*Starred Review* Most of these stories are concerned with alternatives—overlapping realities, different explanations of a single phenomenon, evolving contradictions. A fancily dressed gent bids “Welcome to My Kingdom,” waving at all the space around him; on each successive page, as he rants about the marvels in that space, the border framing him thickens until he’s compressed into an hourglass abstraction of himself. The protagonist of “Wishy Washy” revels in his decisiveness, but after driving into a deer as implacable as he is, he becomes utterly diffident, only to meet with another catastrophe. “The Thing about Madeleine” is a doppelganger tale in which the hard-drinking heroine tries to confront her double and succeeds, only to be driven out of town and into a new life. In “The Carnival,” the collection’s longest, most dramatic entry, Madeleine’s male counterpart flees town like her but returns, though with a bit of where he’s been, fortunately for him. Two more long stories and a clutch of shorter ones and single-pagers fill out the volume. As a graphic artist, Carré carries forward the design tradition that stems from the gossamer surrealism of Cocteau; as a verbal artist, she may be the most successful prose poet going. Yet her work most piquantly recalls the great avant-garde narrative films, from Menilmontant (1926) to The Saddest Music in the World (2003). Her Wanda Gág–meets–Gene Deitch drawing style and new-weirdness literary bent make her work acutely interesting to both read and scrutinize. --Ray Olson
About the Author
was born in 1983 in Los Angeles and currently lives and works in Chicago, making animations, illustrations, and comics. Her animated films have shown in various festivals in the US and abroad, including the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and her previous book of comics Tales of Woodsman Pete
is a collection of her stories surrounding a hermit who's slowly losing his wits. Visit her at lillicarre.com.