Died in a Blogging Accident has lived up to its name and died... in a blogging accident. That is to say it has concluded. You can still re-live the magic by clicking here to start at chapter 1. For genuine criticism of XKCD, please click the top link to the right (XKCD Isn't Funny).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Comic 926: more like time LORD, amirite?

Hello you cretinous crustaceans, this is Time Raven of Time Raven fame and it looks like you're stuck with me all week because Gamer is off in Holland fixing the Dutch version of the internet, or the "Nethernet" as I believe they call it. The week following Raven's Week of Folly is an adventure in questionable decisions as we let Ann take over for the three updates between the 25th and the 29th. Alternately, if any of you feel particularly enraged kindly send a review to Gamer at gamer2k4[at]gmail[dot]com and he'll maybe post it if it's good. If no guest post appears within 36 hours, that's Ann's cue to write up a filler and/or review! I don't really care either way since I won't be interfacing with web-based technology for a good 6 sequential days.

I'll be rejoining my aquatic-based ancestors in the Deep of the oceans, preparing for the eventual re-emergence of the Dark Order to summon the Gods of Old who will bring their wrath to this World and the puny, flesh-covered Residents that call it theirs. And I guess Gamer will still be fixing the Nethernet. It's pretty damn complicated I hear. Anyways, that's our programme for the next two weeks, after which we'll resume our schedule as normal until Randall Munroe quits or my Masters decide to end Time and Life as we know it.

So, let me start by saying this. This concept is entertaining. The idea of a Time Vulture is kinda cute in a non-sensical way.

Title: Time Vulture. Tooltip: In a way, all vultures are Time Vultures; some just have more patience than others.

However, the fowl gem of brilliance is buried beneath foul refuse of verbosity. This comic is a 4.9 on the Ravenzomg scale of Wordiness™. For our British and Commonwealth readers, that's a metric shit-tonne of words for a comic that small. Note that the last three comics in reverse were a 3.5, a 2.25, and a 2.5. For even more reference, here's a series of comics from the late 800s rated by word density.

Anyways, I could spout numbers at you for ages, but the bottom line: There are too many words in this comic.

And some of them are just weird. "They live for millenia and use little energy". That's sounding really unnatural. Also the first panel, "Dude, you've got a time vulture!" "Holy crap! What is it?" ....It's a time vulture, fucknuts, he just told you. I think he means to say "What's that" or more wordily "What's a time vulture?" which would be okay given that, upon hearing about time vultures, I'd want to say "time vulture" as much as I possibly could on account of "time vulture" being a pretty cool concept. Time vulture. Or, just swap the dialogue.

Also, the punchline is pretty awful. I'm just saying, if you're going to mention the ultimate "killer", you're only setting yourself up for a macabre end, or a disappointment. Guess which we have here.

I mean, let's try this.

Open to opinion whether this punchline is better, but I hope you'll admit that the dialogue is at least slightly less painful.

And the heart of the matter: I feel like Randall has just watched a certain TV Series again, one episode in particular.

Ask any Doctor Who geek, and 90% of the time you'll get "Blink" as their favourite episode. This is how it works. The concept of an ancient creature killing you by just letting you age is pretty terrifying. Hell, out of the first three seasons it was rated the second most terrifying only behind the episode which focused on the antics of the living and original Devil.

This concept is pretty cool, and sadly it's been wasted here.

....Business as usual.


  1. My favourite episode of Doctor Who is Genesis of the Daleks. I'm enough of a Doctor Who geek to not be taken in by the newfangled soap opera version, but not enough of one to move beyond episodes featuring the obvious nemeses.

  2. If anything, this felt like an early discworld book footnote. When Terry Pratchett would just put in random footnotes about re-annual grapes, .303 Bookworms or the Shadowing Lemur. I kind of like that stuff, although Randall isn't as good at as Pratchett.

  3. Original comic: bad.

    Your version: less bad, still not very good.

  4. Anon642: You can't make a house out of a mound of shit, but you can make manure.

    Anon451: For one thing, the world Randall is "populating" with these concepts is one composed of Void Creates, disconnected heads, and poorly illustrated backgrounds. So we're not exactly predisposed to really give a shit about something like this unless it's done well on its own, which.... well, you said it.

    Anon302: That's because you're a far superior human being who didn't just watch the new series. But sadly about 98% of the younger Doctor Who fans have only seen episodes from the 2000s, and consequently call Tenant the best Doctor (It is obviously Hartnell, but let's not get into that). But my point here was just that basically every geek under the age of 35 can cite the name "Blink" in reference to that particular episode and point out the general concepts involved. It's a popular episode one way or the other, and to say Randall has not seen it is pretty questionable.

  5. Fuck you spell-check, that is not how you spell Tennant.

  6. Vultures are scavengers, not predators.
    Though some have been known to 'hasten' the death of an otherwise mortally wounded or ill animal.

    Word obesity is surely endemic in the critiques as well.


  7. Time Raven said:

    "....You can't make a house out of a mound of shit, but you can make manure....."

    You've never travelled outside:

    "The place to stand.
    The place to grow.

    You are quite incorrect in your building material supposition.
    The Taj Mahal is composed of the remains of tiny sea-creatures and their excrement after all!

  8. Raven - you're not funny and your reviews are horrible. It analyzes the comic pedantically and without humor. Xkcdsucks can at least make me laugh; Xkcd Explained had humor hidden in its suppositions; but your writing is bland and crude.

    Don't quit your day job.

  9. Dearest k: If only you'd gotten to me before today, when I inelegantly told my employer where to shove "it" because I'd found my true calling, namely to write hate reviews thrice weekly.

    Now I shall have to live off of expired baked good I find in dumpsters while living off of "the land", which is a euphemism for camping out in the homes of the recently deceased or vacationing.

    Woe is me!

  10. I must be one of the rare young DW viewers; 17 years old and have seen every episode possibly watchable (and heard the audio tapes of most of the missing stories).

    Also, I think that the popularity of Blink is slightly obscuring ANOTHER reference to the new series of doctor who; even before the comic introduced the concept of waiting till a creature died to eat it, simply the image and name of the 'Time Vulture' reminded me of the 'Reapers' from the Eccleston story 'Father's Day'.

    Sidenote: William Hartnell ain't the best doctor. Clearly Patrick Troughton is the best.

    Though I hope we can agree that Colin Baker was the all time worst.

  11. @k - To be fair, Gamer writes the pedantic, unfunny reviews. Raven writes the reviews with horrible formatting and constant self-reference.

  12. It's okay Raven, I'll pay you. Professionals in this medium aren't getting the support they need, and so much talent is going to waste. So I turned off adblock for this site, just so you get whatever tiny fraction of a canadian cent it is every time I view a page.

  13. This was just awful.

    Also why have you hidden your profile? Are you fleeing to Mexico or something? Because there are easier ways to get to the "Atlantic" than that.

  14. I hated this comic. Is there truly even a joke here? I mean, I don't see how "So, turns out we're all gonna die eventually" qualifies as a punchline. Nor is it an original observation in any way. Plus it's just freaking depressing- as if I want to be reminded of my impending doom by a webcomic.

    I've never seen even one episode of Doctor Who. Does this damage my "geek cred"?

  15. Nonsense, Baker is clearly the best Doctor.

  16. Oh God oh God the not-really-a-debate exchange of Hartnell vs. Troughton makes me wanna go dig out some Doctor Who DVDs and take a sick day so I can watch them. The partly animated release of The Invasion is one of the most amazing things that has ever been released on DVD and they should do it for more lost footage.

    Time Vultures amass, for plenty of premium time is about to die for the sake of my indulgence.

  17. Anon205, if you were in charge of XKCD I feel like it could be at least 80% more entertaining.

  18. Time Raven said:

    "....Now I shall have to live off of expired baked good I find in dumpsters while living off of "the land",...."

    You're a Freegan?

    I thought as much.

  19. what is Ravenzomg's Scale of Wordiness exactly

  20. How did hyphen XKCD SUCKS fall behind slow as nuts Rob's xkcd sucks?

  21. Gamer is in Asia and Raven is... skanking it up?