The thing to understand is that Goats will always be in my bookmarks, and since I run a browser that makes it trivially simple to open all the bookmarks in a folder in separate tabs, Goats is always going to be staring me in the face in the morning, be it updated or no.
Today it was updated for the first time in a considerable while, complete with a working link to a new/old strip (more about which in a moment), as after a long hiatus where creator Jon Rosenberg¹ has been concentrating on the many worlds that are the natural outgrowth of the second half of Goats run, it’s coming back. It’s not back just yet, though, so a trip to the Wayback Machine is in order.
The “ten years ago” that Rosenberg mentioned in his tweet was the start of a storyline that introduced a new character that caused the old Goats storylines of beer, silly mayhem, and more beer, to transmogrify into something resembling vaguely-firmish sci-fi, rooted in various many-worlds hypotheses and imminent apocalyptic crunchtimes². A few strips later, Rosenberg introduced such cartoon fancies as color and backgrounds, and a creative swtich closed and he piled weirdness upon weirdness at a rapid pace for a good six and a half years.
Like many artists, Rosenberg is filled with self-loathing, particularly as regarding his own older work; from personal experience, this extends on a sliding scale to about 18 months ago — anything more recent than that is okay, and anything before is utter shit. Thus, I’m not surprised that if you click around a little on the new placeholder page, you’ll find a redrawn version of that ten-years-ago strip which is lookin’ mighty fine³. That generalized dislike of older work also means that I don’t hold out hope that the first six and a half years of Goats will be his first priority. For those wishing a refresher on the early strips, knock yourself out.
- Speaking of websites, the troubles over at Sinfest persisted at various times from about the 30th of October to this morning (at times, even the forums, which had provided a path to comics when the main site was buggered, were unavailable; it appears to be back at the present time, but on the off chance it runs into difficulty again, people have reported good outcomes by browsing to http://22.214.171.124/~sinfest/.
- There’s a nice meditation on one of the advantages of webcomics from Dave Kellett today over at Sheldon:
The single greatest thing I love about webcomics is that you’re not wed to one format, one way of doing things, or one style of communication. So, for example, Sheldon has had lovely character arcs, fun adventure arcs, pokes at literature or pop culture, non sequitorial children’s literature, fake magazines, nods to pre-War comic strips, post-war industrial films, and the surreal.
Or, as we see today, editorial cartooning. Editorial cartooning that doesn’t require every element of the page to be labeled, even.
- Might be burying the lede a little, but I often put the big news item at the end of the update, so deal with it. News comes to me from the good folks at :01 Books that they’ve locked in Faith Erin Hicks for a three-part graphic novel series, which is good news for everybody that likes good comics.
The Nameless City will center around the children of conquerors and conquered, looking to reconcile their lives with each other’s culture, and (because you gotta have an overarching obstacle if you’re gonna have a trilogy) foil a conspiracy that threatens all. It’s not going to be out until 2016, so look for serialization to start on the :01 website in two, two and a half years.
Oh, yeah, and it looks gorgeous. Years in advance, I’m calling it: these books will be must-buys.
¹ Here’s that disclaimer: I am an internet opnionmonger pretty much entirely because of Jon Rosenberg, who also owns my soul. He gave Fleen its name and domain, has for intervals provided hosting, and has provided more help than I can recount. Keep all of that in mind as you read anything I write about him so nobody feels like I’m trying to pull a fast one, ‘kay?
² The original plan would have tied things into the Mayan Calendrical Endtimes of Aught-Twelve, but other priorities presented themselves.
³ And, since I started writing, more strips have joined it.