London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, which owns the copyright to Peter Pan, criticised as inappropriate a graphic novel which portrays the sexual awakening of the character Wendy.
Lost Girls, by British writer Alan Moore, portrays three fictional heroines - Wendy from Peter Pan, Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz - in a work its publisher calls "erotic fiction at its finest".
Moore insists on calling the work "pornography", while Publishers Weekly, in an article earlier this year, said it involved "fetishism, incest and even a touch of bestiality, as well as a whole lot of sexual activity involving minors".
It is due to be published in the United States in August.
Great Ormond Street, the children's hospital that was given the rights to the Peter Pan story by author J M Barrie in 1929, said it had yet to be approached by Moore about his novel.
"In order to be published or distributed in these territories (the United Kingdom and the European Union), Alan Moore's title would need our permission or license," the hospital said in a statement on Friday.
|The cover of Lost Girls, a graphic novel of an explicit nature|
"From press coverage, we understand it deals with sensitive subject matter which does not initially seem appropriate to be associated with the hospital and with J.M. Barrie's legacy to us."
Great Ormond Street hospital spokesman Stephen Cox said the hospital had yet to see the novel in question, but was responding to media reports on its content.
Asked whether direct action to have Moore's book banned was a possibility, he replied: "That is one option open to us. We are not rushing to judgment."
The hospital's copyright to Peter Pan expires at the beginning of 2008, after which it continues to collect royalties in Britain but no longer controls the title.
|Sir James Matthew Barrie|
"I don't see that you can ban anything in this day and age," Moore was quoted as saying by the
newspaper. "It wasn't our intention to try to provoke a ban," he added.
Moore wrote acclaimed graphic novels including Watchmen, From Hell and V For Vendetta, which was turned into a Hollywood movie starring Natalie Portman.
Earlier this year, Great Ormond Street announced plans to publish the authorised sequel to Barrie's children's classic called Peter Pan in Scarlet, set for publication in October.