2018: Wall Art

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"2018", this comic's number, redirects here. For the comic named "2018", see 1935: 2018.
Wall Art
At first, I moved from pokémon posters to regular oil paintings, but then these really grumpy and unreasonable detectives from the Louvre showed up and took them all. They wouldn't even give me back my thumbtacks!
Title text: At first, I moved from pokémon posters to regular oil paintings, but then these really grumpy and unreasonable detectives from the Louvre showed up and took them all. They wouldn't even give me back my thumbtacks!


Pokémon is a media franchise managed by The Pokémon Company, which started with the release of the first video games, Pokémon Red and Blue, for the Game Boy in 1996. Originally released in Japan as Pokémon Red and Green, the game was released in North America as Pokémon Red and Blue in 1998, 20 years ago at the time of publishing.

This is another comic about getting older. Cueball mentions that he thought Pokémon posters were cool 20 years ago (when Pokémon was first released). Now that he is older, he instead has framed oil paintings, which were what wealthier older folks were displaying on their walls at the times that their teenagers were widely into Pokémon. The punchline comes when White Hat mentions that his oil paintings are just paintings of Pokémon characters, showing that Cueball hasn't completely adopted those older cultures in 20 years of maturing, but does have more money.

The title text mentions that Cueball originally had "regular" oil paintings. However, these appear to have been stolen from the Louvre, a famous art museum in Paris, which houses the Mona Lisa. Thus the "grumpy and unreasonable" detectives which came to retrieve the paintings. It even suggests that Cueball had attached those valuable and expensive oil paintings on his wall by poking through them with thumbtacks. The fact that Cueball stole expensive paintings, poked them with thumbtacks, and did not realize that the detectives were trying to recover priceless artwork that rightfully belonged to the museum may demonstrate that Cueball indeed has not completely grown up.

The comic repeats a common theme of poking fun at how nerds tend to not fully "get" the culture surrounding them, adopting parts but remaining completely blind to other parts. Sharing and reading jokes about this may help people who experience that pattern handle the stress of being unable to completely conform, by bonding over the commonality.


[White Hat and Cueball are standing together and looking at eleven framed pictures on a wall.]
Cueball: Getting older is so weird. 20 years ago, I thought thumbtacked Pokémon posters made my wall look so cool.
[Cueball has his hands raised up in a close-up.]
Cueball: But these days I feel this compulsion to get framed oil paintings and spend hours carefully arranging them.
[Return to the setting in the first frame.]
White Hat: These are all oil paintings of Pokémon.
Cueball: Look, I’m meeting maturity halfway.


This is the only xkcd comic ever where the year when the comic was published, in the Gregorian calendar, is the same as the comic's number. This comic is numbered 2018 and was published on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

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Wohooo, XKCD#2018! XKCD is finally older than the current year. 13:12, 11 July 2018 (UTC) Michael

Woohoo! I have been waiting for this moment since at least xkcd 1750 or so, too bad the comic doesn't acknowledge it ;) 20:18, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Nope, it will be true for XKCD#2019. 13:19, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
We can add a trivia: This is the only comic with a number the same as its release year. 13:41, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Unless Randall gets reeeaaally slow with his comics. I was honestly expecting to see some sort of joke about 2018 here today. HisHighestMinion (talk) 13:54, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I was hoping for something acknowledging the year/comic number 14:13, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
...You don't think this is acknowledging the year? It's all about how much time has passed. 00:19, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I should have known I wouldn't be the first to point out some trivia for an XKCD comic... 18:02, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Gotta paint 'em all Arachrah (talk) 18:31, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Anyone else think the picture at the bottom kinda looks like a Metapod, or am I just squinting at too few pixels again? PvOberstein (talk) 22:24, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
At least it is not about five foot by four, white with some fine diagonal white lines. Because that would mean white hat had to have a painting of an exterior landscape seen through a window - and I am not sure who would have the daub. Arachrah (talk) 22:36, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Yeah I'm deeply disappointed that Randall didn't do something cooler for this comic 13:43, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I added a line to the description about how Randall's comics can help nerds feel community around how we tend to miss major parts of culture and social norms. I think it's possible that this is part of why his comics found such success, and could bear some more integration into this site. 23:10, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Can anyone identify if any of the paintings actually contain specific pokemon? Heyoceama (talk) 18:25, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't think they are meant to look like any specific pokémon, and also I do not really think that it looks like a Metapod... (I have all the released pokémon in Pokémon Go... except a few regionals ;) --Kynde (talk) 13:18, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
I am probably too late to answer this. Two and a half years too late. Still, Here are my pokémon guesses! The biggest one on the top that is grey-ish, that's a Mimikyu. It's flying around, so I think it's Acerola's ghost Mimikyu (from Sun and Moon the anime). To the left of it is two pokémon, the bottom one is a Nidoran♂ or Nidoran♀, and the other is something looking like a bat, maybe a Noibat or Golbat? To the right of Mimikyu, there are two paintings. The grey one at the top is a Pyukumuku that seems to be missing spikes, either in low detail because of low resolution, or because a bad artist painted it. Or maybe it's a different Pokémon. Under it is a spider-like thing, maybe Spinarak, Dewpider, Ariados Galvantula, or Araquanid. The thing that someone thought was a Metapod looks a bit like a Metapod. To the right of it seems to be a Caterpie. That greatly influenced my thinking that the very dark one directly to the left of Metapod is a Butterfree. I have no idea what that last one is. ThePineapple11 (talk) 11:43, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

I fell like the [citation needed] joke has fallen on the wayside, so I'm here to revive it. That is all. 00:16, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

I took it right back out, because as a joke it's lazy and overdone. — 21:52, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
It depends. [citation needed] Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 08:48, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Agree with taking it out. It should only be used where a citation is actually needed. And if that is provided it should be deleted --Kynde (talk) 12:40, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
It really feels like the people who find it tired, repetitive and played out should realize and accept that there are those of us who DON'T get tired of it, and tend to enjoy it (at least when done cleverly and not trying TOO hard). :) Please leave them in! They don't hurt anybody. NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:25, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
I am a person [citation needed] and I think [citation needed] that if you want "people who find it tired, repetitive and played out" to "realize and accept that there are those of us who DON'T get tired of it, and tend to enjoy it (at least when done cleverly and not trying TOO hard)", then there is a [citation needed] to support that claim. 01:11, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
Ok, that's enough. Citation not needed. 03:06, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

I'm quite disappointed that #2018 doesn't reference the year *sigh* At least it's one I can REALLY identify with, I have no idea what to put on my walls, so my walls stay mostly bare, LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:25, 20 July 2018 (UTC)