Comic 1276: Angular Size
I want to like this comic, I really do. And I would like it, if it weren't for this one great big glaring error that I just can't look past.
You ignorant yankee schmendrick, Randall! The UK does not have any 'freeways'. We have motorways. It's like a freeway, except you drive on the left. I cannot understate the importance of this simple semantic error. You have disfigured an otherwise good comic with this grotesque transatlantic slur. FFFFFFFFF----------------------- for failing to brit-pick.
Ah, it's good to be back.
In all seriousness though, I should mark this comic down for being poster bait. But it's not visually appealing enough to be a poster. I don't personally think there is anything wrong with poster bait. They are usually the best Xkcd comics. However, I would get tired of looking at them if they were on my wall. Do I get annoyed that other people spend their hard-earned cash on them? Of course, but there will always be meshuginas in the world.
Comic 1275: int(pi)
F for dumb programming joke. A for it actually being quite good. F- for terrible artwork that should have been replaced by plain text. A+ for great alt text that should have been part of the actual comic.
Comic 1274: Open Letter
Ughh, F for dumb programming... no wait, that's the previous comic. In that case I make it an F for plain text artwork. D for wall of text. C+ for a good joke, and B+ for it being topical.
To be honest though, topicality can go fuck itself. I prefer timeless to topical. And when every other news site is spitting out terrible knee-jerk reactions that will forgotten a day later, one begins to question how important it is for content to be current up to the hour.
And most of an Xkcd comic's audience probably comes from people looking through the archives, fingers on the random button until they can be sure they have seen every single one, and they don't care when they were made.
The best things last. Topical content is nice if we come across it years after the fact and it reminds us of the event. But its importance is overstated, particularly by detractors like me.
Comic 1273: Tall Infographics
A+ for taking a dig at infographic designers! This is also a field Randall himself has dabbled in, so A for self-deprecation. Another A for effective use of colour in an Xkcd comic (haven't had that for a while). I've said it before, but if every comic was like this, then there would be no Xkcd-sucks.
Comic 1272: Shadowfacts
C- for a rather silly Lord of the Rings reference, which I probably would have appreciated more if I'd remembered that Gandalf's horse is called Shadowfax, instead of mentally analysing the comic for a few minutes and coming to that conclusion. Still, I can understand the humour if you had heard the name 'Shadowfax', and thought that it sounds a bit like 'Shadowfacts', and then saw this comic. C+ for GOOMH-bait. B for the punchline of 'Shut up.' It's a cliche, I know, but when used in the right context, it's instant laughter.
Comic 1271: Highlighting
Yes, it's GOOMH-bait, but it's good GOOMH-bait. So have an A. You don't have to be a person who obsessively highlights text to appreciate the funnyness of this comic, but someone who has done anything a bit like this will understand the general idea.
Unfortunately, the joke is presented in a somewhat opaque way. It's difficult to see what it's about until you read the punchline. So that's a C- for clarity. Let me know in the comments if you found it as difficult to read. In fact, post anything in the comments. I'm so alone.
Comic 1270: Functional
I can't tell who is supposed to be the butt of this joke. My logical side is telling me that the stick figure sitting at computer is being mocked for his weird programming fetish. On the other hand, White Hat is always drawn as Randall's strawman, so are we mocking him. But if that's true then there is no joke really. Let's just call it an F for lack of a joke. F- for stick figures sitting at computers, AGAIN. And B+ for good alt text.
Comic 1269: Privacy Opinions
Since this is a multi-part comic, I'll review it in multiple parts. C for the philosopher. A for the crypto nut, because those people deserve to be mocked. B for the conspiracist, although conspiracy jokes are a little overplayed. C for the Nihilist. So are nihilism jokes. A+ for the exhibitionist. It's predictable, but I stand by the fact that this is the best humour Xkcd has to offer. D for the sage, and Beret's complete lack of character traits.
Comic 1268: Alternate Universe
B for the panel. A for the alt text. Again, I feel he could have done more with this premise, and the humorous potential idea of living in an alternate universe where only a few things are different. This should have been a multi-panel comic, not a single panel throwaway. For that, I'm giving it a D- for wasted potential