Lost Girls'

By Cornelius A. Fortune

"Lost Girls" is a dirty, erotic, poetic, frenetic, deeply vulgar, satisfying, highly instructive, visually complex, exploration into human sexual behavior and longing: the intersection between sexual reality and sexual fantasy – arguably the best sex you'll find on paper, with a thinking man – or woman's – perspective.
The hook is alluring. Beloved characters from children's literature: Alice ("Alice in Wonderland"), Dorothy ("The Wizard of Oz"), and Wendy ("Peter Pan"), gather in a hotel – the Hotel Himmelgarten – in Austria, recounting their sexual histories, while partaking in all manner of activities, conversational and otherwise.
Alice's story of sexual awakening is perhaps the saddest, springing from molestation and drug use (opium), and a strange fascination with mirrors, or "looking glasses," she's a proud lesbian, experienced, she serves as a guide. Dorothy's story is rustic and daring, complete with farm animals and hired help; Wendy's is filled with all the undercurrents in the "Peter Pan" story that many have thought, but few have actually explored in literature or film, including but not limited to group masturbation.
And it's not just lesbian sex either. Wendy's husband and Dorothy's "boyfriend," Captain Rolf Bauer, a soldier on convalesce with a shoe fetish, find time to be alone in a scene that rings true, intercut with a narrative of Oscar Wilde's first visit to a bathhouse.
Sometimes Gebbie's art works like a camera with extreme close-ups, dissolves, wipes; other times it's like a canvas, impressionistic strokes, lithographed, a picture book for adults. It's all in here. Beautifully packaged.
$75 is a lot to pay for a book, but you'll never find another book like this, anywhere. The book has already gone through its second printing and is a hard to find treasure. Not only has Alan Moore reinvented superheroes with "Watchmen," delved into the history of homosexuality with "The Mirror of Love," he now elevates pornography, if such a thing were possible.
There's incest, a smidgen of bestiality, orgies, a preacher receiving fellatio during a wedding ceremony. Wild stuff to be sure. There's even a bit of world history in the backdrop, the stirring of World War I, and a famous musical performance that forever changed modern music, involving Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring."
Many have set out to find art in pornography, but it rings false, or untenable. "Lost Girls" succeeds where many have failed, because it takes itself seriously.
Like a great porno it's filled with wall-to-wall action. What's refreshing is that the pornography is an entry point into the philosophical ideas of sex, and sexual roles, and how our sexual experiences help shape who we are.
There's an actual story arc at work, with a beginning, middle, and an end, not a silly little story just to get people to take their clothes off (though many of the stories are used for the three to titillate each other with narrative).
"Tell me a story," the book opens, and it is all about stories you see. The kind of stories you curl up in bed to read, the kind that keep you warm at night.

"Lost Girls"
Written by Alan Moore
Illustrated by Melinda Gebbie
Top Shelf Productions
$75 hardcover

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