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Webcomic / Goats

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But that's just how things are.
Jon: So, uh, what are you guys up to these days?
Diablo: Oh, we're just trying to save the universe.
Fish: From doom!
A web comic by Jon Rosenberg. It started in April, 1997, stopped updating at the end of April 2010 when the author hit financial troubles, was abandoned for a while, and then was resurrected on March the 17th 2017, with Rosenberg apologising for the lack of comics for the last 7 years, and promising to keep updating once every two weeks from then onwards. It started out as Mundane Fantastic, but with the Infinite Typewriters arc branched out into a multiversal World of Weirdness. It features a diverse cast of characters having wacky, dimension-hopping, Speculative Fiction adventures. The main characters include:

  • Jon, the Author Avatar, probable Weirdness Magnet.
  • Phillip, a programmer who may be The Chosen One.
  • Toothgnip, formerly one of Thor's chariot-pulling goats.
  • Diablo, a Satan worshiping chicken who can reattach his body parts.
  • Oliver, Diablo's foul-mouthed, Ax-Crazy son.
  • Fish, a rather sweet-natured, naïve goldfish who lives in beer.
  • Fineas, Fish's badass, cybernetic alter ego, who eventually got his own body.
  • Bob and Neil, a pair of aliens with a Flying Saucer.
  • Farmella, a Defector from Decadence who has the Knack for dimension-hopping along the Pub Axis.
  • One Death, a god of the Mayan underworld who runs a software company.
  • and many others...

The Kudzu Plot is approaching Alien Geometries territory, but here's the basics:

Jon and Phillip tricked God into turning himself into a pork chop, and ate him. Normally, this would have spelled doom for The Multiverse. Fortunately, Woody Allen hired a Mayan programming firm, headed by One Death, to write a program on his laptop to keep the Multiverse going. Unfortunately, the program has a bug that will cause it to crash when the Mayan Calendar rolls over on December 21, 2012, leading to the end of the multiverse as we know it. The race is on to locate The Programmer (who might be Phillip) prophesied to repair the program. Of course, the ones who control The Programmer will control the multiverse, so wacky interdimensional hijinks are ensuing.

Another major plot element is the three-way feud between Fineas, Toothgnip, and Oliver.

The webcomic can be found here; the first strip is here.

This webcomic contains examples of:

  • Amazon Brigade: The Farmer's Daughters, an elite group of soldiers and dimension hoppers from Topeka Prime. They are aptly named; they're literally the daughters of the Farmer, Topeka Prime's dictator.
  • Author Avatar: Jon Rosenberg, portrayed as neurotic and somewhat vindictive (upon gaining omnipotence he uses it to get back at a simulation of his high school bully), but also a good contender for the cast's Only Sane Man.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Gregor Mendel used DNA from pea plants to make himself immortal. After spending an unspecified amount of time fighting in cage matches, he got back into mad science by making Fish into an indestructible zombie.
  • Big Eater: The Doughboys can devour creatures many times their own size.
  • B Side Comic: megaGAMERZ 3133t, a Dada Comic written by Diablo.
  • Break the Cutie: Fish goes through a lot of this. First he's experimented on to be a cyborg killer. Then the cyborg killer personality and his original, sweet personality have to fight for the same body. Then they get separate bodies with some personality traits mingled together. Then he watches a simulation of his crush, Reese Witherspoon, die horribly.
  • Butch Lesbian: Cornhusk is a butch lesbian scientist who happens to be a giant talking corn on the cob
  • Carnivore Confusion: Totally avoided. People eat food made of animals. TalkingAnimals eat food made out of people. The Plant Aliens seem to be omnivores, too. Everybody's happy.
  • Chewbacca Defense: When Jon was accused of baking Mrs. Truman's first-grade class into cookies, he got off because the cookies were delicious.
  • Continuity Reboot: Invoked in-story here, when a couple of the monkeys get hold of the requisite typewriter and contemplate resolving all the problems they have with other characters.
  • Cosmic Flaw: The main ongoing plot of Goats, when it remembers to have a plot, revolves around the heroes trying to fix the buggy software code which the multiverse runs on. If it's left unfixed, all of existence will crash on December 2012.
  • The Couch: Many early strips feature the characters sitting on The Couch watching TV.
  • Cousin Oliver: The aptly-named Oliver, whose creation (by Diablo) was arranged by the infinite monkeys to be a more youthful addition to the regular cast. He's a violent, disrespectful, mean-spirited little bastard whose speech patterns appear to be a parody of South Park.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Let's see, Toothgnip formerly pulled the chariot of the god Thor, Diablo worships a rather nice suburb dweller who might be Satan, and Mayan gods feature regularly. Oh, and God- the real one, apparently- is... not what you'd expect.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Doughboys, a Deus ex Machina that comes in a handy pocket size. Note that this an in-universe Deus ex Machina, as the monkeys wrote them into existence to help Phillip.
  • End of the World as We Know It: Or at least the Multiverse if the program on Woody Allen's laptop isn't fixed before the Mayan Calendar rolls over in 2012.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: One Death is willing to work with the heroes to avert the coming Apocalypse, but he almost certainly has another angle.
  • Flying Saucer: Neil and Bob's Cool Ship.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot
  • God: Jon and Phillip tricked him into turning into a pork chop, and then ate him.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Diablo, whose main problem with getting dismembered is tracking down his various body parts afterwards.
  • The Grays: Neil and Bob
  • Guest Strip
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Fineas.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: The Pub Stub, an "aborted fetus universe" through which all other planes of existence can be accessed.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: The engine of Bob and Neil's UFO allegedly runs off the happiness produced by teleporting kittens to good homes. No one knows where the Pop-Tarts come from.
    • Brick Joke: Years later, when most of the inhabitants of the Earth are in suspended animation due to lack of Writers, the Math Führer has developed a Theory of Everything which proves "zat kittens is mathematically interchangeable vith ze brechfasst pastry!"
  • King of All Cosmos: God takes the form of a pirate (or a short guy in a Halloween pirate costume, really), calls himself Larry, and is eventually killed when he's tricked into changing into a pork chop, after which he is eaten.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: The Doughboys don't talk but appear to be sentient, and don't seem to mind being eaten. Also, Thor's goats, as in the original Norse myths.
  • Losing Your Head: An recurring problem for Diablo. The Merch includes a Diablo action figure with a detachable head.
  • Made from Real Girl Scouts: Actually, that's too cliched — Diablo used Mrs. Truman's first-grade class instead. This is not the only case of Human Resources being used for cooking. Given that the humans eat meat and some of the main characters are TalkingAnimals (food animals, at that), this seems fair.
  • Millennium Bug: In the Mayan calendar.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: More literally than usual — Oliver rides around on the headless, cyborged corpse of a motorcycle gang leader. A subversion, as it's not really designed to blend in.
  • Monkeys on a Typewriter: The basis for the "Infinite Monkeys" arc. God's editors are actually monkeys and their typing dictates the "script" for each universe (the two in charge of Manhattan 3 become regular characters). It's shown that without them writing these scripts, the inhabitants of the universe in question just sink into ennui.
  • The Multiverse: the home dimension of most of the main characters is known as Manhattan 3. Others are Xibalba, Topeka Prime, Middle Pangaea, and the Infinite Monkey dimension. Some of the universes overlap with Rosenberg's other strip, Scenes from a Multiverse.
  • Mundane Fantastic: The comic started here and branched out with the Infinite Typewriters arc.
  • Nailed to the Wagon: Phillip in the multiverse.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: and by "it" we mean the entire multiverse.
  • Orphaned Series: And how.
    • As of March 2017, new strips are appearing on the updated site, but still at a very slow pace (once per month in a good month).
  • Our Demons Are Different: Xibalba, the Mayan version of hell, is portrayed rather like an ordinary software developing company, with the demons as managers and the Mayan damned as programmers. There's also the demons that you can make with Pennzoil and Cornflakes.
  • Physical God: God until he got eaten. Also, Thor.
  • Plant Aliens: Hooray for diversity!
  • The Rant
  • Reality-Writing Book: Typewriter, actually.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: sometimes amusingly.
  • Running Gag: Diablo losing his head, Jon's bad luck with women
  • Satan: got red skin and 100% less plaid shirts. Or does he?
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few to Fantasy Island, including a picture on the wall in some early strips that changed between panels to feature a different member of the show's cast. Also a couple to Dune, particularly the early strip where Diablo swipes from Jon's spice cabinet in the belief that it will help him control the universe.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: There is an in-universe series of movies featuring Good Hitler as a Tuxedo and Martini secret agent.
  • Take That!: Microsoft
  • Talking Animal: Toothgnip, Diablo, Oliver, Fish, Fines
  • The Münchausen: Phillip to a degree, but mostly Diablo, whose insane stories involve him being a child by rape of a hen and Roy Cohn's ghost, he and his siblings being raised to be a family music group by a Nazi war criminal, and him being the companion of a quadruple amputee bocce ball player named Shazam Twix.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: "I am Thor, god of thunder!" "He's blocking the TV."
  • Weirdness Censor: People in Manhattan-3 seem not to notice quite how weird Jon and Phillip's friends are. Come take a gander at this funny short chap.