Story by Alan Moore
Art by Melinda Gebbie, Todd Klein
$75, 264 pages
The Spirit #1
Story by Darwyn Cooke
Art by J. Bone, Dave Stewart
$2.99, 24 pages
That’s not to say this book isn’t pornographic, though. Each eight-page chapter contains enough raunchy cartoon sex to satisfy the 12-year-old inside us all who’s forever drawing stick figures with naughty parts in his algebra notebook.
So Lost Girls is graphic-novel porno — Moore’s admitted it himself — but he’s also given us something we rarely get: a wonderfully conceived, brilliantly written wank book. Moore took a huge risk with the story by making its main characters Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Wendy from Peter Pan, and Alice from the stories of Lewis Carroll. Anything less than a masterpiece would be written merely to exploit beloved children’s characters and sell books off the controversy. Fortunately, Lost Girls delivers with genuine meaning and feeling. Building from the early line “Desire’s a strange land one discovers as a child, where nothing makes the slightest sense,” Moore takes these beloved children’s stories to places their authors (hopefully) never dreamed of, recasting the girls’ fantastic adventures as sexual escapades. But told through the eyes of young teens, the stories retain a magical feel.
While disturbing scenes such as Alice’s molestation enter dark territory only speculated about in grad-school papers, they relate unblinking, nonjudgmental depictions of sex, good and bad, healthy and not. And if the reader becomes accustomed to or even bored with Lost Girls’ continuous sex scenes, that’s probably Moore’s intent. As the characters continuously up the danger and novelty of their sexual adventures, we’re reminded of our own struggles as adults to find adventure and satisfaction, not only with sex, but with life in general. By the time we realize that everything has lost the magic it carried in our childhood, it becomes impossible to pinpoint the exact moment we shed our innocence. We’re left, like Alice at the end of Book 2, with only the vague feeling that: “Something quite glorious was finished with for good.” Heady stuff for a porn book. You’ll probably leave your pants on for this one.