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, September 8, 2013

Comics 1259-1261: Lethal Dose Of Xkcd

I am writing this from the middle of a fucking desert where there is NO INTERNET. I had to borrow the wi-fi password from the hotel across the road. And Blogger’s interface has been translated to Turkish*. I clicked on whatever the translation for ‘new post’ is five fucking minutes ago, and the page still hasn’t loaded. FUCK YOU TOO, SHIT DESERT WI-FI.

I am in a really bad mood, so I should be perfect for reviewing some xkcds, IF THE PAGE ACTUALLY LOADS. Oy vey.

Comic 1261: Shake That

As much as I wanted to start with a strongly negative review, I'm afraid to say that I actually liked this one.

I hate nightclubs. I too hate it when the lyrics to popular music are thinly veiled pornography written, by an egomaniac, and sold by corporate scholbs. Get out of my head, Randall. So I like the way he is mocking the trend, by interpreting the lyric literally, thereby robbing it of all its erotic surtext, and reducing it to absurdity. A+ for creating a joke that appeals to my cynical self.

I also quite like the artwork in the first panel. Okay, so the first panel is showing off. But still you can quite easily see that she's in a nightclub, and what is happening in each panel. No space is wasted. So the artwork is good enough to convey the joke well. B+ for artwork.

And just because I'm feeling mean. I'll give it a G-- for standalone value, because I'm assuming 'Shake what your mama gave you' is a reference to a lyric that I haven't heard. And if I haven't heard it, then it is NOT OKAY for Randall to make an xkcd about it. You're welcome to disagree.

Comic 1260: LD50

This... I don't know what to say to this. D- for standalone value. By my guess, half of the xkcd readership does not know what LD50 means. LD50 is not an obvious acronym. It means the minimum lethal dose required to have a 50% fatality rate.Those people will not understand the joke, unless they look it up on Wikipedia. That's not good enough.

The joke itself is... kinda cheap. It's the sort of joke you'd crack a laugh at if you saw it in a scientific article. But that's because you're not expecting a joke. Humour is derived from the subversion of expectations. But people visiting are supposed to expect humour (so I am told). So this gets a mere D+ for humour.

Comic 1259: Bee Orchid

Ah, the golden child of last week's xkcd comics. The perfect analogy for this comic is James Cameron's Avatar - it really enthralls you for the duration it takes to watch/read it. You think it's really profound, and you're willing to forgive the clunky exposition because it looks so pretty. But a few days later, you start to think about it too much and you see all its faults. It's kinda depressing. The environmental message falls flat when you realise it is scientifically inaccurate at best.

Surely it would have already gone extinct by now? Surely if Jake Sully had told the natives that they were in danger, then he could have avoided the destruction of Hometree? Surely Beret's memory is worth nothing if he doesn't also take a photo for others to see? Do the Na'vi even deserve to live if they put their faith in a leader like Randall Munroe... wait?

As limp-dick science major Anonymous 7:17 rightfully pointed out, the bee orchid does have living pollinators. So you know what that means? Z for accuracy. That's right. I used the last letter of the alphabet. Weep in shame, Randall. You couldn't even earn your legs back. 

Now for the artwork. I'm not going to pretend the artwork is not good, because it is. But xkcd produces good artwork so rarely, it's always an unprecedented surprise. This is not a good thing. The point being, there are 10 panels in this comic that don't have artwork of this quality. I know it would be impossible for Randall to produce every panel to this quality. But Tom Siddell manages to do it.

Every panel of Gunnerkrigg Court is of this quality in terms of artwork. It got noticeably better when Siddell went professional with GC (about a year ago) but it was pretty good before then. And it has the same M-W-F schedule as xkcd. So don't praise xkcd for good artwork without seeing the big picture. This comic gets a B+ for artwork, but only a B+.

Pacing of the comic leaves a lot to be desired wall of text occupying the first four panels. Let's just give it a D for pacing and be done with it.

Also, someone on the forum suggested that 'painting by a dying flower' means that Randall's wife did the 5th panel. If that is true, then it gets an A+ for subtlety, but an F- for playing the cancer sympathy card. 

*Fuck you too, Google. Just because I am browsing the Internet in Turkey, does not mean I speak fluent Turkish.


  1. I am still disappointed at you for not putting the alt text. So F for bad reviewer.

    Also, I didn't know what LD50 was, didn't google it, either, but I had no difficulty understanding the joke. So you get an F for assuming people are dumb.

    Turkey seems like a nice country, too bad there are Turkish people in it. At least they're not Arabs - thank god!

    1. You say people are not stupid, yet you completely fail to realise that the alt text in my reviews can be found by hovering your mouse over the image, just like you would on


    3. serves you right then

    4. World's most advanced mobile operating system my arse.

  2. Solid reviews, as always. I'm glad you continue to post actual reviews whilst Rob over at "no hyphen" posts one-word reviews.
    I would have given a lower grade for the artwork in 1261. He tries to show off in the first panel, but then in Panel 2 tries to transition from the club scene back to his minimalist 2D world of white backgrounds, making Panel 2 look extremely awkward. There's a 3-dimensional doorway labeled "CLUB" just in case you didn't know she was in a club. But then there is literally NOTHING else in the panel to give context to this 3D door. Randall should have at least drawn a line to continue the base of the building, and maybe a sidewalk so you know the girl isn't just floating out into a void. It also seems like the table with the mug is sitting immediately outside the club, like she takes it with her everywhere she goes, and she's going back to the table outside the club where she left it.

    1. It would make more sense if there were 2 or 3 panels that showed her going home and finding the mug. But that would screw with the comic timing. As it is, viewers should be intelligent enough to infer that she did that.

    2. Hi, new to Rob and to Levi xkcd suck bogs. New-ish to xkcd. I don't hate xkcd, nor do I love it. Personally, I liked 1261. So much so that I did my own:

  3. "......I am in a really bad mood, so I should be perfect for reviewing some xkcds, IF THE PAGE ACTUALLY LOADS. Oy vey......"

    Oy veh, oh weh!
    We're allowed Yiddish?
    Oy vey, ist mir!

    Read this:

    1. "İçerik Uyarısı

      Bu blogun bazı okuyucuları, blog içeriğinin uygunsuz olduğunu düşündükleri için Google'a başvurdu. Genel olarak Google herhangi bir blogun içeriğini incelemez ve onaylamaz. İçerik politikalarımızla ilgili daha fazla bilgi edinmek için, lütfen Blogger Hizmet Şartları'nı ziyaret edin."


    2. Kimin umurunda?

      Ah sevgili Ah sevgili sevgili!

      Do you actually eat with that same mouth?

  4. Ah yes, most of the Internet's stupid insistence that your location has anything to do with what language you prefer is one of my personal pet peeves. My browser is sending you my language preferences, so use those! Don't assume I speak Swahili just because I am in Swahilistan! This is almost as annoying as applications that choose their UI language based on the OS regional settings rather than the OS UI language.

    1. And to add insult to injury, the Google Translate plugin in my browser (also made by Google) is offering to translate the page from Turkish BACK to English. The result is broken English at best. I bemoan the lack of integration in Google's products, but it's probably for the best. If they fixed it now, it would probably be tightly integrated with Google+, because they're too up their own Glass to realise that no one wants Google+.

  5. Post some new review, ya lazy shite!
    And stop using the word 'probably' so much. In all likelihood and very likely it's not good for you.

  6. That painting of the flower is not good. It is shite. It looks like he traced it.

    1. I heard a theory on the forums, and I actually quite like this one, that Randall's wife painted the flower. Now those forumites will find cancerous subtext in a lot of things but you must admit, it gives new meaning to the words 'a painting by a dying flower'.

      Plus, I think I heard somewhere that her real name is Rose.

  7. Ahhh, that first comic reminds me of the first time I went out clubbing, and "Mama Do The Hump" came on. And a random stranger started humping my side and my friends just laughed at me. :( I need therapy just for that incident.

    Anyway, I've wasted too much of my time today on this blog.