Despite its often tech-ie mathmatical outer coating, the center of the online comic xkcd has always felt quite warm and squishie. It is consistently funny, clever and thought provoking - right down to the alt text when you hover over the image. That is why its extra saddening to see the latest post regarding a family illness which the writer, Robert Monroe, openly admits to his readers as possibly hindering the posting of further comics over the next few weeks.
The frankness of this post on what is ordinarily a light hearted if not humorous comic strip is shocking, but it also seems to reflect a personal investment Monroe has in the strip, his fans and the wider web community. It is at once refreshingly real, whilst saddeningly heartfelt.
I wish Monroe and his family all the best dealing with whatever it is that is ailing them. I hope that the same vim and vigor we see throughout xkcd helpss them through this difficult time.