quality range is high, I don't think that's the only factor. I think it's more likely that it takes 6 months for people to adjust from the awesomeness of the archive binge to the current reality- which is that good comics still happen, but with lower frequency, and the frequency for great comics seems even lower. And I think that's why the repetition bothers people- because the great comics were generally the first exploration of a new thought-space, and now it seems like he's mostly retracing his steps, which is not a good way to find new great stuff.

That said, I agree with you that the forums are the main draw of the site, for me at least.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:11 pm UTC

Yep, these forums are easily the best part of the site. I don't even keep up with the comic much any more. I like dresden codak better as a comic.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Tiem » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:19 pm UTC

Damn, xkcdexplained.com is getting almost as judgmental of the comic as xkcdsucks. And they're a lot more annoying about it too. xkcdsucks at least gives reasons for why they hate specific comics. The explanation of today's comic on xkcdexplained was just "The author hates women." They put that for almost every comic now, and sometimes reverse it and put men. :roll:
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Midnight » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:12 am UTC

In their defense, this most recent one was not even remotely amusing, has been done to funnier* effect by this very website multiple times, and is eminently forgettable.

*Yeah it ain't meant to be funny, but there's been other xkcd's that summon more of... whatever you call the emotion he's attempting to summon.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby meatyochre » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:27 am UTC

I thought the girl's hair was very nicely drawn, though.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Ephemeron » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:14 pm UTC

Maybe he just doesn't have time to devote to his comics anymore. Has anyone noticed that the apparent deline in quality occurs shortly after he made a comic about TVTropes (609)? For those of you who don't know, TVTropes is a website well known for sucking time. I think that Randall needs an intervention, fast! :P

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:48 am UTC

Indeed. 766 was done in five minutes, tops.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:16 pm UTC

Quick!!! Get a dream machine and some caffine pills for this man, stat!!!!
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Midnight » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Indeed. 766 was done in five minutes, tops.


The joke was. He's quite free about how it's just stick figures sticking around, so when he puts more effort into the art than the jokes.. mehgh. I mean, I'm down with cool art if it's also cool/funny, but when it's "oh look imma steal your car" it falls flat.

For today's LSD joke, I liked it well enough... but I thought he could've gone places with the alt-text (proving that LSD isn't any worse than a placebo) again.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Kewangji » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:45 am UTC

I thought 766 was pretty funny. The art meshed well with the joke. Didn't really like 790, but I thought 787 was hilarious, for instance.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Triangle_Man » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:32 am UTC

Hey, I found this a while ago, and it basically gives me the impression that enjoying this comic is wrong.

http://badwebcomics.wikidot.com/xkcd

In order to balance out the negativity, here is another review.

http://www.peskybrain.com/csbrains/?p=59

In conclusion, opinions of XKCD are likely to vary from person to person.

I win the argument (joke).
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Ephemeron » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:30 pm UTC

NEWSFLASH: Carl Wheeler is quitting his xkcdsucks blog. I guess we won the long game. Except wait... he didn't really quit, he's just now posing weekly... and starting a new website. A small part of me agrees with the criticism, and whilst xkcd isn't always that good, I think that the fora are the best part of this site.

The Online Communities 2 really restored my faith in xkcd. Inevitably there are some morons on the comment pages posting things like this:
hey look at the fans on the forums immediately going in to suck randall's dick for doing something he's already done.
What got me is how randall pretends he's done some kind of work to generate this- it looks like somone with dihorea farted over some blue poster board and then arbitrarily assigned the names of popular websites to the largest islands

I am convinced that the site is full of jerks, and naturally their kind are more predisposed to criticizing xkcd. It just shows that their criticism is prejudiced and unjustified, and they will hate a comic because it's xkcd.

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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby sje46 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:21 am UTC

The thing that pisses me off the most is when they (Carl and the bloggers) criticize the forums, usually by saying we all suck Randall's penis. Mindless gay bashing aside...man, that stereotype isn't true. First off they're basing it off Indiv Comics, which everyone knows is kinda the stupid part of the forums. A lot of regulars in these forums hold it in contempt. There's a lot of opinions here, and actually quite a few people who don't really particularly like the comic, but just like to be in the prescence of geeky-minded or liberal-minded people.

That said, a lot of his reviews are kinda funny...I just feel like he's really, really biased against xkcd. It isn't the best comic, but it isn't the worst either. Some criticisms are good, a lot are just horrible and invalid (and based off ad-hominem). I'll be following his new blog though, at least initially. It's good that he's focusing on other webcomics instead of focusing his rage on one...I think that his new blog has the potential to be funny, similar to joshreads.com. http://webcomics.me/ The newest blog post shows promise of it succeeding in that style, as opposed to the kinda circlejerky randull sucks style.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby meatyochre » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:11 am UTC

sje46 wrote:The thing that pisses me off the most is when they (Carl and the bloggers) criticize the forums, usually by saying we all suck Randall's penis. Mindless gay bashing aside...man, that stereotype isn't true. First off they're basing it off Indiv Comics, which everyone knows is kinda the stupid part of the forums. A lot of regulars in these forums hold it in contempt. There's a lot of opinions here, and actually quite a few people who don't really particularly like the comic, but just like to be in the prescence of geeky-minded or liberal-minded people.

That said, a lot of his reviews are kinda funny...I just feel like he's really, really biased against xkcd. It isn't the best comic, but it isn't the worst either. Some criticisms are good, a lot are just horrible and invalid (and based off ad-hominem). I'll be following his new blog though, at least initially. It's good that he's focusing on other webcomics instead of focusing his rage on one...I think that his new blog has the potential to be funny, similar to joshreads.com. http://webcomics.me/ The newest blog post shows promise of it succeeding in that style, as opposed to the kinda circlejerky randull sucks style.

I'd be very surprised if anyone posting there knows that faid exists.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:14 pm UTC

I think that his new blog has the potential to be funny


I think if he sticks to his "if I can rephrase this comic in a way that isn't funny, then the comic isn't funny" (aka "Delivery? What's delivery?") theory of comics criticism, he's pretty much doomed to fail no matter what the subject matter.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Midnight » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:16 am UTC

Well, webcomics.me or whatever isn't very good. I've been on there explaining how you can't try and criticize a comic for making a boob joke and then being immature in your response. Does not compute.

BUT:
http://xkcd.com/811/
This isn't remotely close to funny, and it's significantly less than interesting.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Princess Marzipan » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:42 am UTC

I actually liked today's. It's not ha-ha funny, but it's amusing. And it doesn't seem like this one is trying to be funny. It fits with the wistfulness and whimsy that crops up in the comics from time to time - they don't all have punchlines.
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Re: No more "classics" (xkcdsucks.com discussion)

Postby Vaniver » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:16 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:I actually liked today's. It's not ha-ha funny, but it's amusing. And it doesn't seem like this one is trying to be funny. It fits with the wistfulness and whimsy that crops up in the comics from time to time - they don't all have punchlines.
This was pretty much my sentiment.

(Though it's a brand of whimsy I specifically dislike; machines and photons should not be anthropomorphized. They do not have emotions.)
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