1: Barrel - Part 1
|Barrel - Part 1|
Title text: Don't we all.
The comic shows a young boy floating in a barrel in an ocean that doesn't have a visible end. It comments on the unlikely optimism and perhaps naïveté people sometimes display. The boy is completely lost and seems hopelessly alone, without any plan or control of the situation. Yet, rather than afraid or worried, he is instead quietly curious: "I wonder where I'll float next?" Although not necessarily the situation in this comic, this is a behavior people often exhibit when there is nothing they can do about a problematic situation for a long time; they may have given up hope or developed a cavalier attitude as a coping mechanism.
The title text expands on the philosophical content, with the boy representing the average human being: wandering through life with no real plan, quietly optimistic, always opportunistic and clueless as to what the future may hold.
The isolation of the boy may also represent the way in which we often feel lost through life, never knowing quite where we are, believing that there is no one to whom to turn. This comic could also reflect on Randall's feelings towards creating xkcd in the first place; unsure of what direction the web comic would turn towards, but hopeful that it would eventually become the popular web comic that we know today.
This is the first 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 is in a barrel.
The full series can be found here. They are listed below in the order Randall chose for the short story above:
- 1: Barrel - Part 1
- 20: Ferret
- 11: Barrel - Part 2
- 22: Barrel - Part 3
- 25: Barrel - Part 4
- 31: Barrel - Part 5
- [A boy sits in a barrel which is floating in an ocean.]
- Boy: i wonder where i'll float next?
- [A smaller frame with a zoom out of the boy in the barrel seen from afar. The barrel drifts into the distance. Nothing else can be seen.]
- This was the 5th comic originally posted to LiveJournal.
- The original title was "Barrel".
- Original Randall quote: "He's fairly upbeat about the situation!"
- This was one of the thirteen first comics posted to LiveJournal within 12 minutes on Friday September 30, 2005.
- 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.
- This is the first of the original drawings that was not drawn on checkered paper.
- A more realistic description of the behavior of a barrel in water is here: Wired Science: Should Dwarves Stand Up in Floating Barrels?
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