The whole concept of starting a gothic blog came into my head when I first stumbled onto Jillian Venters’ Gothic Charm School blog a few years ago. Jillian is a wise and eloquent eldergoth with whom I share many of the same views regarding the gothic subculture and its aesthetic. I highly suggest you check out her blog, but I also recommend that you check out her book, as well.
Gothic Charm School by Jillian Venters is a collection of the amassed wisdom of the type that she dispenses on her blog, decorated with lovely illustrations by her husband. The Lady of the Manners, as she refers to herself, speaks in a charming style throughout the book (notable for her frequent use of the third person). Subtitled “An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them,” Gothic Charm School is directed at a wide audience—both goths themselves and those outside the subculture who want to learn more about it. Jillian combines humor with practical advice in chapters ranging from “Dealing with roommates” to “Why friends don’t let friends dress like the Crow.”
I especially enjoy Jillian’s view of goth, which she describes as meaning “that you have an appreciation for the beauty that can be found in darkness or decay, that you have a healthy sense of the absurd, an appreciation for whimsy, and are not afraid to be your own person.” My favorite chapter is her section on Goth weddings (“both weddings for Goths and Goths attending ‘normal’ weddings”), and now all I want are some skeletal cake-toppers! She’s also got some great makeup recommendations and clothing advice, but the most important take-away from the book is her emphasis on being a decent and courteous human being.
You can buy Jillian’s book from Amazon here or at your local book store. If you’ve already read it, share your thoughts in the comments!