By Randall Munroe; Updated Monday, Wednesday, Friday
A special notice: There’s nothing wrong with the title, that’s the preferred spelling from the creator himself, as stated here:
Starting January 1st, 2006, xkcd begain its life as a collection of sketches that adorned the notes of Randall Munroe, a CNU student at the time. He thought these sketches would be interesting to share across the web, and put them on a server. Once other sites began linking to the comics, xkcd experienced a growth in viewership and popularity. Nowadays, the comic features themes ranging from math, computer literacy, and coding to humor based graphs as well as more mature themes like depression and sex.
As stated earlier, this comic began as a series of sketches in Munroe’s previous schoolwork. These did not have a particular theme or story aside from the “Barrel” series of comics. Many of these sketches feature stick figures making witty dialogue. The art quality with the sketches of inanimate objects are much higher quality than with what content is produced today, simply on the part that characters are drawn as stick figures instead of anatomical human beings. The simple nature of these people, however, makes their inner selves stand out, creating an emphasis on dialogue and writing with characters that have a simplistic design.
Out of all of the characters, only a handful end up as recurring. The man with the Black Hat acts as a foil to the plain stick-figure that acts as an author avatar. Black Hat is a hacker that tends to troll the people around him, which is astonishingly appropriate as the origin of his name suggests. The author, or Cueball, shares the opinions and thoughts of Randall Munroe and is the logical, thinking-man foil to Black Hat. The man with the Beret is an odd person, often exhibiting strange behavior and belief that everything should live their lives fully. Beret provides a lot of the absurd humor in the comic, but does so earnestly and un-ironically. Black hat attempted to troll a Black-Haired woman, but she ended up outdoing him in every field he tried. Thusly, they have become a couple, and take joy in causing people misery and shenanigans.
The writing itself caters to whatever discipline the comic is about. The comic “Orbitals” holds a joke with both atomic and romantic/sexual chemistry, citing how romantic couples will pair off into rooms while the single men/ladies will be in a state of un-restful, high energy. “October 30th” is a Back to the Future homage, with a trick-or-treater being a day early in a Doc Brown costume. “Heaven” shows the best outcome in an awkward Tetris scenario. “SUV” displays the “My Hobby” theme of comics, where Munroe creates an absurd way of going about life. “Map of the Internet”, as seen below, is the most well-known xkcd comic on the internet, which sorts the IP’s of the internet into a map. See where this is going? This comic parodies, references, and justifies weird happenings in life, the latter the rarest of all.
With how long xkcd has been running, its quite difficult to wander the internet without seeing a reference in some shape or form. This webcomic has been immensely popular due to the wide range of humor, holding something inside its archive for anyone willing enough to either binge its entirety, or sift through the random button. With a truly hilarious comic updating every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, xkcd is a wicked-good read.