What began in 1990 as an eight-page collaboration between British writer Alan Moore and American illustrator Melinda Gebbie is now a 336-page, three-volume graphic novel and an impending marriage between the two collaborators. “I moved up here,” says Gebbie, a veteran of San Francisco’s underground comics scene in the ’70s, “and the book and our lives became intertwined. Both things seemed to grow inextricably together.”

[Village Voice] Men are the stereotypical consumers and creators of pornography. Women are left out of the equation completely.

[Melinda Gebbie] That was my first and foremost consideration in my mind at all times. This was going to be pornography for women or it wasn’t worth doing. Women like a sense of aesthetics in pornography. They don’t like looking at females who are cold and abused and unhappy. That’s what they see looking at them from just about every porn image.

The novel rejects the notion that comics are cheap and disposable and just for kids. I’ve always loved fine art. And Alan’s sense of language is so beautiful; if anyone’s writing would go with fine art, his would. Though it’s written as a graphic novel, for me [Lost Girls] is a new kind of love child: a combination of fine art and literature in a comics medium. I spent three days per panel on this book. The artwork is very subtle.

How did you approach designing the artwork? I was trying to capture the look of what the mind does to special events. When you remember someone you love, you remember them in a soft, golden haze. The art has a dreamlike quality; the way each time you remember something you remember it with a bit more radiance.

What has reader reaction been like? People seem to be so receptive and appreciative. They don’t like looking at it in front of us though. They just buy it and go, “I just can’t wait to get back to my hotel room and take a look at this!” Which is great.