Review: Pioneering web comic hits paper in Infinite Typewriters

It begins in a bar like any other bar ... except that it's not quite like any other bar, since its clientele includes a chicken who worships Satan, a pair of alien greys who worship pancakes and a pair of more recognizably human barflies who go on a quest for God. When they find him, he's dressed like a pirate but is easily talked into transforming into a lamb chop, which one of our barflies then happily eats.

And that's just the first few pages.

Jonathan Rosenberg was one of the pioneer web cartoonists; his work has been online since 1997. His collection Infinite Typewriters (Del Rey trade paperback, $14.00) is lunacy piled on lunacy, surreality layered with breathtaking acts of sociopathy, and a crazed right turn every couple of pages. There's a juvenile delinquent peep, a goldfish who drinks so much energy drink that it becomes a kind of Lovecraftian horror, a guest appearance by the late Michael Jackson, an entire action movie based on the adventures of a heroic protagonist named "Good Hitler" and a space-monster who, upon losing a limb to Good Hitler's lightsaber, exclaims in horror, "That was my favorite leg!"

A treasury of Rosenberg's webcomic Goats, this is best read in small doses ... and perhaps ultra-small doses, as even a few pages at a time might be too much. You're better off limiting yourself to a few panels at a time. Power on through like a dedicated reader who expects a narrative to make sense and you'll either get fed up or suffer from exploding head syndrome, whichever comes first.

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