The former NASA roboticist and author of the web comic xkcd has a new book called Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
Some of the xkcd comics aren’t just funny and interesting; they’re very moving. They deal with deep themes like time and death. Do you think of xkcd as art?
You can’t be an expert on absolutely everything. How do you figure out the complicated things you explain so that you can explain them?
Your first book, What If?, explored the realistic outcomes of some exotic hypothetical situations. What was the most appalling hypothetical
reality you wound up with?
Your new book, Thing Explainer, explains things using only the thousand most common words in the English language. Did you come across anything you couldn’t explain using those words?
What is your favorite geological period? Numerical prefix? Animal phylum?
Have you always drawn stick figures? Can you draw non-stick-figure people too?
What do you do when you’re not drawing xkcd?
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