Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 149: Donatello on XKCD

*This is part 1 of 3 in my Web Comics series.

One of my favorite things on the internet are web comics. I'm a big fan of the comic medium, but I don't really read comic books regularly. It can be prohibitively expensive to keep up with them, and there are so many out there it's hard to know what to read. Most of the comics that my wife and I do read are ones that we've borrowed from friends. That's why I love web comics so much. They're free, (usually) update pretty regularly and a lot of them are as good, if not better, than most of what's in print right now.

The internet allows people to post their own material without first running it through a gauntlet of producers and editors who might change it into something they think people want. While that's not always a good thing occasionally it leaves you with something amazing that you never would have seen in a comic book store.

I really only follow four web comics regularly so I've decided to do a post about three of them (the fourth is kind of a tie-in).


First is XKCD. It's deceptively simple, mostly a bunch of stick figures having conversations, but if you spend any amount of time reading it you'll realize it's anything but. Three times a week Randall Munroe posts a new strip usually dealing with anything from math, language, physics, all other manner of science, or more math. This comic is often so over most people's heads that there is actually a separate website dedicated to explaining the jokes in the XKCD strips called Explain XKCD. It may seem like a waste of time to read a comic that you rarely understand, but the jokes are funny and when there is one that you understand without assistance it makes you feel a little bit smug.

I love the simple structure of the stick figure comic strips, but occasionally readers are treated to something insanely more in-depth like this chart of money, this chart of radiation levels (in response to the Japanese nuclear site meltdown after the tsunami), this map of online communities, or, my favorite, this time line of movie character interactions.

Of all the Turtles I figured Donatello would be the most comfortable in this highly academic setting so I put him at a computer (another common setting for the comic) talking to the standard stick figure. In case you can't read my chicken-scratch handwriting he's saying "Math, math, math, physics, space, computers, math, language."

Click here for my Axe Cop post.
Click here for my Dr. McNinja post.

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