It’s been a while since I posted about getting the full set of the English G&LB, so I apologize that it has taken so long to getting to the “let’s read” posts. If you don’t know what the Gothic & Lolita Bibles are, or if you’re curious as to why I’m not covering volumes 1 and 2, feel free to read my introductory post to this series.
Note: These scans are not the best quality. I did not want to spend hours adjusting and retouching them because that’s not the point of this post. There are sources online where you can find legible scans if you want to read along but don’t have your own copy.
Let me just start out this post by saying that this cover has always creeped me out. When I was first trying to find out about lolita at 15, I got this mook out from the library and was instantly horrified and super embarrassed when I saw its cover because I just thought it was so weird. These were mooks about lolita, right? Then why was the cover so ugly? I’m pretty neutral about this cover now, but it made such an impression on me when I was younger.
Enough about me. Let’s dive into the Halloween themed August 2008 mook! (I won’t be covering every page, just those about which I have something to say.)
I’ll be honest, though, I always skip through all the beginning pages of magazines. This mook starts out with the table of contents, an ad for Angelic Pretty with a list of all their store locations, the staff page, an ad for Japanese “pop fashion” website that’s closed now, letters from the editors, and “Letters from Our Readers.” Despite the fact that this is volume 3, the letters all seem to be in response to volume 1, or even in response the the release of the English language translations in general.
Now we come to the first “real” page, a comic drawn by a Western lolita!
I really love this comic. Her art style is endearing, she’s in punk lolita, and she’s pining after a spooky Halloween dress (which makes sense, since this is the Halloween edition). Also, it warms my heart to see that this comic is entirely relevant to lolita today, too. Does anyone know if Lilly Higgs did any more lolita comics after the English G&LB shut down?
Pages 10-15: This is one of Mana’s Moi-meme-Moitie photostories, with a page at the end of him talking about various things and a feature of MmM’s Autumn 2007 collection. I am tempted to just call this a regular photoshoot and dismiss the “story” for its lack of continuity, but all the mini stories relate to the setting, which is a “faithful reproduction of a medieval aristocrat’s manor.” Mana seemed to really like this location for the photoshoot. If you like Mana, you’d probably like the “Words from Mana” section. He talks about his impressions from the photoshoot, the various pieces of the MmM collection he wore during the photoshoot, and he gives a general update on the band Moi dix Mois. Also, the super-special feature is “About Parties,” which I found endearing. Out of nowhere, he gives advice: “I think the most essential thing to remember when you attend a party is your modesty and elegance as a lady.” He also talks about a movie he likes, the 1970 Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, and comments on it.
Page 21: Voltaire Music Video Report. This was a really cool little feature. A dark vaudeville/cabaret musician Voltaire invited goths and lolitas to be extras in his music video for “Happy Birthday (My Olde Friend).” That’s really neat. Here’s the music video, too, so you can see everyone in action and actually hear the song.
Pages 22-25: Party Style! “Together with the members of Megamasso… here we reveal our tips for hosting a fashionable party, including essential rules of etiquette we hope Gothic and Lolita fans find useful!” This etiquette guide is actually quite helpful. The text on the actual guide pages of 24 and 25 is so small that there was no point including a scan here. I wish they would have made the (admittedly cute) pictures of the band smaller and spread the information over all four pages.
Pages 26-39: Brand advertisements from Angelic Pretty, Atelier Boz, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Black Peace Now, h.NAOTO, Innocent World, and Putomayo.
I don’t know about you, but it was surreal for me to see “Radioactive Cupcakes” being advertised. I know this dress is infamous, but I don’t think it looks that bad in the lighter, washed-out colorway. (Then again, a lot of sweet looks the same to me.) The hot pink one looks obnoxious, and the black one looks gross. Hmm… Maybe it actually does look gross even in the ad.
I don’t know if you can tell in this scan, but the Innocent World ad is terrible quality. The two pictures of the models are wildly different resolutions from the rest of the layout, and they look blurry and pixelated. It’s very obvious in person and such a weird thing.
Pages 40-43: This is an interview with Hirooka Naoto, designer of h.NAOTO. He seemed really guarded during this interview. Maybe it’s because there were no descriptions of his actions while the interview was being held?
Pages 44-47: These are ads for U.S. lolita brands Blasphemina’s Closet, Candy Violet, and Megan Maude. Looking at these clothing ads makes me really sad because none of these labels really does lolita anymore. The last page is a collection of Western brand shoes.
It’s tempting to say that a lot of these shoe styles are not considered loliable now, but they may not have been put in this group because they were ever loliable at all. This is the Gothic AND Lolita Bible, after all.
Pages 50-53: Hollowed and Haunted. I cannot truly express how beautiful I think this lolita x urban exploration photoshoot is. When I first picked up this mook, this little four-page section took my breath away. This picture may have made me fall in love with lolita fashion, but this photoshoot made me fall in love with the lifestyle.
Pages 56-61: Halloween (and Party) Hair & Makeup
I was not a fan of the Halloween looks or advice. Did anyone else shudder when they saw how bad that blonde wig on Little Red Riding Hood is? I really like the “party” pages, though. I think it’s super interesting to see what the differences are supposed to be between the different styles. (A minor irritation: “gothic lolita” should have gone between “gothic” and “lolita,” not first.) In terms of what I actually think about these looks, “gothic lolita” looks like sweet lolita, “gothic” looks like gothic lolita, and “lolita” looks like classic lolita. Maybe I’ll specifically try out these looks and update this post with a comparison shot later.
Page 63: Twisted Treats for Halloween
While I’m super excited that this GLB had recipes, I can’t help but be disappointed with the inclusion of decorated cupcakes. I honestly don’t like decorated cupcakes, but I would like to see more diversity in sweet treats in general. (Radioactive) Cupcakes are everywhere!
Pages 64-69: The Sewing Patterns
Pages 70-71: Novala Takemoto story “bear’s party in the forest.” I never know what to say about his short fiction. I have to believe that something really crucial gets lost in translation if he’s the writer with the most lolita spirit. The ideal of lolita and the text I read from him never evoke or compliment one another. This piece is Alice in Wonderland fanfiction.
Pages 77-83: Street Snaps! I adore seeing oldschool in action.
Pages 87-100: A lot of these pages are filled with event snaps, a lot of them from Western events. That’s cool, but I don’t get any enjoyment from reading these features and the photos are generally more chaotic than the street snaps.
Page 101: Sweets & Treats Quiz
If you take this quiz, let me know your results in the comments. I got “cupcake,” even when I chose different answers for “I love mixing and matching styles.” I suppose the description of cupcake fits me better than the other two, so at least the quiz is fairly accurate on my end.
Pages 110-117: Readers’ Snaps and Reader Spotlight. I really love these simple outfits. These are much more my style than most modern lolita coords I’ve seen the past couple of years. The middle and right coords of the top row of the page pictured below are my favorites.
I also really enjoyed the reader spotlight on Angel, but I didn’t want to scan it all. The section ended with a special message from her: “Clothes can be wings or chains. Take pride in the things you love and let them take you to wonderful places.”
Pages 122-128: To close this issue, we have the manga at the end. Please click on the last picture in this gallery first, and then click towards the left. I tried to keep the original reading layout as best as I could.
That’s it. We’ve reached the end of our journey together. I hope you had fun reading with me or reminiscing about this mook. Stay on the lookout for my posts about volumes 4 and 5!