Well, I have met a woman named Jill Thompson, who I think is doing quite well in that kind of thing, and she kind of explained to me a little bit of the visual vocabulary involved with it, and she said that there are very strict rules to it, and there are always supposed to be little tea parties and things like that. I was quite impressed because I have been to Japan and I picked up a lot of manga books: I love Japanese stuff, I am very interested in it. I am interested in someone following rigorously a sort of situation and doing well in it. It is quite interesting. It seems so back and forth, I mean: I was just thinking I sort of made my name in comics for having kind of an aggressive and sexually tough art style, but with Lost Girls I actually turned back around and use the softnesses and the delicacies of looking at things through a woman’s point of view, to actually be able to achieve the visual storytelling in Lost Girls. I think if another man had done it, it wouldn’t have worked, because that was the whole problem of pornography for women, and it was women who I was trying to reach. Instead of trying to be hard as men, I started to try to appeal to women, because I really wanted Lost Girls to be a book that women would like. I think for a long time the idea of pornography itself has been horrible for women, and they have not responded to it at all in the past. In 2006, when Lost Girls debuted in San Diego, there were just so many women buying it as men: a lot of them were young, and quite a few were middle aged; there were all different ages. One young girl… well, she wasn’t too young to buy it (laughs) (we had to be very strict about that) she had a very cute little short hairstyle, really cute, she came up to me and she said: “I can’t wait to read this, I’m going to take it home”. She came back the next day, and she said: “I stayed up all night reading it”. She had tears in her eyes, and she said: “I just wanted to thank you for doing this”. We held each other’s hand and I said: “You don’t know how much this means to me, that it’s affected you so much”. This is the whole reason that I did this.
Melinda Gebbie interview