Abstract

Lost Girls (2006) is a return to the themes explored by Melinda Gebbie and other underground feminist cartoonists in the 1970s and 1980s. The text, a collaboration between Gebbie and Alan Moore, should be read as reminiscent of feminist cartoonists who intentionally depicted the taboo or obscene in order to address sexual and gender inequalities. These comics suggest that the obscene can push against purity narratives attached to womanhood, narratives that potentially stigmatize all girls and women. Lost Girls keeps the taboos of children’s sexuality and incest central to the representation in order to reframe possibilities of women’s healthy sexual subjectivity. Injurious pasts and irreconcilable desires do not preclude joyous futures. Painful pasts enable the eponymous lost girls’ agency, creating the conditions that help them find homosocial and queer belonging with one another. The comic thus models the temporalities of surviving trauma. The feminist temporalities of survivorship here also model utopian futures that are homosocial, queer, often ecstatic, and resistant to normative scripts of what should give women comfort. Undergirded by a radical feminist perspective that sees injury as being embedded in many women’s experiences, the creation of community from the wound makes it normal to have been broken.

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