Today’s post is going to center around, or at least vaguely float past, a little tome JP recently discovered during a random Web surf, the slightly controversially titled mook, Gothic & Lolita Bible. Don’t worry, I’m gonna tell you what a mook is too.

Well, let’s deal with the controversy of slapping Lolita in the title. Goth-loli is one of the offshoots of cosplay (which can include almost any kind of dress-up), and has been tied and bound (and quite possibly gagged) to the Goth scene. Of course Goth works well as a subset of cosplay too. So the loli-goth is pretty much ladies dressing in girly-type, fantastical or dark costumes. It can range from pure fantasy Victorian/Little Bopeep costumes to Death’s kid sister. It might be worth considering it as a ningyo, or doll dress-up, because a lot of the cosplayers seem to go for china-white pallors, regardless whether they are Bopeeps and Deathettes.

To be honest, I reckon the title is just there because it sounds controversial. Taking a leaf from the high-brow classic, Dirty Harry Five:

Swan: Drugs were Johnny’s trademark. He practically made his career singing about them. It made him controversial.
Harry: Well, I can see why you’d want him in your flick.

Gothic & Lolita Bible
Oh, my goth! Front cover of Gothic & Lolita Bible, issue one. It’s a nice gothy coffee-table magazine.

Next, the mook. You’re probably wondering just what the hell is a mook. Basically, it’s a shortening of magazine and book, hence mook (rhymes with look, not Luke). Sure, they could have called it bagazine, or bone, but somebody, somewhere decided on mook, and the rest is history.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know I prattle on like a nicotine fiend who hasn’t had a fix all day, but rest assured, we’re arriving at the meat of the piece.

Thanks to my multi-talented assistant, three volumes of the mook were ordered on Yahoo! Auctions Japan (Yeah, I’m cheap). They arrived and JP tore into the package to check it out.

Gothic & Lolita Bible is published by Index Magazines in Japan, which produces a number of life-style magazines for young adults (including a few nice cooking series). So it’s not going to be too controversial.

The Gothic & Lolita Bible seems to serve as a focusing point for Goth in Japan, communicating essential style elements of the scene (in the best possible taste of course – gawd I miss Kenny Everett). G&L Bible pursues the clothes and the look, so you don’t get to see much beyond the frilly shirts, embroidered dresses and fang implants.

In a nutshell, it presents a style template for young hyper-urban Goth to mold themselves into. There’s color throughout, with girly-goth fashion shoots and clothes catalogues. G&L Bible has some great pictorials that give a real sense of style to the scene. Beyond this there are myriad tidbits including cooking tips (I told you Index Mag has a number of cooking mooks) make-up lessons, interior decorating, a splash of manga, pics of overseas Goths (although they looked more like punk or rave boys to me) and…. wait for it…. dress patterns.

Gothic dress patterns
WTF? A dress design! My life on the dark side has been fulfilled. Time to break out the sewing machines brethren!

Yep, you can make yourself some funky little accessories at home! As you might suspect, this magazine is targeted to the female teen through to thirty-something market.

For what this is, a fashionable coffee-table book, it works well – aesthetically with great pictures and stylistically as an interesting juxtaposition to Western Goth (yeah, I’m drunk in charge of a Web page – sue me). If I could read a few hundred more kanji, I’d be lugging this on train to work (I have no shame). To be honest, if you get past the title, you’ll find a pretty cool glossy mag with a twist of Goth. In terms of fashion, it’s got designs that will be hard to find outside Japan. In terms of discussing the metaphysical, the Master Chief in GI Jane has this to say – Seek life elsewhere.

Now, some of you (well there’s at least a few dozen dropping in now) might find this news disappointing. Maybe you were hoping for something a little bit darker. Maybe you are looking for something on the hard music scene, coffin schematics, the poetry of a tortured heart or just something with a bit more grit between the fangs. I hear you, and I’m checking another mag that might be more to your tastes.

However, if you can appreciate the beauty of the gothique japonisme (sounds sexy doesn’t it), want to see some new styles, then I think at least a couple of copies would be worth adding to your goth-reference collection.

Now you know I’m a cheap bugger, and I picked mine up for 400 yen each, second-hand (they were in fab condition). If you want them new and can score them in Japan, the price is 1365 with tax. Buying stuff online overseas could be expensive. I saw one listing with the basic price at US$20 at J-List (warning: some adult stuff on that site), but has them at US$15.01 apiece.

Links to places mentioned today:
Gothic & Lolita Bible :: Mook for the Goth scene in Japan.
Index Magazines Publishes G&L Bible and… cooking mooks!
Yahoo! auctions :: Great for bargains in Japan
Kenny Everett :: Funny bugger from the UK.
J-List :: Online shop for Japan stuff (some adult stuff there) :: Cool online shop for Japan-related stuff.

† All links are examples only – arm yourself with a search engine to find more information †

† Originally published on JP Goth’s old site: Gothic & Lolita Bible: It’s a Mook…. What’s a Mook?, JP Goth Journal, Issue #7, June 5, 2004. †

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