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Lost Girls #1-3

Lost Girls

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Now available in an exquisite three volume box set: the erotic masterpiece from Alan Moore, the visionary behind Watchmen, From Hell, and V for Vendetta!

For more than a century, Alice, Wendy, and Dorothy have been our guides through the Wonderland, Neverland, and Land of Oz of our childhoods. Now, like us, these three lost girls have grown up and are ready to guide us again, this time through the realms of our sexual awakening and fulfillment. Through their familiar fairy tales they share with us their most intimate revelations of desire in its many forms... revelations that shine out radiantly through the dark clouds of war gathering around a luxury Austrian hotel.

Drawing on the rich heritage of erotica, Lost Girls is the rediscovery of the power of ecstatic writing and art in a sublime union that only the medium of comics can achieve. Exquisite, thoughtful, and human, Lost Girls is a work of breathtaking scope that challenges the very notion of art fettered by convention. This is erotic fiction at its finest.

Similar to DC's Absolute editions of Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Lost Girls will be published as three, 112-page, super-deluxe, ovesized hardcover volumes, all sealed in a gorgeous slipcase. It will truly be an edition for the ages.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2006

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About the author

Alan Moore

1,611 books19.1k followers
Alan Moore is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer, Moore is notable for being one of the first writers to apply literary and formalist sensibilities to the mainstream of the medium. As well as including challenging subject matter and adult themes, he brings a wide range of influences to his work, from the literary–authors such as William S. Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Robert Anton Wilson and Iain Sinclair; New Wave science fiction writers such as Michael Moorcock; horror writers such as Clive Barker; to the cinematic–filmmakers such as Nicolas Roeg. Influences within comics include Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kirby and Bryan Talbot.

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Profile Image for Arthur Graham.
Author 71 books651 followers
September 18, 2016

Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie, filthy pornographers

This graphic novel puts the “graphic” into pornographic, make no mistake about it. Sex acts of every imaginable configuration are rendered in vivid color and explicit detail, all across an extended narrative that is guaranteed to challenge the reader’s interpretation of at least several classic works. However, despite the fact that it's been lauded by multitudes of readers and well-respected authors alike, with Neil-Fucking-Gaiman himself calling it “a master-class in comics technique,” there remains the tendency to view such work as, at best, “smut with a story.”

In a 2006 interview, Moore was willing to share his views on pornography in general, offering the following explanation for the stigma that remains permanently attached to the genre:

Pornography is an area where there are absolutely no standards, so most of it is ugly, brainless shit. Therefore people look at it and say, well, most of the pornography that I can see is ugly, brainless, and perhaps sometimes immoral or degrading shit, therefore all pornography that can be conceived of must be in the same category.

When Moore and Gebbie first began working on Lost Girls in 1991, it was a different kind of pornography they had in mind. Recognizing it as an art form with much untapped potential, they set out to create “a more human form of pornography that doesn’t necessarily sacrifice any of its erotic power, but which functions in the way that art should.” In its far-reaching exploration of the diverse issues arising from both sexual repression and liberation, Lost Girls accomplishes precisely that, prompting readers to actually think about sex above the base level. “It is one of the tropes of pure pornography that events are without consequence,” explains Gaiman. “No babies, no STDs, no trauma, no memories best left unexamined. Lost Girls, however, is all about consequences.”

Gebbie, Moore’s wife and long-time collaborator, had the following to say about their sixteen-year study of human sexuality:
When I was about 10, and I first started thinking about sex officially, I thought, ‘There must be a beautiful book somewhere, that will tell me everything I want to know, and it will be beautiful, and everything will be explained, and once I see it, I will know everything there is to know about sex.’ And of course, there was no such book. There never has been a book. With Lost Girls, I finally got a chance to do one.

The story is set in Switzerland on the eve of the First World War. By sheer coincidence (or so it seems), three women from radically different walks of life converge upon the luxurious Hotel Himmelgarten; women who, through their subsequent exchange of stories and sexual encounters, discover that they have much more in common than is first expected. Besides their each being the grown-up incarnations of the three most beloved characters from classic children’s literature (Dorothy Gale, Wendy Darling, and Alice Liddell), they are each dealing with their own sexual issues as well. It is from this basic premise that the authors begin their narrative, “deconstructing and commenting on these classic children's stories, reconstituting them as overtly pornographic allegories about adolescent sexual awakening, the power of fantasy, sex as power, sex as a means of coping with trauma, and sex as a means to heal.”

Though none of the works from which Moore and Gebbie draw their heroines are overtly sexual, each of them abounds with hints of glossed-over sexuality. For example, though we could easily read the Wicked Witch of the West as a predatory lesbian, cackling with glee as she pursues Dorothy, the chaste object of her desire ("I'll get you, my pretty!"), most of the characters from The Wizard of Oz are splendidly simplified, defined only in terms of what they lack (heart, courage, and brain, respectively). Dorothy, on the other hand, seems only to be lacking that which would be most natural in a girl her age: budding sexuality. In Moore and Gebbie’s treatment of her character, however, the long-kept secrets of her sex life are finally revealed. Not surprisingly, they put a whole new spin on the Land of Oz and its supposedly sexless inhabitants.




See, what it is, I wanted to be doin' it with somebody who had real thoughts an' feelin's just like me, but sometimes I'd hold him an' there wasn't nothin' there. I might as well have humped a rag doll, or somethin' you stick out in a field to scare the birds. I didn't come but once or twice. He'd sigh, and all I'd hear was wind between the corn.

Peter Pan is slightly more realistic sexually, as Wendy enters motherhood in the end, but to define her sexuality solely in terms of its biological consequence is to deny everything leading up to it. In addition to this, there are the unresolved sexual tensions submerged within the love triangle between Peter, Wendy, and Tinker Bell (a quadrangle if we include Captain Hook). Add to this the homoeroticism inherent in the notion of “Lost Boys” cavorting freely forever in a land far removed from adult judgments, and Peter Pan is simply rife with sexual undertones just waiting to be brought to the surface. As a middle-aged, painfully repressed English housewife, Moore and Gebbie’s Wendy proves to be the perfect vehicle for dredging them up.

Shadow play

It is perhaps difficult to deny that the authors of Lost Girls took more liberties with Alice from Alice in Wonderland, portraying the young, seemingly innocent girl as an aging lesbian libertine, but, in all fairness, there is nothing in the original work to expressly eliminate this possibility from her future either. In fact, to assume that she'd become the well-behaved wife of a respectable man (like Wendy) constitutes the most blatant kind of heterocentricism, and the themes of madness coloring her childhood could arguably foreshadow much future "deviancy" [sic] as well.

Through the looking glass

Doubtless there will be those who insist the authors have gone too far in their reimagining of these characters, but in actuality they've done nothing more than reappropriate their lost sexualities from the dustbin of literary history. In this sense, the only liberties they’ve taken with them have been in doing justice to their impossibly repressed libidos. L. Frank Baum, J. M. Barrie, and Lewis Carroll may be rolling in their respective graves, but that shouldn't dissuade us from finally admitting that their characters did indeed possess genitals beneath their billowing bloomers and constricting corsets, and, perhaps, the desire and willingness to use them.

This admittance is not made solely for the sake of titillation, however. As we follow Alice, not down the Rabbit Hole, but down into the decadence of the Victorian lesbian underground; as we follow Wendy, not to Neverland, but to the dense thicket of underbrush where her and her brothers first discovered sex; and as we follow Dorothy, not along the Yellow Brick Road, but along a string of rustic romps across her Uncle’s Kansas farm; several core theses regarding sex and sexuality are suggested and explored: one, that sexual desire defies all logic, and is often the pathway to madness; two, that sexuality is a part of growing up, a passage from childhood to adulthood; and three, that sex is something which, if denied, can lead to the development of an incomplete identity.

"We didn't want to do something that was a sniggering parody of these works,” explains Moore. “We really wanted to be faithful to the original books. We did not want to travesty them. So we have these girls all grown up and having sexual adventures — what human beings actually do.” In all three of the original stories it is suggested that the girls would grow up, after all, and therefore it only follows that they would develop sexual identities as well. It was with this natural development in mind that the authors set out “to extrapolate [the girls] into a future sexual, adult life."

The premier of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

As the current owners of Peter Pan have already resolved their objections to Lost Girls with Top Shelf Publishing, and both The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland have been within the public domain for quite some time now, whatever lingering concerns there are over the use or misuse of the characters constitutes a minor point of contention. The real controversy surrounding Lost Girls centers on the book’s graphic sexual illustrations. Rare is the page where there is no sex or sexuality depicted, and rarer still are the pages depicting sex acts one might consider to be "vanilla" in flavor. Although there are many instances of one-on-one couplings between young, conventionally attractive men and women, their inclinations toward promiscuity, sodomy, and unusual fetishes serve to make them every bit as potentially taboo as the many instances of group, gay, lesbian, interracial, and intergenerational sex to grace the book's pages. Add to this a healthy dose of incest, sex between minors, and ephebophilia, with a pinch of rape and bestiality thrown in for good measure, and there are enough transgressive images between these covers to make even the most sexually adventurous reader blush or pale, or perhaps both alternatively.

“Any furor that might erupt over Lost Girls is down to the fact that it has pictures,” argues Moore. “After all, far more violent and brutal pornographic prose novels, like those by the Marquis de Sade, are still in print, and no one is currently trying to prosecute them in court.” And though Lost Girls did manage to overcome its initial legal difficulties, it was still refused by several book sellers on the grounds that its visual content was too offensive. This tendency to censor images more strictly than words has been a characteristic of our culture ever since Moses supposedly stepped down from Mt. Sinai with the Second Commandment, which, when taken literally, seems to prohibit images of any kind. In the realm of the sexual image, however, censorship has been even more virulent.

As one example Moore cites William Blake, whose well-meaning followers, upon his death, “completely excised all of the erotic work that he’d done, because they didn’t want people to get the wrong idea of him.” Illustrating the tendency towards self-censorship, Moore reminds us that even Aubrey Beardsley, one of the finest British artists of the late Victorian era, requested on his deathbed that his beautiful illustrations of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata be committed to the flames, along with his many other “obscene” works. In both cases, however, the motivating force behind the censorship was essentially the same: moral pressures of the time simply did not foster a very high tolerance for sex or sexual imagery. And, according to Moore:
the moral pressures of [Beardsley’s] time, looked back on from a more enlightened future, were simply wrong. The moral pressures of his time were what destroyed Oscar Wilde and everybody and every publication that Oscar Wilde had been associated with. I can see why Beardsley was nervous, but he shouldn't have been, because he’d done nothing wrong. And if that applies to 1820, it certainly applies today.

The prohibitions against sex and sexual imagery, though certainly relaxed two centuries later, nevertheless continue to contribute to the denigration of pornography as inherently dirty, shameful, and generally undeserving of the status accorded to most other forms of art and literature. In response to this, Moore asks, “Why must these often very tender pieces of artwork be damned, consigned to this grubby under-the-counter genre, where there is a miasma hanging over the very word? That is another reason for stubbornly calling [Lost Girls] ‘pornography’, because I wanted to reclaim the word.”

Given Moore’s views on sex and censorship, it is not surprising that he chose the pornographic medium to get those views across. The ability of sexually explicit images to shock and offend (or simply intrigue and arouse), rather than constituting a demerit, is actually one of the main virtues of the form. For while the imagery on any given page may be what draws the reader’s initial attention and reaction (positive or negative), if the eye is held long enough to take in the contents of the captions and word balloons as well, then the reader’s initial voyeuristic curiosity may be transformed into an actual consideration of what the images are being used to say. It may be hard to find a single image in all three volumes of Lost Girls that isn’t being used to explore deeper sexual themes and issues, but for the reader who finds sex and sexuality inherently offensive, this may not be enough to affect a pardon. “If we couldn't offend anybody,” jokes Moore, “then how could it be a transgressive work of pornography? We would have been rightly accused of having done something that was a literary work, which dodged the real issues that it set out to address.”

However, before judging the book’s content or presentation, it is important to remember that the authors aren’t necessarily condoning or advocating all or even any of the sex acts they portray, any more so than the writer of a murder mystery is necessarily advocating the act of murder. “As a work of pornography,” Moore explains, “Lost Girls follows a basic tenet of the genre, which is the thrill of vicariously experiencing something taboo or transgressive.” He continues:
We don’t seem to have much of a problem in distinguishing between fact and fantasy except for when it comes to sex, and I’m not entirely sure why that is, why we make a special case for sexuality. It’s okay to show murders in most of our great art, it’s perfectly okay to show how life can be ended, but there is something suspect in showing the ways in which life can be begun, or just showing people enjoying themselves.

This observation is particularly telling when we consider that the sexual breakthroughs experienced by the story’s three heroines are only interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. Even after all of the other guests and most of its staff have fled the Hotel Himmelgarten, Dorothy, Wendy, and Alice continue to engage each other’s sexual imaginations, defying the impending death and destruction that will soon reach its front door. Moore postulates that “[t]he stories they are telling, and the fact that they are telling them, is somehow more important than this terrible storm that is breaking over Europe to destroy everything.” He continues:
Somehow, this romance, this narrative, their narratives, are more important because they are actually about life; they are about imagination and possibilities, whereas what is bearing down upon Europe is the exact opposite of that. War is about limiting the possibilities of everything, destroying our imaginations in the same way it destroys the physical landscape by leveling it to just a flat, barren stretch of mud.

This is what sets Lost Girls apart from the vast majority of pornography available today, which is most often based upon a gross simplification of the sexual experience, its participants, and the world they inhabit. “The sexual imagination, which is the biggest part of sexuality, is not well served in our culture,” explains Moore, “and I really don't understand why that should be.” It is this lack of sexual imagination, according to Moore, that limits the ways in which we’re allowed to view, think about, and practice sex. However, if the millennia of erotic art between the Venus of Villendorf and Lost Girls is any indication, “Pornography has always been with us and always will be with us, and nothing’s going to change that. The only question is, ‘Is it going to be good pornography or is it going to be bad pornography?’ And given that most pornography today is very bad indeed, it’s probably about time that people make a serious effort to reclaim this despised genre.”

If bad pornography limits and constricts sex into a very narrow, ultimately hollow commodity, then good pornography should enlarge and challenge our ideas concerning sex and sexuality, finally doing justice to the rich sexual universe we live in. By refusing to cater exclusively to any one sex, gender, or orientation, by refusing to portray the sex act as separate from the deepest self, and by refusing the bounds of physical reality their puritanical reign over the limitless sexual imagination, Lost Girls has done precisely this. Even if it breaks a thousand taboos along the way, so be it: as a work of pure fiction, it could break every sexual taboo known to man and never hurt a thing.

Perhaps this is the most important thing for us to remember in our estimation of this work, as exemplified by the speech delivered by Monsieur Rougeur during the hotel-wide orgy taking place in Chapter 22. Declaring our sexual imaginings to be “the palaces of luxury that all the policies and armies of the outer world can never spoil, can never bring to rubble,” he affirms the power of fantasy in the face of our most dire reality. Where the world of fact so often fails us, the possibilities embodied by fantasy remain, perhaps to guide our energies into a healthier, potentially cathartic future. It is possible to imagine a world where people are comfortable enough with themselves and each other to make love and not war, after all, but only if they are equipped to consider the possibility.

Profile Image for Warwick.
824 reviews14.5k followers
December 5, 2014
Pornography, according to John Soltenberg, tells lies about women but the truth about men. But is that because the genre's inherently flawed, or just because everyone who makes it is so mediocre?

Lost Girls is certainly an effort to say something truthful about women – as well as about men, adolescence, fantasy, freedom and common sense – but it takes you a fair while to get over the sheer chutzpah of using porn to do it. Is it brave? Is it justified?

Is it…is it sexy?

The premise is an interesting, almost Stoppardian, one. Three girls from classic children's stories – Wendy from Peter Pan, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and Alice, of Wonderland fame – meet by chance as grown women, in a Vienna hotel in 1914. As they tell each other their stories, their childhood adventures are re-imagined as sexual coming-of-age tales, which all three of them find they still have to come to terms with in some way.

Uncharitably, you could say this is a relatively flimsy excuse for three volumes of hardcore sex. Or you could find yourself wanting to cheer about the fact that someone's taking pornography and trying to do something interesting with it. And if this does have artistic merit (which it does by the way – in spades), does that make it somehow not-porn? Moore and Gebbie seem to have tried to stop anyone thinking of this as anything less: this can't be classified reassuringly as ‘erotica’. They aren't just dipping their toes in here, playing with some of the conventions. This is out-and-out porn. It's like they've rolled their sleeves up, and taken on every stereotype they could think of.

We have boy-girl sex, boy-boy sex, girl-girl(-girl-girl-girl!) sex; sex with children, sex with parents and siblings, sex with animals; consensual sex and rape; sex oral, anal and vaginal; sex with toys. Sex in vast, pullulating groups. Sex alone.

How much any of this turns you on will depend on where your tastes lie, but anyway turning you on isn't necessarily a high priority of Lost Girls. Working out what the priority is exactly is one of the many pleasures to be had here. The systematic way all of these set-ups are worked through in the book makes it seem almost parodic at times; but some serious effort is also being made to work out what artistic effect can be drawn out of a famously un-artistic genre.

Visually, it looks stunning. Gebbie has gone to town in the most incredible way with the period, creating sexy Matisse take-offs, Victorian erotica imitations, parodies of Schiele and Beardsley, and erotic references to the original illustrations associated with these characters. All of this works well with Moore's approach to the material, which is to reinterpret the fairy tales as parables for adolescent sexuality. So the Lost Boys from Peter Pan represent a rich girl's view of the unbridled lust of the working classes; the wonderful wizard of Oz (who of course turned out to be a foolish old man) here becomes an examination of how a daughter outgrows her psychological attraction to her father.

The wish to make all this fucking somehow more meaningful sometimes leads to some fairly ridiculous prose. Here's Alice describing an encounter during the famous first night of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring:

I lanced my tongue in Mrs. Potter's anus, up and fast between the tropic lips into her beast-peach hole. Crowned hot with bronze, American girl heat rubbed shameless as a cat against my thigh. The smash of wet cymbals inside me as the maid surrendered to the sacrifice. I'm weeping.

It's like a letter to Penthouse written by Sir Walter Scott. And the sex itself, however beautifully drawn, can get a bit fatiguing after three volumes of it.

But that aside, you have to give Lost Girls full marks for ambition. Time and again it deliberately throws up challenges to you as a reader, prompting you to question every response you have to the material. Wendy, for instance, worries about the incest which characterises a book they're reading: isn't it wrong to be turned on by stuff which is legally and morally reprehensible?

‘It's an…unngh…exciting story, but the children, doing things with…ungh…with their own Mother! I mean, I have…unngh…a son myself, and I'd never dream…unngh…never dream of—’

‘But of course you would not, dear Madam,’ interrupts the hotelier. ‘Your child is real.’ This book is in part a defence of sexual fantasy, in whatever forms it comes. Perhaps some people might find that disingenuous, but I thought for the most part it was a rare blast of common sense.

Moore also makes the most of the historical context. As well as Stravinsky, we have references to Freud (whose ideas are important to the book), and the imminent war is also significant. At the end of volume three, Moore shows us the trenches, and the stupidity of vilifying sex as compared to violence is left hanging with devastating effect.

Particularly notable is the absence, or at any rate the dismissal, of the guilt which is such a conspicuous aspect of American treatments of sexuality these days. Wendy's story is particularly satisfying from this point of view. She has guilty fantasies about being kidnapped and raped by a strange claw-handed man who preys on local children (the ‘Captain Hook’ figure). When he finally confronts her in reality, she's initially terrified. But the downfall of Hook in the original story is here transformed into a kind of triumphant moment of self-acceptance on the part of his intended victim, as she stops running and turns on him:

‘There was a moment when I suddenly saw everything, myself, the whole terrible situation, with perfect clarity. I could think about what I liked. That didn't mean I wanted it to really happen to me. That didn't mean that anyone could force it on me.’

The worries, the excitement, the moral questioning, the confrontation with guilt: all of these things are experienced as much by you when you read Lost Girls as by the characters you're reading about. The Soltenberg quote I opened with has the following subtext: if you find porn sexy you ought to be ashamed of yourself. This is also the subtext of everything else anyone ever says about it. Isn't it nice for a change to read something whose message is ‘fuck guilt’?

And if the subject matter bothers you, just remember: it's only a story. ‘Fact and fiction,’ reflects M. Rougeur, as he's being acrobatically fellated: ‘only madmen and magistrates cannot discriminate between them.’
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,130 reviews3,553 followers
July 16, 2016
A very complicated review to make.

Warning: This book is for adults only.

This hardcover edition collects the entire graphic novel “Lost Girls”, presenting the three volumes, with its thirty chapters

Creative Team:

Writer: Alan Moore

Illustrator: Melinda Gebbie

Letterer: Todd Klein


I’m Alice.

Oh, well. M-my name’s Wendy.

And I’m Dorothy. Y’know, ain’t it just perfect we should all be friends?

Alan Moore is the writer with more balls in the comic books’ business and the only comic book writer that can come out with such polemic book and not being attacked as a “dirty pornographer” but a “witty artist”.

Alan Moore, only Alan Moore.

Because after reading Lost Girls with all its greatness but also all its controversy, you can’t deny its artistic virtues.

There are chapters, such like, “The Mirror” & “Shaking and Waking”, that they are indeed crafty pieces of art, merging narrative with drawing. Also, the book has a faultless format with chapters where each is made of exactly 8 pages, with 10 chapters per volume, in 3 volumes. I always like symmetry in a work. And talking about the materials of the the book: hardcover, paper, size, inks, etc… I have to admit that it’s easily one of the most gorgeous books ever published, in the genre of comic books (no wonder why it’s $45, but the resulted presentation is worthy).

Lost Girls initially was serialized in the comic book Taboo (edited by Stephen R. Bissette (old friend of Moore since their days in Swamp Thing) and where, in that title, From Hell (also by Alan Moore) was serialized too. However, Lost Girls never was completed in Taboo and the collaborative team of Moore and Gebbie to finish Lost Girls was prolonged for 16 years (and resulted in the marriage of Moore and Gebbie, after he was left by his first wife and their mutual lover (yes, a complicated life). So, you can say that Lost Girls wasn’t just a work of sex, but also a work of love.

Lady Alice Fairchild (adult version of Alice in Wonderland’s Alice, in her 50s), Dorothy Gale (adult version of Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy, in her 20s) and Wendy Darling (adult version of Peter Pan’s Wendy, in her 30s) meet in a hotel at Austria, a year before World War I. The three women recognized themselves as soulmates, having experienced unusual experiences in their teenage years, so they open themselves with each other in these threesome, to know everything about them.

I think that my major complains about Lost Girls is its lack of point (beside the basic concept of portraiting classic children’s books’ characters from different tales, in their adult age, and interacting with each other) and its unnecesary lenght.

You know, I read that Watchmen supposed to be only 6 issues (I figured more centered in the investigation of Rorschach (my favorite character there)) but DC wanted a maxi-series, so Moore had to include the heroes’ origins to be to expand the work to 12 issues, and while, obviously Watchmen is a masterpiece, I think that it’s felt that it’s longer that initially intended.

And while Lost Girls may be possess its intended extension, I don’t think that it was needed so many chapters to point out such basic concept, since beyond that, the narrative hasn’t any other purpose, goal or (ironically) climax. In fact, there is a moment where this turned to be just uneventful chapters filled with sex scenes, unlike the initial chapters where you feel more ingenious interaction between the characters.

And, of course, the main reason of all the controversy about this graphic novel, is due that the three main characters tell their own sex experiences while they are still teenagers.

Everybody discover sex in his/her teenage years, but I guess that presenting that in such open way in an illustrated story, is one heck of fuzz. And playing Devil’s Advocate, I can’t blame those who may find awful those parts of the narrative, since after all, some of those scenes aren’t free of abhorrent acts that they are clearly legal offenses, and that's not good, not matter the reason, if there is any.


Like shoes, we try our fantasies on, yes? Sometimes they are too big for us, sometimes we outgrow them; they become too small. Too confining. Or perhaps they wear out; become dull, familiar, merely comfortable.

I guess that while there are a lot of scholar studies analyzing the sexual allegories in classic children’s tales, one thing is reading about those hidden devices, in hypothetical scenarios; and quite other to have them in open way, without subterfuges, and with illustrations included.

We read the tales when we were kids, and when we grow up, we want to get back to those stories, and that’s why those re-tellings are so popular since you can read about your favorite characters but with an adult-oriented angle.

However, when the story turned to be too real, when the pixie dust is depleted, when the characters turned to be too adult, with needs too adult, well, no one can be blame if they feel that it was just a little too much.

We want to know what happened with the characters after their original books ended, when the characters got older, beyond the yellow-brick roads, but sometimes you aren’t prepared for what you may find there.

They are fiction characters for a reason. They aren’t real people. Characters are idealized, to the point to be put in pedestals. They became perfect in our minds. However, when fiction characters got too real, too human, they stopped to be characters and become people. And people aren’t perfect. You aren’t watching a reflection in a mirror anymore, but the true nature of people. So, you have to ask yourself if you really want to read about people or fiction characters.

That’s why fantasy is such appealing, while reality can be awful sometimes.


War’s such a frightful perversion. It turns everything contrariwise.

Make love, not war.

If there is some way to simplify this massive work of Lost Girls, I think that’s that.

Maybe you find having promiscuous sex like something dirty or wrong, we aren’t here to judge anyone (that’s God’s job), but definitely having war is far, far worse.

And since this review has been quite challenging to write, I think that it’s better to leave it here.

Profile Image for Baba.
3,563 reviews862 followers
November 7, 2021
2020 read: Highly graphic in content Alan Moore's pornographic interpretations of Wendy (Peter Pan), Dorothy Gale (Wizard of Oz) and Alice (In Wonderland) sees these three women's lives cross at an Austrian hotel just before the First World War. Interesting, in that a cohesive multi-layered homage is played out in this erotic-fest. Trigger warning for the depiction of (illegal!) sexual explicit content. 7 out of 12.
Profile Image for Alex.
1,418 reviews4,385 followers
March 9, 2011
We get it, Alan. You're a total radical. WooOOOoooOOOoooOO. I'm not shocked by this book, I'm just sortof bored by it.

In case you don't know what this is: it's kiddie porn featuring lesbian sex between Alice (of Wonderland) and Dorothy (of Oz). See?! You were surprised, consternated and a little curious, right? That's what Moore wants you to feel! That's why he did it! He's just fucking with you. You know who writes lesbian sex scenes between Alice and Dorothy? Ninth grade boys. Because ninth grade boys are lame.
Profile Image for James.
203 reviews4 followers
April 23, 2008
wow. um, just...wow. i don't really know what i was expecting with this book when i first got it. i knew that it was by alan moore, the genius behind the comics/graphic novels watchmen , v for vendetta, from hell, the league of extraordinary gentleman, and many others, and i knew that it was a deconstruction of a genre like most of moore's work. in this case however, put bluntly as moore has in interviews requested it be done, that genre is "pornography," and lost girls is moore's attempt to "take it back," and to all kinds of intellectual places that aren't normally associated with works of that type. i guess i just wasn't expecting something quite so.....explicit? distressing? layered? to be honest, flipping through it put me off of reading it for a long time.

when, recently, i read an interview in rue morgue magazine (a publication devoted to "horror in culture and entertainment") with moore, in which he discussed his intentions with the book, i decided to give it another shot.

moore says that he really views the work as having very horrific undertones (which it does) and that in a way, it (and its subject matter) is based on fear, fear of "strange creatures alternately wonderful and scary," and the "worst and most ridiculous fears" one gender might hold toward the other.

so, what on the surface appears to be "smutty parodies" (what moore says he specifically didn't want to do), really turns out to be the stories of peter pan, alice in wonderland, and the wizard of oz (or rather, of their primary female protagonists) retold in an enlightening, frightening, disgusting, disturbing, and deeply metaphoric and layered manner. the parallels running through each of the stories, through humankind's story of maturation, through everyone's personal stories of maturaion, as well as through the era the stories are re-told in (all of it surrounds the opening shots of world war 1) are fascinating and rewarding. moore succeeds in making this book highly literary, intelligent, and challenging.

the biggest issue to take with it, of course, is how graphic it is, (i could make a "graphic novel" joke here, but instead, i'll let it pass as best i can), which definitely makes the book not for everyone, and arguably not for most. but, when asked if the story could have been done in a "kinder, gentler" manner, moore's response, a perfect one to end on (as the interview in rue morgue did), is thus:

"life can't be compartmentalized into genres. it's messy, it can't be separated, it's all going on at once. if we are well-balanced, then horror, sexuality, comedy, heroism and villainy - we are all these things at once, and that's what makes us human."
Profile Image for Grace.
246 reviews155 followers
July 18, 2007
I am no shrinking violet or prude. And I love a good comic book as well as a well written spin on a fairy tale. Therefore when I heard that Alan Moore had written erotica comics with Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy from Oz, and Wendy Darling from Peter Pan as the 3 main characters, I was enthusiastic. What a fascinating idea! Sadly, the reality did not live up to my expectations.

I received all 3 volumes via Inter-library loan, and read the first one in its entirety. By the time I got halfway through the second volume, I had to close the book and quit. There are only so many ways one can have sex in a plotline before it gets repetitive. Not to mention that it seemed like all 3 of the women's first sexual experiences (their "supernatural" experiences were all explained as being their first sexual experience instead....Dorothy going to Oz was actually her first time masturbating, etc) were deviant or scarring. I won't go into details. Yes, naughty sex can be arousing, but it seemed like everything was in there for mere shock value.

This book avoids receiving a rating of 1 because it WAS rather creative the ways in which Moore changed the original stories to make them sexual. And the illustration styles, especially the segments showing the book of erotica that the characters in the story are reading, can be delightful. But I definitely don't recommend it.
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
996 reviews1,134 followers
June 2, 2021
“Like shoes, we try our fantasies on, yes? Sometimes they are too big for us, sometimes we outgrow them; they become too small. Too confining. Or perhaps they wear out; become dull, familiar, merely comfortable."

If you want to read about why Alan Moore decided to write this graphic novel the way that he did, and read about the controversial aspects of it, Arthur Graham’s review is extremely detailed and informative, and I do not want to parrot his insightful analysis, so please, check it out: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I want to talk about what I thought of the book itself, as it is an impressive, if flawed example of what can be done with the graphic novel format – but then, what does one expect from Alan Moore, if not fucked up genius?

Lady Alice Fairchild is an older British aristocrat who has spent some time institutionalized, and now lives a quiet and isolated life away from her family in luxurious hotels. Mrs. Wendy Potter (née Durling) is the wife of a boring and neglectful business man who took her with him on a trip to Vienna. Dorothy Gale is a young American adventuress, exploring what Europe has to offer. They meet in their fancy hotel's lobby and dining room, quickly become friends – and lovers – and begin sharing stories of their youth, with frequent interludes to perform naughty acts with each other, the hotel staff and other guests.

Yup, it is porn, so while there is an actual story with which to frame the shagging, don’t think for a minute that you aren’t getting as much gratuitous sex as Moore and Gebbie could fit into this book. There, you’ve been warned.

What I was struck with the most with “Lost Girls” was the ingenuity of taking the beloved (and admittedly already fairly surreal) stories of “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Peter Pan”, and reinterpreting them as allegories for their heroines’ sexual awakening. From the Red Queen to the Scarecrow, and of course Captain Hook and the Mad Tea Party, all the familiar highlights of the original stories are here, but they have been subverted as characters or events in the lives of three women, who share their stories (among other things…) in an Austrian hotel, in the few days before the Great War.

It must be said that Alan Moore is obviously a master of the graphic novel format, because he uses it with such cleverness to structure each chapter in often surprising and delightful ways; the mirror, the parallel stories, the little excerpts from the “Bible” and other naughty books, the blurry dream/fantasy images – those tricks are used masterfully to make the story surreal, vivid and memorable. The three books that form the collected “Lost Girls” are also all following the same format: 10 chapters, 8 pages each, with each heroine taking turns telling a part of their stories, with the occasional digression that allows the reader to see what the secondary characters are up to.

I totally understand those who find parts of this book tasteless, or abhorrent, because they are meant to be: some of the events depicted are definitely not legal and downright abusive. But the idea of young women discovering their sexuality and re-framing it with wild stories because they live in a time and place where said sexuality is meant to be restricted and controlled by other people should not, in my humble opinion, be the source of outrage. If anything is ultimately upsetting in this graphic novel porn/dissertation on sex and fantasies, is that the stories we ended up knowing as “Alice in Wonderland”, “Peter Pan” and “The Wizard of Oz” were a result of young women dealing with their sexual trauma in the only way they could.

Also, I am not a huge fan of the art. I get what Gebbie was going for, something dream-like and a little ethereal, but the strange color choices, that were sometimes very impressionistic, did not really satisfy me: I had pictured it all a lot more Art Nouveau, with clean, fluid lines like Mucha’s paintings, or even Aubrey Beardsley’s work. It is still beautiful, but just not quite to my taste – which might be why despite how graphic the art often is, I didn’t find it particularly titillating.

A flawed but very impressive work that I looked up out of curiosity and ended up really enjoying. This should be up there with “Watchmen” as one of Moore’s significant accomplishments.
Profile Image for Brian.
25 reviews
February 13, 2011
I really wanted to like Lost Girls, in no small part because I love Alan Moore's superhero deconstruction and I'm an admirer of the comic world's ballsiest writer. But in truth, these books are filth, and no amount of sacrificing to Glycon is going to change that...

Now hold onto your horse bestiality. I'm not one to blush. I'm not saying that these books are garbage because they include more genitalia per page than words. I'm fine with that, so long as the works stands.. erect on its merits. But it doesn't.

At it's core, "Lost Girls" re-examines the "Big Three" of the childhood fantasies from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Baum, Barrie, and Carroll - if ever there was a more interesting group to trade dirty jokes with, I doubt you'd find it. Nobody could find sturdy ground from which to argue that these works are not laden with beaucoup sexual undertones, and for Moore to "go the distance" is an interesting and welcome take on the source material. But here's where it all goes Humpty Dumpty. Moore and Gebbie are so intent on their re-envisioning that they commit the unforgivable sin of adaptation: you cannot forsake the heart of your source.

And the heart of these works is fantasy. It's escapism and adventure, magic and mystery. Are there all sorts of ways you could draw in parallels between these elements and the sexual awakenings of the characters? You bet! Would that make an awesome story? Probably! Do Moore/Gebbie do it successfully? Nope!

Instead, the sex supplants the fantasy, and in doing so destroys 90% of what is great about the Big Three. All that's left are some clever associations and unexpected twists on familiar personages (Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, Scarecrow, etc). It's ironic, because Moore is a "ceremonial magician" (whatever that means) and so he should have enough respect for magic to leave it in when it works! He should have some inkling that to remove the wuzzy line between fantasy and sex and attribute the entirety of the exotic adventure in these wonderful stories to puberty-flamed dreaming is just not doing your predecessors justice. Yes, sex and fantasy are eager bedfellows. Yes, you can talk about sex fueling fantasy. No, they are not totally interchangeable.

The art earns my particular scorn, mostly because it needed to be something extraordinary, a perfect blend of styles that left you unsure where the fantasy was going to take you. (Ya know, like a sexual awakening? How about letting the art inform the themes?) I found it offensive, not because of what it depicted, but of how and why. I do agree with some of the opinions of other reviewers that there was "too much porn". I think Moore could have nailed this with a little more restraint - a little more care for when a scene calls for a phallus, and when it doesn't.

I was disappointed with this series. Moore has been very vocal about elevating pornography in the public estimation; moving into an era when porn is a legitimate art. I'm willing to entertain that notion, but "Lost Girls" is an argument in the wrong direction. It leaves porn right where it found it, which is to say the Victorian gutter.
Profile Image for Casey.
36 reviews
May 28, 2012
I have no problem with porn - as long as everyone is legal and consenting and earning a decent paycheck, let’s all get down with our bad selves. And in my juvenile days of becoming such a super-awesome sex-positive person, I thought I was very cool to bring up sex, very specifically, in inappropriate situations. Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior! Since then, I’ve learned. Sex is something everyone does in their own ways, and everyone has their own secrets and deviances behind closed doors. The people who shout the loudest against gay marriage are fucking the poolboy while on meth; the same people who ate up Twilight’s Mormon sexual abstinence are now buying buttplugs and ballgags because of 50 Shades of Grey.

Alan Moore, in his Monster House deep in Crazywoods Mountain Forest, never got the memo that we’re all pretty open now, or even the memo that Anne Rice was born, and aims to do the same thing for fairytale princesses that he did for the superhero mythos 30 years ago. I understand he and his wife, Melinda Gebbie, started this book in the early 90’s, before the internet was really a thing, and when Bill Clinton had barely been president, and they didn’t want to let all that work go to waste. But, man. This is the sort of book I would’ve found brilliant at 19. (“See, they’re having a really boring conversation in the foreground, but against the wall, their shadows are fucking, man! If you don’t get it, it’s because you’re a PRUDE!”)

There could’ve been something here, which is the big shame. Alice, Dorothy, and Wendy gathering together at an Austrian hotel on the cusp of WWI. Rephrasing their fictional adventures as sexual awakening of three young women around the globe. Written by Well-Respected Comic Writer Alan Moore, with art by Feminist Artist Melinda Gebbie. So why is this so terrible? Is it the art, which seems to be evolving, and yet never getting better? Is it the distinct lack of subtlety? Is it that it’s so concerned with shocking and titillating the audience that all characters are constantly having sex? Is it that it takes itself so damn seriously as a Work of Erotic Art while sticking to the same old sexual tropes about women, such as Alice being a lesbian because she was raped by a man? (Her eventual awakening leading her to understand that women can be just as cruel as men, and eureka! Maybe she’s not a lesbian after all!)

An example of the subtle prose and art (at the start of book 2, narration by Wendy’s husband, writing a letter to his boss about the women in the hotel):
“Sort of chap who pays attention to clothing. Very commendable.” [CU of Dorothy’s beau, Rolf Bauer, masturbating onto her shoe]
“Military life has so many drawbacks.” [Dorothy draws back her nighty to sit on Rolf’s face as they 69]
“Having to start at the bottom.” [Rolf’s face next to Dorothy’s bottom]
“All that spit and polish.” [Dorothy with a mouthful of Rolf]
“I mean, the international situation being what it is...Things could blow up in our face at any moment.” [If you need a description of what’s happening in this panel, perhaps you’re the audience this book seeks. In other words, he comes in her face. GET IT?]

Art and pornography by all means are comfortable bedfellows. They are both meant to elicit a reaction from us, to dig deep to the core of our humanity. They can be dressed up in finery, showing off our most idealized imaginations, or they can be crudely real, holding the mirror to life as it is. Art can be pornographic. Porn can be artistic. It is when one pretends to be the other that it is truly dirty.
Profile Image for Sophia.
284 reviews13 followers
May 12, 2007
Sadly, a bit of a disappointment -- some of the art is beautiful, and I enjoyed some of the story, but overall it's a) too much porn, b) porn which doesn't really appeal to my sensibilities for the most part, and c) kind of sad to see all the magic of these girls' stories taken out and replaced with sex. I initially thought that sex would just be included, but, despite the cleverness of some of the shifts (Captain Hook is a dirty old man who spies on the Lost Boys' debauchery in the park? nice), I was left feeling sad, like something important had been taken away. Recognizing the thread of sexuality interwoven with these classic stories of lifechanging adventures for innocent girls on the cusp of adolescence is one thing, but taking away all the magic just sort of make the stories ordinary and uninteresting.
Profile Image for Frankh.
845 reviews161 followers
November 20, 2014
I don't always find my life story within the pages of fiction but there are three occasions when I did, and Alan Moore's graphic novel erotica Lost Girls was one of them.

This was quite a peculiar work as a whole, considering Melinda Gebbie's candy-colored illustrations could easily be a part of a children's book; but I suppose this choice of art style was deliberate because Moore's sensuous writings on sexuality and hedonism were deeply contrasted yet incredibly enhanced by Gebbie's art. It also seemed only appropriate to use such an art style, considering Moore used three of the most famous and well-loved child heroines in fiction: Alice of Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass, Wendy of Peter Pan, and Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz. With these recognizable characters, Moore weaved a trinity of intricate expositions; where each of his heroine shares her most heated encounters, most depraved indulgences and most mournful losses in the course of their childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

There have been analyses on the thematic and psychological aspects of Lost Girls that I've read online. One discussed the Freudian concepts of Id, Ego, and Super Ego that these three women represent. Another drew comparisons between Dionysian and Apollonian and its dichotomy present in the characters. But my review will not touch upon that because I can't claim that I have an expert knowledge on such subjects (but I am more than willing to write an academic paper about Lost Girls someday).

Like most of Moore's work, Lost Girls is intellectually stimulating and written with layers of symbols and interpretations which makes it an irresistible literary piece to analyze for someone like me, and an enjoyable if not quite arousing read for a casual reader. The idea that child heroines from stories we grew up in are interpreted and portrayed as sexually engrossing vixens who engage in various roleplays as freely as they wish sounds like a bad fanfiction for deviants and perverts, but Moore's caliber as a writer makes his versions of Alice, Wendy and Dorothy more than just desirable in flesh. He used their sexual escapades as a piercing examination of their damaged or repressed psyches. Therein lies the eroticism of Lost Girls. It not only engages our senses but also our minds and spirits.

The story was set in a hotel where these three women are staying in. The deliberate depiction of the place that somewhat resembles a doll house is yet another symbolic visual that emphasizes Dorothy, Wendy and Alice's youth as readers are taken into their respective accounts of their very early sexual awakenings.

We get to know Dorothy first, in all her fiery, passionate and self-indulgent encounters with suitors and her own kin, and we cannot look away because they are exciting tales of lust and taboo relations. Truly, Dorothy's ready availability and omnisexual inclinations are the most obvious depictions of graphic sex. Her purpose in the narrative is to embody raw and unadulterated sexual energy. Her panels are sunny and wide in length, emphasizing her larger-than-life personality and the warmth of her supposedly normal home life.

Meanwhile, as a grown woman, Wendy's repressed sexuality represent her stifling Victorian upbringing. But long ago, she encountered the boy-prostitute Peter and his sister Tinkerbell when she was only twelve years old and was fascinated by his exploits and he then invited her and her brothers to play with them. While indulging in their afternoon delights, they are stalked by the deviant Hook who forcibly tries to take Wendy for himself but fails. She and Peter drifted away afterwards, and Wendy then learned to suppress her carnal desires, seemingly cold and aloof with her husband who is at least ten years her senior. Wendy's secrets are revealed when she stumbled upon a tryst between two women. One of them was Dorothy, and the other was a woman in her fifties but a shrewd and imposing elegant figure. Her name is Alice Fairchild, and she easily seduced the vibrant Dorothy as she also challenged Wendy to come out of her shell.

Alice was molested by a man she called the White Rabbit, and to recover from the trauma of that abuse, she began to disassociate her sexual core with that of her rational mind, dividing herself into who she is as a person of flesh and the girl she sees in mirrors--her darker reflections. Alice attended an all girls' boarding schools and started engaging with other girls until she met an older woman (who emulates the Queen of Hearts) and under her tutelage, Alice embarked on orgies among several types of women. Her lesbianism might be a by-product of her sexual abuse in the hands of a man, but Alice's orientation and preference towards the fairer sex is a narcissistic release; she loved herself above anything else but could not heal properly because of the trauma of her earlier sexual experience. She began to see men as creatures to fear and be disgusted with, all the while being oppressed by women who have used her in terrifying ways.

Once Alice freed herself from these clutches, she in return and with Dorothy's assistance was able to set Wendy free from her own prison. As a queer woman myself, I related very strongly to Alice. Her sexual exploration was the most intimate and self-centered, and I find myself both heartbroken and aroused by her experiences. Her panels are oval mirrors you can gaze into--an echo to the original Caroll stories--and they reflect nothing but the ugly truth.

It's easy to see why the concept of Id, Ego and Super Ego was written in the analyses among the dynamics of Dorothy, Wendy and Alice. The last few pages of the three of them finally able to embrace and recover from the mistakes of their girlhood were astounding. Once the afterglow spell was broken, the three women have transformed into transcendental beings. Dorothy can go back to enjoying the pleasures of her future encounters with men, Wendy will now be able to fully give herself to someone who deserves her passions, and Alice can continue experimenting without losing portions of herself in the process.

This ending is my own interpretation for Lost Girls remains ambiguous to the very end. Nevertheless, it is a searing look at female consciousness and sexuality, and I highly recommend this because it's also an eye-opener and a decadent story that will surely stimulate your other parts as well.

* Exquisitely intellectual despite being visceral in presentation
Profile Image for Antonomasia.
973 reviews1,201 followers
September 7, 2016
Blah blah controversial blah. There are loads of other reviews in which you can read about that aspect of Lost Girls. It’s probably obvious to most people on my friends list which side of the debate I’d be on and so here I’d rather just talk about what I thought was good and not. (Very late to the party here – quite a few friends had copies years ago, but as with Alan Moore comics in general, people were reluctant to lend them to anyone. I later became wary of it because technically some of the contents became illegal in the UK in 2010 – but it appears to be a tacit exception because it’s still sold by mainstream booksellers; possibly it’s classified as art although it does identify itself as porn.)

And this graphic novel is silly like porn is silly (it does deliberately identify itself as porn): every occasion is an excuse for sex, the likes of room-service staff are jumped on and welcome it (much of it’s set in a hotel where the three main characters happen to meet as adults in 1914), and generally if anyone’s not sure at first they are very soon afterwards. It’s working to a different set of conventions from literary stories – those of mainstream pre-gonzo porn films, the shagging-the-plumber sort of thing.

It didn’t, as I assumed it would, take the original stories it’s based on (Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan) and simply put sex in them – it rewrote them in such a way that the original environments and events seemed like symbols for the main characters’ early sexual experiences. This worked best with Peter Pan, because it has a fairly obvious sexual / romantic undertone between the main characters anyway. The idea of Captain Hook as a flasher and sex offender also fitted very well. (Though the story could have done with Tiger Lily as a real character, not just a dress-up costume. And I didn’t like the way grown-up Wendy looked so severe.) Whilst I really liked Moore & Gebbie’s characterisation of Dorothy – she’s so sweet and enthusiastic, regardless of her filthy adventures - her back story, a series of seductions of various farmhands, wasn’t as inventive as the others and more could have been done with the original IMO. Alice’s story jarred slightly in the narrative, because experiences of abuse which were clearly presented as traumatic for the character, complete with dissociation, appear in a narrative which otherwise is a straightforward sort of porn in which characters enjoy themselves without consequences. (Maybe I expect it to be either ‘porn’ or ‘a story of the characters’ sex lives with the bad bits left in’ plus possible commentary on Victorian / Edwardian hidden sleaze, rather than the mixture which it is. Sex is often liberating in Lost Girls, but not always; it's still a somewhat complicated force.) Some of Alice’s young-adult experiences (kept in the household of a dissolute society lesbian, a corollary for the Red Queen) are also rather similar to episodes in Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet.

I thought there was quite a pointless amount of incest in the various stories where it wasn’t relevant. (I know it’s a very common motif in porn because of the taboo, I’m just one of those people it does nothing for and who thereby doesn’t quite get it. In the case of the main characters it creates possible interpretations of all of them as victims, which is unwelcome, and which seems antithetical to the sex-positive ideals of the book.) Several of the storylines would have worked just as well – better to some of us - if characters had been unrelated, or just cousins which would have been quite common at that time (e.g. Annabel/Tinkerbell and Peter). In some instances it was possible to forget about it or just mentally rename/derelate characters, as the writing was otherwise pretty good or even occasionally somehow transcended that aspect.

The authors present some argument in the narrative (quite meta) accompanying the characters’ reading of some late Victorian incest-porn: “It is a crime, but this is the idea of incest, no? …It is quite monstrous, except that they are fictions…Fiction and fact, only madmen and magistrates cannot discriminate between them…if this were real, it would be horrible…but they are fictions. They are uncontaminated by effects and consequences. Why, they are almost innocent.” (With clear and habitual understanding of the consequences from other sources, a very occasional narrative without them is surreal.) Yet one of its most potentially powerful arguments is left less clear by being presented only in pictures: the panels of the dying soldier in the trenches in the last pages. Evidently it asks the question why so many people consider it okay to present war, violence and killing as glorious and/or fun, whilst considering various degrees of sexual activity (legal or otherwise) not okay, or damaging if shown in similar ways.

I wasn’t all that keen on Gebbie’s main art style in the narrative – though it does have a good way of showing the squashiness of the human body – I prefer more clearly delineated pictures and I did like many of the drawings when the outlines were sharper. (Surely it is the case with comics that such a large number of drawings are produced that it would be impossible for all to be perfect, and that there would be no panels in which characters don’t have odd faces, for instance.) There are so many styles in here though and that’s what, cumulatively, is impressive, to produce and pastiche all these. Her Art Nouveau style pictures were particularly lovely and detailed. The messy haziness of the predominant style worked beautifully, however, in the elegiac scene in which characters have an opium-fulelled orgy on an island (complete with colonial imagery) at the same time Duke Franz Ferdinand is shot: also the loveliest writing in the book as a world slips away for ever.
And the spell was broken, just like that. As we came to ourselves we noticed how cold it had grown, a winter breath insinuated in the grass that paled the flowers and slowed the hearts of dragonflies.
Something had changed. A certain inclination of the light, a shift of pressure in the air. Without the burning armour of our lust, I’m sure we all felt naked then. Three goose-fleshed women in a wood, suddenly awkward, unsure of their grace, abandoned by desire.
Something quite glorious was finished with for good.
A season turned.
We hardly spoke, returning to the boat.
The sun had all but gone, leaving a somber, elegiac light towards the West. No birds were flying overhead…
There were no birds to fly.

Profile Image for Vanessa.
175 reviews229 followers
July 25, 2008
It has taken me a while to write this review, because it has taken me a while to figure out how I felt about Lost Girls. My rating of three stars is a compromise between two factors: For the years of thought and effort Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbe put into this opus, I felt they deserved four (and in places, five) stars; however, my enjoyment of the work only merited two (and in places, one or zero) stars.

I was already a fan of some of Alan Moore’s previous work (particularly The Ballad of Halo Jones and V for Vendetta), so when I heard about Lost Girls, his goal in creating it, and all of the controversy surrounding it, I thought that I just had to read it. However, it is potentially lethal for any work of art or literature to be surrounded by hype, and I’m afraid too-high expectations may have weighed in more than a little with regard to my overall impression of this work.

As anyone who has an interest in this work will know, it is a pornographic re-telling of the stories of three famous ladies of literature: Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz; Wendy from Peter Pan; and Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I thought the stories of Dorothy and Wendy were well done (and in places quite clever). However, I found the story of Alice to be extremely long and tedious by contrast. In fact, boredom was my almost constant companion while reading of the numerous random couplings and orgies filling the pages, though in one section, illustrated in an Aubrey Beardsley style, boredom was kicked out by utter revulsion. I also have mixed feelings about Melinda Gebbe’s artwork – finding it to be beautiful in places, and messy and childlike in others.

Hardcore fans of Alan Moore and/or erotica might get a lot out of this work. From a purely personal perspective I cannot recommend it, but neither would I dissuade the curious from reading it. Not unlike intimate activities between consenting adults, this book is something about which each individual should make up their own mind.

Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,305 reviews174 followers
July 23, 2020
Updated 7/23/2020:

#ThrowbackThursday - Back in the '90s, I used to write comic book reviews for the website of a now-defunct comic book retailer called Rockem Sockem Comics. From the May 1997 edition with a theme of "Offered Again" Comics:


LOST GIRLS #1-2 (Kitchen Sink Press)

It's a shame, but younger comic book readers probably only know Alan Moore as a decent scripter of Jim Lee/Rob Liefeld superhero comics. In recent years Moore has mostly been writing issues of Image's WILDCATS or STORMWATCH or YOUNGBLOOD or somesuch, comics I just couldn't bring myself to buy. Moore is also mining the past, writing pastiches of 1960's superhero comics in series like 1963 (Image Comics, grade: B) and SUPREME (Maximum Press, grade: B+). Instead of breaking new ground, Moore seems to be focused on working the old ground until the fields go barren (which, in the world of comics, could take decades). Fortunately, for all of us, he still has one series which is challenging comics as a whole and reminding us old-timers why we once worshipped him: LOST GIRLS.

Y'see, in the 1980's, Alan Moore was a god. The writer of such overwhelmingly acclaimed series as SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING (DC Comics, grade: A+), MIRACLEMAN (Eclipse Comics, grade: A+), WATCHMEN (DC Comics, grade: A+), and V FOR VENDETTA (DC Comics, grade: A+), he redefined the way stories about superheroes could, should, and would be told. And then he went beyond.

In the early 1990's, Alan Moore was on the cutting edge. He left DC Comics and superheroes behind to pursue other topics: land development in BIG NUMBERS (MAD LOVE, grade: Incomplete), Jack the Ripper in FROM HELL (Tundra & Kitchen Sink, grade: A), and fantasy/erotica in LOST GIRLS. Unfortunately, BIG NUMBERS disappeared long ago into comic book limbo after just two issues in 1990. FROM HELL, which first appeared back in 1989, finally reached its conclusion just a few months ago. (It was well worth the wait.) And that leaves LOST GIRLS.

LOST GIRLS is the story of three women who have all come by different routes to a fancy hotel in Austria in 1913. Lady Fairchild, a Brit who is in her sixties, is the black sheep of her family. She dabbles in writing erotica, using laudanum, smoking opium, and having sex with young ladies. Dottie Gale is one of those young ladies. She is an American who, having come into an inheritance, is determined to experience life to the fullest while partying across Europe. Mrs. Potter is the dowdy wife of an unloving jerk. The sexual repression in their marriage is painful to watch. Over the first two issues, the women slowly realize that they have something in common. Each has vivid memories of childhood fantasies -- fantasies that carried them to Wonderland, Oz, and Never Never Land. Yup, the women are Alice, Dorothy, and Wendy grown up.

From this remarkable premise Moore weaves his tale of fantasy and sexual desire using all the tricks of the trade as only he can wield them. The first chapter is told through the reflections seen in a mirror belonging to Lady Fairchild. In chapter three, Moore illustrates the sexual repression of the Potters with an explicit shadow play on a wall behind them which contradicts their mundane evening activities. In the fourth chapter Moore follows one couple through supper to bedtime. Then, in the fifth chapter, he reuses half of that same artwork with new dialogue to show how a different couple spent that evening. Chapter seven not only ties Dorothy's tornado ride to Oz with her sexual awakening but has an astounding punchline regarding an old "No Trespassing" sign. Using the trick from WATCHMEN where a pirate comic and several book excerpts were included throughout, Moore intersperses pages from erotic novels in LOST GIRLS.

Aiding Moore is the artist Melinda Gebbie. The artwork is as unique as the story. Gebbie works in a variety of media and styles to add depth to Moore's script. The layouts, too, are all over the board, using off-beat points of view and panel arrangements sparingly but effectively to offset pages dominated by six-panel grids. Her art alone would not have drawn me to the book, but I'm quickly coming to appreciate it. I'm reminded strongly of how dull I found Dave Gibbons' artwork until he did WATCHMEN. Now I seek out his every appearance.

Some caveats are in order. First, this book is obviously for mature readers only. Not for children! Not for minors! Not for the faint-hearted! Adults only! It has graphic sexual content. If it were a movie, it would be rated NC-17 or XXX. Second, it would be generous to call this book's publishing schedule erratic. The first five chapters were originally serialized in the now-defunct anthology TABOO (SpiderBaby Grafix & Publications/Tundra, grade: A-) in issues #5-7 way back in 1991-1992. Kitchen Sink has reprinted those chapters and continued the storyline in LOST GIRLS #1, published November 1995, and #2, published February 1996. The all-original issue #3 missed its original publication date and is being re-solicted this month. Obviously, patience is a prerequisite for buying.

So, for a cheap Alan Moore fix, I pick up SUPREME each month and get a few chuckles. But, for the real thing, I wait for the next issue of LOST GIRLS. Discover why it's worth the wait for yourself; discover a writer who still takes chances.

Grade: A

Original post, 8/18/2019:

I started reading Lost Girls back in the early 1990s when it was serialized in the Taboo #1 anthology, and have revisited the collected version a few times now, with the new expanded edition and it's "32 pages of Gallery Art" showing up at the library being excuse enough this time as Gebbie's art is a big draw for the book.

Far from Moore's best work, it is still probably the most literary Tijuana bible ever created. He pulls out plenty of clever storytelling tricks as he draws you down a rabbit hole of erotica with Alice Liddell, Dorothy Gale and Wendy Darling, passing through a Wonderland of pornography, only to land you in a Michael Jackson Neverland Ranch of the darkest and most taboo sexual fantasies.

For adults only, and probably not for most of them either. I recommend Andy Weir's new Cheshire Crossing for a more palatable take on a meeting of the same three heroines.
Profile Image for Jerry Jose.
360 reviews61 followers
July 30, 2017
Basically porn.

For no reason whatsoever, at least none that I can comprehend, the story of Lost Girls is set in and around an Austrian Hotel, next to one of the most iconic event of 20th century – Gavrilo Princip taking out the Archduke Ferdinand. Maybe an inside joke on people who say, these things doesn't demand a compelling premise. Plot follows, explicitly and quite graphically, the sexual adventures and experiments of fictional versions of three already fictional female characters- Alice, Dorothy and Wendy (Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of the Oz and Peter Pan respectively). Story line is more or less a sharing activity in retrospection, by their adult selves, at the wake of WW1, aided with artful renderings of their past adventures. Narrative is layered, with definitive visual layout and writing elements for each character. For example, through most of the first book, Alice story line was represented via the looking glass, woods(and her shoes) were a recurring theme for Dorothy and for Wendy, everything around her were a bit Victorian. (Also their first encounter with adventure was interpreted as their sexual awakening.)

Then there is sex, lots of it, in all imaginable/unimaginable permutations and combinations. And, in its entirety, art is not the kind that our teenage self would have loved a peek, or adult self would find erotic (though, many are), but the kind that exhausts you as a reader. Its unapologetically provocative, artistic and didactic, but the prolifically barely complimented book's plot. I put genuine effort in understanding the nuances in book 1, but by the next installment, the graphic nature transformed my reading into skimping and eventually skipping. By the last book, so called plot felt more like an excuse to slide show the remaining erotic sketches, that Moore and Gebbie had already crafted.

I don’t know where porn stops and art begins, or whether a distinction was even intended here in the first place. Anyway, whatever be the reasons – plot, art, expression, experimentation, provocation, shock et cetera; Lost Girls is quite literally a ‘graphic’ novel where pervaded perversion overshadows all other elements.
Profile Image for James Payne.
Author 22 books58 followers
November 13, 2013
Great, I think, because I see Lost Girls as presenting inherent conflicts regarding views on sex from "The Left." Like the hotelier, the book seems to endorse an anarchic view by celebrating sex in all its various forms, deliberately transgressing against societal dogma - whether that's "be monogamous," or "don't jerk off a horse." But then, as Wendy, Dorothy, and Alice's stories devolve, you realize that their fantastical, dream-like sexual awakenings were also incest, abuse, street-hustling, rape, and sex trafficking. This seems to validate P.C. left, consent culture, which seems in direct contradiction to hedonist/anarchist, or New Left/free love views (safe sex leftism vs orgy leftism). I feel attuned to this disjunction in leftist rhetoric since many people in my social circles have espoused one framework or another, sometimes at the same time. Maybe they're eternal complements in a way beyond my understanding - I, too, feel both.

Moore is good at narrativizing coping mechanisms for traumatic sexual experience, for example Alice's disassociation and fixation on her childhood appearance, or Wendy's absolute repression of her sex drive, in fear of going back into the street-sex Spinney. In my late-teens and early twenties, I often argued for sex as a freeing act, and as an experience that can bring people closer together, probably in retaliation for a sexually repressed upbringing. As I get into my late-twenties, I am beginning to see relational and behavioral cycles emerge in myself and my friends that I was too ideological and naive to understand or accept previously. Seeing repeated traumas - a big part of Lost Girls, ad nauseum really - or repeating dysfunctional relationship models learned in childhood, has changed my opinion on the pure utopian potentialities of sex. I'm no longer stridently in favor of sex: sex is good and bad, sometimes within one act, or one relationship. That might seem obvious, but I've never been good at seeing grey. I had the fortune to not be forced into patterns of sex until I was ready to be, which many people do not.

Lost Girls picks out these experiences and subtleties within its endless morass of porn and genre-deconstruction (Tijuana bibles/fanfic/Belle Epoque everyone), and connects the individual's sexual awakening to the dawning of the modern age in The Great War. That this post-modern book looks back on the deflowering of Europe/modernsim and criticizes the ancien regime class structures and social properties while endless reiterating its beauty - "the summer of 1914 was said to be especially pleasant" - seems a fitting echo for a story recalling lost virginities. But it's a metaphor that is beaten over your head with foreshadowing ("Seems an Archduke is in town...")

I have always been drawn to Moore's shtick: political themes cloaked in genre-play and cultural appropriation, plots that fold into themselves, allusions, etc - it's nice.
Profile Image for Vanessa Wu.
Author 18 books197 followers
August 21, 2011
I have just remembered that I promised to write a review of this in my review of 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom.

This book moves me in a very personal way. I see it as a love story between Melinda (who drew the pictures) and Alan (who wrote the plot.) I think the collaborative effort was far-reaching and I wonder at it every time I pick up one of the three volumes that make up this amazing book.

I don't know if they are still together but I certainly hope they are. What a beautiful gift to the world their love has produced.
Profile Image for Justin.
53 reviews
July 5, 2007
If you're not at all a prude (in any way shape or form) then you might enjoy this book. Instead of "book" in the last sentence, I accidently wrote "movie." I dont know what that means. Maybe that it was so well done that it was almost a cinematic experience? Hmmm..

I read this over the span of 3 days so I wouldnt get burnt out on it and I think that was a wise choice. At times I sat reading this oblvious to the world. I finished it a few minutes ago and I'm still kind of lost in the experience, digesting the various (moral and immoral) messages.

Yes there are a lot of boobs and vaginas and wangs and taboo sexual scenarios (hence you shouldn't be a prude while reading it or else you will eschew it) but I would say that I didn't get aroused as much as I thought I would. I think because the book was less pornography but more literary.

The real delight were the interpretations of the characters adventures (Alice and twiddle-dee and dum, Dorothy and the Tin Man, Wendy and Capt. Hook, etc.) into sexual encounters. It was brilliant like many things Alan Moore does. While I dont like to deify him or others, he and the artist masterfully walked the fine line of obscenity and art and came out the otherside....successfully.

Aside from the content, the books were beautifully put together with excellent paper stock and with an amazing slip cover. Class act.
17 reviews5 followers
September 24, 2008
"I know it when I see it"--this could equally well be said of this piece as porn and as art. I read an excerpt from this (Dorothy's first Oz story) in a comics class in college, and thought it was great. But when I picked up the entire 3-volume set from the library and read it through for the first time, I realized that the story chosen was one of the more subtle and skillful parts of this collection. The reframing of these stories in a sexual context really started to feel ham-handed after a while. It was definitely interesting overall, though, if you can get past the total, numbing overload of taboo sex, and if you have enough of a grounding in art history to appreciate the visual allusions Gebbie makes along the way to Beardsley, Schiele, Matisse, and the literary allusions in the Hotel Himmelgarten's White Book... (I don't have enough background to pick up on every allusion, though, honestly.)

Two interesting points stuck in my mind after reading this: 1) where Wendy was reading the White Book and talking about how the child incest portrayed in one of the stories would be horrifying, disturbing, awful in real life, but the idea of it in pornography was terribly exciting. I found this repellent yet thought-provoking in the larger context.

2) the ending scene of the book, the dead, emasculated boy in Flanders Fields, and the great red bloom of the poppy. I've been thinking about the layers of symbolism aside from the question it brings up about obscenity--why sex is considered a worse taboo than violence. Is it the final self-acceptance and flowering of the sexuality of the Lost Girls against the backdrop of the Great War? There are the three female main characters and their "we don't need a man!" lesbian orgies--is the poppy an O'Keefeian yonic symbol presiding over the emasculation of the men in this book? Then there's the opium smoked by Alice and Dorothy, and the significance of the poppies in Dorothy's past.

Anyway, it's an interesting read overall, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it over Watchmen...
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Artnoose McMoose.
Author 1 book36 followers
December 6, 2009
Two disclaimers:

1. I was on the wait list for this from the library for a solid year.

2. This is porn. Don't read it if you don't want to read porn. I was surprised at how many people gave this three-volume set a low rating because of how much sex there is in it. It's porn.

The premise of this book is that on the eve of the first World War, three women check into a fancy European resort and have a wild time telling each other sexy stories and then having sex with each other (and other people). The stories loosely follow those of the Wizard of Oz, Alice and the Looking Glass, and Peter Pan. This is probably the most clever part of the book. The artwork is very good, as you'd expect. My mind wasn't necessarily rocked though.

Was I engaged in the story enough to read all three volumes in one sitting? Yes. Did I masturbate afterwards? No. I don't know--- maybe I can't get too excited about drawings. Also, in true comic book form, they have sound words near actions, and I don't find it particularly hot to have "SLURP!" (or some such thing) embedded in a drawing.

And of course, I can't review anything sexy without peering at it through the consent lens. There are definitely situations in these books that I would not call consensual, and there's also sex with kids. However, they are drawings, and not real life, a point that the creators make within the book itself. During a scene in book 3, a group of people are having an orgy while reading an illustrated story about parents having sex with their kids. One character (in the orgy) complains about how dirty that is, and another character makes the argument that it's a story. There's no such thing as consent because the people in the book are characters on a page.

This is always a sticking point with me. I have been wrestling with this question for many years. Does portraying messed up situations in any kind of media necessarily promote similar situations in real life? There are certainly two sides to this, and I really can see both sides.
Profile Image for Punk.
1,503 reviews243 followers
July 26, 2009
Graphic Novel, literally. Alice, Dorothy, and Wendy meet up in a hotel in Austria prior to WWI, have a lot of sex, and recount their experiences as children, but instead of the stories we're familiar with, we get a sexually skewed version of events.

I just don't know what to think of this. For now, my thoughts during the final volume: God, not more sex. I am so bored. OH MY GOD, DOROTHY GALE, WTF? Yes, yes, more cunnilingus, whatever. Yes, we all have strap-ons. Yes, Alice, someone's fingering you, please stop interrupting yourself to be surprised about that. Nice hot pink pirate pants, Wendy. God, this is boring. Is it over yet? Good thing I took German in college. Wait, who's this dead dude? THE END? What the hell?

The writing was kind of awful, full of egregious puns and heavily didactic in places, but I liked (most of) the art, especially the way it changed to reflect each girl's story; I absolutely loved the shadows and silhouettes in Wendy's tales.

The main concept of the book (the girls' stories rewritten as their sexual awakening) was promising, but there's a lot of chaff in here; the framing devices -- the hotel, the pornographic White Book, various people's correspondence -- are tiresome, and all the boring, repetitive sex the women have is, you guessed it, boring and repetitive. I might have liked their stories more if they weren't surrounded by so much proselytizing and random Stravinsky. (Not only did Lesbian orgies cause World War I, they were also responsible for the riot at the premiere of The Rite of Spring. Apparently.)

Two stars: The sex is only occasionally sexy and I didn't care about any of the characters. I don't know what Moore was shooting for (beyond the obvious message that pornography shouldn't be subject to moral judgment), but that probably wasn't it.
Profile Image for CC.
31 reviews1 follower
March 11, 2008
I wanted to like this. I didn't.
It's porn, deliberately so according to Alan Moore, and drops references galore and excessive to the artful pornographies of years gone by: mostly the Art Nouveau/Symbolist/Decadent movements. But porn has changed since then, for the worse, and where the illict desires previously deserved their own attention, our sexualized world now takes that desire for granted. What would people want to do, after all, besides suck and fuck one another?

(To a more disturbing end, unfortunately implied in this story, what would *women* want to do besides suck and fuck? Can you solve all your psycho-sexual troubles by having rosy orgies? And as someone else pointed out, where are the Lost Boys?)

That presumption kills the turnon, though, and you can only see so many panels of very similar breasts and cocks and dildoes before it all becomes monotone. Like our media-at-large, the magic is killed by the constant, flattened excess.

Funny, because the Lost Girls here are magical beings: Alice, Dorothy, Wendy. And they lose that magic by becoming totally sexualized. There could have been a glorious fusion of their magical worlds and their sexual lives, but here the former is condensed into the latter and loses out.

Is it *bad*? Not really. Might be worth reading. Melinda Gebbie's art is luscious. Moore still does write the best sex in the business, too...but elsewhere.
Profile Image for d4.
351 reviews179 followers
December 1, 2009
Nonstop filthy.

It's pornography that repeats the same predictable formula: three lesbians fuck and then relocate to a new location (from steam room to pool, for example), at which point two lesbians fuck and the third recounts a personal story involving fucking. The lesbians in question are Alice (of Wonderland), Dorothy (of Oz), and Wendy (of Neverland). I use the term lesbian loosely since Dorothy and Wendy are rather lesbian n00bs, whose first preference is for males (usually ones related to them). It quickly becomes a bit of a bore. The sex doesn't let up for a moment and it left me desensitized. The magic is stolen from these stories, and replaced with nothing of substance.

I can't recommend this; I couldn't even get off on it, lolz. It's only appeal is in the perverseness of its concept.

Although I have to give some credit to the illustration of Captain Hook being devoured by an alligator/massive vagina with teeth.
Profile Image for Chris Chapman.
Author 3 books27 followers
May 11, 2019
A truly taboo-busting book. I have two concerns with standard pornography, a) the exploitation and b) the denial of imagination and fantasy which is essential to a properly sensual sexual experience, and surely goes some way to explaining the epidemic of male erectile dysfunction (that's actually Jon Ronson's theory in The Butterfly Effect). A graphic pornographic novel gets around both, and all the more so this one, which makes imagination and fantasy both the theme and the method. It's quite irritating that Moore gets such central billing on this, to the extent sometimes of completely ignoring Gebbie, given that she spent 16 years working on the artwork! And it shows! It's extroardinary. She's an incredibly interesting person, as this mini-doc demonstrates.
Profile Image for rachel.
133 reviews10 followers
January 7, 2012
Oy vey, I need to stop picking up books just because they involve Alice in Wonderland.

Basically an excuse for porn, held together by an extremely flimsy plot. Even in the context of Alice, Dorothy and Wendy's sexual awakenings, it all seemed rather pointless. They sleep with each other, while telling the "real" stories behind the legend, which usually involve more sex and/or rape.

I'm certainly not a prude, nor do I have a problem with sex/rape in a book, so long as it furthers the plot and provides some kind of character development. There was no plot to move forward, so it all seemed completely gratuitous.

I've always found Alan Moore to be a pretentious dick. Sometimes it works (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), and sometimes it doesn't. This time, it definitely did not work.
36 reviews3 followers
October 25, 2022
This book unconscionably advocates the sexual abuse of children. The rape of kids is portrayed as fun for all. I honestly do not understand how people ignore, miss, or deny this. This overrides the positives that might be said about the work.

I have loved much of Moore's work and enjoy pornography. I am a strong supporter of controversial books and free speech. I purchased the expensive hardback specifically to support free expression because I trusted those who described the book as erotic, as art, as pornography that flouted censorship. Unfortunately, the graphic novel not only is replete with “virtual” child pornography, but also depicts – graphically -- the sexual abuse of children AS GOOD. This is graphic, CHILD pornography -- including forcible rape of children by parents as punishment depicted as if the children enjoy it. True, it is "virtual." Fine. It is and should be legal. I defend the right for this book to exist. But celebrate it? Laud it? No. Never.

Although there is much that may be erotic or artistic in the graphic novel, it primarily depicts sexual relations between adults and minors (although the age of the participants is not always obvious). The so-called “erotica” includes many graphic depictions of forcible rape and incest between adults and minors. The work revels in numerous “erotic” descriptions and illustrations of sexual intercourse between adults and children at least as young as 11 (in some cases we are told the child's age) and often involving incest. The graphic novel repeatedly illustrates adults forcibly raping children at least as young as 11 as if such rape was erotic. Worst of all, the book depicts all of the above "adult-child sex" – including forcible rape and forcible incest – as enjoyable, beneficial, harmless, and good for all involved. Finally, to add insult to injury, the book specifically includes arguments (even jokes) against the notion that anyone could object to any of the above content. (Those arguments are not deep. They are extremely facile and they do not justify the material in question.)

Moore goes out of his way to cross the boundaries of decency. He has always pushed envelopes. There is so much he could have done here with his themes. He could have pushed all sorts of boundaries, combined great illustrations with pornography, and given us controversial art. Kids being raped by their father is not erotic. Depicting a father raping his children as doing a good thing and making them all happy is not edgy or good art - it is advocacy of child rape. In Moore's case, it is likely a very lazy attempt to be outrageous and is not intended to promote child rape, but the effect is the same.

I also do not understand those who promote this book even if they disagree with my ethical condemnation. Whether I am perusing pornography, enjoying erotica, or simply reading a graphic novel, the first time an adult has sex with a child, I am turned off - especially where that is shown as a good thing. If I continue and encounter, incest, more child rape, more incest, etc., the pornography or erotica does not work for me - to say the least. I wonder how many have actually read the book and why they enjoyed it as erotica.

The same impulses that led me to buy this book require me to let the buyer beware how far beyond the pale this book is. Your time and money are better spent elsewhere on something truly erotic and not so abhorrent.
Profile Image for Yasiru.
197 reviews117 followers
December 12, 2012
This is a singular and remarkable attempt at 'reclaiming' pornography (and not, it should be stressed, more tame erotica), and one which, to my mind, more or less achieves that purpose, however unlikely the mould is to be readopted. Going by other reviews there seems a great deal of concern over the explicit nature of this work, each case duly prefaced with all manner of preemption that the reviewer is by no means a prude and has no problems with pornography, but this detail manages all the same to obscure the fact that what elevates this work to a special place (if one within its chosen confines) is that it is about the tension between the facades of the day to day and the fantasies and yearnings which slumber wasted or are simply lost, and how individuals hide the existence of the others along with their pulls while embodying the acceptable, and what happens when they no longer can or have to.

It is this tension that's being communicated in Lost Girls when something suggestive is said or done or simply left to the reader's observation, rather than a gratuitous, slyly winking set of attempts at shock. Of course, when such tensions collide with those of others and are allowed to break, the fantasies escape vividly and very much decadently, clinging on with desperation as though to reassert bygone time. Artistic aspirations and rigid, gender politics appeasing messages are not made the business of the novel as it revisits familiar past vistas and recasts them with the conceit of offering the memories not only to the reader but also to each of the three protagonists who have dreamed through their lives to arrive at their present (strongly historically rooted) meeting point. As easily as that, the 'fantastic' undergoes a transformation and becomes, just as pervasively but more pressingly, the sexual. The artwork keeps pace very well with the story and its range determines the success of a few key sequences. I would recommend it for those willing to sample a 'supposition', or a 'prototype' of pornography, not as tightly concerted as one would like and perhaps also not as enjoyable, but fascinating all the same.
Profile Image for Kris.
95 reviews1 follower
September 7, 2017
Alan Moore is definitely one of the most visionary comic creators of our time and Lost Girls is no exception.
A blend of the fantastic, fable and erotica it weaves a descriptive story of three fairytales we know and love.
We follow Alice, Wendy, and Dorothy as the recount their past along with a vary multitude of sexual encounters that shape them into the women who we meet at the beginning of the book. The book is rich with descriptions and alive with vibrant pictures showing in explicit detail the escapes of the women who have come of age.
Profile Image for Anne.
15 reviews2 followers
April 10, 2022
If there was ever an argument for pornography being art, Lost Girls is it. It's smart, it's beautiful and Alan Moore flat out calls it pornography whenever anyone tries to elevate it beyond that... and that's his point. He's showing us that artistry can elevate any "genre" and it's a wonderful work. 5/5 stars.
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