Title: Arrow; alt-text: 'The Return of the Boomerang' would make a great movie title.
No, Randall. No, it wouldn't make a great movie title. BUT IT WOULD MAKE A GREAT FREAKING TITLE FOR THIS COMIC, YOU HACK! Look! You have this idea, and in the right context - THIS context - it would work for something! You have a TRIPLE meaning here and you just threw it into the alt-text! What's wrong with you?
1) The comic is about a returning boomerang.
2) The comic is a return to the boomerang comics.
3) "Return of the..." is a common title that you'd be parodying.
There's no avoiding it: This comic is awful. It's what Jon Levi would call a Brick Joke; way the heck back in Comic 475, a guy threw a boomerang and it never came back. Where did it go? Well, ladies and gentlemen, here it is. Isn't Randall smart?
Well, no, no he isn't. The original boomerang strips were so bad that they triggered one of Carl's angriest rants. This one is no better. I'm not even going to give him credit for keeping the word count down, because UNNECESSARY DIALOGUE SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE FOR A SEASONED CARTOONIST. The last strip put him in some serious debt that he's not going to be out of for a while anyway, so screw that.
So what's the joke here? Simple: There is no joke. There is a reference to an older strip, and referential humor is not humor at all. Remember how everyone was all "The cake is a lie!" when Portal came out? Remember how it wasn't funny? Remember why? It's because simply quoting or otherwise referencing something and not adding into it means you're doing jack in the way of humor. Randall's no stranger to doing jack in the way of humor (counting this post, we've reviewed 27 strips, and 11 of those have had the no joke tag), but somehow, that hasn't ceased ticking me off yet.
There's really not much more to say than that. A guy shoots an arrow and a boomerang comes back. He acts surprised. Why? Was he expecting an arrow to return instead? Did the arrow turn into a boomerang midway through its flight? Did it just drop out of the sky? WE'LL NEVER KNOW. All we know is that a guy shoots an arrow (not a joke) and catches a boomerang (not a joke). That makes it WORSE than the original boomerang strips, which were already all kinds of bad. At least there, the punchlines (something wacky returning, or nothing at all returning) were set up by a guy throwing a boomerang and expecting it back by the last panel. This doesn't even have a setup.
Look. Randall. Referencing old strips that weren't funny will not make you funny. It's a sign of laziness. It's a sign of a poor (non-existent?) sense of humor. It's a sign that you're a freaking hack.
P.S. Prolific commenter UndercoverCuddlefish notes on the other hate blog:
honestly what makes a brick joke entertaining is the sense of looking back and realizing that the comedian planned for the punchline well in advance
there is a sort of enjoyable release associated with being outwitted by the comedian as the punchline to the brick joke arrives mere moments after you completely forget about the setup
this shit is not even close to comparable
He goes on to make some more decent points, so take a look at the link. I should get him to write guest reviews.