THE MIRROR OF REALITY FRAMING IMAGINATION IN ALAN MOORE AND MELINDA GEBBIES LOST GIRLS by Jennifer Eileen Walters B.A., University of Northern Colorado, 2007 A thesis submitted tothe University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts English 2012
ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Jennifer Eileen Walters has been approved by Bradford Mudge Michelle Comstock Rebecca Gorman November 5, 2012
iii Walters, Jennifer (M.A., English) The Mirror of Reality: Framing Imagination in Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbies Lost Girls Thesis directed by Professor Bradford MudgeABSTRACT The sexualization of childrens literature has been a frequent adaptation for the sake of nostalgia and fetish alike; Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbies Lost Girls represents one such adaptation, into the comic book format. Comic books, pornography, and childrens literature are all often ignored or derided within the study of literature, yet the combination of all three creates a complex intersection. This thesis leads towards an understanding of the possibilities for comic books in portraying positive sexuality by analyzing the representations of sexuality from the perspective of non-dominant group members, focusing on age, gender, and sexual orientation. By creating a pornographic book that acknowledges negative aspects of sex but celebrates the positivepossibilities of healthy sexuality for women and (adolescent) children, Moore and Gebbie problematize the way we think about comic books, childrens literature, and pornography. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Bradford Mudge
iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTMy gratitudeto my advisor, Bradford Mudge, for his suggestionsand support to my thesis. I also wish to thank all the members of my committee for their valued participation.
v TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Framework..6 Literature Review..................................................................................................7 Childrens Literature.................................................................................8 Pornography............................................................................................11 Comic Books..........................................................................................13Lost Girls Criticism and Analysis...........................................................17 II. SPLASHY ADAPTATIONS: TIME AND SEXUALITY IN THE COMIC BOOK FORM........................................................................................................................22 III. NEVER FAR FROM HOME: GENDER AND DESIRE..........................................45 IV. CONTRARIWISE: A BRIEF FORAY INTO SEXUAL ORIENTATION ..............67 V. AS OLD AS THE PAGE THEY APPEAR ON: THE SEXUALIZATION OF LITERARY CHILDREN...........................................................................................77 VI. CONCLUSIONS......................................................................................................102 BIBLIOGRAPHY........................................................................................................................106
1 CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION Lost Girls opens in a mirror, with a speech bubble indicating someone off panel and out of within a comic book panel, we are only really able to see what the mirror sees, and the mirror is always leaving something tantalizingl y just out of sight. However, the edge of the mirror reveals what the book has not (yet): nude female bodies intertwined. The bottom left of the frame is divi sion between pornography and art is thin and ever shifting. This image is an indication of what is to come: a comic book that questions standard definitions of art and pornography by way of sexual women. Lady Fairchild, the requested storyteller, is reve aled several p ages later mediat ed by the as an older white haired woman whose maids gossip about her proclivities for young girls and drugs. She is in the process of moving for an extended stay at the Himmelgarten Hotel, where she mee ts Monsieur Rougeur, the owner of the hotel. Rougeur hands, fiction becomes the very mirror truest (1.6.5). Alan Moore the author of Lost Girls and a self identified chaos magician, believe s that imagination can act as a necessary first step towards improving society, and therefore reaching towards a better reality than the one we live in. In Mindscape (2005), a recent documentary discussing his beliefs, he contends whether that be music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images to achieve changes in consci contemporary world you are likely to see to a shaman By making Lost Girls available to
2 readers together with artist Melinda Gebbie Moore creates the possibility of a different concept of sexu al relationships, pornography, and comic books. 1 Rougeur acts as a mouthpiece for Moore repeatedly within Lost Girls initiating the discussion of some of the ideas of the book that Moore admits he was trying to get across, including the use of imaginatio n to develop a better version of truest ideal selves, which in his case I read to mean openly but also consensually sexual selves, who must first be imagined in order to create the seeks Comic books according to the popular perception and the academic and legal responses to them fill two seemingly opposite genres within the literary purview. With their use of pictures to replace much in the way of text, comic books are often seen by both pre and post secondary schools as less than: a way to create an interest in reading before children move on to some comic books are more worthy of examination and acknowledgement than others 2 Conversely, with their hyper sexualized (super ) heroines and visual portrayal of sex and violence, comic books are just as often seen as practically if not actually pornog raphic: adult in nature. At the sam e time that comic books are placed within these two genres, they are often perceived like pornography, as being distinctly masculine in nature and misogynist in tone. Within Alan Moore 1 Gebbie is identified as the artist of Lost Girls Although she had creative power in how the When discussing art, I attempt to identify the de I intend to discuss this aspect further. 2 As is often the case when writing about comic books, I find i t necessary to define my use of comic book terms and explain my reasoning for using one over another. I prefer the delineation used by Neil Gaiman between comic books and graphic novels, in which the former are or at any point in their history were serial ized while the latter were written and published as one singular book without ever being serialized. Lost Girls was partially serialized in Taboo magazine before c describe his writing.
3 Lost Girls these multiple views of comic books a re combined to illustrate but also bring into question the ways comic books are perceived. Speaking of the public pornography had been let down in terms of its relations hip to art and that it was despised, much like comics. .[ Lost Girls ( Mindscape ). pornographic comic book Moore and Gebbie work to challenge the ways we read comic books, book series to examine how the format of comic books, and the portra y al and discussion of sex ual experiences in both create a complex representation of modern concepts of gender, sexuality, and agency. Lost Girls Peter Pan Dorothy Gale, from the Oz series Alice in Wonderland books; through a stay at the fictitious Himmelgarten Hotel in Austria, in the days leading up to World War I. Each woman tells of her first and other early sexual experiences, frequently as a means of encouraging further erotic activity with the other two women. Through the telling of these stories, the women are able to not only turn each other on, but to heal themselves and each other through the examination and repetition of their experiences The original story each woman comes from is heavily revised for this purpose removing most of the fantastical elements to make them grou nded almost entirely in reality: Alice did not dream her experiences, and neither Wendy nor Dorothy left the towns they grew up in to explore another fantastic world. Comic books are often seen as a male driven, male oriented form of writing in a way that argua bly few other forms of writing with the possible exception of pornography are. As many literary feminists incl uding Virginia Woolf and Helene Cixous have argued, the female characters
4 written by (and assumedly for) men are often stereotypical and represent certain perspectives derived from and intended to continue a state of masculine privilege. Lost Girls take s stories originally written by Victorian men British and American, before or during t he first major and place those stories in a more modern dialogue; I would argue that Moore and Gebbie attempt to empower the re envisioned female charac ters by changing both the settings of the stories and the ages of the characters. However, t he attempts and the extent to which those attempts may succeed in challenging or affirming commonly held ideas about the sexuality and sexualization of women and children are a major part of the scope of this analysis. be considered unique from other literatures in two ways: it is defined by its intended audience at the same time its intended audience is almost always restricted from pr audience which they are likely no longer a part of, reconstructing both their concepts of childhood and its adaptations further muddies the waters by focusing on what most would agree children should not know, yet what is often either already present in the original books and stories or added much more explicitly in adaptations. Lost Girls is clearly inten ded not for children but adults: it is identified as pornographic by Moore himself and is usually found wrapped in plastic in books tores to keep its contents from the eyes of children So the question is raised: Why start cultural touchstones of Western society in a way few other text s do, while another may be the I would also argue for a third possibility that Moore seeks to problematize the way adults seek to protect children from certain (sexual) experiences while allowing or even encouraging them towards others (violence).
5 Finally, the aspect of this thesis that separates it from many other examinations of Lost Girls utilize s Comic books work to tell a story using both words and images, and the best comic books use both of these in unique ways to help create a more cohesive story, rather than the images or words simply acting as a reiteration of each other. Several issues aris e in the use of the comic book format that will be discussed, including: comic books affordances within the development of the stories, such as the visual differentiation between storytellers ; what images are shown or are not shown, and the effect that sho wing sexuality, versus simply telling and storytelling tactics that comic books use to differentiate time, setting, and speaker. E ach of these issues affects major creative decisions within comic books in notable ways that separate these adaptations from most others. Various literary theorists have argued that authorial intent is irrelevant to analysis of an 3 While this is a legitimate argument for those texts whose authors have been dead for years if not centuries, one of the possibilities of contemporary literature is greater access to authorial intent. Because modern author s can still respond to their own w riting, can still explain what their work was meant to achieve, we are able as analysts of written works to respond not only to what we see, but what the author has stated he meant for us to see, and whether that intent has been achieved. Moore is an auth or whose works are not intended to solely entertain, he identifies himself as a magician and frequently explains the way that words, ideas, and images act as magic for those who create ( Mindscape ). Moore Lost Girls powerful, imaginative, healing experience, and to break the cultural taboo that makes the idea of 3
6 It is impor tant to be critical of how cultural touchstones, like the three books Lost Girls derives from, and their subsequent adaptations reflect societal changes and perceptions. By examining an oft ignored media, I hope to understand better how such wri ting reflects modern ideals of sexuality and attempts to change those ideals, as well as place the text within a greater dialogue of literary analysis. Framework To achieve this understanding, I will examine four major aspects of how sexuality has been represented uniquely within Lost Girls beginning with the visual representation within the comic book, then focusing on gender, sexual orientation, and age as impor tant areas of difference Following an examination of some of the literature pertaining to aspects of this undertaking, I will first analyze features of the comic book format and provide a start to the discussion of what happens when sex is made visual Starting with the format helps to explain the structure of the text as a whole a main through line at the Himmelgarten Hotel with multiple people telling or reading additional stories and how the format acts to maintain clarity of that structure. Included in this section is an examination of the multiple ways that the passage of time i s controlled by a static image, and as such focuses much more on how the story is told, rather than what is being said. Also in this section is a discussion of what can be l ost or gained by adapting a text from one media to another The second section focuses on the social construction of gendered sexuality, primarily for understand her own sexual desires as a young woman and how they may be affe cted by and affect others, so is examined in its entirety here gender and age, is necessarily split between this and a later section; here, I focus on the
7 representation of non consensual sex and the fet ishization thereof, as well as the social desexualization of women when they become mothers. In the third section, the representation of homosexuality is examined in detail. The issue of sexual coercion is raised by two scenes at the Himmelgarten Hotel, outside of the stories being told by the women. After this, almost all of s story acts as the primary representation of (lesbian) homosexuality. The fourth section finally focuses on what is probably the greatest controversy of Lost Girls : the repr esentation of child sexuality. After a more generalized discussion of the ways society sexualizes children, I e completing an analysis stories. I likewise examine her initiation to sex and the pedophilic aspects of child sexuality raised by hers which acknowledge but do not really answer the legal issues behind portraying and encouraging childhood sexuality and the results of all this storytelling on the characters. Literature Review Heavily cited in much of my research on c Kincaid, author of Child Loving: The Erotic Child and Victorian Culture (1992). In his book, he examines Victorian writing and no w to expose current constructions of childhood, sexuality, and the mixing of the two. One of the major aspects of childhood that makes it desirable to adults to write and reflect on is they are simultaneously exotic and familiar to an adult. He children. After suggesting that literary children are often either gentle or naugh ty, Kincaid specifically examines both Peter Pan and Alice as the two most recognizable literary children, yet
8 who are both outside of this oft used binary. He suggests that the fascination with both these characters is caused by their existence as neithe r naughty, and therefore punishable, nor nice, and therefore in need of reward. Because of their unique status, t hey encourage a fascination in ne ver satisfying/being satisfied (which Peter is allowed to retain, but Alice is not). By reading the ways chi ldren are written and rea d, Kincaid makes it possible and necessary to examine how we remember and revise chi ldhood Published the same year, Jacqueline Rose argues in The Case of Peter Pan, or The but instead about how adults view children and what they want from them. She uses Peter Pan and its predecessor The Little White Bird to examine the intricacies of adult perception of has a tendency to create a pioneer like child, one who is lacking in experience. This suggests that making stories like Peter Pan and A lice in Wonderland at odds with intentions but also to remind adults of what it was like to not know. The impossibility Rose refers to is, in part, the inability of the (adult) author to write something for children without some ulterior motives either t o teach or attract the child Christine Wilkie (2002) takes some of the concepts of major literary feminist theorists Luce Irigaray, Helene Cixous, and Julia Kristeva and applies those concepts to chil a term she borrows from Cixous and as the between fa ntasy and reality. In particular, Wilkie Stibbs is careful to point out that feminine writing and reading occur regardless of the gender of the author or reader. Thus adventures, which are ambiguously fantastic, or in a space between fully real a nd fully fantasy,
9 can be read as feminine not because she is a girl, and not despite her male author, but because envisioning of the three Lost Girls at odds with thei r original fantastic/feminine stories, as he takes away this ambiguity so that the stories were always real yet replaces fantasy with imagination as a means of questioning patriarchal reality. Men in Wonderland: The Lost Girlhood of Victorian Gentlemen ( 2003) takes the which Kincaid and Rose raise tion with childhood, particularly girlhood during that era by middle a ged men She reads this fascination not as a sexual obsession as it is typically understood, but as a more personal appreciation for what was understood to be a safer, more relaxed period of time. Opposite Freudian readings of people as either male or lacking, Robson suggests that, at least in Victorian times, young children were all perceived/treated as feminine, creating severe distress when boys were suddenly treated more roughly as young men. Her analysis follows the shifting perc eptions of young girls through girl and the actual one. Also discussed are Lewis photography. Given the inclusion of C arroll as a (nameless) character in Lost Girls who is very written in this era, the questioning of sexual obsession as the sole reason for writing and revision o f girlhood is refreshing. specific adaptation s from within the genre, of Children (2008), and add sexual situations not explicitly included in the original. He argues that retellings of
10 episodes are intended not to sexualize c hildren per se, but to create a nostalgic image of childhood for adults, in which their sexual agency is not lost to their younger in an that the fas cination with young girls is more a fascination with the pure, innocent self that adults believe they were when extremely young, rather than a fascination not merely the revisions of a specific book or books, should be understood as revising childhood. Adults reading the novels then are intended to associate themselves with the (good) children, reaffirming the nostalgia Tribunella identifies. The desire is not to have the child or be the child, but both. Tribunella seems to view the sexualization of children within these revisions as an sex. The idea that ad characters through sexualization while still retaining their youth acts as a sort of blending of what Vall difference in chil distinguishes between books that attempt to either convert children into adults or resist adulthood through the celebration of childhood. She outlines from books that emphasize overcoming differences (of age, race, ability, gender), thus creating and reinforcing a societal norm, to books that may acknowledge difference but do not over discuss it, allowing it to become normalized. Vallone emphasizes age issue I want to discuss particularly in response to Lost Girls range of ages as represented by the three female protagonists.
11 Several of the previously mentioned books literature include hints of sexuality, but Innocence, Heterosexuality, and the (2010) puts it at the front by questioning the often implicit assumption that most childre genre typically reinforces heteronormative values and thus a specific sexuality. He examines several popular of both Oz Harry Potter and Twilight books. Pugh points out the extent to which the innocence of the imagined child the literature is written for encourages perversion by fetishizing innocence, necessitating the distinction between authorially intended sexuality or what is imagined by the reader. He also draws a distinction between those stories that leave their characters in perpetual childhood and those series that a llow their characters to age, learn, develop, and thus become sexual at a more socially acceptable age. Also A Series of Unfortunate Events in which he finds a unique valuing of (sexual) knowledge. Innocence from the idea of sex, he argues, puts children in a position to be attacked without the knowledge to understand (and if possible, report) what has happened to them. Pornography The debate of what, if any, negative effects p ornography has on child and adult viewers has been of ongoing concern for centuries, but seems to have grown alongside the varieties Hardcore: Power, Pleasure, and the Frenzy of the Visible (1989) is Williams uses an anti censorship feminist stance to move past immediate condemnation of pornograp hy as misogynist or valorization as art, but instead questions what pornography is, what
12 it does, and why it is so popular. Also of great interest to Williams is the focus of pornography on the moment of pleasure, which is mostly invisible for women, enc ouraging a focus on both the male moment of pleasure and female indications of pleasure, typically aural. Writing after a films written for and by actual couples, Lost Girls. While she does not find that the inclusion of a woman in the authorial creation of pornography necessarily makes it more feminist, it does have noticeable effects on how pleasure and sexuality are portr ayed and understood. of women can be seen as in part a response to The Madwoman in the Attic (1984), which argue s that women are typically either written e specially by men but often by women trying to mimic masculine writing as well as an angel or a monster. Literary women are either the ideal the angel or the antit hesis of that ideal the monster They go on to explain that this polarization is intended to both separate women from each other and teach In addition, they discuss the representations of violence in young Walter Kendrick, i n The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture (1996), comes to some similar conclusions as Williams, identifying pornography as representative of power of a specific group. He seems more interested however in the censorship of pornography as another form of power, one which has been frequently held over wom en and is now focused against/in defense of children.
13 the moral safety of pornography but Lolicon : The Reality of analyzes the sexua lization of girls forms of child pornography real, or a sexual phot ograph of a child; pseudo, or digitally altered photographs of children to make them sexual; and virtual, or images in which no actual child was involved in its creation. To some extent, he suggests that the Japanese perception of pornography and particula rly this pornography is different from a more western perception; there is a very specific mental separation between reality and imagination in Japanese society. A Japanese person who is interested in (drawn) images of young girls, he argues, would be disturbed by actual photographs because of their actual effects on a child. I would argue that this is similar to the separation that Lost Girls seems to argue for between imagining inappropriate sexuality and acting on it. Comic Books As Kincaid is to the analysis of sexuality in comic books. McCloud s Understanding Comics (1993) and Making Comics (2006), use the form not only as a point of analysis, but as a format as well, improving the the reader in understanding comics that require visual representation. One of the few comic book theorists, McCloud analyzes the structure and narrative pace of comics, as well as raising questions about the knowledge required to re ad a comic book. In both Understanding Comics
14 and Making Comics, which can be read as a continuation of Understanding Comics he not only provides explanations for many aspects of writing comics, but also gives language to those writing about comics, expl aining how to discuss the inclusion of both art and words within comic books. McCloud also discusses how the form of comic books offer s the reader a unique experience, due to the use of gutters (spaces between comic panels) to encourage reader participat ion in creating the story itself. This aspect of comic books adds to the intertextuality of Lost Girls relying on the reader to make connections not only between panels but between texts to better understand the histories and decisions of the well known characters. This level of Philip E Wegner in Alan Moore, Second Literacy, and the Modernism of the Graphic Novel (2009) He finds that comic books encourage second literacy, or a more del iberate and self conscious literacy (n. pag.). Using McCloud s ideas of comic book reader as partial writer as a starting point Wegner argues that comic books encourage more involvement from the reader than ma ny other forms of entertainment The often self reflexive medium of comic books then encourages reader s themselves to be similarly self reflexive. Given Moore s stated intent to create changes in the perception of sexuality with Lost Girls the decision to use a comic book format would seem then to encourage the reader to be more aware of their own responses to the story. perceptions is repeated in Digres This Book Contains Graphic Language (2007) E cho ing initial conversation with Lady Fairchild Versaci suggests that the escapism comic books represent in their fantastic, over the top worlds, should be understood as a method of better seeing and understanding our worl d as it is and could potentially be, rathe r than solely escaping it.
15 He argues for the perception of comic books as literature for several reasons, including their ability to challenge how we perceive the stori es and experiences we receive; their self conscious awareness of their representation of what is never truly real; and their capacity for humanizing their characters in unique, often deeply affecting ways In the chapter Versa ci maps the evolution of adaptations of literature into comic books, from those comic books that vied for their own demise by suggesting at the end of every issue that the reader go read the ding of both source and format, giving credence to the comic book form as well as the original stories portrayed within them. One aspect of those more recent comic books that is particularly valuable to my analysis is the use of the common comic book trop (204). This is what allows Batman and Superman to fight side by side with Spiderman, and what allows the three Lost Girls to meet, live and yes, even sleep together. Adaptation of literature from an original to a more modern version of the story is woven through the entirety of this project. A Theory of Adaptation (2006), by Linda Hutcheon, examines issues of adaptation as both an action and produ ct across a great dea l of media including book, film, opera, comic books, and video games. Arguing against giving value to either the initial text or the adaptation, she instead focuses on how and why texts are changed, and what it means to know that an adaptation is an ada ptation. Hutcheon delineates between different levels of audience involvement with multiple adaptation forms as telling, showing, or requiring interaction, which she admits allows for different difficulties and enhancements. Like Versaci, Dirk Vanderbe ke focuses specifically on comic book adaptations of well into comic books a s something that has been constant almost since the start of the format. He
16 rather than being willing to utilize the comic book format to full advantage. Inc luded in the format, Vanderbeke argues, is the acceptance of the magical or not quite real. What may work to the disadvantage of the comic books however is the need to make visible or explicit what is only mentioned or described in original books. Uphe ld by his arguments then is the need to examine, in adaptations into comic books, not only the original story but also the ways the comic book format, history, and art refer, respond, or challenge an original text. While few other comic book analysts woul often ignored in the analysis of comic books. Because time cannot be shown actually, as it may be in a film or live performance, and can be awkward or distracting to expl ain narratively, comic books have developed several visual means of conveying the passage of time. temporall y. Mikkonen focuses on the contextualization of time within stories, explaining that everything from shape, size, and placement of panels can be used to encourage a specific reading of both the time that passes within them and the importance of some panel s over others. The passages of time, as well as concurrent storylines, are able to o ccur in coherent ways through the use of various visual methods such as the slightly altered color schemes used within Lost Girls to indicate the telling of past experien ces as contrasted with present events Mark Bernard and James Bucky Carter s Alan Moore and the Graphic Novel: Confronting the Fourth Dimension (2004) focuses on the construction of time within Moore s previous comics, specifically Watchmen and From Hell They find that comic books are particularly adept at portraying past, present, and sometimes future simultaneously without providing too much information, due to their static imagery. Part of the value of this type of representation is that it enco urages a reader
17 to take current events within a story with the context of the characters past experiences as well, understanding how the characters came to become who they now are. Lost Girls Criticism and Analysis Released a few years before Lost Gir ls in 2005, The Mindscape of Alan Moore gives the author a chance to explain his work. Moore discusses many of his beliefs as a practicing magician, as well as some of the experiences that led to his many of his works being created. He explains the impo rtance of imaginati on and language in changing both the individuals and the world around them. These ideas can be seen throughout Lost Girls and his other works. Included on the DVD are interviews with many of the artists he has worked with on his most w ell known projects, including Melinda Gebbie. Her interview helps to reveal some of her thoughts on sexuality and the overlap of art and pornography, to better understand her role in the creation of the book and how it represents her opinions as well as M In a roundtable on Lost Girls, published in 2007, Kenneth Kidd Chris Eklund Charles Hatfield, and Meredith Collins discuss the intent of the comic book and whether or not that intent was achieved. Kidd, who focuses predom inantly on Alice in his section begins by discussing the two popular perceptions of Lewis Carroll (similar to those of J.M. Barrie) as either a saintly, caring man or a predatory pedophiliac, identifying the willingness of Lost Girls to acknowledge the historical assumptions of the author as well as the Alice books as a sort of suggests that while Alice is negatively affected by her experiences wit h Carroll (not identified by name in the comic book), she is also empowered, taking on many of the sexual characteristics of her abuser. Kidd concludes by identifying the overlapping of popular responses
18 are commonly analyzed only by those who would never admit to reading them for enjoyment, as both genres were intended 4 whether Lost Girls should be identified as pornography and, throughout the study, w hether the three main characters involved should be understood as an adaptation or merely representations of the original characters from their classic novels. Lost Girls focuses not only on the positive aspects of sexuality, but the possible dangers of s exual pleasure as well, which he describes as revealing an ethical intent that surpasses the standard erotic purpose of pornography. Eklund also draws strong parallels between the plot and intent of Lost Girls views the book as a ritual intended to allow the titular girls to heal through the act of telling and retelling their often painful sexual experiences, an act which is intended to help heal the reader as well. Although he acknowledges the hyper sexuality of the women within the graphic novel, he does not perceive that sexualization as exploitative. He concludes that the intent of the graphic novel is female positive, in part due to the collaboration between Moore and Gebbie. Collins argues against Eklun d Lost Girls that the inclusion of rape does not negate its eroticism, but instead provides the possibility for any reader who is titillated by non consensual sex to enjoy the book as well it is the reader rather than the tex t who determines eroticism. Collins examines Lost Girls through the perspective of Victorian history when the original characters were created and compares it to the more modern allowances made within the text. She identifies the inclusion of character d evelopment and the acknowledgement of consequences such as pregnancy as separating Lost Girls from standard pornography at the same 4 One of the aspects that the three books or series that Lost Girls derives from frequently that followed them are.
19 time that the discussion of birth control separates it from the Victorian ideologies represented by the originals. Hatfield identifies Lost Girls as a book that creates multiple tensions between apparent intent and actuality: it is identified by Moore as pornography at the same time that it tries to exceed pornography, didactic but also arousing, while remaining true to the two potentially opposing genres He points out that the comic book is intensely self referential, examining pornography and its censorship alongside the values of literature. Hatfield is uncertain if the sexual freedom the book argues for Lost Girls it writing (where most other analyses ignore the art or draw no distinction between the two creators and their creative input). He argues that it is the visual aspec ts of the comic book that give each woman her own voice and perspective against the repetitious telling of their stories; he also sees her style as seemingly more feminine and Romantic than expected of comic books. Sydney Duncan examines several transfor mations of The Wizard of Oz including and succeeding the well (2008.) Subsequent adaptations of the story encourage notions of domesticity rather than adventure, notably changing the co nclusion from one of an actual return from Oz to waking from adaptation from an imprecise youth to late adolescence or adulthood, which allows the acceptable sexualiz ation the original lacks. 5 Lost Girls Duncan examines both the sexual and social class ideologies that Dorothy represents in the adaptation, finding that 5 Baum does not ages. She is assumed to be approximately ten in The Wizard of Oz given this information.
20 Dorothy is reduced by either fetishization her male lover is so interested in her silver shoes that or stereotyping of uneducated farm girl. Unlike the other adaptations Duncan analyzed, however, even in dream, so that her adventures a re only sexual patriarchal roles, planning to marry, have children, and settle down as her adaptive predecessors did. Annalis a DeLiddo therwise, in Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel (2009). She reads much of his work as either narrative experiments or a deconstruction of tradition. In order to do this, she reveals the importance social identity in general and British identity especially writing. She also distinguishes between the way this identity is reflected in Moore s male and female characters: characters of difference are better able to overcome the negative aspects of their Britishn ess. DeLid do does an extended analysis of Lost Girls which she sees as containing evidence of the intentions his previous works have been moving towards. She also discusses in depth the working relationships and developmental difficulties Moore has had in creating his numerous comic books and graphic novels. Although the stories told by her two female companions make brief references to previous film adaptations, Dorothy Gale and her stories are drawn more from the film variation of her story than the bo ok(s). The MGM Wizard of Oz (1939), with its sepia toned intro and outro and doubling of characters, is echoed in the comic book, when Dorothy tells of her early sexual (1996) views the film as an abandonment of adventure and freedom. She distinguishes between coming of age stories for boys and girls: the former are about leaving home, whereas the latter are about accepting and submitting to the home. Viewing the Wicked Witch of the West as a
21 representation of female desire for power and agency, Dorothy must destroy her to be able to return home. Meanwhile, the Wicked Witch is also read as a doubling of Auntie Em: both are much like Aunt Em in Lost Girls.
22 CHAPTER II. SPLASHY ADAPTATIONS: TIME AND SEXUALITY IN THE COMIC BOOK FORM Comic books are capable of creating unique representations of stories and ideas. Given the juxtaposition of image and word, both acting to indicate the passage of time, movement, speech, etc. yet in a static placement, comic books are able in a way few other media are to provide den se amo unts of information in a comprehensible way. A particularly well written comic book then is one that uses both image and text in specific, interactive but not overlapping ways, so that neither is doing the work the other could do better. According to Sco tt McCloud, one of few comic book theorists, a comic must include images but do es not necessarily require words as words are not always necessary to convey meaning In using the term pictorial, he distinguishes between pictorial images and icons with m ore specific intent, such as symbols and letter s He define s icon as any image used to represent a person, place, thing or idea ( Understanding Comics 27.2). This would include, then, the characters and backgrounds used within comic books, but also the words, panels, and speech bubbles. McCloud discusses the differences between image and word that allow for their interplay in comic books : In the non pictorial icons, meaning is fixed and absolute. Their appearance doesn t affect their meaning because they represent invisible ideas. In pictures, however, meaning is fluid and variable according to appearance. They differ from real life appearance to varying degrees ( UC 28.1 2 ) Although I would argue that the meaning s of non pictorial icons are not utterly absolute, they are decidedly more fixed than most pictures would be. For example, while almost anyone would read the Star of David as a symbol of Judaism, a picture of a man with his head bowed could indicate penitence prayer mourning, etc.
23 However, at the same time that pictures are open to far more interpretations than icons such as words, they are also a much more immediate means of relaying information. As McCloud points out, Pictures are received information. We need no formal education to get the message. The message is instantaneous Writing is perceived information. It takes time and specialized knowledge to decode the abstract symbols of language ( UC 49.1 3) It is this aspect of written language that it does not immediately reveal what it speaks of that has been the basis for a shift in the definition of pornography. Pornography Final Re port the last of several reports commissioned over fifty years in America to determine the effects and scope of pornography, identified what had become apparent: rather than pornography meaning writing by or about prostitutes, as it etymologically did, p ornography no longer included the written word. It state s produces a message that seems to necessitate for its assimilation more real thought and less almost reflexive reaction than does the more typical pornog raphic item. There remains a difference between reading a book and looking at pictures Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure which is generally identified as one of the first book sexuality is one such example of this shift in the definition of pornography. First banned in the United States in 1821, it was found to be too obscene for publication until 1966, when the novel like many books by that point in time was found to have ban media identified as obscene h as resulted in the use of ratings or seals to restrict children s access from movies, video games, television shows, and up until very recently even comic books 6 However, p urely textual books seem to have lost their ability to be labeled pornographic 6 The Comics Code Association, created in the 1954 as a method of regulating comic boo ks, even extramarital relationships. The required stamp was ignored by some publications but the
24 If people are able to read the books that may have previously been deemed obscene, this seems to suggest, they are intelligent enough to respond maturely to those books. One way that Moore and Gebbie emphasize this shift in the definition of pornography is the White Book which makes obvious through images the often implied sexual encounters within some original texts. (and therefore illustrated) book within a book created and compiled by Monsi e ur Rougeur that replaces the more well known s It contains brief illustrated stories that adapt some pornographic or near pornographic te xts and is, in a sense, Monsieur Rougeur s Lost Girls The Lost Girls act out or otherwise echo the pages they are reading. Several of the stories are not iden while others are immediately Portrait of Dorian Gray demonstrate opening pages, the fine line between art/literature and pornography. stories of their childhoods when they are told, and the excerpts from the White Book are not technically comics : t hey are illustrated stories lacking the dialogue and arguably the implied movement of the comics that they are told/read within. By juxtaposing the two forms of image/text most commonly seen Moore and Gebbie draw attention not only to their similar ities but also their differences. The stor ies told by the women and read in the White Book not rely on the images but instead are supplemented by the m, whereas comic books rely on the reading of both images and words, to varying degrees, to get a poi nt across. An illustrated story would still be more or less the same story without images, but a comic would not be a comic without those images. This makes comic books CCA continued until 2011, when the last regularly published co mic to still pursue the stamp Archie Comics announced they were dropping the Code.
25 arguably more complicated, as they require a balancing of words and images and the ab ility to use both to communicate rather than only words and descriptions. At the same time that Moore and Gebbie emphasize the difference between an illustrated story and a comic book, they also call into question the valuing of illustrated stories over comic books. The originals of all three of the books Lost Girls derives from include illustrations that are often considered to be important inclusions within the books, yet they are considered classics to be read in university courses on Victorian Literature Speaking of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Rocco Versaci argues that Moore has previously made a statement shifting. He sets the stage for this statement by applying a key feature of comic books that the to the world 7 The pulp novels that League originate d from and the children s literature that Lost Girls adapts have both b een considered low art before they were accepted into the canon. Moore sets a similar stage for literature and pornography alongside a common comic book trope to ques tion what should be considered acceptable academically and morally/socially Lost Girls is broken i the first of which is after, is a Lewis Carroll quotation: Through the Looking Glass The will not immediately find the children that they know and love, if they are able to find them at all within these characters; the woman herein are older, and potentially wiser. The second is titled 7 This series, which began in 1999 and was later made into a movie of the same name in 2003, follows the exploits of major literary characters including Robert Louis Stevens Lost Girls known stories into a comic book series.
26 ourse th e play se Neverlands are the sexual preferences of (predominantly) adults and the y do indeed vary a great deal The third book DeLiddo offers three possible readings for this particular epitaph s placement with this book, suggesting that what is great and terrible within is either sex, which pervades the entire story and can be either great or terrible, depending on the desires of either/any parties involved ; war, the specter of which hangs over the frenzied finale as the women attempt to complete their stories before they are forced from the hotel by encroaching violence; or the force of fiction and imagination: they are able to conjure majestic visions and even scary fantasies of violence and abuse, yet they remain safe and harmless because of their fictional nature (131). Because it is unlikely that the reader picked up the book for the depictions of war it includes, sex and fiction are more likely what the reader seeks. When the two are combined, they can have truly great or terrible effects. After the epitaphs, e contemporary lives, the stories of their childhoods, or e characters: in the first, an early (first performed May 29, 1913); the second, the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand (June 28, 1914); the third, the start of World War I as it inva des the Himmelgarten Hotel (an unspecified date, but within weeks of the assassination within the previous book.) The last chapters of the fi rst and second Lost Girls echoes the first,
27 Each woman has her own unique layout, making it po ssible to open the book to any page This is a fairly common decision within comic books that may follow several characters or storylines, as it allows for visual cues that encourage a sense of setting or characterization without always explicitly stating the speaker or place. A similar ta ctic is used in film; one relevant example is the grey The Wizard of Oz (1939) to contrast the blandness of Kansas with the colorful vibrancy of Oz. variations of medium and technique, as the novel filters through the different viewpoints of Alice, Dorothy, and Wendy, reinforce the scripts met afictive emphasis on subjectivity and sheer fantasy: te Book by visual difference that makes it easy to determine who is telling the story at any given time. At the same time, in both the stories the characters and the stories that are told by the three women, there are references made to artwork included in the original or previously adapted texts referred to throughout Lost Girls previous (although not the original) text. Her story scape echoes the 1939 MGM film, using a sepia toned scheme which starts fairly dark and almost dichromatic. Her story is rendered with colored pencils possibly to give her stories a warmer, homier fe el that refers back to the Kansas setting. and are indeed used for most non storytelling chapters, but are not used in the other two characters stories In explaining the style used in Mindscape ). Unl ike the other
28 welcoming and satisfying. Her stories are laid out in three vertically stacked rectangular panels that almost fill the page, which DeLiddo suggests may reference the expansive and perfectly linearly planted fields that serve as a 135). Contained by the panels rather than outside them, her narration is placed within white boxes of text, translucent to the images behind them. The closer the narra tion of the story is to the images the action of the story, the more the woman ty is contained by her own desires, as her panels contain her telling of her story. scape is laid out with one horizontal panel that stretches across the top of the page, silhouetting the characters in stark black and white, echoing the shado w that Peter Pan weeps for towards the beginning of his original story. These top panels seem to freeze the action of the story, creating a tableau the other three vertical panels may clarify or continue. Although DeLiddo reads this layout as the fence o f the spinney, or park, experiences occur, the color effect of the first part of her stories are suggestive of a different partition often her panels are vertical like a stained glass window and denote a kind of sexual rigidity, slight of strict black and white code of Victorian parenting, that pre cise, clipped way of looking at Mindscape ). Like Peter Pan of the original stories, the reader looks in through a but highly restrictive, life Her narration is separated from the images, given their own mini panels in both the vertical, which is typically black with white text, and horizontal, in which the color changes, seeming to reflect the dominant color of the image it connects to. Contrasting ontained
29 from the way she perceives herself. In reading of her relationship with her husband, especially easy to realize that her sexuality is a s separate (8.1.4). Before meeting the other women, she is pointedly unsexual rather than asexual suggesting that her healing must involve an acceptance of her own sexuality that she lost as an adolescent. scape is three horizontal ovals, frames of images that exclude words, t outside of the panels, stuck between them but without a bubble or box of their own. This separation of action and narration gives a feeling of detachment that seems all the more appropriate/necessary as are free floating, unexamined and uncontained by her desire. She has a greater detachment from her history even than Wendy, to the extent that she experiences happened to her, but a mirror girl instead English girlhood in an English school with rather colder colors and a flatter la ndscape in terms of emotional content. But it does have a more sort of repressed, slightly Japanese quality to it. Mindscape ). Although her story has an initially dampened color scheme a nd appearance that harkens back to the John Tenniel drawings included in most versions of and Through the Looking Glass soon after her sexual awakening she gains more coloring within her story. is difficult to read it a implies The
30 increase of color for Alice comes with the realizati on of her mirror girl, suggesting that her detached nature is for her more real than her innocent childhood. distorted quality to the images, suggesti ve of the opium she partakes in, and there is occasionally a return to the re flective quality of her first story. In each storytelling chapter is a splash page that serves a unique role within the book. A splash page, in comic book terms, is a full page drawing It can, if used well, allow the artist to expand their storytellin g visually in a way the author typically does narratively throughout Especially when comic books were consistently 24 pages published each month, using one page for one drawing was not a common decision. For this reason, splash page images are used with more intent than most other, smaller images within a storyline. While such a page may get across multiple actions if multiple characters are involved, the intent of such a page is typically either to create a setting ( on the first page of the comic ) or or moment. The latter is sometimes referred to as an interior splash page, which has a tendency to slow a reader down, encouraging a closer, longer look at something that would take up so much space in such a small book. This effect is used within each story telling chapter (and only the storytelling chapters) of Lost Girls in images that stand outside most of the rest of the book as moments of reference and development Moore and Gebbie use these splash pages with a regularity that is uncommon within comic books out of approximately 240 pages, there are fifteen splash pages 6% of the book is single images. This pausing within the story is used to draw attention to what is often thoug h not always, the moments of gr eatest pleasure for the girls. Comic books create the illusion of time passing in several unique ways, whether by size of panel, as here, or by indicating very slight changes between panels, as discussed below. A single imag e taken out of context makes it more difficult to understand how time is passing, but also allows much greater interpretation:
31 Narrative images have a range of visual resources for suggesting chronology and causality, for instance by depicting body languag e or gestures, in particular when they one phase of an event, can also suggest temporal progression and narrative by arresting movement at a significant moment in the ac tion. However, the status of a single image or single panel always remains ambiguous as to its dependence or independence within a sequence of images, being at once a separate framed unit and an element that is connected to other surrounding pa nels both ve rbally and visually. (Mikkonen 75) The singular images can act then both within and without the story, and often have most images provided by a Google search of Lost Girls are of either the cover of the book or one of the splash pages. When removed from the narrative in this way they become moments utterly frozen in time, often outside of the story and open to misinterpretation as with Dorothy s first splash page. with herself and her pleasure, Dorothy, wearing the gingham dress of the MGM film, touches herself while floating upside down in the center of a cyclone. Several objects, including a horse, car, a china cabinet, a bed, and a farm, float around her, reaffirming her place in the home and on the farm. Bonnie Friedman, in her reading of the MGM film, suggests that the c yclone that tempestuousness, the cyclone within her that she cannot allow herself to admit. .A twister is coming in which everything all objects, all meanings will however, is surrounded by all the things that the cyclone and her awakened sexuality may help her escape. Her eyes are closed, so while she is able for the moment to escape the items of home, she must eventually become aware of them again. Despite the gingham dress and cyclone, when I have shown this image to people who know that the book is about Wendy, Dorothy, and Alice, the image has consistently read as Alice falling down the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole in Alice Adventures in Wonderland to draw the girls into the fantasy worlds they are meant to explore so it makes some sense that
32 images of either may be similar. The fantasies this Dorothy exp lores, however, are sexual rather than geographical. male sexual pleasure, a moment typically associated with ejaculation or, in pornographic jargo n, 8 However, this moment of pleasure is typically (with infrequent and highly fetishized exceptions) invisible when it occurs in women, as it is almost entirely internal. Moore and Gebbie instead choose to make visible the invisible, illustrating the moment of female pleasure of the three Lost Girls through these splash pages There are a few of these splash pages that I would not identify as an orgasm per se, as they are not always used alongside pleasurable or any sex ual activity B ut b ecause those few splash pages that do not read directly as an orgasm instead read a s epiphany particularly in each final splash page it is possible to understand each as a moment of intensity, whether mental or physical. It is notable that the splash pages are only used when the women are telling about the sexual experiences of their youth, as if to say that this intensity is only available to the young. Although this reading is in line with the return to feelings of youthfulness and sexual health that the women are able to obtain at the end of the book, it also lends to the sug gestion that sex ual health is only accessible by a certain age. While I intend to analy ze some of the splash pages alongside the story they are presented in, some stand alone to illustrate the purpose of the se specific pages as well as to indicate the comp lexity of these wordless images. There are a few splash pages that seem to be more transgressive in their images than the events that encourage d these imaginings. In one of the 8 This phrase comes from the practice, when pornography shifted from s hort clips to feature film screen ejaculation than only sexual acts.
33 ildren in the spinney, Wendy lays naked on the grass with five children wearing animal costumes (bear, fox, cat?) wrapped around her. For the most part, they all look like they are asleep, although two of the children are licking her nipples and one is to as one of the more dangerous images of the book, as it sexualizes much younger children than are shown through out the rest of the book. Although ages are not explicitly given for the lost boys, it seems unlikely given the way they are drawn that any are over the age of ten. However, the image stive of breast feeding as it is suggestive of a more sexual intent. Thus, while this image could be seen as more explicit than much of the rest of the book, it also problematizes th e ways American society expects hyper sexuality of girls and women until they become mothers, discouraging the public and often private use of female breasts for their arguably intended purpose. The fact that Wendy in this image is an adolescent girl, neither breast feeding nor a mother at this point, but more sexualize d than she is in her present age is a matter I will discuss later. A later splash page reveals Dorothy, perched over the erect L ion, whose paws are noticeably larger than her head. Several animals (snake, frogs, and salamander ) and flowers surround them, with several readings of this description to realize that the image portrays bestiality, almost. It was poi nted out to me that the L ion is not drawn as a lion his positioning, his (unbarbed) penis, his seeming affection for Dorothy are more suggestive of furry fetishism, which involves people dressing up as animals. Thus, this image can be read as fulfilling e ither fetish (bestiality or furry) one of which is arguably more socially acceptable than the other. This page, which occurred as Dorothy tells of
34 her experiences with the second man she has sex with, is also indicative of the extent that the imagination of the woman is often more explicit in the splash page than in their real experiences were (with the possible exception of Alice). Because this image, more so than the previously discussed one, is only transgressive in the mind of the storyteller and not in their actual activities, it can be understood as a reminder that the imagination is only that. There is no reality to this image, and it seems that Moore wants us to believe that that makes it no more dangerous than any other image. The splash pages are unique not only in their size but also in their pointed intertextuality. The most explicit reference to their original texts is made on the page that most explicitly seeks to The splash page fuses the protagonists supposedly real life with its fantastic projection, thus laying bare the connections with the sources of Lost Girls A climax is thus reached where narrative seems to halt for awhile, in order to leave the reader time to take in t he current stage in the protagonist s sexual development and to recontextualize the children s books he or she supposedly knows so well, but which must now be contemplated in a new light ( DeLiddo 140 ). Thus, what would previously have been an innocent catch up to the jump in narrative and understand the doubling of the original in Lost Girls It is in part Lost Girls that creates both its richness and its difficulty as a text. Linda Hutcheon, in her extended analysis of the methods of adaptation f intertextual reference that some if not all her definition that Lost Girls is She identifies a continuum of adaptation, from one that is intended to be as close as possible to the original, such as a translation, transcription, or
35 portraying the original story in a new medium; through revisions, which can include censoring or parodic intent; and expansions, which derive from an original concept, story, etc. and continue the story in some way (222 23). These last two type s of adaptation are what Lost Girls can be read as the three women at the Himmelgarten Hotel are expansions from their original stories, but their childhoods are revisions of those stories, laying down the groundwork for their adult characterization Though very obviously based on the original, well known stories, changes are made to names ages, experiences, and so on. By adding his version of heavily revisited stories to the fray Moore does not have only the original texts to reference but also the previous adaptations of those texts that exist. Repeatedly using the term a type of writing surface with multiple layers of writing upon it Hutcheon points out that those adaptations with more history of other adaptations tend Lost Girls as a quick scan of Wikipedia as of this writing reveals over 100 adaptations of Alice in Wonderland including about 10 Disney variations in film, cartoons, and video games. Lost Girls is underpinned not only by a trio of noteworthy source works, but al so by the complex stratification of subtexts and already adult by meanings that arise from the massive amount of rewrites their protagonists have been subjected to, and which to a great degree have become rooted in the collective imagination ( DeLiddo 13 0) As stated previously, Moore and Gebbie make most explicit reference to the 1939 MGM adaptation of The Wizard of Oz in the sepia toned Alice in Wonderland (1 951) in the emphasis of certain parts of the original two novels over others, and Peter Pan (1953) particularly in the clothing of Hook. There are even several pornographic adaptations of the originals that predate Lost Girls such as Alice in Wonderland: A Musical Porno (1976) and the Japanese manga Miyuki chan in Wonderland (published 1993 95,
36 animated in 1995). There is something about these texts that fascinate not only the children within us, but the pointedly sexual adult parts o f us as well. In one of the tamest pages of the book splash or otherwise Alice stands in the center of a with several vaguely discernible people around her. In Through the Looking Glass, the flowers Alice found were just tha t it is the 1951 Disney film Alice in Wonderland that represents them as flower girls and Moore simply continues this idea in a fashion based more in reality girls as flowers Alice is likewise costumed in reference to the film in the blue dress and apr on, her hands in her pockets as she stares out at the reader. It is probably the least explicit image in the book, opposite the imagery on the pages preceding in which Alice describes her highly sexual years as an adolescent girl being brought up in a boa rding school No one touches Alice or is touched by her within the image In contrast, her next splash page is, as well known Tenniel drawing of the Hatter, whose jacket is opened to reveal her breasts even as she seems to be giving a speech. A mouse like girl is asleep on the table, a carrot pushed into her by a rabbit and the Cat is looking back at the reader and grinning. Meanwhile, Alice looks as though she, like the mouse like girl, has fallen asleep. She is wearing the same dress as in the previous splash page. Although both pages to some extent reference the pictures created by Tenniel and included in most publications of the book, they also utilize the film for a visual, coloring cue It is understandable, given the number of well known adaptations that precede Lost Girls as well as the illustrations prese nted in each original s books that Gebbie refers to some of the more highly recognizable characterizations from films through her art Hutcheon, in her analysis of adaptations, argues that [I] n the pictorially naturalistic medium of the film or in this ca s e, comic books, if we are to see a character, then the character must by necessity be described But
37 to describe, to visualize the character, destroys the very subtlety with which the novel creates this particular character in the first place (95). She suggests that this act of portraying a character can numb the viewer to what is unique about their appearance, as in writing it can be emphasized when useful to narrative. However, the imaginary status of the splash pages allows this emphasis of appearance to become referential to the multiple cultural instances of the characters rather than the unique aspects of their individual appearance Echoing the scene from the 1953 animated Disney Peter Pan She and her brothers all wear similar nightgowns, like those worn in the film, while Peter is nude. The similarity of the gowns Wendy and her brothers wear is indicative of the perception repeated by Kincaid that young boys and girls are similar until ad olescence, although Wendy has already acknowledged that she has reached puberty previous to these experiences. The quartet is paused in its flight through the sky, depart ing for Neverland ries In the image, Peter and Wendy masturbate nightgown from behind her for a better view of her body. She is placed, as she repeatedly is, in the position of being viewed, which is made more eerie by th e fact that her eyes are closed while and watching her There is a constant tension that Moore creates between alluding to the original and pushing it away, a tension that he plays with much more explicitly at certain moments for We actually never used the words Peter Pan or Captain Hook or even Wendy Darling anywhere in the book. Obviously, it s based upon those characters. But it s just as obviously not the same Peter Pan and Wendy Darling that J.M. Barrie wrote about 9 Hutcheon is careful to point out that, contrary to previous critiques of adaptations, it is necessary to examine not the extent to which the adaptation is 9 http://www.avclub.com/articles/alan moore,14006/
38 accurate to the source text, but instead how and why alterations are made. Instead, adaptations should be seen as copied or paraphrased or reproduced; rather it is an engagement with the original text that makes us Arguably, the better adaptations would be those that do exactly that emphasize different aspects of the originals and other adaptations so the original can be seen in a different way. In one of the most memorable of the splash pages, Peter and the Captain fight as Wendy watches. It looks like it could be a scene from one of the movies, fairly easily, if everyone were fully clothed. The Captain wears clothes very si milar to Hook in the 1953 Peter Pan minus pants, and he and Peter appear to be, for lack of a better term, sword fighting with their ridiculously long penises. The original story creates a strange relationship between Peter Pan and Hook, such that Kincaid identifies Hook as allowed (284). In this case, it is Wendy, not the lost boys, who is excluded by this masculine relationship; she watches from the edge of the panel naked except for the sheet inexplicably wrapped around her legs from t he knees down. While the use of a well known text reduces some of the need for explanation of various aspects of the text, such as the strange relationship between Peter and the Captain/Hook, the audience of an adaptation who is aware of or has seen/read/experienced the source tends to have much greater expectations, bordering on demands, for the inclusion of specific information, visuals, or quotes (Hutcheon 16 6 ). These expectations for repetition from an original can be detrimental to an adaptation, as the inclusion of a quotation can be redundant or hinder the or chapter titles works a little too well in some parts of Lost Girls providing groan inducing puns in chapter titles ( eg. and occasionally ham
39 (29.6.1). However, part of the joy of reading an adaptation is the recognition by the reader of the reference; getting the joke, as it were. Critics tend to hold the greatest issue with adaptations of canonical and well known works, particularly if said adaptation is into a format not considered to be of the same high standards the original work is perceived to be in. Vanderbeke argues that reating the text as sacrosanct will diminish the artistic opportunities to fully exploit the potential Instead of always falling into this common pitfall of adaptations, Moore and Gebbie treat the original texts as valuable and n ecessarily reference them frequently, but also playfully. A dapting from an original text becomes a balancing act, often, of paying respect to that first or previous text(s) while still using the new medium effectively or even innovatively. The visual as pect of the comic book allows references to exist without constantly purely in her imagination, is indicative of this, as it makes reference to parts of her original story not otherwise included in her narrative. Readers who would expect to see the witches of Oz both good and wicked the Emerald City, and Toto in any adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz get all at once. In the top two thirds of the splash page Dorothy sits on her father, now he is not quite penetrating her. She leans forward to perform cunnilingus on a woman who can be read as Glinda, the good witch who gives her the ruby slippers shoes in the MGM film. Dorothy had mentioned previously that her mother was blonde, as this Glinda double is. Behind the trio ar e several emerald green towers, all pointedly s stories; the towers only reference the original and the films without narrative mention within Lost Girls. Aunt Em/ stepmoth er, dressed similarly to the Wicked Witch of the West and wearing a pointed hat, is havin g sex with both the Straw Man and
40 Tin M an as she felates the Lion. Between the tw o groupings, an erect Toto begs: It is repetition but without replication, bringing together the comfort of ri tual a recognition with the delight of surprise and novelty Kubler claims that desires in every present instance are torn between the rep lica and the invention, betwee n the desire to return to the k nown pattern, and the desire to escape it by Adaptatio ns fulfill b oth desires at once. (H utcheon 225) There are obvious references to the original that would otherwis story, but each reference is made sexual in order to include it within a pornographic tale. As such, Lost Girls at the same time that it encourages a more basic physical desire. book, those visual cues th at do exist act as small referential moments that maintain the characters original identities throughout. The Wizard of Oz were silver, Technicolor capabilities developed mere years before the 1939 film. If the mirror that Alice goes or her within Lost Girls entire first page in which Dorothy arrives at the Himmelgarten. Friedman suggests that shoes are partic d liberate her from servitude. Cuplike as a brassier, snug as a vagina, shoes are both confi ning and emblematic of freedom. her shoes are a symbol of her sexual freedom, and they provide her with the confidence to pursue the farm boys who work for her uncle. They also act as her repeated visual cue helping her to be identifiable as an adaptation. Shoes represent a fairly well known sexual fetish, as Friedman hints, that is partially examined within the book in the first explicitly shown sex scene
41 Dottie Gale, the name Dorothy uses until the end meets a man who introduces himself as Captain Rolf Bauer. After meeting for dinner, they walk outside, where Bauer proceeds to explain part of the fascination, for him and possibly for the vie wer of the MGM film, with shoes: There is an interesting shift in the portrayal of action during this first explicit sexual a consistent layout is created of two rows of three panels each, which are almost consist ently Action to Action steps along the way that follow the couple out into a secluded part of the garden. 10 When the two are alone, however, the panels slow down to a single moment 10 Action to Action panel transitions, when each panel illustrates a different action or majo r step in an action, such as legs switching directions to indicate walking, are some of the most common transitions used in comic books. Moment to Moment, which is similar to film stills laid side by side, are far less common and are mostly used to slow down the reader by reducing the number of actions represented on a single page ( Understanding Comics 76).
42 represented by one image divided into three panels : Bauer holding the half one hand and hi s own erection with the other; the only evidence of the passage of time is the continued di alogue. This moment is what McCloud refers to as Aspect to Aspect, focusing on different parts of the same scene at effect ively the same moment; i t is as if to stop the reader, in but shifted Moment to Moment : over the th moves from her breasts in the first panel to her stomach in the second and thigh in the third. Gale is immobile and silent in these brief moments. The following page again freezes the action t o one image over six panels, panel does not contain either participant and almost no dialogue, but does reveal that the couple is being watched by someone wit hin the hotel.) In another three panel single action spread, Bauer Again, the only indication of the passage of time is th e dialogue that occurs, allowing the characters a few moments to recollect themselves. After this moment passes, the transition s return to Action to Action as they go back inside speeding up the reading of the story The chapter ends by focusing once mo re on now soiled shoes, which she removes and leaves in the hall. as Dorothy, this scene reveals some of the effects of the comic book on temporal representation. Although the previously discussed splash/orgasm pages effectively freeze time, stopping the characters and the reader within one moment in order to allow contemplation, the images of Mikkonen distinguishes between the
43 picture function of a comic book panel (it has borders and is not part of subsequent panels) and the narrative function (it is placed in context of multiple other panels that ): The picture function of the panel [ fonction tableau ] is to focus the urging the viewer to spend more time with it. The narrative function of the panel [ function recit ], however, is that which m akes the spectator glide over the image, viewing it as merely part of the narr ative continuum. (82) Both functions are present in any given comic book panel, but may be used to drastically different effects at a particular instance. The picture function is exemplified by the various splash pages, which can be isolated from the rest of the book and still tell a great deal of the story The large, trisected images of Gale and Bauer instead serve narrative functions, indicated by the pa nel edges. The effect is that the story is slowed down, as it would be for a single page sized image, but is not quite stopped. This is not dissimilar to a slow motion shot within a film, a camera slowly panning over two lovers bodies, but is recreated i n a different and unique way for the medium. is a reference to how Peter met the Darlings in the original book: his shadow was caught in the window by Nana and when he r eturned to get it back, Wendy help ed him to sew it on ( Peter Pan 26 ). During what is indicated to be a standard evening of circling each other without ever touching or even coming closer to each other, Wendy and Harold go about their own separate business Meanwhile, their shadows run the gamut of sexual activities in the backgrounds, from insinuating touching of breasts and fellatio to anal sex, concluding with a dripping roll of paper/shadow penis. The visual sexuality of their shadows against their ac tual distance allows the mostly non sexual Potters to be, in some small way, sexual their Victorian repression is played out to its seemingly natural ends behind them. Despite the increased sexuality that both Potters deve lop during their stay at the Himmelgarten, this is the
44 closest they come to having sex with each other, as if to suggest that the only people not having sex are those married to each other. These two chapters, with Bauer/Miss Gale and the Potters, are incl uded in the five chapter portion of Lost Girls that was originally serialized in Taboo over three issues in the early 1990s. Jennifer Hayward defines a serial as and constr ucted, even for a magazine named Taboo as being less transgressive than much of the rest of the story. The first several chapters include predominantly heterosexual sex either with consenting adults or their shadows brief lesbian sex, and masturbation. No participant is under the age of twenty at this point. In addition, the characters are not yet identified as the women that were serialized, that the th ree main women are explicitly identified as Dorothy (Dottie) Gale, (Lady) Alice Fairchild, and Wendy Potter (nee. Durling), older versions of the original girls. The latter two women are not identified directly by their names previous to the en d of the first book Darling to Durling before she is married. 11 The serialization of the initial chapters of the book then allowed Moore and Gebbie to lay down the groundwor k for the book and gauge responses to it before committing to the controversy future sections of the book elicited. 11 While Alice gains the surname, potentially in part to acknowledge her adulthood and some changed in seeming direct response to issues of copyright, issues that actually delayed the publication of Lost Girls in the UK. At the time of Lost Girls completion in 2005, the copyright to Peter Pan was still partially owned by the Great Ormond Street Hospital (as bequeathed by Barrie at his death): they had rights to royalties for all adaptations of the play but not creative control over it. Moore agreed to wait until their extended copyright of the play lapsed in 2007 before publishing the book in E ngland (DeLiddo 125).
45 CHAPTER III. NEVER FAR FROM HOME: GENDER AND DESIRE One example of the unique storytelling value of comic books is the ability to create a friction between the images and text, so that they do not reinforce each other but instead offer unique or even opposing information. McCloud suggests that Interdepend ent combinations keep readers minds fully engaged because they require them to assemble meaning out of such different parts. Such effects can be stimulating, gratifying and a kind of experience rarely found outside of comics ( Making Comics 137.4 5). In an extended and amusing example of this contrast between word and image, Chapter 11 textually Fairbarn. H arold is built up as t he comedic potential for Victorian hypermasculinity. DeLiddo Moore s women are the bearers of a fruitful, dynamic vision of existence, whereas the traditional male world often appears as dispersed and self destructive, if not parodistic or ridiculous (103). In his letter to Fairbarn, Harold is constantly separating what women and men are like, in ways that Moore is simultaneously proving not to be true in the background of his letter. Although he suggests that books I think us men tend to develop our imaginations more we already know that Wendy has had at least one imaginative adventure with Peter that she told the other women about (11.7.3 4). We do get a glimpse of dy prepare for bed and she shifts into a woman and bondage and a succubus. In the same way that Wendy and Alice were both trained to act in very specific ways to express their femininity ways that either almost or do result in their molestation Harold has obviously been rigidly trained to act a certain type of masculinity painting Wendy in his imagination as a woman either wholly submissive or over sexual He performs his masculinity to such a point though that it comes across more as posturing than any
46 actual desire to act this way, although it seems unlikely that he can really tell the difference anymore. Thus, the second book of Lost Girls opens questioning not only whether imagination is distinctly masculine, but if anything say, sexuality is. Agains sexual pairing through the hotel, from a bellhop posing with another man for a nude painting to the maid he then has sex with, who in turn is pleasured by Alice. Alice gives Dorothy a bath before Dorothy goes to meet Bauer, who seems again more int erested in her shoes than her. While Harold is pointedly focused on the differences he perceives between the men and women within and without the hotel, the couplings that acc ompany the writing of his letter suggest bisexuality as a symbol of unrepressed sexuality as most pairings go from heterosexual to homosexual and back again. Such juxtaposition between Harold s opinions and the reality opposite those opinions is allowed by the text overlaying incongruous images. The access to sexuality is not available only to the women against his propriety, however. Harold writes as he masturbates to an image of gay sex in the White Book, 5) This echoes Virginia Wo is three women portrayed as having this sexual and verbal dialogue about their experiences and desires, that it should not be seen as a purely feminine desire or need. Men should likewise be the ability to satisfy oneself. As the reader reads these lines, Harold appears to be doing just that chil dhood sexual awakening albeit rathe r b elatedly. This is just one example of the complicated, playful possibilities that comic books allow. However, o ne of the difficu lties in analyzing a comic book when the writer and artist are not an
47 individual is d ete rmining where the intentions/ intentions and ideas start. Moore is known for having a heavy hand in his comic books, despite the collaborative nature of only writing but not illustrating the books he is invo lved in. DiLiddo, in examining multiple scripts by Moore, explains the depth of explanation provided for any given page including historical information on an a rea, costume descriptions, etc.: t o their richness of detail. he fills the script with all the details that, though unwritten and undrawn in the final version, are necessary for the artist to ful to point out that Moore does not seek to erase the equality of the collaboration with the artists of his works, but rather wants them to make changes, additions, and subtractions to his suggestions with clear knowledge of the time and actions portrayed However, Lost Girls is seen as quite a different collaboration, given the relationship that developed between the author and artist during the creation of the book. Rather than developing a full script for Gebbie a s he had with previous artists she foun d the full scripts hindered her creativity Moore created thumbnails, or brief sketches of image positioning and potential placement. Gebbie was given most of the information that would typically be provided in a written script through conversation Moore Lost Girls probably marks the closest that I've worked with an artist on a comic, perhaps unsurprisingly. With the nature of the material, it more or less demands an intimate relationship between the creators. Not just intimate in the usua l physical sense, but also intimate in a mental and creative sense suggesting a more equal collaboration than he may normally have with artists (AV Club). Two years before Lost Girls was finally released, Moore and Gebbie announced their engagement, and they have since married.
48 heterosexual couple, simil ar to the relationship between Moore and Gebbie that developed in producing Lost Girls This collaborative writing was initially seen as a point of entry into the writing of porn ography for women, and many of the films produced were found to emphasize e give and take by which me n and women learn to find out and to tell each other what they author, it is difficult to separate the author from his desires, partic ularly for the women he writes about, and this separation is at issue with many of my readings in Lost Girls : I often questioned if the hypersexuality of the characters should be understood as a realistic desire for the characters to experience (subjective ) or the wish of the author to see these characters in these circumstances (objective). This problem is partially As she points out in Mindscape lot of times from their perspectives, suggesting that the Lost Girls both by her pre sence within the project and through the images themselves. By using colored pencils and watercolors in much of the book, Gebbie gives Lost Girls a softer appearance than is common in most comic books. 12 In the sections where markers and thicker ink are used, such as distance between the woman and the story she tells. Throughout the book, t he women are far from the hypersexualized super heroines most people imagine when thinking of comic book 12 Comic books were initially put out monthly, necessitating a cheap and fast means of printing; this resulted in their being inked with thicker lines that would show up better in print. Although improvements in technology have made i t possible to move away from the thick inking style, it remains the standard in comic books, encouraging a deeper analysis when an alternative style is used.
49 women. f age or a difference in weight, so that each woman i s as unique in appearance as women are in reality. Although Gebbie could be seen as submitting to fulfilling masculine desires as much as preemptively interview on Mindscape explains many of her intentions and ideas within Lost Girls : We were treating them as human beings instead of as sexual symbols or as symbols of nostalgic childhood. We w Lost Girls our response to the world. But is an integral part of us: if we are joyous then that reflects loving. Or, us is everyone is empowered. In proper play, no one is stripped bare of anything. She has obviously strong opinions of how sexuality has been represented in pornography, and for Gebbie, affects how people interact outside of sexual encounte rs as well, so that an unhealthy sexuality makes one unhealthy. Implied in her discussion is that women have had greater difficulty finding a healthy sexuality, and Lost Girls seeks to make that possibility accessible. G iven the identified attempt by both creators to make pornography that is intelligent and more accessible for both men and women, I seek to examine how the book differs from more standard examples of pornography by presenting an arguably more female friendly portrayal of sex To argue that any sexualization of women is hypersexualized and therefore misogynistic whether initiated by a male or female creator, is to suggest that women are not and should not be perceived as sexual, which I find potentially more dangerous than hypersexualizing women. Instead, taking my cue from Williams, I want to move past simply stating that there are
50 representations of sexual women to determine the possible readings of such representations. The general assumption al performances designed to gratify male viewers; literal voyeurism; sadism that punishes women for being as sexual as men imagine them to b e, fetishism of the female body. a total as object of male desire ; an anti censorship feminist reading or pornography instead believes that are the object of knowledge could be crucial to any efforts to alter the dominance of male powe r and p leasure in the culture at large Williams xvi). Within Lost Girls objects of knowledge, but they are often more aware of that knowledge in more powerful ways xperiences as a young girl in Dorothy starts out telling only Alice of her first sexual experience where all other stories are told by one woman to the other two Alone on the farm of t he or iginal stories, Dorothy realized that a twister was fast approaching and tried to find a sturdy corner of the house to wait out the storm in: questioning of social requirements and the repeated by each woman at some point. The moment tends to have the effect of questioning the line drawn between sexuality a pornographic fashion, the sexual action is preferable to pretending (with the exception of Alice). This decision drives Dorothy, alone and certain she will die in the twister, to masturbati on as her means of sexual initiation
51 Dorothy is allowed what Williams identifies as the ideal way for women to be introduced to sexuality : the comes face to face with th e symbol, and reality, of male desire but, as in the images framing the also literally means it is also without shame or regret. Indeed, throughout her sexual activities Dorothy is given a position of power, without necessarily overpo wering her partner. There is a sense of two state of benign aloneness, a In her solitude, Dorothy cannot not reduced t o the symbol of her sexuality, as she seems to be in her interactions with Bauer, but is instead an active subject in her desires. Sta rting in this idealized way allows Dorothy to approach her subsequent sexual experiences in a similar manner; indeed, when one of her partners starts to idealize her too much, she breaks off the relationship with him. ncan ideal but ra ther a consolatory alternative: find that shorn of magic indeed, of any fantasy element sexual: her tra She reduction of her adventures to a dream. Every act of strength, with this shift, i s turned into a or, in the case of this Dorothy, a sexual fantasy Moore, like many before him, keeps Dorothy from ever actually reaching Oz. Oz is, in fact, never mentioned directly within Lost
52 Girls except through a brief visual gag, in whi the infamous twister and turned sideways to appear to say Oz (7.7.3). Dorothy suggest ed that she was around, then remained in Kansas except for a few brief forays into Kansas City until departing for the Himmelgarten Hotel (7.7.2). wa s able t o find is instead her sexuality: lyrical childhood dirt path lit golden only at dusk, and any significant adventures ahead must be linked not to her mind, her imagination, but to her body alone Against takes. Keeping Dorothy from going to Oz keeps the experiences she has, though they are able to extend into imagi nation at points ( as explained in the splash pages discussed previously ), grounded ultimately in reality. A girl cannot necessarily escape into a fantasy world of good and bad witches and emerald cities, but a woman can take control of her own sexuality, and Moore provides a map of what that might look like. After the cyclone, Dorothy reveals, she was taken to Kansas City b y her Aunt and Uncle, where they bought her the silver shoes. She became more confident, either because of the shoes or her newfound sexuality, and uses this confidence to pursue the three farmhands who worked for her uncle, one at a time. Each of the farmhands is identifiable as one of the people who joined Dorothy in her se arch for the wizard in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz ; the first is not very smart resembling the Straw Man knowledge, allowing them to learn together, alth ough in different ways: Dorothy, as
53 a girl who had grown up on a farm, would re asonably have understood the physical realities of sex but likely not the social expectations that go with it, and so presented herself initially as an object to be seen and touched. She did not allow herself to remain long as solely the one being looked at however, and realized that she enjoys a reciprocity of response in her partner: pressed against his work pants, with the wrinkles all stretched tight across its head, and it looked Laura well as an object to be looked at. Within this context, Dorothy hints at the suggested scopophilia that Mulvey describes as dangerous to women, yet she is in the role of the viewer here instead of that which is viewed, as she was just moments before within her story. This equalizes their relationship, allowing Dorothy and the farmhand to be both subjective and objective participants at various poin ts Neither state is constant for either of them. The next farmhand that Dorothy goes after is a man who verbally harasse s her when he sees her, posturing for the other farmhands by making lewd comments at her. Instead of simply accepting his harassment, she instead examines the reason behind the act, noting that he only did it to sorta S he understands that the things he says are meant to exert power over her, similar to the common feminist reading of street harassment. In an act that would likely never be suggested by feminists yet has obvious purpose within its p ornographic setting, she decides to co nfront him with her body and finds him almost terrified of it: of power within the interactions Dorothy has, in which she sometimes has m ore power and sometimes less, and here she effectively reverses the power the man was attempting to exert over her and instead shows she has access to it as well Rather than continuing to exert this power
54 over the second farmhand though, she instead enco urages him to meet her on more equal footing. As she found with the first farmhand, Dorothy is able to learn that she can enjoy both looking and being looked at. She realizes that being objectified in some ways can be as much of a turn on for her as seei ng the other, admitting, comment by Dorothy as indicative of her desire to be objectified, as in deed it is, but she does not Williams argues that gendered spectator positions with little examination of either the active elements of the feminine There is power and pleasure as much in being watched as Dorothy is aware in part because she is in a position of authority over the men she pursues (her uncle has hired them) as in watching. Lost Girls does not posit a single position for Dorothy or the person she pursues, but both. Af ter determining that she does not lose power by being an object of scopophilia, because she is still in a state of sexual empowerment, the next obvious step for Dorothy is examining the effects of not only being looked at but actually controlled by another The last farmhand Dorothy story. Her relationship with him is a particularly submissive one, in that he apparently takes great pleasure in directing their a ctivities without much c oncern for her or her enjoyment: 2). Because she does not lose her power in obeying him she chooses to obey him and, it is implied, could (and does) stop their activities at any point she is able to enjoy her sexual encounters
55 without fear of being consumed or reduced by them. Dorothy, mos t noticeably in her sexual pleasure without suffering repercussions from the sexual power exercised upon her because from the start she occupies the typically By giving her more power than she would typically have as a woman, she is not necessarily placed over the men she has sex with, but on par with them. However, this equality is frustrat ed because it is so narrativel y structured and relies on other areas of difference, such as her slightly higher social Each farmhand is in some way affected by his relationship with Dorothy. She effectively takes on the role of the wizard in guiding them towards improvement, without explicitly telling them how to change, and she is likewise able to gain confidence herself through these interactions. After Dorothy breaks off her relationship with the first farmhand, a dim witted man, h e responds with a poem, to which she comments Dorothy read s her sexual activities with the first farmhand as having a sort of magic behind them; she is powerful in her ability to improve him without overpowering or destroying him. Rather than needing to turn to the Wizard of the books, Dorothy realizes almost at the beginning that her power in this case, her sexuality is within herself, provided she understands how to use it. There is a similar reaction from the second man, aligned with the he end, I even made him Unlike the MGM Dorothy, who must be told by Glinda that she has had the ability to go home from the beginning, Dorothy is able to determine her power to create change in her world for herself. Because it is a porn ographic book, the changes she enacts are created through sexual activity: The reader is supposed to
56 understand that the rough Tin Man character got his heart from her, but Dorothy is only aware of her power to improve others in retrospect, and even there is not entirely sure that she is the one to cause this change. c in regards to her improving influence: t he men do not know they need what Dorothy helps them to find within themselves, so do not pursue her as a care taker or provider; indeed, they do not pursue her at all. They require nothing of her, yet are made be tter by their interactions with her. ideal sexuality for women, her activities begin to become far more problematic from a feminist standpoint. After ending the relations she eventually finds all three farmhands in a field where they effectively act out a pornographic film in the space of a page multiple positions, activities, and partners : done me the other way everybod 3). This scene, both through depiction and description, has much more a feel of a rape scene in a movie than an enjoyable activity. The fact that she becomes dis connected from the activity, providing a t one when she tells of being previous experiences were. Yet the following scenes focus not on the sexual activity she initiated but does how her desires overwhelm those around her: vision of feminine power, a grotesque of feminine appetite as if to say that to be a woman who wants is t o be a woman who can only want, whose wants are by definition out of control, oceanic, threatening to swamp the world like nature gone awry (Friedman 24) If a woman who desires is one who can only desire, then she is no longer capable of denying that de sire, this scene seems to
57 suggest. At the moment she be comes incapable of refusing her her sexuality becomes a problem to be dealt with. T o want everything is eventually going to mean want ing something that belongs to someone e lse. Dorothy wakes up from her experience to find a woman standing nearby. For anyone who has seen the MGM film, the legs in the image are who takes her inside, spanks her, and called me willful and said I had to give in to her. Had to The power that Dorothy has gained from her sexuality is, th ough positive for her, an indication of her exceeding societal boundaries If she is the example of how to be female and sexual, her Aunt is the representation of the fear of female sexuality She also acts as the punish her for being sexual. on a trip to New York. While on the trip, they proceed to have sex in various places, each couplings at an almost frenzied rate, similar to the fervor the storytellers themselves have taken on at this point in the storytelling. Dorothy reveals that her Uncle was actually her father Aunt Em her step mother father is enamored with not her, it seems, but her youth, vivacity, and sexuality everything that separates her from her step mother. Her step mother catches Dorothy having sex with her father it seems leaving nothing for her Aunt: Dorothy in her sexuality is positioned against the one woman in her life
58 Friedman reads Auntie Em (in Lost Girls, her ste p mother) as jealous of Dorothy Is she envious m? Is she (26). Likely Em is all of the above, but in this case her blame of Dorothy ignores the actions of her husband. Women, Moore seem s to decide, would rather distrust other women than the men who are equally involved. Although Dorothy is constructed as an ideal for female sexuality this construction is problematized by its effects on others. Rather than being a woman with sexual pow er equal to the men around her, Dorothy becomes more of a destructiv e force because she is sexual and does not have the freedom from responsibility her father has She acknowledges as she nears the end of her story that she did not want to divulge her fath to Alice and Wendy because it played into social class stereotypes: Girl comes from the country, does her old man For all Dorothy speaks of her lower class background, it is her social class being greater than those of the men she pursues that seems to allow her to pursue them as she does. She also is of a high enough social class for a European vacation and an exten ded stay at the Himmelgarten; she is there for several long months without working. Her status in society makes it difficult to understand whether this sexual equality is accessible across all areas of difference. The lack of racial difference throughout the book makes the sexual utopia portrayed within seem restricted to mostly white, middle and upper class people. Like Sex and the City the women are without any obvious employment or for Dorothy any clear means of affording their stay at the Himmelgar ten Alice is a Lady, and explains very early in the Inherent i n this is lack of discussion of social class as a space of difference which Moore
59 attempts to skirt by having Dorothy repeatedly refer to and denigra te her lower class background, without actually acknowledging the real difficulties of that background. Despite, or perhaps because of this supposed difference in social class, t here is a sense of sexual e quality in Dorothy that seems absent from the other two women. She is gleefully sexual, a willing partner but nei ther overbearing nor overborn. experiences and their effects on her personal identity are closer to an ideal sexuality than is typically represented either in pornography or film. As she progresses through her experiences, her sexual power is made problematic by its effects on others, but this as much questions the societal expectation of monogamy as it is Williams argues that than her age. She acknowledges that she was fifteen when the twister that began her exploration occurred, but does not acknowledge her age after; I assume she is early twenties. I understood the lack of discussion of her age as a young adult as indicative of her placem ent in what is perceived a s the ideal age range. She is an adult, but a pre marital adult who retains youth and beauty. Although she is no longer a minor, she is still of such a similar age to what she was in her
60 stories (a decade removed at most, but probably not even that) that she is still very much enjoying the positive effects of her experiences. In contrast to her youthfulness, Wendy and Alice are much older than they were when their stories occurred: Wendy has a son old enough to be in boarding school, and was not yet old enough to be married when her stories occurred, placing her at around 15 and end at least 3 0 years prior to this meeting. 13 primar are both her gender and her youth As such, I will discuss some of the aspects of her gender that arise including those pertaining to her status as a married/maternal woman here. M she was first introduced to sex, and will therefore be discussed in the section focusing on childhood sexuality. However, as her story progresses it reveals more about imagination and consent as they sexuality. of her stories. Neverland, the island of Peter Pan created by the imaginations of the children who visit it has become a secluded section, or spinney, of a London park where children meet to identified by Peter as his sister. issues of a sexual preference towards domination. After several weeks or months of going to the spinney with her brothers to spend time with Peter and his friends, Wendy finds Peter performing fell I wondered what it would feel like to have a man make you do that. Make you suck his penis. I 13 According to Gebbie in Mindscape the three women are aged according to their publication date s and ages within the original books. Alice, published in 1865, would be around 65 years old in 1913, as she was seven on May 4 (1965), in ; Wendy was an er in her early 30s; Dorothy, whose age is not mentioned in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is illustrated as quite young if she is assumed to be about seven, her publication in 1900 would make her twenty in Lost Girls
61 Wendy is not intrigued with the act of fellatio itself she has already performed it but the idea that such an act would be not encouraged or asked for but forced. As a girl who has been raised in the Victorian era, she has been encouraged to shun sexual advance s lest she lose her innocence : Conceptually, she is able to enjoy the idea of being dominated or paid for sex because she is still able to be a With the money he received from fellating the Captain, Maiden outfit for me to put on. I was to be tied up, as his pri (25.4.3) In the way that pornography has of immediately satisfying newly developed desires, to continue her lack of responsibility for her own sexuality. While the costume that Peter c hooses makes reference to Tiger Lily of the original book, the racial difference has been reduced to fetishistic role play In part, this seems to continue the realism intended within the book the inclusion of a Native American in the middle of London at this time would have assumedly been odd. However, the fact that she is included in a costume but not in an actual character points out the similar role Tiger Lily plays in the book something Peter has dreamed up to enhance his fun. Wendy at this point begins to imagine as many if not more of her sexual activities than she actually experiences. Her fantasies begin to bleed with the reality of those experiences If I was his captive, lashed naked to a mast while him and his crew had me in my cunt and my mouth and my hands. If he overh ead while he 4). The splash page that follows discussed above, makes clear Wendy refers to is not Peter, but the Captain made more obvious as she
62 continues She imagines him and other (adult) men doing more horrified and ashamed at the things I wanted done to me. A and the shame was exciting The shadows slipped their long fingers up me, and could feel for themselves that I was ready She is turned on by both the idea of being forced into sexual activity and the shame that her being turned on by it creates. In other words, s he needs for her own sexual pleasure to deny that she wants to be sexual. This statement should not be read as suggesting that Wendy needs to be raped to enjoy sex ; she has been so trained as a middle class woman to deny her own sexuality that consent causes emotional friction, making pleasure more difficult than if she refuses (initially). In an act that is praised by various reviewers as separating Lost Girls fr om more standard examples of pornography, Moore acknowledges the violent, negative aspects of sex against the more positive ones. Wendy tells of conclusion sister, Annabel. Th they found her in been raped. She she intentionally brief, as t o dwell on the assault within the context of this book would have been to sexualize it, as that is obviously the intent of a pornographic book. However, a story of so many ; a s wi experiences discussed below, the actual rape is not portrayed, but instead recognized as a current reality within sexual discussions and portrayals. Williams argues that while rape and violent, non consensual sex should be, as it has been, an a rea of focus for feminism, it should not be the sexual agency and choice and unwittingly increases the sexual terror and despair in which women
63 sely following this mention one of the negative facets of sexuality, Wendy is able to learn from it Instead of the attack against Annabel disempowering Wendy and reducing her agency she explores throug h her imagination what effects power has on her sexual preferences. What follows this exploration illustrates that there is a distinct difference between imagination and action when it comes to forcing sex. Wendy goes back to the park at night and finds the Captain, whom both she and Peter assume had attacked Annabel. She admits her own confusion of her action s know why I did it. Was I confronting him about o h, this is awful did I want to give myself to him, be manhandled like (27.3.2). sets herself up in the perfect position for victim blaming: going out, alone, at night, to a place where an assault had occurred the previous day. The Captain sees her in the park and starts to chase her. In a moment that likely would not work as effectively in another me dium, the reader is able to follow her thoughts as she is chased. The slowing of a single panel, with the speed of thought or speech so variable within that panel, allows almost a monologue to fill the page in what would be seconds in a film: I was so afr good arm, carry me to some tavern where brigands fucked my mouth or sat me fl inching on t heir dirty cocks. I deserve them, in some way? He was right behind me, clutching and cursing and telling me I knew I wanted it, I knew I wanted it. And though I kept running through the rain, heart ham mering, I thought that he was right. (27.4.1 3) She is told and initially believes that she wants to be attacked, or else she would not have gone to the park as she did. This line of thinking is in which the victim of a crime is held partially responsible for the crime committed against them. The idea
64 that simply by going to the park, Wendy gave permission to the Capt ain to attack her is one that is often repeated in encouraging women to take self defense classes and not to go out alone especially at night In September 2009 Richard Whitehurst was rumored to be creating a n art/performance piece called move through an ever shrinking tunnel until they crawled through a hole just large enough for an adult body, where the artist was waiting on the other side to attempt, to the best of his a bilities, to rape the participants. While the piece and the art icle that first introduced it 14 were eventually revealed to be a hoax, the discussion that arose from this imaginary piece is particularly relevant to this specific scene and a more general dis cussion of rape, as well as its legal and social implications. At what point is consent given and at what point can it no longer be removed? If a person is turned on by the idea of being raped can they be raped? Wendy at no time suggests that she actually wants to have sex with the Captain, only imagines it as a sexual fantasy. This is a step back from the book itself, in that she only imagines rape while Moore writes about (but is not action. Thus, although she is turned on by the idea of being raped, the reality of it is as reprehensible t o her as it would be to anyone: at Imagination is a powerful force for Moore, but it still requires action in order to be truly useful whether positively or negatively. 14 http://www.artlurker.com/2009/09/the rape tunnel by sheila zareno/
65 Moore replaces the ent pathos and a sexual heat that allows guilt is overcome she surrenders to the guilt of female sexuality in a way the other two women refuse. w It is interesting that Wendy is so utterly unsexualized a s her story ends, given the position she is left in at the end of Peter Pan and the one she occupies at the beginning of Lost Girls : a s a mother, she is not allowed to be sexual anymore. Throughout her stories, she mentions finding various members of her household having sex with each other, but her own mother is notably absent from each encounter. Without this example of sexual subjectivity, she cannot imagine herself as both a mother and sexual. Williams suggests that mothers are typically not allowed to act as sexual role models, and that
66 agent an agent who could just as well be the mother if the mother were also associated with the 59). When Wendy boys, she retained some of her sexuality because it was a game that children played, but the adult reality of motherho od strips her of her sexual desire (until it is reawakened, while her son is very absent.) Unlike in its original, this Wendy has not a daughter to follow Peter back to Neverland, ary) association with nd granddaughter experiencing Wendy is not. We had a son. always close his nursery window at night. Sil the working class. By shadows (27.7.4). Instead of the child created adventures of the original story, Wendy is scared of the sexual dangers her earlier experiences made her aware of. They are a much greater threat t han pirates and crocodiles, but rather than preparing her son to face them, she shuts him and herself off from them.
67 CHAPTER IV. CONTRARIWISE: A BRIEF FORAY INTO SEXUAL ORIENTATION At the invisible presence as the de facto sexual identity of countless protagonists and their families (Pugh 1). Moore takes a similar tactic within Lost Girls at least during the childhood stories that are told. Wendy, in one chapter, reads from the White Book a short story about Deadly Sins. It is obv ious in this context that the story is meant to encourage, rather than
68 discourage, the sins listed within the short tale. Each description involves an image of a naked woman partaking in the sin, as well as a brief sort of poem/explanation of the sin itself. For those is similar to the layout of the story being read as it does here, with rounded corne rs on each panel and a similar artistic style used on Wendy and Alice, and on the images. As Alice seduces Wendy with her intelligence status, and jewelry, they move through the seven sins: Wendy envies Alice her riches, lusts after her, b ut is too proud of her own sense of propriety to want to participate in any sexual activities with her. Alice s tarts out forcing her into. Following on the heels of and mirroring the only extended gay sex scene of the book. ( T here are other brief scenes, but usually only a panel or two at most. ) The title of the chapter is derived from Tweedledee in Through the Looking Glass : "If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as i t isn't, it ain't. That's logic (173 ) The chapter title reveals that the s tory within goes against w hat may be expected or acceptable in this case socially ; however, it also indicates that what can occur between two women in the chapter preceding can also occur between two men Rolf Bauer and Harold Potter, after a day of male bonding it is as important for men to share friendship and all that it entails within Lost Girls as it is for the three women out the homosexual pairings within the story being read concurrently Because he seems to be referring specifically to experime implies that such acts are o nly acceptable for those who are young stories have indicated Alongside the pastiche chapter from Dorian Gray depicting
69 descent into decadent degradation, Bauer seduces Potter as much against his desires as his wife in the chapter before. Similarly, he too eventually submits to the desires of his partner, going Dorian Gray. On the last page, the narration of Dorian Gray invades the comic book ha lf of the page, narrating Mr. Potter as Gray as he bids Bauer goodnight and returns to an equally embarrassed Wendy. One of the issues that these two chapters bring up is how to read the refusal of sex Consent to sexual activity has developed into one o f the greatest questions about sex and t he measure of sexual violence. 15 At the sam e time, these two chapters seem to argue that some if not open, must be led a gainst their will. Williams suggests that Here, both Wendy and Mr. Potter indicate initially that they do not want to do anything sexual with their (same sexed) partners. There are a variety of what, outside of pornography, would be perceived as legitimate reasons for them to refuse, including th at they are in a heretofore committed monogamous relationship and ostensibly heterosexual. Homosexuality is constructed here as something one must be coerced into; why this coercion is acceptable when so many other examples withi n the book are not is uncl ear. This language of coercion is used repeatedly when Wendy is participating in lesbian activities. This may reflect her sexual repression she would be unwilling to participate in 15 During the time I spent working on this thesis, the F.B.I. changed their definition of rape to giving consent because of temp orary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of age (http://www.fbi.gov/news/)
70 anything more transgressive than missionary sex if not forced. However, her stories indicate that even before she closed herself off sexually, she had to be tied up before letting a woman or girl touch her. In the scene discussed above where Peter gives her a n Indian costume and ties her up, Annabel joins the two of them and (25.5.2) Because her only bisexual experience as a young girl is couched in this language of coercion, Wendy is made continually, compulsively heterosexual. This is more than we see the young Dorot hy expe rience, however as she has only one brief episode of bisexual sex as a young girl, with her father and a woman she says resembles her mother; i t lasts all of one panel. For both Dorothy and Wendy, it seems, any sex outside of the utopian bisexuali ty of the Himmelgarten must be heterosexual sex. I do not mean to suggest that heterosexual sex should not be portrayed, so much as to question the portrayal of homosexual o r bisexual sex as either negative or appropriate only within a specific place and time. The pre )sexuality leaves Alice as the only representation of non normative sexual orientation, and her story is more problematic for a reading of accepting sexual difference than the coercive homosexualit y previously discussed. Alice is associated in Lost Girls with madness: s he admits flippantly to having been institutionalized, but also has conversations with her mirror in which she (and the reader, perhaps) can hear responses. Alice, in her many varia tions, has been connected to insanity before: Alice: Madness Returns, the second videogame by McGee, was released in the summer of 2011, and Phoebe in Wonderland (2008) follows a girl who, after being given the part of Alice in a school play, starts to see and play with the characters of the books. Unlike the adventures fro been interpreted time and again as being unmanageable and threatening, relegating her to a place of censure and restriction.
71 how much reverse In addition to this lack of clarity, ries are difficult; while Eklund suggests that sex is por in Lost Girls there is almost no indication in either direction for Alice enjo ys the memory of. By having the already unbelievable character as the one to experience and retell of her non consensual sexual experiences, and then seem to enjoy those experiences, Moore the book could have.
74 Her attack against Wend y, she eventually reveals, was not the first time she forced someone against their will. She describes being left with two lesbian sisters for a period of time: So while she was driven mad by the sex ual fervor of her youth, Alice and others must enjoy it. The
75 adherence to pornographic tropes. In order to make truly intelligent woman positive pornography, it seems, he would have to not make pornography.
76 Alice, fully clothed, being chased by a Jabberwockyesque penis that appears to be spitting ejaculate on her. She occupies the bottom right of the page, which is otherw ise almost entirely overtaken by the phallus that threatens her. Moore problematizes homosexuality in Lost Girls by making the motional result of her Although gender and age are identified by Moore as important areas for change, his portrayal of alternative sexual orientation is frustrating at best and dangerous at worst. By makin g Wendy and Dorothy heterosexual until they meet Alice, Moore perpetuates a dangerous stereotype of the voracious homosexual, turning straight people
77 CHAPTER V. THE SEXUALIZATION OF LITERARY CHILDREN Lost Girls works well to call attention to sev eral of the issues that develop in the way we perceive children as non sexual. James Kincaid, referenced in numerous other sources used herein, suggests that the construction of the child which was not really a standard concept until up in erot ic manufactories, and that we have been laboring ever since, for at least two centuries, claims in order to desire a child (or anything else, really), it must be other ed, as children are by mea ns of their suggested innocence, arguing that 5). Kincaid then proceeds to examin e several of the binaries created between childhood and adulthood, including (respectively) asexuality/sexuality, innocence/experience, ignorance/ knowledgeable and natural/cultured. Although he fails to point this out clearly, many of these binaries over lap with stereotypes of femininity/masculinity, associating women with childhood and men with adulthood. For both women and children, while they may be idealized, that idealization keeps them from being allowed the agency that men/adults are so freely giv en. somewhat explained in his argument that children before a certain age are sexless or ungendered: ed in the play but that such distinctions are next to meaningless. What we gain by such a move, we hope, is some insight into the machinery that constructed those differences in the first place, and the needs which caused us to By assuming children before a certain age are ungendered, Kincaid
78 suggests that the gendered binaries men and women fall into are constructed rather than natural, much like our relatively modern notion of the child. One of the difficulties in discussing the sexualizing of children is the lack of a clear demarcation between child and not. While there are specific ages provided at which a representation or actual sex becomes legally acceptable, that age implies a constant maturity/knowledge that may not af fect everyone 16 The distinction between physical/sexual maturity and emotional/mental maturity is at odds in society even now. S etting an age of consent does not mean that everyone who has reached that age has reached a level of maturity (or indeed, abil ity) to make their own decisions about sexuality, yet limiting their sexuality is limiting agency. I f there is not a moment we can identify as the transition from child to adult, there is a distinct moment of separation be tween childhood and adolescence: e have, slowly but certainly, agreed on a collective illusion that the child is a biological category, not, like adolescence, some m ishmash of pubescent eruption. The child, we have come to feel, is defined biologically, even better, sexually (or no n Kincaid 69). The adolescent may be sexual, while the child should not be consistently have their ages increased in subsequent adaptations. Alice and Dorothy were bo th ten or younger in their origi nal books years before they could participate in the activities of Lost Girls and s till allow it to be published yet are typically represented as adolescents or o lder in almost every adaptation, even if they are not directly sexualized. If it is understood encounter, it is far easier to understand the sense of protection which the sp ecter of the pedophile 16 The age of consent, when a person is deemed legally capable of consenting to sex, varies from country to c ountry and state to state; it is between 16 18 years old in the U.S.A. Most states allow for sexual activities between two youths within 3 5 years of age, such as the relationship between Peter and Wendy. There is also a legal restriction against sexual activities between a minor and a person in a position of authority (teacher, police officer, etc.) up to the age of 19.
79 elicits, because d, slipping away, not what it used to be. similar to women, children are said to need protection from those who would remove their innocence (for women, previously, their sole hope for financial stability). The laws that are meant to contain innocence are laws that restrict freedom as much as they protect from loss of innocence Kincaid goes on to argue that the concept of an innocent child is meant not to kee p the child safe but the adult, innocence is a faculty needed not at all by the child but very badly by the adult who put it there in the first place. Giving this innocence to a child, then, may satisfy our needs but ( 73). Kincaid e xplains this thought by drawing a distinction between impulses and desires. A child may be innocent of the idea that nudity is sexual, but still have the desire to rem ove their clothing Although the former can be restricted by adults to so me extent and often is, the effects of such a restriction can be dangerous for the child who does not understand either their own desires or the desires of others Throughout images of her are reflections, in everything from the well known stream on which the Wonderland stories were first told, to a glass of wine given to a young girl of fourteen, and the titular looking glass re cognizable from the start of Lost Girls Alice tells of her own narcissism as a girl her fascination with that reflection which is the only way for us to see her at first. She sits by the pond of the original story, where he r narcissism is interrupted goes unidentified within Lost Girls is consistently assumed to be Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) by reviewers. Kenneth Kidd views this inclusion of the author of the original te Alice books, but the legend of their creation,
80 Alice playing up both its literary qualities and its seedier We often refuse to separate the men from t he children they told their stories too, which is what allows books like Men in Wonderland to be valuable in a study such as this. In acknowledging this issue, most explicitly in Alice s molestation by the man who would be Carroll, Moore makes true what h as never been confirmed. Indeed, knowledge about the maker s mind and personality can actually affect the audience members interpretation: what they know about artists desires and motivations, even about their life situations when they are creating, can influence the interpretation of any work s meaning, as well as the response to it (Hutcheon 151). Because of the odd friendship between Carroll and Alice Liddell, to whom he told the stories before writing them down, Carroll s reasons for the Alice stories have long been questioned A similar problem arises between Barrie and the Llewelyn boys he told the Peter Pan stories to of an unclear relationship between adult and child(ren). Both cases have long encouraged questioning about whether a (non sexual) friendship between adults and children can exist, as well as call into question why an unrelated adult would seek to form friendships with and entertain children. Ja ay children towards one way of thinking or another, an argument that encourages the various ratings systems discussed previously. Books that play with the difference between adult and child, such as Peter Pan and the two Alices suggest that the differenc es are not as important as they may seem at first. Rose argues that rier, it becomes not exper iment. but molestation (70 italics hers ) This statement could imply that all
81 an act of breeching that barrier, often forcefully and with the intent to sway a child towards a specific way of thinking The literature as a sexual (read: adult) text then make s it safer, and less of an act of molestation than the original literature By including the assumed Dodgson as the man who molests and fractures Alice, Moore is not only giving a nod to the perceived history of the book, but to a reality of sexual assault that is often ov erlooked in the more common portrayals of stranger rape : acquaintance rape, or sexual assault by someone the victim knew prior to the at tack occurs in approximatel y two thirds of assaults ( rainn.org ). It is not merely some stranger who attacks her, but a family friend, one who is trusted by her father and is comfortable enough with the family to come over even when the adults are out. It is this familial trust, al ongside potentially a particularly Victorian feminine sensibility, that encourages Alice to drink with the Dodgson character : especially sexual and literary knowledge, succeeds where ignorance fails Pugh 110) Rather than hiding s ex from them, he suggests, sex should be discussed with children in a way that acknowledges as Moore attempts to do within Lost Girls both the negative and positive
82 aspects of sex. By discussing sex with children and explaining ch ildren are better prepared to understand what is acceptable and report what is not without fearing sex
83 Because Alice disassociated herself mentally from the molestation, the s plash page, the revelation of her imagination, does not portray it either. The image instead is of Alice and her reflection swim ming in the mirror, which has become like a pool in which they are both partially submerged. One is almost entirely above the the other almost entirely below it creating a sense of yin/yang, especially given their positioning. B Alices gaze almost without expression camera This gazing out is referred to as breaking the fourth wall, which can mean either breaking the imaginary boundary between reader/audience and the performance/story they are viewing, or in the case of some comics a literal breaking of a panel wall ( Making Comics 46). Such acts, including the direct physical interaction with an audience or in comic books, directly addressing them, emphasizes and reaffirms their presence as viewers Within films and comic book s such a break can be used to point out the voyeuristic position of the viewer/reader. c an often take a reader out of the moment, however, so those moments where the fourth wall is broken within Lost Girls are an indication by the creators that these are moments of consequence. The effect is more haunting than sensual here The splash page, intended to slow down the reader for a moment, and the acknowledgement of the reader, work to separate Alice s story of a more forceful sexual introduction from the two other women s stories. The metafictive quality of this image reemphasizes the negativ e effects of sex that is an abuse of power rather than equality, almost accusing the reader if this is the story they are turned on by.
84 17 Galbraith, referring in part to a previous study, argues that while 17
85 provides such a range that it is difficult to say that the text allows anything to happen that it does not inclu de as part of its carnal fodd er (n. pag.) Everything can be used to turn the reader on she argues. Yet Moore and Gebbie do not completely reveal but instead with herself. They both acknowledge the reality of sex that it is not always pleasant or desirable for all parties involved yet at the same time allow Alice a sense of privacy in her assault, refusing those who may get off on images or descriptions of non consensual sex.
86 If Dorothy is an example of the possibilities for healthy female sexuality and Alice is the example of the dangers of coerced or forced sexuality Wendy acts as an example of a sort of middle ground, wherein girls can be introduced to sexuality by another in a relatively safe, accepting environment. Like Dorothy, Wen has been replaced with a more mundane one, in this case a spinney: a n isolated Pan first appeared in the Little White Bird It is here that she first spies the boy she soon learns is P eter, as he has sex with another young girl eve ntually revealed to be Annabel his sister. The boy soon finds Wendy and her two brothers at their home, where he comes into their room in the night and proceeds to show Michael and John how to masturbate, For both Dorothy and Wendy, their relationships as adolescents are pointedly heterosexual, so that even as Peter is rubbing Wendy and one that relies on the objectification of women This focus on a heterosexuality that emphasizes women as the idealized Other continues when Wendy is included in the experiences Pe t er initiated with her brothers: (8.4.4) The images paired with this description are potentially most similar to the hardcore pornography Williams examines in a particularly Mulveyian voyeurism : Wendy is the center of male attention, three boys masturbating to the point of ejaculating on her. Wendy is uncertain of her feelings towards the entire episode, hesitant in the actual even t itself and the retelling of it several years later. It is difficult to understand whether this was something she
87 actually wanted to happen or if she is responding to societal expectations requiring her to deny her own desires in this instance Throughout her stories, there is often a tone of disbelief; she is never sure whether her sexuality is her own. While she is not forced into her sexual development, she is encouraged by this group of boys, so that she is left to wonder, could I? How could I let him in? I know it was wrong, but the way it felt and then then he starte d moving, in m y hand. His face. been taught to identify sex as wrong, and so must put herself in a position that she recognizes for women that of the mother in order to unders tand how she can be sexual. Even in this early experience, before the suggestion is made by Peter, she has to see him as in a role where she must care for him in order to participate in the encounter. Without Peter, Wendy is only allowed to imagine her s exuality, a fact which she laments herself when she says, window, but in my dreams he took us all with him, out over Lond on, up into the sky like a wish (8.6.4) as revealed in both the original and in her present in Lost Girls is only possible for her in dreams. She is trapped within the walls of feminine expectations as a middle class woman in Victorian England, and is resigned to her place there. The intense sexuality that Peter introduces Wendy to allows her, as it did for Dorothy, one of the only paths for e scaping or at least questio ning the roles she was raised into : faade seemed such a sham. So did Society. How could everyone act so normally when they all had this heat between By experiencing a new world of sexuality, Wendy is able to examine her own world and her place in it horizons as it were. Wendy simply experiences it at the same time we do, and her childishness is what allows her to approach this
88 with bodily sexual development, the ritual or process of initiation is bound up with sexual energy, exploration, or play. Indeed, part of what it means to become an adult is to become sexually is so new to her, and this newness is what creates her desire to explore as much as possible as quickly as possible. Puberty was often seen as the transition between childhood, or a state of innocence, and adulthood, or a state of experience. Generally, the physical act of experience would enact a mental act of knowing, so that by experiencing sex an adolescent becomes able to and therefore frequently does take on the responsibility for releasing all that pent up pressure. Puberty as flood became an solutely all the time. I where a sexual child is seen as coerced and a sexual girl objectified, she can only imagine herself insane for how focused on sex she becomes aft experiences with Peter and his friends then act to help her understand sex as not quite so dangerous as she has been led to believe, if only briefly. Like the friction between Dorothy and her aunt/stepmother, her from the women in her life, driving her instead to be more accessible to the boys/men. There is an obvious tension between Wendy and Annabel, whom she is constantly comparing herself t, and the hair between her legs was like a little orange flame, not thick and dark like mine. She pulled her dress on, glaring at me. .How could Peter 4). For all that Moore is progressive in much of his portrayal of fe male sexuality, he seems unable to imagine young women getting along with each other (unless
89 it fulfills a schoolgirl fetish, as with Alice). Often what is problematic in one era of the story is corrected within the other era, so that both Wendy and Dorot hy are able to develop relationships with other women in adulthood, but not as children. Like homosexuality, this suggests that such relationships may be unnatural. In order to maintain the heterosexual faade that even the spinney seems to perpetuate, the boys are not able to continue their sexual play unless some girl is involved. Wendy is made rhaps I felt I should compete with her, in a society of boys, the re can be only one girl, else the boys are overwhelmed by their femininity. country, one of seemingly rampant sexuality, although she stays very solidly within the confines is not unlike the original book, wherein Wendy is always fulfilling the part of mother, both limited and limiting, while Peter gets to play father, child, and hero as he prefers. Wendy is susceptible as a girl not on ly in her roles as prescribed by society and reinforced by Peter, but also by the idealization of child and woman by an adult. The children of the spinney are threatened The character of the Captain sets up a dichotomy between sex with a child by an adult and sex betw een children:
90 the former falls under the bad sex Eklund describes, while the latter can generally be considered good sex. Children may be sexual, but only with other children. After one coupling with Peter, Wendy realizes that they had an audience wh en the Captain ejaculates over her back: above like masts. His hooked, arthritic hand still slithered back and forth along the barrel of his pistol, now discha 3). Wendy is disgusted not by the fact that she has been objectified or ejaculated upon, as both have happened previously without enraging her. She is upset about who has done it the invasion of a child s world by an adult. The Captain is a perverse adult, one who is spying on children and openly desiring them The hypersexual adolescent/child is allowed to enjoy sex, find it exciting and new eriences too much wonder in sex, who treats it with awe, is called a pervert, a sex addict, or a degenerate. .The adult who enjoys the excitement of transgression and seeks out the pleasure of furtiveness is a criminal, again perverse ribunella 139). The Captain may be intrigued by the fun the children have in their sexual exploration, fun which he is no longer able to have with other adults who are as jaded as he. He could also enjoy the excitement of transgression that children re present for adults. Either way, he is perverse, childish, criminal, degenerate, a sex addict. Because the stories told by Alice and Wendy problematize adults sexually pursuing children, the other splash page that breaks the fourth wall creates a slightl y more difficult reading. In her penultimate storytelling chapter s splash page, Wend y imagines herself tied naked to the mast of a boat She is molested by several pirate men as the Captain stands poised to penetrate her. His hook which exists only in her imagination, is held against her nipple similarly ready for penetration Wendy s stories, particularly the later ones, discuss how her imagination overpowers her propriety, so that her splash pages seem to separate that much more her imagination fro m
91 what she is actually experiencing. While for Alice this separation is indicative of her encroaching madness, for Wendy it allowed her to realize the powerful difference between the reality and imagination. Here, Wendy watches the Captain as he threaten s her and most of the men are watching her or have their eyes closed, but the Captain is staring at the reader /camera If an image of someone staring directly at the camera/reader is intended to encourage identification with that person, then this is a j arring gaze. Especially after encouraging the reader to identify with Alice, molested as a child, to then turn around and place the reader in the position of the attacker is a gutsy, albeit rather appropriate, act. or the idea of a girl being tied up and molested by several men, the stare seems to suggest, they should understand who that desire aligns them to: the villain. Citing the ideas of Walter Ong found in Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word Wegner suggests that comic paraphrase Ong, secondary literacy is essentially a more deliberate and self conscious literacy. Unlike members of primar y literate culture, who are turned inward because they have had little The purpose of the character staring back at the reader within this book is to encourage the r eader to look at themself much as the character looks at them The reader is meant to examine how he or she responds to what is being portrayed or discussed to turn inward and read with as much awareness of themself as of the societal e ffects that crea ted the story was pursued by the Captain and was able to realize that despite her fantasies, she had not consented to nor really desired any actual attack from him. Yet t he Captain continues to threaten Wendy, cornering her, and she realizes both why he is after her and the power that her body holds against him:
92 I ir y, too old for tits too much for someone who preferred flat little chests and bare little quims? Someone who was scared of grown swallow him? I worked my hips, spreading my furry vagina with my fingers, bellowing 4) the Captain flails as he is consumed by a crocodile whose jaw has been replaced by a vaginal mouth com plete with pubic hair. As he is about to be consumed, he grabs for Wendy even as she is flying off panel, catching only her underwear. All that is visible of her is one breast and arm, and everything below the turns to Hook and forces him to be aware of her womanhood and age is replaced in the splash page by the crocodile, reducing her to the one part of her body that both terrifies and entices Hook. H e so fea rs aging (the ticking o f the clock the crocodile has swallowed) that he is subdued )child that the Captain seeks.
93 subheadings that of conversion, conversion narrative within and includes those novels that intend attempt to help children transition into adulthood. The resistant narrative, such as what is found most obviously in Peter Pan instead emphasizes di fference between childhoods by focusing instead on children with other children rather than child not because of any greater intrinsic worth of childhood so much a s because the adult values reflecting a desire for the perceived inno The Captain seeks Wendy and other youths because he prefers the resistant narrative, the idea that the young can help him become more of an ideal. By acknowledging her proximity to adulthood, her conversion, Wendy reveals that she is no longer his ideal. There are t hen two ways to read the sexuality of Peter and his friends in the spinney it is a movement towards (sexual) adulthood (conversion), or it is an attempt to ignore adulthood in holds more weight. bland acceptance of the grown up that is murderous. Somehow she already knows all the unfairness, loves it, and is anxious to get on with de
94 she sees him exchanging money f or sexual favors with the Captain, she realizes that sex is not r Spinney gives her a brief reprieve from this unfairness at the same time it hurtles her towards having to mature at the moment she forces Hook to see that she is an adult woman, she is likewise forced to see herself in this way. Thus, her loss of sexuality discussed previously is indicative of her perceiving the rampant, joyful sexuality of h er youth as childish She can h ave meeting the other two women at the Himmelgarten. The issues of sexualized literary children are explicitly discussed by the characters at the book draws to a close.
96 However, if the Captain is a pervert, criminal, Moore plays this too close together, trying to argue for the acceptability of one type of writing while the other is just pages away. We are meant to accept the argument that fiction is fiction at the same time that we are to find the sexualization of children as unacceptable. Within Lost Girls the characters seem carefully drawn to represent a certain level of physical maturity as even at their youngest each has gone through or at least started puberty.
97 One of the recurrent issues of obscenity laws are they defend against a danger that has not been proven and then i s dangerous to suggest that viewing sexual images of children could encourage viewers towards sexually pursuing or desiring actual children, although various studies have indicated quite the opposite. By focusing on the potential effects of viewing an ima ge, what is ignored is the actual effects of producing photographs of children in sexual positions, involving actual children in actual sexual afterwards, cannot be (Galbraith 108). Instead, Galbraith argues for a reading of non photographic or filmic pornography not as the means of identifying how to satisfy specific sexual desires but an outle t to satisfy desires that may otherwise develop into more dangerous proclivities. Rougeur, as ever Pornographies are the enchanted parklands where the most secret and vulnerable of all our many selves can safely play. .They are our secret gardens, where seductive paths of words. (22.8.1 2). Rather than being a danger for children or women, pornography that does not depict actual people statement also suggests, as Kendrick did, that words are no longer enough to make a story pornographic. This is part of the difficulty I have had in writing about Lost Girls an image of sexuality is more immediately and, arguably, more sexual than words a lone.
98 The Himmelgarten becomes then not only a representation of these arguments, but also a n environment where the women can become like the girls they could have been if these arguments and this book do change the way we discuss and think about children, sex, and pornography The women act as examples of both the effects of sexual repression (frigidity, molestation), as well as the possibilities of sexual openness : confession of an early experience functions to educate a person. .o offers an example to the other women of what could have been : she is s ubjectively sexual without being sexualized. It is for this
99 reason, in part, that she is much youn ger than the other two women; s on her childhood so much as be able to present it as an example the other women can use for their need. Wendy must return to her childhood to understand what was good about her sexuality, rather than being so overwhelmed by it, so she can stop running from i t. Alice needs to understand a consenting sexuality instead what she experienced growing up. Rougeur departs, leaving the hotel and the three women to complete their transformations into happily, healthily sexual women They give themselves to the carnivalesque, which Christine Wilkie was examined by women are typically tied to nature and, in this case, to abandonment of culture, while men are tied to culture and learned knowledge Against this argument, Wilkie Stibbs suggests that the carnivalesque and the t up, and masquerade are intrinsic to the carnival. .intimately connected with the fe minine in terms of the masquerade: changed identity, changed self image, becoming beautiful, and all chapters of Lost Girls relish in the carnivalesque, as the women change their clothing and, at least in t he case of Alice, her entire appearance as she is transformed into a younger psychologically healthier version of herself. Barrie and Carroll wrote children
100 desire to have but to be the girl/child. Girl hood is a point the m e n remember nostalgically (pastiche like) as preceding masculine competitiveness. The p referred, imagined past of the child, rather than something that resembles a mo re realistic childhood, envisionings of kind of hyperbolic idealization, it calls to at tention the ways [the] original employs the same device that is, hyperbole The women, as adults, then romanticize what their childhood could have been in their return to it. By becoming girls once more, they are able to achieve what they could not as women with the exception of Dorothy, who is still almost a girl an understanding of sexual equality. I n Lost Girls, as in They must return to the memories of their youth in order to be as whole as they were in their presexual childhood s, but without a loss of sexual knowledge Because their sexuality was the impetus that rushed them (and, according to standard societal beliefs, all children) into adulthood, it is their in itiation to sexuality that they must return to. It is not enough that the women remember their childhoods, however. They must also discuss them, exchange their experiences in order to better understand themselves. Williams exchange between people in which, by being with the other, one also experiences a profound th Through the act of creating this intersubjective space through discussion of
101 past experiences, the women are better able to feel a sense of safety in their sexuality and th erefore learn to be sexual in a healthier way. This is particularly true of both Alice, who can perceive what effects her early experiences had on her sexuality and begin to understand how she might have affected others, a nd Wendy, who can finally be sexual.
102 CHAPTER VI. CONCLUSIONS In the final chapter of Lost Girls leave the Himmelgarten just ahead of an invading German army. Several soldiers are seen ransacking the hotel before they decide to break the mirror to use the frame for firewood. The soldier whose stomach has been splayed open. The last panel shows a barbed wire barricade and a poppy. The poppy, which has been seen at various points around the Himmelgarten Hotel and a well known World War I poem and opium. It is unclear which allusion the reader is intended to identify, so that each reader may be left with a different understanding of the final image. y to find a more positive sexuality is reduced by the masculine threat of war They are only able, it seems, to achieve their happier, healthier sexuality within the Himmelgarten, away from society, work, money, and the aspects of reality that first create d the women s fractured sexuality. Pugh suggests that subversive return to ideological and cultural normalcy is effected, such as when Alice leaves congruen t with theoretical conceptions of the carnivalesque, an overturning of social structures and decorum that stimulates momentary release from the status quo yet ultimately reinforces the status quo. (23) Although the women are able to identify and start t o move towards healthier sexualities, they ultimately return to the societies and roles that created their initial problems. Assumedly, Wendy and Alice will return to England, Bauer will die in the first World War. Potter will make a killing
103 selling batt will probably return to Kansas and get married and have children. For all the changes the women experience during their time at the Himmelgarten, they are forced to le ave both the place and the power they found within it. The inability to retain what they have learned and remain changed by their experience is not really explained, except as Alice points out, There are places despite where I still believe Lost Girls fails in representing a positive sexuality for women In the portrayal of non heterosexual sex, there is a repeated unnaturalness to each experience either one of the participants is forcefully coerced into homosexual sex, or as with Alice, they are corrupted by previous experiences into it. Good relationships between women like healthy sexuality, are only able to develop outside of society,
104 in the Himmelgarten ; otherwise women appear only capable of hatin g and/or manipulating each other But there are many more moments where Lost Girls succeeds The women portrayed within are willingly, gleefully sexual, and that sexuality is as acceptable for them as it is for any man. Children are sexualized, yes, but in a way that encourages a sense of agency without violation, acknowledging that they can be sexual but should not be sexualized against their will. The reality of sex, both positive and negative, is laid out in a way that celebrates the former and recog nizes t he existence of the latter without fetishizing it A side from telling a story, the intent of Lost Girls seems to be to give an example not to escape the world, but to show what a more sexually open world could be like, as well as the threat s sexual repression presents now. The characters live in a reality similar to our own, rather than the fantastic worlds of their original books, so they need realistic ways to understand and improve their sexuality. Dorothy in particular is able to achieve and ma intain sexual empowerment and therefore act as an example of what a sexually empowered woman looks like. Alice is the way she is because all of her examples of sexuality contain issues of power and magically learn to not try to overpower others with sexuality. By refusing to speak with children about sex, they are left without defenses against those who take advantage of or even enjoy their innocence, creating this repeated cycle of sexual power pla ys. Wendy cannot imagine herself as sexual and as an adult Lost Girls is intended to be pornograph ic to be explicit and encourage a certain physical response A t the same time it is intended to make the reader question what pornography is and
105 what in pornography excites them with his intrusive self awareness and his confessed desire to eleva te the project to a whole new level. The result is a lofty example of meta It can be difficult at the same time that it is so explicitly sexual, to identify Lost Girls as pornography. Pornography, ar guably, is rarely so self aware, self deprecating and self defensive about its status. There are numerous imagined binaries, such as this one between intelligent pornography / the tropes of pornography in Lost Girls : pornography / children s literature, adul thood/childhood, word / image, past/present; what is revealed along the way is that the line between these binaries is not as solid as it would seem at first glance If these seemingly obvious
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