James Zetlen

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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James Zetlen

First appearance 18: Snapple
Appearances 3
For a list of comics, see Comics featuring James Zetlen.
An old friend of mine, Randall Munroe of XKCD, asked me to make a fun "simple writer" for his new book, Thing Explainer. The simple writer helps you write using only the top ten hundred words in our language. You never know when someone might thank you for writing this way. Here is the computer writer I made for him, and here is something he wrote to tell his readers about it. It's very simple, of course, and also it's light green.
—James Zetlen, Source

James Zetlen is one of Randall's friends. He was credited as the inspiration for 18: Snapple and 107: Snakes on a Plane! 2 and is referenced in 1360: Old Files. According to an archived version of his personal website, Randall is an old friend of his. Randall has publicly used his full name only once, in a blog post about the "simple writer" James made for him:

Thank you to James Zetlen, who helped make the word checker work on other people’s computers and not just mine.

On the xkcd IRC channel, he goes by "zetlen", but he used to go by "khmer" and sometimes "khmer_at_work", as evidenced by his hostname recorded in this xkcdb entry and others. There are other quotes of "zetlen" and "khmer" and in this one, he jokingly claims he is the source of half of Randall's ideas.