Sunday, March 30, 2008

Indexed + Graphs Graphs Graphs


Indexed is a funny-graphs blog of astounding simplicity by Jessica Hagy. She posts a series of concept jokes, all presented visually on 3"x5" index cards. It's a charming success story as well, since Jessica managed to gain published fans and con a bona fide agent into publishing her blog as a book. Blogger Jason Kottke did a brief interview with her where commenters immediately asked about similarity between her work and Demetri Martin's. It's easy to see why.

Buuuuuut... it's a format, not a joke that can be stolen. Comedy graphs are unique enough to seem to suggest a signature, but still generic enough to be a genre. They are not so unique that they are "owned" by anyone, like unfunny watermellon-smashing and Leo Gallagher.

Successful comedy graphs are deceptively simple-looking. It is unnatural to look at these graphs and NOT think to yourself, "Self, I can do better." The result of this folly is thousands of mediocre graphs and 3 funny ones.

A few examples: Graphjam is a spin-off blog by the folks that brought you the lolcat blog, I Can Has Cheezburger? It's been mostly painful to click through. Jamphat graphs hip hop lyrics... and for the 80% of graphs that leave you staring blankly at the screen, you can click on the graph to see what song is being referenced. Because nothing is funnier than having a joke dissected and explained to you. NOTHING!

I suppose that's true of anything in life, though. The key to success is excessive production. Even you're good only 1% of the time, if you produce 1 million of something, eventually you'll end up with ten thousand good things. (Just remember to throw out the nine-hundred-ninety-thousand pieces of trash.)

P.S. Apologies for the excessive linking on this post. Let this be a lesson on how hard it is to find good content on the interwebs, and good luck finding the 3 funny ones.

(From M. L-Bear, Buzzfeed & my Google Skillz)

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