Saturday, 19 January 2008

Lost Girls: A Review

Lost Girls is a three-volume erotic graphic novel depicting the sexual adventures of Dorothy Gale (Wizard of Oz), Wendy Darling (Peter Pan), and Alice (of Wonderland). The three meet in an Austrian hotel before the outbreak of WW1. Many retailers refuse to stock it through fear of being accused of child porn trafficking, despite the fact that it involved no children in its production.

It is not true to the texts it draws from, but has obviously read them closely. It sexualises the texts at the expense of the original stories. It seems an agenda of the book to explore and expose every fantasy. In doing this, it's not very sexy; everything is rendered explicit and nothing is left for imagination.
Peter Pan has sex, though he gains no pleasure from it. For Wendy, Neverland is a place of sexual freedom which she moves through progressively, from desiring the lost boys, to Peter and finally the pirates, thus realising her sexuality.
The ‘shadowy and wild’ time before Wendy is fully grown is the time when she can realise her sexuality, and objections of sexualising children are anticipated and challenged by Moore, when he says, ‘Your child is real. These, however, are only real in this delightful book... They are fictions’. He attempts to legitimise, even encourage, fantasising about them. When Wendy tells Peter to ‘grow up’ it is because her fantasises are no longer compatible with this. But to say that Peter has sexual fantasies at all is a difficult claim to withhold, and one which I find little conviction in. The underlying theme of Lost Girls is not sexuality so much as how un-destructive sexual desire is, and the idea that nothing is that bad compared to war.
Hook is presented as a crippled paedophile, who desires both Peter and Wendy; when he tries to rape Wendy, she becomes aware that she does not have to consent to his desire, and tells him, ‘You can pretend you’re still young, like them... that’s why you fuck children... you’re afraid of women. And you’re afraid of getting old’. There is a clear difference then, in the presentation of the fantasy and the reality of penetrating the child.

Lost Girls contains something for everyone. In this, it is not ideally suited to any individual reader. It set out to do something different and create a better name for porn. But somewhere along the way, it got really repetitive. Perhaps three volumes were a bit much; I challenge anyone to remain aroused by page after page of the same women, same interactions, same bed, same strap-ons. Porn has a fairytale relation to reality, making Alice, Dorothy and Wendy, three fantasy figures, an ideal medium for the exploration of how far porn can go. It is the execution which is problematic. But not very. I expect the next collaboration between Moore and Gebbie’s to produce exciting results.

1 comment:

Jack B said...
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