1: Barrel - Part 1
|Barrel - Part 1|
Title text: Don't we all.
: He's fairly upbeat about the situation!
This was the fifth comic originally posted to LiveJournal. The previous one was 2: Petit Trees (sketch), and the next one was 24: Godel, Escher, Kurt Halsey. It was among the first thirteen comics posted to LiveJournal within 12 minutes on September 30, 2005, on the first day of the xkcd LiveJournal account.
This is the first comic in the The Boy and his Barrel series, which 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 Barrel 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 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. In 1110: Click and Drag there is a reference to this comic at 1 North, 48 East. Wired determined a more realistic description of the behaviour of a barrel in the water.
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 Barrel Boy, a character that is different from what would quickly become the xkcd stick figure style. The full series can be found here. After Randall released the full The Boy and his Barrel story on the site, it became clear that the original comic 20: Ferret was also part of the series. The comics are listed in the order chosen by Randall:
- 1: Barrel - Part 1
- 20: Ferret
- 11: Barrel - Part 2
- 22: Barrel - Part 3
- 25: Barrel - Part 4
- 31: Barrel - Part 5
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.
- [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 is the first comic not drawn on checkered paper.
- This is the first xkcd comic featuring Barrel Boy.
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