xkcd: Another Great Way to Waste Time on the Web

xkcd on FireflyI am a huge Joss Whedon fan. I stumbled onto Buffy a couple of years into the series, and got completely hooked, to the point where several friends and I would go online immediately after every episode and do detailed crits via email. I did the same with Angel, and remain bitter about the way Fox treated Firefly.

I mean, I enjoyed the movie Serenity, but like most Joss fans, I’d have much rather had five years of Firefly episodes rather than one two-hour movie. Joss makes great movies, but he is the master of the serial storytelling that television can do so well.

Alas, at the moment, Dollhouse (which got really good by the end of the first season) won’t be back until fall, so there’s no new material to watch, and we Joss addicts have to get our fixes where we can. In that vein I recommend a five-part homage on the great webcomic xkcd. Start with this link, click on next to read the the whole series, and don’t forget to run your cursor over the comic to find the mouseover quip.

While I’m a fan of xkcd, I read it sporadically and didn’t see this particular series when it first came out. In fact, I came across it because I read a review in the NY Times of Mark Helprin’s new book that rants against the Internet and advocates copyright in perpetuity. The reviewer, Ross Douthat, begins with a detailed description of a well-known xkcd comic, but despite the fact that he’s reviewing a book on the subject of creator’s rights, he doesn’t mention either xkcd or its artist, Randall Munroe. Here’s the comic in question:
Duty Calls

After I looked it up, and wrote a letter to the editor suggesting that the review should have included a mention of Munroe and xkcd, I realized that I needed to catch up on my xkcd reading, which led me back to the strip I started with.

All this websurfing explains why I’m always behind on my fiction writing. But damn it, a girl’s gotta have some fun in her life, and finding great creative work online is fun!

So if you’re in goof-off mode at the moment, go scroll through the xkcd archives. Or, if you want a random starting point, try this one. I liked it so much I ordered a signed copy to hang above my computer for inspiration.


Nancy Jane’s flash fiction this week is “To Live Is to Fly.” Her collection Conscientious Inconsistencies is available from PS Publishing and her novella Changeling can be ordered from Aqueduct Press.

Check out The Nancy Jane Moore Bookshelf for more stories.



xkcd: Another Great Way to Waste Time on the Web — 2 Comments

  1. I stream XKCD.com on RSS. I get 98% of it, proving I would be a geek in the current younger generation. I love all of them — I especially love the one in this article, and would buy a tee shirt of it, if it existed. My current revolving favorite is the one where the guy can’t park at his apartment complex because someone was an a**. So, he digs in his trunk, removes an acetylene torch, a few saws, and a helmet. The next picture we see is the guy’s car in the whole space on one side, and diagonally sawed off triangles neatly pieced together in the other slot.

    I carry one in my purse, for the day I cannot find a space on my level. Then back to Kinko’s and copying will ensue. Without my name on the pages, of course.

  2. I need to make multiple copies of that one for all the SUVs parked in spaces labeled “compact cars only.” I think half the parking places in Austin are designed for compacts, but three-quarters of the vehicles are either SUVs or oversized pickups.

    I don’t know if xkcd makes t-shirts, but you can buy signed copies of the strips suitable for hanging on the wall for modest prices.