xkcd Redone

A reworking of individual comics from Randall Munroe's webcomic xkcd.com. Got questions? Go here

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Okay so um yeah

Yeah I'm not going to post on here anymore. I would recommend you go over to the now-official xkcd redone site to get all your remix happiness.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Comic #809

(NOTE: This was cross-posted over on the other site)

I'll give you some insight into my creative process here - sometimes, if I don't have an idea about what to do with the comic right off the bat, I'll just take out all the dialogue and see if something pops out. This is what popped out at me:


Does anything about that say "Los Alamos" or "Plutonium Bombs" or, hell, even "Science" to anybody? It looks like three guys having a conversation and one of them says something embarassing. I mean, hell, for as much as that art contributes he might as well have reused 701:


Here's how the no-dialogue version of 809 plays out in my head:

Panel 1 - So guys, let's take the development of the nuclear bomb (one of the most important events in world history) and sap all sort of emotion out of it!
Panel 2 - Yeah man, how can we make this as dull as possible?
Panel 3 - Let's set it in a nondescript room and make the characters nondescript people. They don't even need to look like scientists or soldiers!


And it's not like the situation is being misrepresented; it's more like the situation isn't even getting a say in what's happening (quite ironic). I mean, there's obviously no tension regarding the Los Alamos testing; it's not like he can end the comic with the earth blowing up because (spoiler alert) they didn't blow up the earth. So really, he doesn't get any traction out of Los Alamos, unless you think that a pointless reference to the events that inspired the modern classic Fat Man and Little Boy is somehow a meaningful contribution. Which it isn't. You could make the comic this and it would still work:

Well, work for what Randall is trying to do, which ain't much.

I'm going to say a couple nice things about the comic, just to change it up. One, I like some of the dialogue. "Unleash Heaven's Fire" and "Cleansing Conflagration" are both semi-decent phrases. Two, the impediment to becoming "as gods" is basic trigonometry. That's not a half-bad concept.

...On the other hand, the word choice is unbelievably clunky. "We have a decision." Okay, what is it? What decision? To withhold your research? To sell it to the commies? To kill everyone on base? What? All I see is a boom-bust proposition; either you become "as gods" or you kill everyone, including yourselves. But they never state the possibility that they won't go through with it; in fact, they seem rather set on the idea. "Okay, so Steve fucked up, we'll just redo his work and go on." Oh, wait, no, there's some weak opposition. "I don't know about it now guys..." I suppose I would be hesitant too if I found out you don't even need a high school diploma to work on the atomic bomb. OH WELL.

Moving on to the Grammar Nazi Lightning Round!

"As" is a bad preposition in this context. "Like" is a much cleaner choice; it flows better with "us". Also, the oxford comma in the second panel doesn't serve any purpose; you can safely delete that. "Cleansing" and "Destroying" don't make much intuitive sense in the same sentence. And for the love of god, will you people please stop saying "for the love of god"?

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Site

Hey you guys should all go here.

Is this me shutting down this site? Probably not for now, no. But it does mean there are OPTIONS now.

Comic #807

Source Comic:


Redone Comic (click to enlarge):


Hey guys, remember this xkcd? Or this one? Yeah, those are totally invalidated now. Stop feeling good about love. STOP IT. Real love is about critical thinking! STOP BEING IRRATIONAL AND OVERLOOKING YOUR PARTNER'S FLAWS.

In all seriousness, I'm amused by Randall's example for "young love". Most people think of a couple naive twenty-somethings (wrongly) assuming blind optimism (and sex) will carry their relationship forever. Randall, however, evidently thinks of, like, a couple 8th-graders playing hookie or something. I mean, seriously, does anyone over the age of 13 really think that "we like the same song" is the same as "we are lifemates"?

You know, I just had a thought. Let's see how many of the past, like, 50 xkcds have been about bad relationships (in descending order):


Almost 1/5th of the comics have been about bad relationships. Okay, so the banner says xkcd is partially about romance. Fair enough. There are bad relationships; romance sours. That's pretty obvious. And you know, maybe just including the bad relationship comics is creating an inaccurate picture of xkcd. We should be fair and include the xkcds about good relationships too, huh?


Um, where are the good relationship comics? Surely there must be SOMETHING humorous about a good relationship, right? Let's keep looking.


Okay, there's 746, which was the creepy baby-with-shotgun one...there's 744, about having a bad one-night stand...oh, hey, look there's 734! They get together in the end! Wait, it's a romantic comedy, those don't count because they're fantasy (and as 807 proved, fantasies are BAD). Ok, there's a string of mostly math/technology jokes...then there's 717, which...we're just going to skip over 717. Should I bring up 713 and 712? Eh, probably not.

Oh, hey! 708! Almost 1/8th of xkcd later I find a GOOD RELATIONSHIP! Surely this must be the point where the series of good relationship comics ended, right? Yeah, see, there's 704, where he shacks up with "Mrs. Leinhart", I guess that one works. I can see why he switched it up, he must've been running out of happy relationship jokes for the time being.


701 is a breakup valentine. 698 is a messy breakup over a phone. 695 is...is that an analogy for an abusive relationship? Oh god. And 686, that's about being overly clingy after a relationship is over. And 685, the one right before that, that's about not being able to sexually please your partner (which might be why 686 happened...)

You know what, I'm going to stop here. I looked further, but honestly, making all those links is damn annoying. Let me just give you the quick and dirty - it doesn't get much prettier. Suffice it to say, about 15% of the comics from 685 onward are about bad relationships. Conversely, just over 1% are about good relationships (and just under 1% if you keep it to comics that were "unambiguously" about healthy relationships).

...Guys? Is it safe to say that Randall doesn't have a positive view of relationships, like, at all anymore? I mean, I know he used to; I linked two right there in the first paragraph. But I mean, like, is he the reverse Zach Weiner? Are his comics just going to continue to be sadder and sadder as his relationships continue to spiral downward? That can't be, right?


Saturday, October 16, 2010

#806, with a VENGEANCE.

Source Comic

Tech Support

Redone Comic (click to enlarge)


Hopefully I made my point in my last post. If you don't get it, basically I'm saying that it's more nerd superiority with the poor facade of a shitty punchline barely masking its pungent putridity.

Seriously. That putridity is fucking pungent.

...Wait, did I just make an xkcd joke? Dear God, I think I've become corrupted. I'm going to stop here and contemplate what monster I've become.

[EDIT] Oh dear God. I forgot to adjust the borders on the image so there was a large amount of empty space around the uploaded remix. So I fix it, save it, upload it, and then find out the image got erased when I saved.


I'm just going to think about something else for awhile.

[SECOND EDIT] So luckily I was able to retrieve the address for the original in Google's image cache. Thank God for Google. I might've had a breakdown if I wouldn't have found it. Three hours of fiddling with the minutia of an xkcd is not something I typically like wasting.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

#806, kind of

This isn't the *actual* remix; this is just something fun (and possibly enlightening).

How could it be enlightening? Well, ask yourself a question - if today's xkcd ended exactly like this, would you be AT ALL surprised?


I don't think anyone could reasonably reply "yes".

Friday, October 8, 2010

Comics #800 + #801

Super-wonderful-mashup time!

Source Comics

Beautiful Dream
Golden Hammer

Redone Comic (click to enlarge)


So I figured since 800 and 801 are basically the same comic (early in the morning, a bleary-eyed non-nerd attempts to relay the past night's happenings to the Wise Sage Nerd, who passes judgement on the plebeian's activities) I might as well remix the two together. All the cool kids are doing it!

Anyways, 800 and 801 are drenched in condescension, though that's hardly new. The thing is, even though Randy is kinda right (The Rules and The Game are both horrible, and overcomplicating things for personal comfort is ridiculous), he makes no attempt to a) offer an alternative, or b) state something meaningful. It's just "Go away idiots, I don't want to deal with you." I'm sure everyone wants to get rid of the idiots in their lives...which is exactly the problem - everyone already wants this. It'd be like going up to someone and saying, "Yeah, how about those dumbasses, don't they just SUCK?" And yeah, they do, but so what?

Let me draw a corollary here to Bill Engvall, who is kind of famous as a comedian in some parts of the world. He has a routine he does called "Here's Your Sign". I'll direct you to YouTube to find an example.

(Sadly, YouTube fails me in producing a catch-all video)

Okay, done? Now, see the difference? Both are calling out people as idiots, yet Bill Engvall has a purpose to his sketch; by wearing the "signs", the idiots are flagging themselves as people to be avoided. In other words, the sketch is providing a service to the general public.

Now, I don't think Bill Engvall or this routine is ultimate hilarity. I think it's a rather cheap routine, in fact, but it is funny every now and then, for two reasons:

1) Good Content - He typically uses examples of extremely common reactions, making his humor relatable as we can "see" ourselves in the joke.
2) Good Imagery/Form - The mental image of someone walking around wearing an idiot sign is, admittedly, funny because of how absurd it is.*

Compare it again to these two comics. The content (douchebag dating guides and flawed single-use machinery) is, to his target audience, relatable, and for a variety of reasons (one being pedantry, the others being...well, you can guess). The form, however, is horrible. There's no external imagery that enhances the joke. There's no internal imagery that creates a joke. All he is saying is that people who use these things are dumb, and that's hardly humor.


As for the remix itself, I didn't try to resolve the issues with the above joke; rather, I replaced them with character jokes (Megan is crazy in the morning and BHG is a moral clusterfuck).

One thing I wanted to do but really couldn't was include that massive closeup of Rob in panel 2 of #801, but I couldn't think of a conceivable way to do it. I thought of maybe having that as the lead-in panel and then having the BHG/Megan panels placed next to it vertically, but there's really nothing interesting that I could come up with for him to say. Maybe he'd be angry about how long it took him to do something? But then he'd just have a weird outburst at the end which would frankly be a worthless non-sequitur. So I figured I was fine with him being in the background and I would relegate his "joke" (that he spent all night doing a pointless and nerdy thing) to the alt-text.

If I get the inspiration for something better I'll post it and put the original down here. Who knows if that will happen though.

*See also opening to Die Hard 3.