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Under [his] gloves, were a pair of softer gloves.
October 16, 2008 6:48 AM   Subscribe

Cartoon-Off. XKCD's Randall Munroe v. New Yorker's Farley Katz. FIGHT.
posted by spec80 (59 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
booyaka!
posted by chunking express at 6:57 AM on October 16, 2008


These cartoons either put the lie to the claim Munroe can't draw or reinforce the stereotype of the terrible New Yorker cartoon. Or both.
posted by DU at 7:01 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Munroe got served. By poop.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:01 AM on October 16, 2008


I love the New Yorker. I love XKCD.

That pretty much makes me everyone else on this site, doesn't it?
posted by bwerdmuller at 7:05 AM on October 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


Huh, two people I've met and worked with in totally different contexts are now together. On the internet.

Huh.
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't know before this post that I needed to see a man on a Segway pulling a giant skateboard that's carrying a horse with a squirrel rider who's wearing one top hat on his head and another on his tail.

But I did. I really did.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:07 AM on October 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


Munroe got served.

Katz's style completely outclassed XKCD.
posted by tybeet at 7:19 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Munroe got served.

Katz's style completely outclassed XKCD.


No. Just. No.

This is clearly another universal Rorschach test, à la Metaphorical Viking. We need to learn to live together in harmony.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:29 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Round 1: Katz, by a hair
Round 2: Munroe pummels Katz
Round 3: Munroe maintains his lead
Round 4: Katz wins the round on a technicality, but it's not enough and Munroe wins by unanimous decision.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:31 AM on October 16, 2008


I'm pretty sure Munroe will own...
posted by schyler523 at 7:33 AM on October 16, 2008


I somehow really enjoyed the cow eating his hoof.
posted by piratebowling at 7:34 AM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


I have such an internet crush on Munroe it's not even funny.

Before this, I had no clue about Katz. I'm more Washington Post than New Yorker.

But I think I could <3 him too now without being unfaithful to XKCD. Munroe would understand. He's just that way.
posted by misha at 7:36 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Munroe won, but it was close. His internet and the elderly was the best comic in the group. The string theory and 1999 cartoons were pretty meh from both of them, but Monroe pulled it out beating Katz's strong cow eating cow with a successful hail mary to absurdism.
posted by afu at 7:48 AM on October 16, 2008


I spent 30 seconds looking for the actual cartoons.

Hint to New Yorker: don't make the navigation two tiny grey buttons in the middle of the page, that you can't even see when you read to the bottom.
posted by smackfu at 7:54 AM on October 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


bashos_frog: "Round 2: Munroe pummels Katz"

Sex + misrepresentation of string theory as involving four dimensions > calling Brian Greene a drunk?

Come on.
posted by Plutor at 7:55 AM on October 16, 2008


Sex + misrepresentation of string theory as involving four dimensions > calling Brian Greene a drunk?

actual math issues + funny context > yet another "they musta been drunk" joke
posted by DU at 8:15 AM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Meh. As a fan of both cartoonists, I was left wanting. Each has the ability to absolutely NAIL an illustration with social and/or technical relevance and wit. None of these rose above average. I'd like to see a rematch with topics chosen by MeFites.
posted by sapere aude at 8:20 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I liked Munroe's 1999.
It gave me hope.
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 8:23 AM on October 16, 2008


Munroe won all but the final round (which he defaulted) and it wasn't even close. Monroe shows a much higher degree of Humor Conceptuality in the first two, in particular. The dinosaurs in 1999 BC (underlined for effective communication?) is ridiculous even to Young-Earthers. Katz's string theory comic is like an idea a cartoonist would first think of and then (wisely) reject for being too simplistic (as well as unfunny). Munroe hits his out of the park with entirely creative concepts like "hyperbondage" and thinks of tying knots with superstrings. Bonus points for use of the term "suffers a blow" in a comic with a sexual theme.
posted by spock at 8:23 AM on October 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


I'd like to see a rematch with topics chosen by MeFites

Eff that, I'd like to see a cartoon-off go down between mefites.

YOU HEAR ME LORE AND XQUZYPHYR
TURN UP THE MOTHERFUCKING HEAT
posted by Greg Nog at 8:31 AM on October 16, 2008 [9 favorites]


Spock's scoring is correct. It was Monroe dominance. Each of his first three were quite funny, particularly the first.

There was way too much explanation in Katz's captions for 1 and 3, and the "dude, whoever thought of this must've been on something!" joke for #2 has not amounted to an actual attempt at humor since the early 1960s. You can give round 4 to Katz.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:35 AM on October 16, 2008


I guess I'm weird. I thought everything was terrible.
posted by Skot at 8:39 AM on October 16, 2008


Katz's #1 could have been an XKCD cartoon. I'm sure he's done ones with Venn diagrams before.
posted by smackfu at 8:41 AM on October 16, 2008


I dunno. I mean, the self eating cow was fantastic. But the absurdist bit from Munroe was killer. I thought the others were pretty lame, actually.
posted by sotonohito at 8:42 AM on October 16, 2008


When I saw the topics, I thought the comics would be fantastic. Particularly 1999. What a disappointment.
posted by lunit at 8:45 AM on October 16, 2008


Ooooh, ignignokt and I are going to do a cartoon-off! We were just talking about finding someone to give us stuff to drawer about. So if you want to see crappy sketches of stuff done on notepads during work, lemme know.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:56 AM on October 16, 2008


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94, I just read through that whole Ralph is a viking thread and I would like to make a claim for my lost braincells. I think I am actually (not metaphorically!) stupider, having read it.

That said, Munroe clearly won this.
posted by marginaliana at 9:05 AM on October 16, 2008


Well, I liked Monroe's 1999 (Katz's...eh, kind of a cheat). And pulling a Palin made me laugh harder, even if it wasn't technically what he was supposed to do. Both of them were meh at the first two.

So, Monroe wins from me.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:15 AM on October 16, 2008


We were just talking about finding someone to give us stuff to drawer about. So if you want to see crappy sketches of stuff done on notepads during work, lemme know.

Okay, your first challenge is this: Draw a MeFi member in their natural habitat. GO!
posted by hellojed at 9:21 AM on October 16, 2008


Scoring
round 1: The elderly and the internet winner XKCD for including a joke.
round 2: Tie. Katz's joke is stupid Munroe's joke is a family guy jerk for nerds. As in the mere recognition of a reference is substituted for a joke. Katz's drawing is much better in this one.
round 3: Munroe wins. When you think 1999 you think 1999 AD but he'll draw dinosaurs and underline BC three times so it wasn't what you assumed but 1999 BC had not] dinosaurs. Munroe's joke is similarly boring but at least makes sense.
round 4: Katz by a mile. I don't believe that Cows are both his favorite animal and favorite food but the cow eating itself is an actual definite joke in a way that a hack Palin shot acompanied by nonsense (though the squirrel with a top hat on his tail was cute) isn't.

I think Katz won for having the funniest single comic but it was pretty much a tie.
posted by I Foody at 9:28 AM on October 16, 2008


by family guy jerk I mean family guy joke. I recently learned to touch type so now am capable of making Freudian slips.
posted by I Foody at 9:36 AM on October 16, 2008


The pig says: "My wife is a slut"



Now that is a complaint.
posted by Zambrano at 9:41 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Does Monroe really think dinosaurs in 1999 BC makes sense?

Or am I missing a Sarah Palin joke? Because Wookies live on Endor.
posted by rokusan at 9:45 AM on October 16, 2008


And this battle needed more than 4 rounds. 10. 20 maybe.
posted by rokusan at 9:46 AM on October 16, 2008


Katz's #1 could have been an XKCD cartoon. I'm sure he's done ones with Venn diagrams before.

The point of the comic is not to simply do a Venn diagram. The point is to make it funny. Katz's could have been an XKCD cartoon had it been a Venn diagram making a humorous point.
posted by spock at 10:03 AM on October 16, 2008


Well, mathematically, it would make more sense to have an ODD NUMBER of rounds. You'd think Nerdy McNerderson at XKCD would insist on that.
posted by piratebowling at 10:11 AM on October 16, 2008


everybody lost.
posted by boo_radley at 11:06 AM on October 16, 2008


I dont read the new yorker but Im pretty sure Katz was purposely trying to lose this. I mean, theyre terrible parodies of lazy cartooning. The drunk scientist? The dinosaurs? The graph? Please tell me this was satire. If not then XKCD really cleaned his clock.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:29 AM on October 16, 2008


Katz's could have been an XKCD cartoon had it been a Venn diagram making a humorous point.

Or more likely a Venn diagram that makes you go "hmm, that's somewhat amusing, I wonder if the rollover makes it more funny".
posted by smackfu at 11:35 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Aw, what the fuck? Did I just enjoy a comment Zambrano made? Am I even going to favorite it? DAMNIT. I am!
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:55 AM on October 16, 2008


SpiffyRob Guess I didn't get it. I can't tell if its a reference to something I'm unfamiliar with, or if its supposed to be a funny/absurdist Non Sequitur.
posted by sotonohito at 12:18 PM on October 16, 2008


Variations of XKCD

Type I - "Horrible math shit"

Panel 1:
Stick Figure A - "Blah blah blah math"

Panel 2:
Stick Figure A - "Blah math math blah computer"

Panel 3:
Stick Figure B - "Blah blah math math blah?"

Panel 4:
Stick Figure A - "If only it were so easy when people blah blah real world instance that computer scientists find themselves in blah blah!"

Type II - "Emo Garbage"

Panel 1:
Stick Figure A - "Blah blah girls"

Panel 2:
Stick Figure A- "Blah blah blah girls girls blah, no one understands me blah."

Panel 3:
Thought bubble of Stick Figure C (a girl)

Panel 4:
Stick Figure A- "Blah blah sigh blah Linux sigh"
posted by Damn That Television at 12:23 PM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


And while I'm making enemies, Achewood was a lot funnier exactly one year before you, the reader of this comment, started reading it.
posted by Damn That Television at 12:26 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Munroe's win in the string theory section put him so far ahead that the rest of the comics didn't matter. Hyperbondage is damn clever and Katz's comic wasn't even a very good example of the 'string theory was developed by drunk scientists' genre.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 12:37 PM on October 16, 2008


Munroe wins by a mile on account of being actually funny. Katz loses generally for the same reason that every single cartoon ever published in the history of the New Yorker loses, the utter absence of funny.

I mean, really? Some of you think that any New Yorker cartoonist could ever possibly be funnier than the man who gave the world XKCD? Really?
posted by MythMaker at 1:43 PM on October 16, 2008


sotonohito, it's a Seinfeld reference.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:45 PM on October 16, 2008


True to form, all four of Katz's cartoons are improved by adding a "Christ, what an asshole" caption.
posted by nicepersonality at 2:09 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who got to decide the categories for the cartoon-off? I'm thinking New Yorker guy did, since he wrote up the XKCD interview and included the drawings on his site.

If that's the case, he had the advantage, and yet his comics, with the exception of the cow eating its own hoof, were not the decisive winners you would expect.

And hyperbondage is hella cool.

XKCD FTW.
posted by misha at 4:19 PM on October 16, 2008


Okay, here's my scoring by quarters:

1st (Elderly Internet): Katz would've made a good Jessica Hagy "Indexed" toon, which was the worst thing about it, since I put Indexed and XKCD in the same category. Munroe played the old dude stereotype well, avoiding the "get off my lawn" cliche, working harder than usual to make his stick figures into characters AND making a reference to The New Yorker. Katz: 4 Munroe: 9

2nd (String Theory): Katz uses unsurprising "drunk scientist" trope but well executed. Munroe mixes semi-extreme geekery with semi-extreme kinkiness surprisingly well. Katz: 4 Munroe: 10

3rd (1999): Katz' Creationist Dinosaurs are so deeply cliche. Munroe's autobiographical bit is one of his all-too-frequent poignant, personal. but-not-very-funny efforts. Katz: 1 Munroe: 4

4th (Favorite Food) Katz caught me by surprise on this one, and surprise is 51% of funny; well done. Munroe "pulled a Palin"? This "Hail Mary" pass was deeply incomplete; but I think he knew he already had an overwhelming lead. Katz: 8 Munroe: 1

Total Score: KATZ 17, MUNROE 24. The Internet Wins. But The New Yorker has been coasting for decades (yet incredibly catching winds to avoid coming to earth).
posted by wendell at 4:51 PM on October 16, 2008


Katz loses generally for the same reason that every single cartoon ever published in the history of the New Yorker loses, the utter absence of funny.

I think New Yorker cartoons are funny, though I agree that xkcd is much better.
posted by danb at 5:15 PM on October 16, 2008


Also: someone promise do a cartoon-off with Greg Nog because he apparently needs an excuse to draw more goddamn comics. Hell, I'll do it.

I don't even know why you have that RSS feed. Grumble grumble grumble.

Really though, I love your comics. moar plz kthx

posted by danb at 5:17 PM on October 16, 2008


danb - Really? I have to admit that I've looked at the New Yorker for years, and I don't think I've ever read a single one that's made me laugh. Not a one.

What's the secret? What do you find funny in them?
posted by MythMaker at 6:30 PM on October 16, 2008


Was I the only one to repeatedly, unconsciously mouseover the xkcd cartoons, waiting for funny alt-text to appear?
posted by bergeycm at 6:59 PM on October 16, 2008


I preferred Katz, but I've been going off xkcd for a while now. Basically, most of Katz' cartoons work with some or all of the text eliminated - it's much more cartoony in that respect. With xkcd it's the picture that can usually be eliminated, as it usually serves only as seasoning on some pithy, Steve Wright-esque observation.
posted by Ritchie at 7:09 PM on October 16, 2008


I find New Yorker cartoons (in general) to be entertaining and clever, but there is a vast difference between the number of cartoons that a New Yorker cartoonist submits and those that are selected for publication. Just because someone is a featured regularly in New Yorker doesn't mean that every cartoon they submit is going to be a winner. (See: Steve Martin's interview of New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast)
posted by spock at 8:34 PM on October 16, 2008


I enjoyed the last link. "Look, an angel!"
posted by A dead Quaker at 8:38 PM on October 16, 2008


I think it's "Look, an eagle!", but the accent trips it up.
posted by speedo at 9:51 PM on October 16, 2008


Munroe guest comics for Dinosaur Comics today.
posted by lunit at 7:28 AM on October 17, 2008


xkcd and the Brandenberger-Vafa Mechanism
posted by homunculus at 5:20 PM on October 20, 2008


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