Goats: Infinite Typewriters Review
by Nate Thomas
Goats is originally a sci-fi, multiverse webcomic developed by Jonathan Rosenberg which first appeared in April 1997. While the plots vary from strip to strip, Goats: Infinite Typewriters utilizes a broad storyline that follows the adventures of Jon, a cartoon version of Rosenberg and his friend Phillip in a multiverse. Due to the nature of the multiverse Rosenberg incorporated into Goats, Jon and Phillip go on wild adventures with anthropomorphic animals and aliens that create unique plots for specific comic strips.
From the first line, “The one true God is Thor. Everyone knows that,” by Toothgnip, Rosenberg mixes his nonsensical characters with controversial and impactful topics to create humor while directing the reader to think about the issues at hand. In this particular example, Rosenberg’s characters are debating their worship of Thor, Satan and Crepes and the merits behind those beliefs. While the topic of religious rights and freedom is still quite controversial, Rosenberg’s approach to the issue lightens it a bit, and illuminates how individuals can choose religious beliefs that suit them. With this same mixture of humor and seriousness, Rosenberg also touches on other topics such as parenting, individual responsibility and technology.
In Goats: Infinite Monkeys, the characters of Diablo the Satanic chicken, his son Oliver, Fineas the goldfish, Toothgnip and the grey-skinned aliens Neil and Bob all have personal narratives and engage in plots that ultimately play a loose role in the overall storyline of this graphic novel. While Toothgnip has been with Jon and Phillip since the start and the source of the webcomic’s title, he plays less of a role in this book. With this loosely structured storyline Rosenberg utilizes in Goats, he can diverge from his main story to include more personal storylines like Diablo’s childhood, when he lived on an egg farm run by a Nazi war criminal. While these small scale storylines only last a few strips or pages, they add much more humor to the overall storyline.
The Infinite Monkeys referenced in the title of this graphic novel are the “creators” of the multiple universes in Goats, who along with their Editor-In-Chief, Woody Allen, try to “write” the Goats universe, characters and all. This is an interesting way for Rosenberg to break the fourth wall and have the writers talk to their creations, Diablo, Oliver, and Fineas, who ends up shutting down the Universe from Woody Allen’s laptop.
Goats: Infinite Typewriters was one of the final books Rosenberg created for his Goats webcomic series, which is on hiatus as of April 30, 2010. During this break from Goats, Rosenberg has been working on a new series called Scenes from a Multiverse which launched on June 14, 2010 and is still running today. While Goats hasn’t seen any new strips or content since 2010, the webcomic series is still available online at www.goats.com.
If you’re looking for a laugh, want to read about Space Hitler or learn how Leonard Nimoy fits into this universe, check it out! No more spoiler alerts!