Lost Girls  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Lost Girls is an erotic graphic novel depicting the sexual adventures of three important female fictional characters of the late 19th and early 20th Century, namely Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, and Wendy Darling from Peter Pan. They meet as adults in 1913 to describe and share some of their erotic adventures with each other.

The story is written by Alan Moore, and drawn by Melinda Gebbie (who also created and drew The Cobweb series of stories for Tomorrow Stories, part of Moore's America's Best Comics line). Moore describes the work as "pornography", a genre whose literary and artistic quality he and Gebbie hope to raise.

Contents

Background

The graphic novel Lost Girls was illustrated by Gebbie and written by her husband Alan Moore. It took Gebbie 16 years to illustrate the comic due to the layering techniques used to create the shimmering, children's book-like effect, which was done by her use of water colors and 12-14 layers of colored pencils. Lost Girls follows the story of three young girls that come from popular fiction; Alice from Through the Looking Glass, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and Wendy from Peter and Wendy. The three female protagonists meet at an Austrian hotel and share with each other their past sexual fantasies and experiences in flashbacks, while also meeting others who are staying at the hotel and having sex with them. The stories of each female protagonist's sexual experience is integrated within their original narratives from popular fiction. Due to the Coroners and Justice Act, many comic artists thought the book would be banned in the UK because of its depictions of child pornography, however, it is still sold in the UK.

Literary significance and reception

Moore is one of the most critically acclaimed writers in the field of comic books, and the release of this work received widespread coverage in the industry media. Despite the price of US$75, the book's first two print runs of 10,000 each sold out at the distributor level on the day of their release, with the US sales at the end of 2007 reaching 35,000 copies.

Controversy about child sexuality

In the US and Canada, many retailers have stated that they will not stock the book out of fear of possible obscenity prosecution, though some said they might make the book available to their customers via special order and simply not stock it.

In Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) initially seized a copy of the book citing obscenity, and Top Shelf ceased its import from the UK. the Senior Program Advisor of the Prohibited Importations Unit of CBSA approved entry of the book stating in a letter, "these depictions are integral to the development of an intricate, imaginative and artfully rendered storyline," and, "the portrayal of sex is necessary to a wider artistic and literary purpose."

Moore states that the storm of criticism which he and Gebbie expected did not materialise, which he attributes in part to his design of Lost Girls as a "benign" form of pornography (he cites "people like Angela Carter who, in her book The Sadeian Women... admitted... the possibility [of] a form of pornography that was benign, that was imaginative, was beautiful, and which didn’t have the problems that she saw in a lot of other pornography" as inspirations for the work). He has also said that his own description of Lost Girls as "pornography" has "wrong-footed a lot of... people." Moore speculates that "if we’d have come out and said, 'well, this is a work of art,' they would have probably all said, 'no it's not, it's pornography.' So because we're saying, 'this is pornography,' they're saying, 'no it's not, it's art,' and people don't realise quite what they've said."

In the UK, graphic artists and publishers feared that the book could be illegal to possess under the Coroners and Justice Act, which criminalises any sexual image depicting a "child", defined as anyone appearing under the age of 18. The book was nonetheless approved and continues to be published in the UK.

Disputed copyright status

On 23 June 2006, officials for Great Ormond Street Hospital—which was given the copyright to Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie in 1929—asserted that Moore would need their permission to publish the book in the UK and Europe. Moore indicated that he would not be seeking their licence, claiming that he had not expected his work to be "banned" and that the hospital only holds the rights to performances of the original play, not to the individual characters. On 11 October 2006, Top Shelf signed an agreement with GOSH that did not concede copyright infringement, but delayed publication of Lost Girls in the UK until after the copyright lapsed at the end of 2007.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lost Girls" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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