xkcd is a minimalistic and often self-referential webcomic that prides itself on being the most "meta" comic currently available on the Internet. Its cast of characters (a collection of stick figures), its art direction (a series of line drawings), and its prose style (a inundation of dialogue), are thought to be among the most primitive, most Spartan forms of communication extant. Catering to the "geek" demographic, it features a core cast of characters and traditional plot continuity (despite its emphasis on theoretical physics). An illustrative broadcast parallel can be found in the case of Futurama vs. Family Guy, in which the latter show eschews opportunities to make clever technical references in favor of pandering to the least common denominator, an intellectually bankrupt demographic which much prefers the simple pleasures of cameo appearances, pop culture nods, and poop jokes.
In "real life," xkcd has inspired its readers to do really silly things, like placing hidden functionality in computer programs, sneaking chess games onto thrill rides, running about the country with a GPS and the coordinates they derived from a website, waving around weapons in crowds, or causing grown men to play dress-up. In other words, the sense of camaraderie a shared subculture engenders emboldens die-hard fans to act stupid in the same public settings they wouldn't normally frequent.
Common complaints and criticisms of the series range from "Wait, I don't get it? How is that funny?" to "Brilliant. I get all of the references! What a cultured individual am I! But what about those occasional strips with absolutely nothing of intellectual substance about them? Could they perhaps constitute a philosophical allusion to the bleak proto-nihilism of Kierkegaard?" to "Wait a second! This is all just a thinly veiled series of computer science references with the occasional pining for more episodes of Firefly!".
Comics I Don't
Control-Alt-Delete (Suck It, Buckley!), Penny Arcade, UnNews Funnies
Warning: this comic occasionally contains sexual themes (which may be unsuitable for children), excessive wistfulness (which may be tiring for mature adults), and a whole bunch of mathematics, science, and technology references (which if your degree area didn't happen to fall in either engineering or the "hard" sciences, you can just leave now).
This work, as a work of the Uncyclomedia Foundation, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License, which incidentally is a more restrictive license than the subject being parodied. This means you're free to copy and share these comics. (but why the hell would you want to?)