Glomp: Lilli Carre

July 10, 2008

One of the most traditional stories in Glomp is also one of the best. Lilli Carré, an American artist based in Chicago, turns in “The Thing About Madeline,” a story that recalls the standard entries in mid-90s anthologies. But she takes it further, with fluid art in purple and orange.

A panel from “The Thing About Madeline” by Lilli Carre

The story centers on a young woman, no qualities, in a humdrum life. Daily highlight: she gets so drunk that a stranger helps her home. When the monotony’s too much, she splits, literally. One half watches her doppelganger live her life better than she ever could. After spying in the bushes for too long, the first half discovers that no one recognizes her. She has no choice but to disappear.

Were this the mid-90s, the story would stop there, probably with a lyrical, cheap non-ending. Carré takes it further selling the odd plot with a scrupulous realism. Everything in the story could happen, given the right psychology and situation. It’s done with solid cartooning that balances the plot’s fantasy conceit with its logical conclusion.

“Madeline” first appeared in a mini. It far surpasses The Tales of Woodsman Pete, her first book collection.  Next to the radical flights in the rest of Glomp, it stands out for its lack of experimentation: Carré knows what she’s doing.

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