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Lost GirlReview - Lost Girl
by Nabiel Kanan
NBM Publishing, 1999
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Mar 3rd 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 9)

A British family go on holiday at the beach with their two daughters. The elder daughter, Beth, is fifteen (but looks about thirteen), and is very curious about what she sees around her. She notices an older girl, a mysterious loner. Beth follows the girl around and spies on her having sex with a stranger or wandering around someone else's house. The elder girl represents a possible future for Beth, but she has her parents supervising her, as well as her little sister wanting her attention, and her best friend Caitlin who is also intensely interested in boys. But it is the elder girl who has her attention, and they even look alike. Eventually Beth meets the girl, but she retains her mystery.

This is a graphic novel, drawn in black and white. The style is sparse, a little reminiscent in mood of the fabulous Optic Nerve by Adrian Tomine, but more tentative and hazy. Many frames repeat a similar image, with Beth's rather unformed face trying to make sense of her world. Ultimately this is a slight work, because it doesn't carry the emotional resonance and precision of a book like Optic Nerve. But it shares the sense of its characters being lost, and even life being meaningless. The plot is a little obscure, but it's a quick read, and gripping. For those readers who like graphic novels, Lost Girl is a psychologically subtle and innovative gesture.


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