Title text: I think about self-reference a lot. Example: this comment.
Self-reference is a situation where something (a comic, a drawing, a musical work, a novel, a mathematical theorem) refers to itself in some manner. This can be a powerful technique in art, music, mathematics and computer science (it is the basis of recursion).
In this comic, Cueball promises not to use self-reference for humor, and then realizes after a beat panel that, since this comic is referring to the series of comics he is part of, he is using self-reference, thus breaking his promise.
Without the last panel, this comic wouldn't be funny, and therefore wouldn't break the promise about using self-reference for humor. But with it, and his realization that he is breaking his promise, it does break that promise.
- [Guy standing alone] Guy: I promise to never again squeeze humor out of self-reference.
- [Guy standing alone]
- [Guy standing alone] Guy: God dammit.
- This is the thirty-fifth comic posted to livejournal. The previous was 32: Pillar. The next was 41: Old Drawing