Hello all! Last month we managed to get over 10,000 hits, and while that's not a big deal for a lot of blogs, it's a big deal to me. So, as a thank-you, here's a review of the xkcd Randall doesn't want you to see: the infamous Five Minute Comics, Part 4.
Title: Five Minute Comics: Part 4; alt-text: unknown
Just past midnight on Friday, August 19, Randall Munroe posted the above strip as Comic 940. Shortly after, he took it down and replaced it with this pile of garbage. Those trying to get to the original strip directly via the image URL were treated to this:
Like all of you, I was sure that the original was lost forever. Fortunately, thanks to one "Anonymous" in the comments of an xkcdsucks blog post, that strip has been salvaged. So, without further ado, let's get to reviewing!
Baseball vs Tennis
Obviously I can't hold these to as high a standard as I do for the normal strips (and what a lofty standard it is), but come on. If you're drawing a comic to show two different ball-hitting-sport athletes at an impasse, DON'T GIVE ONE OF THEM A BALL. If the batter is waiting for a pitch and the tennis player is waiting for a serve, well and good. It kind of makes sense, even if it's not really funny. But you can't draw a ball in one of the players hands and be all "LULZ THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO." That's retarded.
Sluttier than a Fifth Grader
I got a chuckle out of this one. It's a little weird and twisted, but not in Randall's usual way. Unfortunately, the strip invites the reader to fill in the blanks in their head (normally a good thing, though Randy never does it), and that's something that none of us should want to do. Moving on.
Why? Was there anything in the Wizard of Oz to suggest that Auntie Em would be a mecha? How is this anything but Randall hoping that randomness is the same thing as humor? It doesn't make sense, and it's not funny.
Also, I don't know what's up with that background rectangle, though I seem to recall it appearing in Calvin and Hobbes in some of the later Sunday strips (after Watterson got free reign with his layout). But, Randall is no Watterson, and it just looks awful here.
I just don't get this one. Perhaps someone in the comments can explain it?
Another one that I kind of liked. It wasn't worth more than a muted chuckle, but that's still far and away better than the usual xkcd fare. The excuse doesn't really hold water, but I imagine that's kind of the point: it's a ridiculous excuse for a ridiculous action. If this was a real comic, there probably would've been another few lead-in panels: the guy actually pooping in the lamp, Megan seeing it, and Megan yelling at him. Good thing Randy only had five minutes.
Not funny, but not bad. Because of the lousy art, the thing in the guy's hand could very well BE a lightsaber, so there's a nice subversion when the second panel comes around. Another thing to note is that Randall totally could have ruined this with words, but he didn't. An unexpected point in his favor.
San Juan Hill
I admit it: I liked this one a lot. It's simple yet punchy, and I actually laughed a little when I saw it. Would that more xkcd comics were like this.
Been there, done that.
So there you go, everyone. If this sort of thing happens again and someone manages to grab the original strip, please send it my way and I'll write up another one of these.