I have a review of Lilli Carre’s new comic The Lagoon in this week’s Chicago Reader. It should please those who prefer my friendlier, cuddlier writing (hi Miriam!) Here’s a sample:

The frontispiece captures both Carré’s affection for goth and her distance from it. In a circular frame, Zoey, the tween protagonist, sits beside a lake passing flowers to a black, leaf-plastered, faceless humanoid thing. Flowers and tendrils frame the image, suggesting the overripe opulence of art nouveau. But Carré’s linework is spare and even crude—it looks like something Aubrey Beardsley might have drawn when he was six. The creature is cute, creepy, and mysterious, but the scene also has a modernist edge that takes it out of the realm of Victorian melodrama. Beauty is sketched out rather than embroidered; the space between Zoey’s hands and those of the creature is the distance between desire and reticence, the coming contact or its absence.

Whole thing is here.

Also, a brief review of Tom Raworth’s poetry in the same issue.