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Book Review: Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

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Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie have created a groundbreaking work of genius in Lost Girls. Genius? Unequivocally, and absolutely, yes. It is a trilogy of supremely drawn, lush, graphic novels, but it is so much more than that.

Lost Girls brilliantly deconstructs three childhood female icons, Dorothy, Wendy and Alice. Moore and Gebbie create a universe where Oz, Neverland, and the land through the Looking Glass are recast as a landscape for desire unbound, a landscape set just prior to World War I. This duo casts an unblinking eye on sexual desire, its myriad permutations, with every kink and taboo brought into the light.

But rather than create the standard motif where woman is solely object of male desire, it takes those icons, flips the storyline to create a female-centered erotic world where the women are the actors, rather than acted upon. In this universe, our heroines find each other, reveling in each other and their sexual past, with liberal lashings of fin de siècle plus, Colette, Apollinaire, Mucha, Wilde, and Schiele.

Lost Girls is hallucinatory, elegant, and profoundly arousing, a masterpiece of more than one genre, apocalyptic in its intensity and its ultimate message. Do not allow yourself to be lulled into a sense of false security. Do not write off Lost Girls as a mere pillow book; Lost Girls is a stunning liberatory and cautionary tale.

After more than one read of this mind-blowing work, it's the ending that resonates at the deepest level, forcing the reader to look at the double-edged sword of sexual liberation, what we use sex to feel or not feel, to see or not see, the erotization of violence. I have had only a few experiences that have so deeply challenged and excited me. Read Lost Girls, and I dare you not to be changed.

Lost Girls
Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie
Top Shelf Comix
Diamond: JUN063440 – ISBN 1-891830-74-0

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About Lisa Alvarado