Monday, September 25, 2006

COMICS: Lost Girls

Before I begin, I wanted to say that Alan Moore, the writer of this book-- as well as the writer of some of my favorite graphic novels of all time: The Watchmen, V For Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Batman: The Killing Joke and From Hell-- is a friggin mad man and a genius. When I first heard about this project, Reinterpreting three beloved children's stories, I was intrigued. When I heard that Alan Moore was interested in making a pornographic graphic novel I was wondering how that would work, combining porn and classic literature. I mean, the first thing that comes to mind are those porn spoofs of blockbuster movies like Forest Hump and Whore of the Rings. But this is Alan Moore, I told myself, he's one of the best writers in the world. If anyone could pull off Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz servicing the Cowardly Lion and still be able to call it art, it's Alan Fucking Moore. As I began to read the first book of three, I realized I was about half right.

Alice from Wonderland, Dorothy from Oz and Wendy from Neverland meet at a Swiss Hotel a few days before the onset of World War I and exchange stories as well as bodily fluids. Honestly, if you took out the sex parts, it's really just three women sitting around having tea and telling their childhood stories. But as you can imagine Alan Moore covers all the basics of porn: orgies, girl on girl, guy on girl on guy, girl on girl on girl and even guy on guy. This book pulls no punches; Moore said he was going to do porn he has done just that. It is the most tasteful porn I have ever read and probably the most intelligent. The artwork by Melinda Gebbie makes the book appear more refined and elegant.

I am reminded though of a book that circulated in the west about a hundred years ago or so showing pictures of men and women having sex in very strange ways -- it was called the Kama Sutra. Many people tried to boycott it as filthy and disgusting and I am sure there were many pages burned. The Kama Sutra today isn't really even given a second glance; it's not really controversial anymore. I think that in some way Alan Moore is trying to say: it's sex and it's not a big deal, so just relax. I think the part that I have trouble trying to cope with is the alterations on the classic stories of each girl. It's kind of weird to see Peter Pan doing Wendy while John and Michael Darling, um, please themselves in the background. To see what, I believe, to be the characterization of the White Rabbit molesting a very young Alice is, well, disturbing. I grew up with these stories as a kid and even though to some degree it's kind of humorous to see this kind of twist, it also really destroys the innocence of these stories. Oh, and Dorothy is really a disappointment because not only is she depicted as kind of a redneck, but she is also an out of control nympho who has sex with the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion. So if you are looking to branch out a little bit and read something that is, well, a little -- who am I kidding, very lewd and possibly offensive -- then pick up this very beautifully drawn and very interestingly written graphic novel. Who knows, maybe Alan Moore has accomplished the impossible -- Porn as a true art form.

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