The Five Thumbnails

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Willl
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The Five Thumbnails

Postby Willl » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:07 am UTC

Hey everybody... I really hope this hasn't already been done because I gave it a pretty good seach...

Ever since xkcd became an organised archive, some time between publishing Counter-Red Spiders and publishing Super Bowl (as close as I can pinpoint it with archive.org), there have been five thumbnails of "classic" comics, first scaled to a common height and then 100px square cropped and scaled snippets, at the bottom of every page.

At some point between then and publishing Digital Rights Management, Light was replaced as the first image with Bored with the Internet, making the list look like this:

Image Image Image Image Image

Then at some point between publishing Playing Devil's Advocate to Win and publishing Turn Back, Randall reshuffled them again into the form we know them now:

Image Image Image Image Image

When writing this, we're now on #358, which means there are now more than twice as many strips as there were when the list was last updated, and the newest comic that's on there is deeper still into the first half of the archives (depending on how you look at it, when the selection was updated, Angular Momentum was somewhere between 2 and 18 strips old at the time).

So the question is: are these strips still representative of xkcd? Which strips would you add and would you take any of the current ones away? Maybe there should be two rows, or something like that. I'm deliberately withholding my own specific views because I'm interested to hear what people think about where xkcd is now...

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Seven
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby Seven » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:10 am UTC

...That's an interesting first post.

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Delbin
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby Delbin » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:14 am UTC

Romance, check.
Sarcasm, check.
Math, check.
Language, check.
Sublime overlapping of the above, check.

The original icons still represent the comic's overall feel pretty well, I think. XKCD's interests might have changed some and he might have new relationships to talk about, but it's still the same distilled awesome we've come to expect.
Last edited by Delbin on Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:16 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Okita
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby Okita » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:14 am UTC

The robots...they are evolving.

Soon, Randall will become obsolete and replaced with RM-Prime 2.0
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Mittins
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby Mittins » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:40 am UTC

Three of the five are my all-time favourite strips, so I definitely wouldn't change those ones!

I suppose if I had a choice I'd like to add
Image

But then xkcd's summary would have to be "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, language and geeking out"
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby bbctol » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:50 am UTC

I've always thought that "ass-car" should replace the spinny one (yeah, I'm great with names). The spinny one is touching, but all the rest are classic. As is "ass-car".

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lowbart
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby lowbart » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:57 am UTC

I dunno, it's been too much romance, and not enough sarcasm, math, and language for my tastes recently.
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:34 am UTC

I think Grownups, Centrifugal Force and Angular Momentum are great quick-link thumbnails. Grownups especially I feel to be the consummate XKCD comic, and I can't be alone in this given how many people bring playpen balls to Randall's talks. Centrifugal Force is geeky and sciency and funny and has hat guy; I have a theory that hat guy is important, so he should be in a thumbnail. Angular Momentum has ideal girl; I have a related theory that says she also is important and should be in a thumbnail. I think the remaining two, Useless and Bored With The Internet, are okay but could be updated.

On the one hand, Useless is a pretty classic comic and it points to both the romance and the math aspects of the strip. On the other hand, it's already a T-shirt and I don't know if it ages well. What I mean by that is, it's still true, but after reading it many times and seeing the same theme in many comics since, but said more indirectly, it feels a bit trite to me. So if I were rearranging the thumbnails I'd say it's had its time there, now another one should replace it.

Bored With The Internet has less impressive art than some of his more recent stuff; not so much the center panel as the stick figures and text. It's a good comic but I don't feel it's as good as some others.

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Echodork
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby Echodork » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:05 am UTC

I think the thumbnails sum up the comic very well. They aren't all my favorites... I'm not a fan of Bored With the Internet in particular. But for someone just coming to the site for the first time, those five are an excellent introduction to the mix of themes that xkcd represents.

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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby |Erasmus| » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:07 am UTC

My favourite one that isn't on the list is the "Sudo" comic.

But I'm reasonably happy with the list just the way it is.

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ludw
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby ludw » Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:27 pm UTC

If I would change anything I would add these five, just because they are so damn good.

Image Image Image Image Image

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b.i.o
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby b.i.o » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:02 am UTC

ludw wrote:If I would change anything I would add these five, just because they are so damn good.


Honestly I think the problem with trying to decide which to put there is that if we were to try to ist all of the amazing ones there would be hundreds...


I think the ones there now are pretty representative even if they are older.

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longs
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby longs » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:43 am UTC

I think the list is fine because I actually think the comic was better in its earlier days.

Would any one happen to agree? I suspect that my attitude could just be a product of my general cynicism and declining satisfaction with everything. Or an effect of the sort of nostalgia you have for things when they're new. You discover it and you're all nice and happy, then the feeling fades with familiarity.
the participle.

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b.i.o
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby b.i.o » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:20 am UTC

I have favorites that are both newer and ones that are older.

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Rippy
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby Rippy » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:50 am UTC

longs wrote:I think the list is fine because I actually think the comic was better in its earlier days.

Would any one happen to agree? I suspect that my attitude could just be a product of my general cynicism and declining satisfaction with everything. Or an effect of the sort of nostalgia you have for things when they're new. You discover it and you're all nice and happy, then the feeling fades with familiarity.

I've been less happy with it in the past month or so. Though maybe that's because now I'm getting them 3 times a week instead of absorbing 200 comics in one sitting.

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b.i.o
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby b.i.o » Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:35 pm UTC

Rippy wrote:
longs wrote:I think the list is fine because I actually think the comic was better in its earlier days.

Would any one happen to agree? I suspect that my attitude could just be a product of my general cynicism and declining satisfaction with everything. Or an effect of the sort of nostalgia you have for things when they're new. You discover it and you're all nice and happy, then the feeling fades with familiarity.

I've been less happy with it in the past month or so. Though maybe that's because now I'm getting them 3 times a week instead of absorbing 200 comics in one sitting.


The past week or so haven't been my favorite, but some of the ones just before that I loved.

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xyzzy
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby xyzzy » Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:30 pm UTC

Please. Off the top of my head, I can think of four really awesome ones just recently: Network. Far Away, Nerd Sniping, Loud Party. The last of these would do well as one of the thumbs, I think. Maybe replace Bored of the Internet with it?

That comic says so much about what XKCD is, without words.
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Re: The Five Thumbnails

Postby Likpok » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:32 pm UTC

The trouble with a comic like xkcd is that different people get different things out of the comics. So each "best-of" list will be slightly different.

Also, I think that any current ideas of decline are more based on regression to the mean and picking the best comics as comparisons.
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