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 :


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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

In his new graphic novel, British comics artist Kanan (Exit) attempts, with only fitful success, to present the desires and frustrations of a teenager on the verge of womanhood. On holiday with her family, 15-year-old Beth encounters a young woman in the midst of a brazen public seduction. Mesmerized by the girl's sexual daring, Beth follows and secretly observes the back-alley assignation and the seducer's escape after stealing her startled victim's car keys. Later at the seashore, bored with her parents and her friends, Beth encounters the mysterious young woman again. The two strike up a friendship even as the local police search the nearby woods for another missing girl. While this lost girl is found, Beth's enigmatic consort disappears again, this time on a horse, leaving the reader to puzzle over whether she existed at all. The sexy vagrant seems to embody Beth's fantasy of an alluring adulthood, the vamp's predatory sexuality counterpoised with the dull security of a mandatory vacation with mum, dad and little sister. But despite its portentous beginning (and Kanan's snappy teen dialogue), this strange and elusive story presents only a series of standard adolescent scenarios that lead to a vague and inconclusive ending. Kanan's stark, schematic b&w drawings are adept at capturing youthful physicality and carnality, but his arch, cartoonish stylization sometimes undermines the moody psychological states he works to invoke. (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.