Is "Starshade" an intentional Gregor The Overlander reference? 'Cuz that'd actually be pretty cool, especially because "Gregor" is basically my name and it'd therefore almost be a me reference!
Pranks aren't funny if they're nice. Well, that's not true, there can be nice pranks like painting a dome like R2D2 or whatever, but pranks can't be purely beneficial to the recipient. That's a surprise gift, not a prank.
The kinda-funny idea slightly to the left of the core of this comic is that these two people are able to set up the massive space thingy without NASA knowing until its in place. None of the process or action by which this feat is achieved is shown in the comic, and that's just a shame. It still wouldn't be as funny as if they were actually screwing with NASA, but it'd be funnier than just hearing vague descriptions of things happening off-screen.
This one could have been funny if the guy was wrong about something else. Like, can you really blame him for not knowing something about quantum physics? That shit's confusing as hell!
See, for a guy being wrong to be funny, we have to know how he's wrong. So I will give credit where credit might be due and I will admit that if I knew what they heck "particles" were, maybe I would enjoy this. However, I think we can all agree that this joke would be more accessible if he was wrong about something like the digestive process or whatever.
Now, onto the elephant of the room: This comic is almost certainly about the phenomenon known to us poor peoples of 2016 as "mansplaining" which is when a man corrects a woman because of sexism, or something like that. I'm a man so I might be wrong about that but that gives women a chance to womansplain me back and the genders will be equal again so yay!
Randy, as has been established, is a feminist-y type of person. I'm not going to get into the politics since honestly who cares about my poorly-informed opinions? I'll leave the gender debates to my 15-year-old self. I bring the mansplaining thing up because it means that Randy is trying to make a point, and this point is being made very poorly. All we see is a guy deny that he's wrong and then be wrong in a different way, no lesson is taught or learned, the bad guy is not brought down through a pie in the face or a verbal knockout, we just see things As They Are (in Randy's perception).
I've been reading The Naked Jape for the past few days, and there's a chapter that discusses the different theories about why jokes are funny. I won't get into it for space reasons, but basically there are four theories, none of which cover all types of jokes but together they cover pretty much everything. The one thing that all the theories agree on is that for a joke to work, reality has to be at least a little bit altered. That's not to say that all altered reality is funny, just to say that for a joke to be made, reality has to have been altered; all thumbs are fingers but not all rectangles are squares. That's also not to say that real life can't be funny, just that standard real life isn't funny; a guy picking up groceries is not funny on its own, he has to be picking up KY jelly and fruit or have forgotten his pants or whatever.
So, with the previous paragraph in mind, reconsider the comic. If this is just reality As Is, then what's the joke? There isn't one. And we already talked about how there's no point being made, so what's the appeal of this comic? There isn't one.
I want to close on a quick disclaimer. I may have political views, but I do my best to set them aside for this blog. I'm not criticizing Randy for putting forth a feminist statement, I'm criticizing him for putting forth a badly made feminist statement.
Ha! Take THAT, Cron! Randall "XKCD" Munroe just ripped you a fucking new asshole! I bet you thought you could get away with sending lots of mail, but not on his watch! Now everyone who reads this comic knows how much you suck! I never heard of you before in my life, but now I know to AVOID AVOID AVOID, and furthermore
Seriously though the joke is just him whining about a computer inconvenience, who cares. That's not to say that having a big email backlog is completely devoid of comedy potential (I recall Allie Brosh doing some good things with it), but if the joke is as contentless as this comic, the seed exists in an unwatered state.
I think the biggest problem with this comic is that his "hardball" retaliation is completely toothless. Here's hardball: printing out every one of the emails and mailing them back. Revenge isn't funny if it takes five seconds to plan and execute, revenge is funny when it takes lots of preparation (especially if the revenge is for something minor. See: Dan VS., some of the Kramer subplots in Seinfeld, even #405
I gotta admit - the only reason I'm reviewing this comic right now is because this is the last thing I can do while still pretending to be productive before I have to tackle my homework backlog. Why didn't any of my high school teachers tell me college was gonna be hard!? Well, okay, they did, but why didn't they MEAN it? Back then I could write three essays in a day on a book I'd never read and get hundreds on all of them! (real thing that happened by the way) Now if you don't spend every waking moment studying suddenly you haven't done any of your homework.
So this comic - this fffffffffucking fffffcomic. It's not good. Actually the "Kevin" part is okay, but THAT's IT. None of the comic has any context or reason to exist. A goose being a CIA informant on other geese is a funny idea, but we don't get to see any of it, we just get the idea. This is a comic of broad, nondescript concepts, with no reason or connection for anything.
Any one of these ideas (except for the valence geese, that just sux) could have been made into a real joke. A goose CIA agent informing on other geese has SO MUCH POTENTIAL. As is, it's like saying "a guy gets hit in the crotch by a golfball" instead of actually seeing the guy get hit in the crotch by a golfball.