Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lost Girls by Alan Moore & Melinda Gebbie

Lost Girls is a comic series / graphic novel written by Alan Moore & drawn by Melinda Gebbie.
It concerns the sexual adventures of 3 women, Alice, Dorothy & Wendy meeting in 1913. Obviously Alice is the heroine from Wonderland, Dorothy Gale talks of tornadoes and strange lands and Wendy Darling is the slightly repressed woman who did grow up even if she wishes she never had.

Published by Top Shelf (link to Lost Girls in their catalogue here).
Newsarama interview with Alan Moore here , Wikipedia entry here.
Rich Johnson's Lying in the Gutters Lost Girls coverage here.

This is Alan Moore's take on pornography. And there's no messing around with calling it erotica, he's insisting that it's pornography.

All that's been seen so far is the first few chapters, published by Kitchen Sink / Tundra back in the 90s. But now we're all gearing up for the slated August release of the complete, finished collection. And that's where the controversy starts.

But it's obviously going to cause debate and Moore himself appears to be courting the controversy. One of the better conspiracy theories put forward by Rich Johnson suggests Moore is deliberately fuelling the fire here to get the whole thing banned, bringing shame and pressure on DC to stop publishing his other work, thus giving Moore back control of the books he contends should be his to do with what he wishes. Dubious, I know, but still fun to think about.

It will probably come as no surprise to find that little old liberal me is sitting on the side of free speech here and supports the right of Moore & Gebbie to put Lost Girls out.
The pornography doesn't bother me, the speculated (but as yet unseen) child pornography or paedophile observations are more morally dubious and I'll have to decide when I finally read it.

Which does bring me to another problem with the book. It's looking more and more likely that you won't be able to read it in most comic shops. Forbidden Planet International has decided to only stock it for those who ask for it, there will be none on the shelf. That effectively kills the book dead before it's published. I don't know the position of other companies. I imagine in the USA the only stores that will touch something like this will be the liberal state stores - New York, Chicago, the west coast.

But one thing is certain, if anyone can produce an intelligent work of pornography it's Alan Moore.

We, as comic buyers, as comic industry workers and as stores, have to decide what we're doing. Are we selling entertainment, literature and art? If so, we should be able to defend this.
But sadly, too many people in the industry are living in a past of comics that really were just for kids.
That changed many, many years ago.
Maybe it's time some people noticed?

Of course, further problems have come to light recently regarding copyright, specifically in Britain where Great Ormond Street have a specific copyright on Peter Pan (the play) until 2008.

This is going to get bigger and bigger.
Personally I'm expecting the tabloids to get hold of it and we may even have baying mobs outside the comic shop protesting something they haven't seen, haven't read and have no knowledge of more than what they are fed by a reactionist, exploitative media.

I was going to go on.
(some may say I already have)
But it's important. Have a look at some of the links above and related posts.

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