book review: infinite typewriters

Goats is one of the first webcomics I followed way back in the day when it had very little continuity. One of the first bookmarks I made sure any new browser had, one of the sites I’d check on the road in Tibet or wherever I had a few extra minutes after the important emails were out of the way. I’ve bought Goats Tshirts as Xmas presents and have seriously considered buying original art of some of the strips.

So yes, I’m a fan. But it took reading these strips in collected deadtree form (the first volume is entitled Infinite Typewriters to realize how batshit insane a tale it is. It’s more Zing! Pow! than something like Achewood and because of that I don’t think I’d ever really thought of it as being in the same league. I think of myself as someone who appreciates subtlety, fine things usw. Goats was an elder statesman in my comics trawl, something I read because I’d always read it. I had a suspicion it was just a rut I was in. But man, if this is a rut my life needs some serious reexamination.

The book refers to things that happened before Jon Rosenberg kicked it up a notch and decided to turn his joke a day tale into something multiverse spanning and epic, but knowing those little tidbits never make anything on screen fall into place. I mean, maybe the previous appearances of Gregor Mendel would. If you were insane. When it’s a part of your life for years the incremental madness seeps in and you don’t question it. It’s only when you can actually see how we got from Doodletown to Xibalba with a stop at comic conventions along the way that the comic’s glory can be fully realized. And all of this is a very good thing.

When reading it daily I have to confess, I wasn’t a big fan of the Good Hitler vs. Space Hitler storyline. In collected form where it’s not a two month digression from the fish who can kill a man with a taco sauce packet coming to terms with the idiot society surrounding him? Golden.

Did I mention it’s beautiful? The colour work and the character designs are great. The photo faces of Scott Baio and Robert Goulet do take a bit of a hit when they’re on a page instead of the copy-and-pasternet but they aren’t overwhelming.

So yes. Thanks for putting this in book form so I could re-appreciate the awesomeness of insanity.

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