Synopses & Reviews
What Is Goth? is a humorous, self-deprecating look at Goth culture from the inside out. Imagine The Preppy Handbook colliding with Charles Addams. Then add a lot more melancholy and a lot more spooky. What Is Goth? dispels the false stereotypes and reinforces the true ones surrounding Goths and Goth culture. "To the mundane," Voltaire writes, "Goths are weird, black-clad freaks who are obsessed with death; they are sad all of the time. Take a closer look at the Goth scene, however, and you will find a rich tapestry of ideas and practices and a menagerie of colorful characters. Oh, dear. I said 'colorful.'" Yes, Goths are pale, wear black clothing, love black makeup (on men and women), mope, listen to real downer music, and perfect the art of living in a perpetual state of ennui and melancholy. But there's so much more to being Goth. Goths come from all walks of life. Many are teenagers who live with their parents; others are doctors, lawyers, musicians, and so on. Most Goths are highly literate and creative, but all real Goths have to dress the part. In other words, "Abandon all hope ye who enter a Goth club in khakis!" Eerily illustrated, What Is Goth? is the perfect book for any Goth, Goth wannabe, or "mundane" who is hopelessly confused by all the gloom.
"Simply put, a Goth is 'a fan of gothic music' (a rock-and-roll subgenre that emerged out of the late-1970s punk scene). In general, Goths wear lots of black clothing, favor pale skin and sport black lipstick. They're drawn to the darker aspects of human existence: death, romance, feelings of loneliness and isolation. Sounds like a fun bunch, huh? Voltaire, author of the comic book series Oh My Goth!, actually makes it seem so with this handy guide to Goth culture. Similar in layout to The Preppy Handbook and last year's The Hipster Handbook, the book matter-of-factly dissects a subculture, with copious photos and descriptions of various types. There's the Sad-Sack Drac, a combination of 19th-century nobleman and vampire; the 'Oh Crap, I Forgot to Wear Clothing' look, which entails looking like a cheap French hooker; and many others. Voltaire's humorous approach will lift the lid on Goth mystique for many. As he puts it, 'They're basically just melancholy.... The truth is that very few Goths actually kill themselves-they'd much rather contemplate suicide and then just write a really bad poem about it.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
What is Goth? dispels the false stereotypes and reinforces the true ones surrounding Goths and Goth culture. "To the mundane," Voltaire writes, "Goths are weird, black-clad freaks who are obsessed with death; they are sad all of the time. Take a closer look at the Goth scene, however, and you will find a rich tapestry of ideas and practices and a menagerie of colorful characters. Oh, dear. I said 'colorful.'" This illustrated answer to What Is Goth? shows readers how to:
- Identify the anatomies of different kinds of Goths: CyberGoths, RivetHeads, Romantigoths, Goth-a-billies, and more
- Write a poem (Mad Libs style) with the Gothic Poem Generator
- Properly dance the dances of darkness: "Cobwebs in the Attic," "The Gothic Tai Chi Dance," "Pulling the Evil Taffy"
- A funny, strange, and spooky guide to how to be, look, and feel Goth.
- From Tim Burton to Evanescence to pierced tongues, Goth is here to stay.
- Voltaire's graphic novels, including Oh My Goth, have sold over 50,000 copies.
About the Author
Voltaire is a prominent and prolific author and artist of alternative culture. He is the author and artist of the Chi-Chian and Oh My Goth! comic book series. He lives in New York.