Some girls have a passion for Gothic Lolita that approaches religious fanaticism (and OCD creepiness). How does a devotee stay in the loop about Goth Loli fashion and lifestyle? By reading the Bible. Literally.

The Gothic & Lolita Bible is an eye-boggling quarterly magazine that lives up to its name. Each issue (retail price: $8 US) is packed with full-color fashion spreads, band profiles, street snaps (my favorite part), clothing patterns, recipes, makeup tips, and much more. Introduced in 2001 by Bauhaus Co., the Bible is now published by Index Communications, also home to teen fashion ‘zine KERA. Special issues have focused on hair/makeup, Punk Lolita, and handmade how-tos. The Gothic & Lolita Bible is widely marketed in Japan, and cover illustrator Mitsukazu Mihara and model/singer Kana have gained fame for their involvement.

According to Naoki Matsuura, editor-in-chief of KERA, the Bible acts as a link between Goth Lolis all over Japan: “A lot of the girls don’t live in Tokyo and have few friends in their own hometown. Magazines help create the idea that they can find a scene they belong to in Tokyo.” (Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno, P122/125)

But what about the Goth Lolis in the West? For years, the Bibles have been scarce; you can try eBay and specialty bookstores, and I stumbled across some in Los Feliz’s Skylight Books. Thankfully, this is about to end. Manga publisher TokyoPop is soon releasing an American version of the Gothic & Lolita Bible. Much of the material will be from previous editions, translated into English. There will also be original content, including interviews with U.S. Lolitas and J-Rock bands. I recently submitted style photos to the project manager, so keep your eyes peeled – La Carmina may be in an upcoming issue!

Take a gander at these SAMPLE PAGES from the Gothic & Lolita Bibles. You can find more snaps on Avant Gauche.