Lost Girls, Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s controversial take on the adult lives of Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Wendy (from Peter Pan) and Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz) will finally be released in the United Kingdom and European Union on 1 January.
Publishers Top Shelf say that potential readers should get their copies fast, “as the limited supply will most likely disappear within a few weeks”.
Publication on this side of the pond was delayed after officials for Great Ormond Street Hospital – which was given the copyright to Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie in 1929 – asserted that Moore would need their permission to publish the book in the UK (and by implication, elsewhere in the EU). Moore indicated that he would not be seeking their licence, claiming that he hadn’t expected his work to be “banned” and that the hospital only holds the rights to performances of the original work, not to the individual characters. In October 2006, Newsarama reported that after “amicable discussions”, Top Shelf had signed an agreement with the Hospital that, while not conceding copyright infringement, they would not publish Lost Girls in the UK until after the copyright lapsed at the end of 2007.
(Great Ormond Street Hospital’s copyright on Peter Pan originally ended in 1987, but was reestablished through 2007 due to the EU directive. In the US, the Hospital claims copyright on Peter Pan through 2023, based on the copyright of the play of the book, published in 1928. Additionally, the UK government gave the Hospital a perpetual copyright, allowing it to receive a royalty for any publication or performance of the work (or works based on the play), although the ruling does not allow Hospital to refuse permission or exercise creative control. The US copyright has been contested for years, by Disney and others. For more on the copyright of Peter Pan, see this Wikipedia article).
“For more than a century, Alice, Wendy and Dorothy have been our guides through the “Wonderland”, “Neverland” and “Land of Oz” of our childhoods,” reads the promotional copy on amazon.co.uk for Lost Girls. “Now like us, these three lost girls have grown up and are ready to guide us again, this time through the realms of our sexual awakening and fulfillment. Through their familiar fairytales they share with us their most intimate revelations of desire in its many forms, revelations that shine out radiantly through the dark clouds of war gathering around a luxury Austrian hotel… This is erotic fiction at its finest.”
Reaction to the book has been mixed: Village Voice reviewed the book as “a beautiful dirty book 16 years in the making” while Neil Gaiman describes the story as “a bitter-sweet, beautiful, problematic, exhaustive, occasionally exhausting work”. Variety’s Bags and Boards praises the work but warns that “Bearing no shortage of material to potentially shock or offend the conservative or faint-hearted, Lost Girls is undoubtedly a dicey (and pricey) proposition – even for Moore’s mainstream fan base.”
• Lost Girls Cover and Preview Pages Here:
Categories: British Comics - Books