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).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Comic 950: Zombie Amelia Earhart

Title: Mystery Solved; alt-text: The Roanoke Lost Colonists founded Roanoke, the Franklin Expedition reached the Pacific in 2009 when the Northwest Passage opened, and Jimmy Hoffa currently heads the Teamsters Union--he just started going by 'James'.

Ugh. This comic makes me mad for a couple of reasons. First of all, the mystery of Amelia Earhart HAS been solved, and obviously not in the stupid way Randy is offering. Second, the first panel is entirely unnecessary. In fact, the execution as a whole is bad, but I'll get to that a little later on.

The third, and arguably the worst problem, is the "joke." Amelia, and Randall by proxy, is doing something called "trolling." You say something absolutely and unequivocally retarded, then make fun of your audience for being confused or trying to call you on it. It's like saying, "I've discovered the square root of walrus!" How the heck do you expect people to react? Would a "smarter" person be able to parse that out into any form of sense or logic at all? Anyway, the point is, Randall's trolling. This brings up a rather relevant question.


Why, Randall, did you feel the need to make this a comic? It's not funny. It's not accurate. It's not relevant. It doesn't have anything to do with romance, sarcasm, math, or language. You're being nonsensical for the sake of nonsensicality (stupid for the sake of stupid, if you will), and randomness by itself does NOT guarantee humor. Sometimes it does. Sometimes, as the same comic shows, it does not. Today it did not.

But, just for the sake of argument, let's say that this was an excellent punchline. You know, hypothetically. If such a thing were possible for Randall. It's still crippled by some of the worst execution outside of walls of text. Why is all the conversation off-screen? Why do we need to be told in such a clunky manner what the plane is or who its pilot is? How would Earhart, now age 114, even be recognizable? Why do we need to be told, word by painful word, every step leading up to the joke?

Look. I'm no cartoonist; I've said that time and time again. Still, I'm going to try my hand at making an actual revision when I get home from work (6PM CST). In the meantime, take a look at this easy, EASY edit to vastly improve the comic.

Look at that and tell me it's not WAY better than the original.

P.S. It's worth noting that this is not the first time that Randall has dug up a dead woman in his strip. Seems like kind of a weird obsession.

P.P.S As promised, here is my edit of the comic.

And before you say, "Randall's looks better," remember that I don't do this for a living. I have a real job.


  1. Just in case I've the first to notice and comment:

    Also, thanks, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to make this comic not suck and I had even shown it to my wife and she kinda giggled at the second last panel so I was thinking maybe the way to fix it was to strunk&white it and remove some needless words... but you have done so elegantly.

    Maybe we should start a campaign to convince Randall's new wife to edit his crap for him before he posts it.

  2. I bet we'd get a lot fewer Megan comics, anyway.

  3. I've been meaning to try to type up a guest review for a while now, but the strips are so dumb lately that I can't find anything constructive to say. Gamer, you are a god among men for managing to write this article.

  4. eh, it wasn't that bad. Sure, it could have done without the last panel, but it wasn't that bad.

  5. It's a sad day when "it wasn't that bad" is praise for an XKCD.

  6. I like both of your edits better, definitely.

  7. I also think this was more semi-ok rather than "worst of xkcd". Faint praise, yes, and the criticism is still quite valid. However the proposed edit, although fixes some, introduces another problem: The air traffic controller would simply see the situation as a hoax. Something similar might be said about the original strip, but the reader is likely to think it only afterwards.

  8. Randall's looks better.

  9. I also think this was more semi-ok rather than "worst of xkcd".

    I ended up re-tagging it as "missed potential." You're right, that label should only apply to unsalvageable strips like 631.

  10. It's not WAY better than the original.

  11. There's really nobody else there. She's clearly talking to the borders of the comic.

  12. I assumed that Earhart hadn't aged, and actually went forward in time instead. Would make a third-rate episode of Doctor Who, but doesn't work that well as a comic.

  13. That actually did happen in an episode of Torchwood. Could that be what you're remembering?

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