Cover image for Lost girl
Lost girl
Kanan, Nabiel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : NBM ComicsLit, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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X Graphic Novel Central Closed Stacks

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On vacation with her family, timid, fifteen-year-old Beth encounters an older and more experienced girl and, fascinated by her worldliness, begins to emulate her.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

British cartoonist Kanan, known for chronicling teenage alienation, treads familiar ground in this black-and-white graphic novel about timid Beth, who, on vacation with her family, encounters a somewhat older but far more experienced girl, apparently a vagrant, who is chillingly fearless about sex and drugs. Fascinated by her worldliness, Beth tries to become closer to her, but she remains elusive. Meanwhile, Beth's family is following news reports about a local girl's disappearance, and Beth fears her new acquaintance might be involved somehow. By the vacation's end, the reader is uncertain whether the nameless free spirit actually exists, and that uncertainty is compounded by her resemblance to Beth. Kanan's sketchy, wispy drawing style differs from the illustrative approach taken by most European artists in NBM's ComicsLit series, but it effectively conveys the vagueness of Beth's life and the ambiguity surrounding her mysterious friend. Kanan's teens lack the sophistication and articulateness of their age-mates in American Daniel Clowes' Ghost World (1997), but his understated take on adolescent disaffection seems as valid as Clowes', if less entertaining. --Gordon Flagg

Publisher's Weekly Review

A few frissons do not add up to a complete thriller in the latest graphic novel from British artist Nabiel Kanan (Exit). While on vacation with her parents somewhere in the British countryside, teenage and bourgeois Beth befriends a young punk who lives by her wits. Her new, nameless pal sleeps with strangers and steals cars; their brief acquaintance ignites a longing within Beth, but no sooner does she smoke her first joint and ride bareback than it is time to return home and face the new school year. Or will she? Once home, Beth unlocks the attic door and discovers that it leads to the field where she frolicked with her friend. This disappointing attempt at surrealism is at odds with the rest of the novel's hyperrealism, especially given the artist's geometric, black-and-white drawings. Kanan's panels capture a strong Hitchcockian feeling: the juxtaposition of the two main characters in the opening evokes Strangers on a Train, the stranger peering through a curtain recalls Rear Window and the punk's possible dual identity brings to mind Marnie. But his refusal to answer any of the tale's larger questions and his inability to combine these elements into one organic whole provide no satisfying payoff. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

On vacation with her family, teenage Beth is drawn to a "wild girl," a young woman who scorns societal norms and appears to be happily homeless. As Beth befriends the older girl, she is increasingly drawn to the rebellious lifestyle, which seems a true expression of individuality and mystery. However, when Beth suspects that her friend is holding a young girl (the lost girl of the title) hostage, she attempts to pull herself away from the older girl's hypnotic grip. When Beth returns home, the routine of getting ready to return to school disappoints her, and she feels the influence of the older girl so strongly that she must act upon it. The drawings are black and white and accurately reflect the understated, seductive quality of the story. British graphic artist Kanan (Exit, Caliber, 1996) is a storyteller and stylist to watch. For larger public libraries.ÄStephen Weiner, Maynard P.L., MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.