August 25, 2009

The World Needs More Laughter. Fewer Awkward Silences.

#9 Goats

See the introduction here.

I am in love with webcomics. Using your favorite rss aggregator (Google Reader in my case), they get magically zapped to your computer in a 21st century version of the funny pages. If you are tired of the awkward silences after reading Marmaduke, do yourself a favor and join the world of digital webcomics.

I am no expert, but I believe when it comes to longevity, webcomics qualify after about 6 months. Goats began on April 1, 1997. That is twelve years ago, people!

Something of an Internet institution, Goats is scatterbrained and offensive, but with adorable animals characters. The bizarro plot bounces from the Chaos Pope, to the Good Hitler movie, to a dimension full of infinite monkeys working on infinite typewriters. Anything can happen. And it does.

The characters include Diablo: a satanic chicken hellbent on government overthrow; his maniacal offspring, Oliver: cute, obscene and destructive; and my favorite, Fish: the innocent goldfish who lives in a glass of beer.

Goats peaked around 2004. The comics from this time period are among my favorite. Like when Diablo fed Oliver some chocolate. Or when Phillip challenged Diablo to a villainry duel. Or when Fish goes to do battle with the Space Wizards who have been inserting sadness into his brain.

Unfortunately, much like Harrison Ford, Goats 2009 lacks the vitality and genius of its younger days. The plot lines have spiraled out of control. The punch lines no longer sparkle. Even the artwork has declined. I keep reading, much as I went to see Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I expect a hollow reminder of how awesome they used to be, but hope to be pleasantly surprised.

So skip the new stuff, and go right for the classics. Goats used to be first rate. And it helped to popularize the genre, which ought to count for something. Like number 9 on the all time list of great webcomics.

Lyric of the Day:

I didn't die and I ain't complainin'.
I ain't blamin' you.
I didn't know that the words you said to me
Meant more to me than they ever could you.
I didn't lie and I ain't sayin'
I told the whole truth.
I didn't know that this game we were playin'
Even had a set of rules.

We named our children after towns
That we've never been to.
And it's true that the clouds just hung around
Like black Cadillacs outside a funeral.
And we were laughing at the stars
While our feet clung tight to the ground.
So pleased with ourselves
For using so many verbs and nouns.

"Black Cadillacs"
-Modest Mouse

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