56: The Cure

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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The Cure
My first try at drawing a real face in years.
Title text: My first try at drawing a real face in years.


The "real face" is that of Robert Smith, best known as the singer of the musical group The Cure, hence the title.

The joke in this comic is very simple: When Robert would sing the above lines of Coldplay's song "Clocks", fans of his music would know the answer: he's part of The Cure.

In the title text, Randall notes that he has not tried to draw a real face in years, as he mainly does stick drawings. In that way this comic also sticks out.


[A charcoal drawing of Robert Smith's head and face.]
[Caption below:]
Robert Smith should do a cover of Coldplay's Clocks, so when he sings "Am I part of the cure or am I part of the disease?" we can say, "Ooh, we know this one!"


  • This was the first comic released only on xkcd, and not on LiveJournal.
  • The comic before this one, 55: Useless, was the 52nd and last comic originally posted also to LiveJournal.
    • Two other comics were inserted among the first 52 at some point after xkcd was launched, thus making it a total of 54 comics before this one.

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Rikthoff (talk) The date of issue of this comic may not be correct. Can anybody verify the issue date?

Yep, just checked on xkcd. The date is correct. lcarsos (talk) 17:11, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

I saw "The Cure" on a friend's Facebook page under her favorite bands. That prompted me to look up the explanation for this comic to be sure. When I first read it, I thought the "real face" looked a bit...unappealing. Perhaps diseased. Now I see the caption means the opposite of what I thought! Thanks, Explainxkcd! 19:36, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Are there any other realistic drawings on xkcd? --Forrest (talk)13:20, 07 May 2015 (UTC)

No, I don't think so. I've seen them all and I'm pretty sure that nothing of the style of the early comics came back. Fabian42 (talk) 11:42, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

Every time I hear this song, I think "Dude, what are you on? You're part of Coldplay!" 15:10, 23 August 2023 (UTC)