Pig's Missing Poo, Robot Publishing
by Robert Goodin
For two years now, Robot Publishing's booth at the Alternative Press Expo has captured my attention, thanks to their eclectic offering of beautifully bound and incredibly illustrated minicomics. In 2006, I purchased Knock Out!, a story about an aging boxer, and 3 Stories, a tongue-in-cheek trio of superhero stories. This year, the small press outfit earned my biggest purchase of the weekend -- a whopping seven dollars for three minis, one of which is Pig's Missing Poo, an inexplicably titled collection of shorts by Robert Goodin. Goodin's definitive style, which one can undoubtedly sample at his website (which even I have yet to visit but have linked to above anyway), is stretched between four distinct tales, all of which retain some semblance of modern fable in their sophisticated simplicity. In fact, the last and most charming story, about the friendship between a monkey and a crocodile, the latter of whom regrettably attempts to deliver his chimp pal to his monkey-heart-hungry wife, is adapted by an Indian fable. (The monkey's ride on the croc's back reminded me of the gingerbread man fable -- ah, look it up.) Indeed, Goodin's first tale is a quirky piece starring Vladimir and Etragon like buddies, two definitely human looking characters in contrast to the blobs of personification that star in the following story, titled "The Lovely Evening Urbanus Met Mr. Thadeus Cornloaf," about two loners getting drunk and passing out in the gutter. I think my begrudging favorite of the quartet of shorts, however, is a one-page riff called "That's Life," featuring a helpless head that laments its permanent station until a friendly bird offers to roll him to the ocean. The last panel is macabre gag, as the head, in its all of glee, is accidentally impaled on a jagged stone. Goodin has a transparent, seemingly dark sense of humor, but not without its poignancy, an appropriate air for such a tiny book. Like Robot Publishing's tiny outfit, it packs quite a punch. Despite its title, this little companion is anything but missing poo, but I'm glad I found it.