25: Barrel - Part 4

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Barrel - Part 4
Title text: :(

[edit] Explanation

In the first three comics of the series, the character explored the ocean in a barrel and then encountered a whirlpool, all with a reaction of innocent wonder. Here, the empty barrel floating adrift, plus the title text and a previous announcement by Randall that this would be the conclusion of barrel boy's story, imply that the character's encounter with the whirlpool brought him to some harm.

This is the fourth in a six-part series of comics whose parts were randomly published during the first several dozen strips. The series features a character that is not consistent with what would quickly become the xkcd stick figure style. The character was in the barrel in part 1-3.

After Randall released the full The Boy and his Barrel story on xkcd it has been clear that the original Ferret story should also be included as part of the barrel series.

The full series can be found here. But below they are listed in the order Randall has put them in his collection linked to above:

[edit] Transcript

[The barrel is shown on a grid paper background, floating sideways and empty in a choppy sea.]

[edit] Trivia

  • This was the 26th comic originally posted to LiveJournal.
  • Original title: "Monday's Drawing"
  • There were no original Randall quote for this comic.
    • However three hours after posting the comic he made a new post with the following statement:
Barrel series
By the way, here are all the barrel comics on a single (easily linked) page:
I cheated, and went back and lightened the gridlines in #2. It was just bothering me. I'll try not to do that much. But as I'm not destroying anyone's childhood, I don't feel like I'm really pulling a George Lucas.
I mean, I'm not destroying more than one childhood.
  • The link above goes to the archive.
    • Since this was not (as he stated in the previous comic) the last in the barrel series the last comic must later have been included.
    • Since this last barrel comic 31: Barrel - Part 5 involved the ferret, the previous ferret story 20: Ferret must also have been included then.
    • Thus making the original ferret a "real" part of the barrel story.
  • Randall also confesses that he changed the appearance of the 2nd Barrel comic.
    • At this time, that must have referred to the one called 11: Barrel - Part 2 although Randall in the page above has moved this to after the first ferret comic.
  • This comic was posted on xkcd when the web site opened on Sunday the 1st of January 2006.
    • It was posted along with all 41 comics posted before that on LiveJournal as well as a few others.
    • The latter explaining why the numbers of these 41 LiveJournal comics ranges from 1-44.
  • One of the original drawings drawn on checkered paper.

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The title text suggests that something bad has happened, not simply that he is swimming elsewhere or that Randall is disappointed the boy is no longer floating in the barrel. Grahame (talk) 05:30, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Grahame

Fixed. 02:54, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
The title text suggests unhappiness at the knowledge that the boy is apparently no longer inside the barrel that has been preserving his life so far. We can speculate that something bad has happened, but a sad smiley does not do that for us. 01:12, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
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