From the very first page, Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie make it very clear that “Lost Girls” is most definitely for adults. And they never let up throughout the ten chapters of this first book, continuously exposing the reader to many different kinds of “deviant” behavior.
Here’s a quick list of what “deviant” behavior readers will encounter just in this first book: Lesbianism, shoe fetishism, drug use (opium), patronage of pornography (how meta!), incest, and pedophilia.
Will all of these squick readers? I’d understand why it would. But does it give those readers the right to ask that this book be pulled off the shelves, as some have wanted to do in the States? Hell no. I would suggest that they leave everybody else alone and do what Miss Miranda Priestly commands in that GIF above.
“Lost Girls” begins in South Africa, where Lady Fairchild has decided to sell her family’s mine and retreat to a hotel near the Austrian border. There she encounters Miss Dottie Gale and Mrs. Wendy Potter.
There is an immediate attraction between the brash American Dottie Gale and the cultured Lady Fairchild, and soon enough this attraction is…consummated. More than once. It is during one such tryst in the hotel’s garden that Mrs. Wendy Potter chances upon them, and we soon find the duo of Miss Gale and Lady Fairchild turn into a trio.
The three women soon realize that a similar thread runs through their childhood sexual awakenings, and decide to share their stories to better understand themselves and each other. Book One ends at a Parisian ballet, where the three reveal themselves to be Alice from “Alice in Wonderland” (Lady Fairchild), Dorothy Gale from “The Wizard of Oz” (Dottie Gale), and Wendy Darling from “Peter Pan” (Wendy Potter).
If this summation sounds a bit lacking, it is because “Lost Girls” is definitely a work that one should experience on their own. As I’ve already mentioned in the previous post, Melinda Gebbie’s art is delicate, elegant, and dreamlike, lending the proceedings a softness and tenderness that makes it harder to distinguish if this work is pornography or erotica.
Alan Moore definitely isn’t lagging in this partnership either. As much as I love the illustrations, this book could also exist as a prose work, as Moore paints a vivid picture with his words alone.
The re-imaginations of these traditional characters are cleverly done, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise as Moore has already succeeded in this regard many times over (“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, “Watchmen”). Some of those transformations may be jarring to some readers — The White Rabbit is now a pedophile; Peter and Tinkerbell are now incestuous street urchins — but they really should have expected that since Moore and Gebbie set the tone so clearly in the book’s opening pages.
I don’t recall if this work has been called exploitative before, but if it was, I’d like to know under what grounds that conclusion was made. Throughout the ten chapters there is a strong undercurrent of positive female sexual awakening, and of this women slowly beginning to realize that their sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of or frightened about.
Pedophilia isn’t glorified, as some in the States have alleged. It is made very clear that what “Bunny” does to Alice breaks her and is not at all a good thing, and I would venture (although this is a dangerous thing to do) that that is how Alan Moore views pedophilia.
This is a really great read so far, and I can’t wait to finish it. Will have my thoughts on Book Two “Neverlands” up later tonight.
To tide you guys until that next installment, here’s a few samples of Melinda Gebbie’s beautiful artwork.