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 2, 2013

Comics 1256-1258: September Solitudes

Well, summer is ending, and I feel so alone oh God. This blog is all I have for company. Please make me feel less alone by writing a comment.

1258: First

This is awful, Randall. *Takes off belt*

F for observational humour - you are literally just commenting on an established trend, and not even telling a joke about it. G for accuracy - the 'first post' phenomenon is far from dead. H for quantum egotism - it's like you decided that if you don't observe it happening on the forums you frequent, then it doesn't exist. I for actually acknowledging the phenomenon, and encouraging more trolls to do it. And don't you fucking dare say that jinxing it on purpose was the point of the joke, because there was no joke. J for lack of a joke. And it looks like you were still trying to do a dramatic buildup for this nonexistent joke. But instead of a joke we get smugness. K for smugness - wipe that grin off your face, because even if there had been a joke then it would still be L for comic timing. The beat panels literally add nothing. M for artwork - the guy barely moves in three panels, and the other character (presumably a woman) is off-panel. And if I wanted to see a stick figure sitting at a computer, I'd look in the fucking mirror. N for appealing to your core demographic - even the forum thread couldn't find anything good to say about it. It just degraded into a 'last post' forum game, then burned out after two pages. You've created something that even the fora can't nerd out on. Think about that. O for being so bad that even Gizmodo wouldn't touch it. P for wasting precious pixels on my screen. Q for the 23 kilobytes I wasted to download this. R for the 35 minutes I have already spent writing about this. I am so fucking angry at this comic. How fitting it is that the harshest grade so far is the first letter of your name. But I'm going to stop there, because there are some things that can't be said with alphabetical grades.

48 BELT LASHINGS for the worst comic I have ever reviewed, one for each of the comics I have reviewed before this one. *Deep menacing breaths, whimpering, and obscure Yiddish expletives are heard from the corner. Thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack...* AYIN KAFIN FAKATA YAN RANDALL. Say first post again. I fucking dare you.

C- for the alt text, which was actually quite good.

1257: Monster

After the 'First' comic, anything looks good in comparison. In hindsight, I probably should have left that one till last.

D+ for dialog. It's terribly stilted, but at least it conveys the joke. B+ for artwork. While it violates show-don't-tell by not actually showing us the monster, I don't actually think that is important. The war room is surprisingly detailed for an xkcd, and showing the monster would ruin the joke. Oh and C+ for the joke. It was not bad, I guess. And B+ for the timing of it. The caption completes the joke, and doesn't whack the reader in the face with an unnecessary explanation. He could have added a few more comparisons in the first two lines of speech to make it more ridiculous, but that's my only real complaint.

1256: Questions

I wanted to hate this one, but when I read it up close, I almost laughed in spite of myself. Funny lines questions like "Why do snakes exist?" make up for at least five not-so-funny ones. This is Randall playing to his strong point, and it works. So I'm actually going to give it a for humour.

It's funny because the questions are dumb, really dumb. And he's not mocking them in a smug way. B for lack of smugness. They remind me of the sort of questions that a child would ask. With the advent of the Internet, we have become like silly little kids, treating Google as our collective daddy-who-knows-everything. I would have liked to see the comic make a joke about this, or explore it in more detail. D because of what this comic could have been

A for effort. No really, it can't be easy to look at several hundred Google search suggestions, and pick only the stupid ones.

By the way, if you get the reference in this post's title, you don't get a million nerd points or anything. You just get get my unending unconditional love.


  1. Yeah, I'm hard pressed to think of any xkcd comic that sucked harder than 1258, but that could be because so many xkcds are instantly forgettable.

    1. The one where the baby was born with a gun (746) sucked pretty hard, but I keep feeling there must be worse ones. In terms of least effort, the worst is probably the missing parenthesis one (859) or the hydrogen and time one (1123) - but I actually quite like that one.

      According to the vote, the worst one is the 'SPLORT' lamp (879), which I find surprising. A lot of people hated it, including me, but an equal number of people seemed to like it.

      Heavyconsulting doesn't have reliable data for anything in the 900s onwards, and I think there have been worse ones since then. And there are worse ones still to come.

    2. It's gotta be the one with God and R2D2. I mean, at least the other ones mentioned have some sort of joke or point they're trying to get across.

  2. 1259 is a lie. Ophrys apifera has extant pollinators. It's ability to self-pollinate is unusual (for Ophyrs orchids). I've been searching and haven't found any evidence yet that anybody prior to Randall has claimed the pollinators were extinct (though interest in it's self-pollinating ability goes at least back to Darwin, so maybe there's some 19th century hypothesis I've missed.)

    Cite for living pollinators:

  3. Everybody with internet access has idled time away on Google seeing what lines they can get out of autocomplete. What Randall did by making a big list of possible results to sell as a poster is make it less fun. Now whenever I do it, I will think of xkcd. Fuck xkcd. This time it has actually made my world a little bit worse.

    1. "Everybody with internet access has idled time away on Google seeing what lines they can get out of autocomplete."

      Translation: "I do this, but I tell myself that it's common so I don't feel so sad about myself."

    2. Why would I feel sad about myself? If you've never had the autocomplete throw something up while you were typing something else in, and then wondered about what else there is and been distracted for a few moments trying other combinations, you've either somehow avoided Google your entire life or have the curiosity of a decapitated snail.

    3. Gamer_2k4 lacks even the curiosity to find out what's under his neckbeard. Don't mind him.

  4. "Why aren't there any countries in Antarctica?"

    A rather intriguing and important question, I believe.

  5. Gotta disagree that 1256 isn't smug. Like so many xkcds, it would seem that the entire reason for its existence is for Randall (and, by extension, his fans) to scoff at the many plebs of this world who aren't as colossally intelligent as he is not to ask questions that he considers to be retarded.

  6. jon levi! i can't believe i have never seen your blog before. it is excellent. thank you