Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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For a list of comics, see LiveJournal comics.
I was going through old math/sketching graph paper notebooks and didn't want to lose some of the work in them, so I started scanning pages. I took the more comic-y ones and put them up on a server I was testing out, and got a bunch of readers when BoingBoing linked to me. I started drawing more seriously, gained a lot more readers, started selling t-shirts on the site, and am currently shipping t-shirts and drawing this comic full-time. It's immensely fun and I really appreciate y'all's support.

Before Randall started using the xkcd.com website for his comics, he posted them on LiveJournal using the "xkcd_drawings" account. The images on the page are now broken, but there are archived versions for the first 16 comics, comics from 17 to 27, and the last 20 comics. Randall didn't add a title text to his comics before xkcd.com, but most of the comics posted on LiveJournal had an original caption beneath the image, and many had comments by LiveJournal users. All the comics transferred to the new site had a title text, which was often along the same lines, but was almost never the same as the caption on LiveJournal.

The original title, caption, and release number of these early comics can be viewed on their explanation page, so if you want to browse them in the original order, you can start here and follow the links at the top of each explanation to go to the next one. To view a list of all the comics in the original order, see Posted on LiveJournal.

Comics posted on LiveJournal before xkcd.com[edit]

First day on LiveJournal[edit]

The first thirteen comics were posted on LiveJournal within 12 minutes on September 30, 2005, on the first day of the xkcd LiveJournal account. The first comic posted on that day was 7: Girl sleeping (Sketch -- 11th grade Spanish class) and the last one was 11: Barrel - Part 2. Starting from the next post, he began following the normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday release date routine, although he often forgot to post the comic in time, making them come out a day earlier or a day later.

Winter break[edit]

The last comic to be released before xkcd.com was in use was 39: Bowl. It was the forty-first comic posted on LiveJournal on December 5, 2005, but the following day Randall made another post, titled "Announcement":

What with winter break starting and the like, I'll probably be going off my regular update schedule. I'll try to post something here and there, and might end up doing more drawings than I expect, but won't stick to the MWF schedule.
Thanks for the support! This has been and will continue to be a lot of fun.

This may be due to his exams coming up, or the preparation for the release of xkcd.com the following year. The next LiveJournal comic, 45: Schrodinger, was released almost a month later, on January 4, 2006, after Randall had already posted all the previous comics to his new site.

Transition from LiveJournal to xkcd.com[edit]

First day on xkcd.com[edit]

The new xkcd website opened up on January 1, 2006, and the backlog of forty-one comics from LiveJournal from 1: Barrel - Part 1 to 44: Love was transferred on the same day, but in a completely different order. The only comic that has the same number on both sites is 3: Island (sketch), while all the other comics were uploaded seemingly at random. Also, only eleven of the original comic titles were reused of the new site, and even among the last eleven comics posted on both sites, only six used the same title. There were also two new comics released on the first day of xkcd.com (and one added a few months later) that have never been posted on LiveJournal.

12: Poisson and 5: Blown apart were exclusively published on the first day of xkcd.com and were never shared on LiveJournal. 36: Scientists was instead initially published as a duplicate of comic 10: Pi Equals. Over three months after the original posting, Randall noticed the error and corrected it sometime between April 23, 2006 and July 5, 2006, when the updated version appeared in the Web Archive. He likely found an old drawing that was never meant for publication and used it instead, so it wouldn't appear out of place among the other comics from that period. This is why 36: Scientists doesn't have a date like every other comic.

Comics posted both on LiveJournal and on xkcd.com[edit]

Most of the eleven comics posted on LiveJournal after the new website opened, from 45: Schrodinger to 55: Useless, were posted on the same days on both sites. For unknown reasons, on January 18, 2006, 54: Science was posted on LiveJournal on the same day that 51: Malaria was released on xkcd.com. Three days later, on January 21, 2006, 51: Malaria was posted on LiveJournal, thus forcing the next two comics (52: Secret Worlds and 53: Hobby) to be released on xkcd.com two days before LiveJournal. Four days later, on January 25, 2006, 54: Science was finally posted on xkcd.com, which fixed the date discrepancies and allowed the next comic, 55: Useless, to be published on the same day across both sites.

When the next comic, 56: The Cure, came out only on xkcd.com on January 30, 2006, Randall made a post on LiveJournal, titled "xkcd drawings moving to RSS feed":

I'm closing down this journal. Friend the new feed.
Thanks to new revisions to my site and work by Derek, I now have automated posting -- if I go missing for a few weeks, as long as I've got enough comics in the queue no one will notice. The site also now has the more traditional 'forward' and 'back' format to make browsing easier.
Most importantly, the site now has an RSS feed which is updated automatically whenever a drawing is posted. This means I no longer need to separately update this journal, so I'm closing it down and you should all friend the feed:
Thanks! Exciting times ahead, etc.

Almost two months later, he made the last post on the LiveJournal account on April 23, 2006. It warned that the old account has been inactive for a long time and recommended everyone friend the new account, called "xkcd_rss". Despite saying the old account would be "deleted soon", it still exists. The post was titled "Unfriend this journal":

This journal has been closed for a while, and I'm going to delete it shortly. If you want to see my comic -- which is updated like clockwork every MWF, thanks to some wonderful automation by davean -- you should add xkcd.com's LJ RSS feed instead.
This journal will be deleted soon.