- Posted by Johanna on November 4, 2006 at 6:32 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Alan Moore; art by Melinda Gebbie
- PUBLISHER: Top Shelf Productions; $75 US
I finally read Lost Girls, but I’m not sure I have a lot to say about it. It was exactly what I expected, from the descriptions: three volumes of pornography featuring Alice (of Wonderland), Dorothy (of Kansas and Oz), and Wendy (of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys).
There’s something here for every taste — boy/girl, girl/girl (the majority, by the numbers), boy/boy, rape fantasies — and some that seem to be included just to gather attention, such as incest, near-bestiality, and underage sex. It’s too much at once with nothing substantial underneath, like making oneself sick on marshmallows. I should have taken a hint from the chapter structure, a strict eight pages each, and only read a few at a time.
My biggest concern was that Gebbie’s art, which I don’t care much for, would get in my way, but it suits the material very well. She also demonstrates a varied range, evoking different styles for particular chapters as the material demands.
As for story… there’s not much of one, beyond “having a lot of sex makes women feel young and happy”. The theme conflates imagination with sex, which paradoxically at times felt very unimaginative. Can’t fantasy be just that, instead of submerged lust?
Moore’s writing can be too clever and pleased with itself, as when Alice’s trip through the talking flower bed is mapped to a girls’ school where all the students are named after flowers. The symbolism is worked out almost mechanically, and the metaphors are belabored to the reader, with the characters pointing out what parts of the classic stories we’re supposed to be reminded of. In that way, it resembles its less handsomely packaged fanfiction siblings, not trusting its reader to know as much about the characters as the writer does, who winds up showing off his research.
It’s a trifle, an aberration in the market to have such forgettable erotica bound in such an upscale presentation. It’s meant to be life-affirming, but the compulsion to find sex behind every element of these classic children’s stories strikes me as sad and old-fashioned, like a randy elder uncle who isn’t getting enough.
Hmmm, I guess I had more to say than I thought. I don’t regret reading it, and I’m not going to immediately get rid of it, but if you’ve read about the book and thought “that’s all I need to know”, stick with your instinct.