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Heads or Tails

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,141 ratings  ·  149 reviews
The creator of 2008’s acclaimed graphic novel The Lagoon named to many annual critics lists including Publishers Weekly and USA Today’s Pop Candy is back with a stunningly designed and packaged collection of some of the most poetic and confident short fiction being produced in comics today.

Carré’s elegant short stories read like the gothic, family narratives of Flannery O
Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 4th 2015 by Fantagraphics (first published November 7th 2012)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,141 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Carré’s elegant short stories read like the gothic, family narratives of Flannery O’Connor or Carson McCullers, but told visually. Poetic rhythms — a coin flip, a circling ferris wheel — are punctuated by elements of melancholy fantasy pushed forward by character-driven, naturalistic dialogue.

I've been eyeing this illustrated collection full of short stories ever since I read a similar book titled: How To Be Happy by Eleanor Davis. But unlike the aforementioned, Carré’s visually stunning art nev
Nuno R.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is absolutely brilliant, gorgeous, powerful! I love everything about these ilustrations, the tender weirdness of the stories, the fable like atmosphere, the colors, the lines, everyhting. I feel like covering my walls with Carré's ilustrations. It became instantly one of my favorite comic books, as surprising and dear to me as Shaun Tan's work was. Carré, like Tan, makes animation and I'm extremely excited about watching some of it whenever I get the chance.
Dov Zeller
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Strange, beautiful, dreamlike, theme-like, mazed and melancholy, some magical realism, and, as one Goodreads reviewer says, "an elegant sense of design." I loved this collection and look forward to reading more of her work.
Anna Maria
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this, especially Rainbow Moment!
Krista Regester
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Each page was different than the last. Lilli Carre has a wild imagination and her format for transferring her thoughts onto page are inspiring.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
A collection of Carré’s comics that shows her stylistic range as well as her love of the uncanny and of mid-century illustration. Her endings and punchlines don’t always hit as hard as I’d like, but a couple of the comics in this collection are absolutely fantastic (“The Carnival” and “Rainbow Moment”).
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lilli Carre is something special. Her graphic stories ooze charm and whimsy, but in a way so they never feel contrived or false. My favorites by far in this collection are "The Carnival" and "Too Hot to Sleep." The former is filled with arresting images, not the the least of which includes a windswept woman in a polka dot dress, a boy with a hair full of moths, and an ever-present, expressionless stuffed cow. The latter is great too in terms of its unforgettable and striking illustrations: a boy ...more
3.5. So imaginative and unusual, in a good way. I loved the dreamlike feeling of the short stories and the eccentric art. My favorite stories/strips were Wishy Washy, Rainbow Moment, and Stress Orchestra.
David Schaafsma
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Whimsical, sweet, colorful, sometimes surreal, quirky… some short stories and a collection of tidbits/sketches. Pretty wonderful stuff, really!
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love everything by Lilli Carre. Her artwork is thoughtful and her stories are like the craziest dreams you've ever had.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2014
Imaginative and creative. Loved how the drawiing style for each short story is different.
lucy  black
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found this disappointing. I really liked her other books but this one felt shallow. It was too whimsical and dreamy. Each story was too short for the reader to engage with the characters and the characters were all pretty stereotypical and unlikeable.
Steve Hersh
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lilli Carre's artwork is fantastic. It will appeal to fans of modernist cartoons done in the limited animation style pioneered by the UPA studio. The stories are strong, and in some sense, magical realist. They remind me of a Michel Gondry movie. I loved this book.
J.Istsfor Manity
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
entertaining graphic short story collection... oblique stories and sharp art work... middle third of the collection is strongest, especially “the thing about madeline” and “the carnival”...
Kevin Fanning
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This was great and the next time I have the book in front of me I will list here which stories were my favorites.

OK. Overall loved everything here, love her storytelling style so much. Kind of like illustrated dreams, but grounded in reality just enough to give you a real punch in the gut, emotionally speaking. Personally enjoyed the longer stories in the front half of the book to the smaller/shorter pieces in the back.

The Thing About Madeline - A woman realizes she is a doppleganger in her own
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of the whimsical work of Lilli Carré, a talented contemporary cartoonist who isn't afraid to be twee, charming, or downright inscrutable when it suits her needs. Many of these individual pieces have been previously published, but it's still a joy to have them brought together in a single volume where readers can immerse themselves in Carré's strange and wonderful world. Highly recommended if you like idiosyncratic art comics heavily imbued with a sense of adventure and ...more
Linda Robinson
The longer stories made me a little queasy. Long limbs, odd heads, Daliesque storytelling. The Thing About Madeline is terrific, and Carre's short bits at the back are wonderful, too. I especially liked My Night Dance and Stress Orchestra. The book is designed by Carre, and the color palette is a combination of 50s paint chips and muted Ikea, separated by well-done grayscale. The best, the best begins "As I was working, the refrigerator abruptly stopped humming..." And the last few pages. Sublim ...more
May 08, 2016 rated it liked it
A series of surreal-ish stories based loosely around themes of contradictions and indecision. Keeping with the theme of indecision, I wavered between 3 and 4 stars on this one. The longer pieces ("Carnival," "The Thing About Madeline," "The Rainbow Moment") are wonderful. They employ dream-logic and creative visual storytelling to accurately capture emotional states. The shorter pieces, however, suffer from a surfeit of cuteness that made my teeth hurt.
First Second Books
Lilli Carre has a new short story collection, and it is excellent. Her art is gorgeous and so is her storytelling – everything just all feels like it fits together in a wonderful magical realistic sort of way of strangeness.

My favorite? The story about the girl’s shadow who became a girl.
Stewart Tame
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Make no mistake: these are art comics. Surreal things happen. Figures morph and twist. That said, there's an elegant sense of design and color at work here. There's a quiet, haunting beauty to some of these stories that is unforgettable.
juicy brained intellectual
carré's illustrations are charming and her writing is engaging, funny, and positively strange. 'the thing about madeline' is jacksonian (shirley) and hit all the right notes, and even though i borrowed the book from library i feel like i need to buy it now.
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Incredibly gorgeous illustrations. With some super sweet and thoughtful moments about memories, insight into yourself and general surrealism. But I have a strong preference for a single story rather than collections of pieces that have appeared elsewhere.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Short stories in comics form - she definitely has her own voice, and I liked the colors in this. The stories sometimes reminded me of very early Lynda Barry.
I wrote a review of this fine book for The Comics Journal online:
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
love, love, loved this beautiful collection. i want to live in the pages.
Sally Anne
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Literature and graphic novel at the same time!
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Especially liked Rainbow Moment and The Flip.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had not even heard of Lilli Carré before picking up this book of short format comics pieces (of varying lengths) at the library, and I am not entirely certain what attracted me to it in the first place. It certainly cannot have been the cover, which I do not actually find particularly appealing (or presenting Carré's brilliance adequately to potential readers). Regardless, however, I am immensely glad for whatever spur-of-the-moment made me take this book home, because - WOW! Just, simply wow! ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heads or Tails by Carré is an advancement of her artistic capabilities since Woodsman Pete. The book collects her short stories over a 4-5 year period, and the short stories are a perfect avenue for Carré to push the boundaries of what we think are comics.

Each individual story comes with a twist or a premise that Carré continually challenges and amplifies. One of my favorites was “Rainbow Moment.” The piece is about the power of storytelling and telling anecdotes to your friends, family, or even
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lilli Carré provides delight after delight in this compilation of her shorter works. Many pieces had subtle twists or notes that stopped me in my tracks, so that I would go back and start from the beginning refocused on different themes or elements. More specifically, in the volume opener "Kingdom," Carré works out a "simple" conceit that is obvious after seeing a couple full-page panels. This "simple" work really drew me into considerations of the multiple meanings: a life's journey, settling d ...more
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Lilli Carré is an artist and illustrator currently living in Chicago. She primarily works in the forms of experimental animation, comics, and print. Her animated films have shown in festivals throughout the US and abroad, including the Sundance Film Festival, and she is the co-founder of the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation. Her books of comics are The Lagoon, Nine Ways to Disappear, Ta ...more

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