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Darkness Visible: On World Goth Day, Photos of Romance and Shadow

By Myles Little


( Photo Gallery below)

Spring has finally sprung, and what better way to celebrate — on World Goth Day, no less — than with a bunch of haunting photos of graveyards, romantic ruins and landscapes laid waste by time?
Today’s distinctive, global Goth culture can trace its black-clad lineage back several hundred years, to a revolutionary series of literary works, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1818 to Edgar Allan Poe’s bleak, evocative novels, stories and poems to, of course, Bram Stoker’s 1897 psycho-sexual horror masterpiece, Dracula.
In the middle part of the last century, England’s beloved Hammer Films kept the Goth spirit alive with a slew of dark, campy — and often critically panned — gems (The Curse of Frankenstein, The Mummy and more). In the Sixties, Goth received a slightly lighter treatment with the hit American TV series, The Addams Family, based on Charles Addams’ wry, gloomy New Yorker cartoons.
In the 1970s, the romance of Goth culture revived in a big way when British bands like Bauhaus, Siouxsie & the Banshees and, above all, The Cure slouched onto the scene, crafting lovely, somber albums that appealed to misanthropes and misunderstood teens everywhere. Bands like Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson and The Knife have helped carry the movement into the present day. (If interested, check out The Guardian’s selection of its favorite goth tunes curated for last year’s World Goth Day.)
Millions of bottles of black eyeliner and nail polish later, Goth’s influence can be felt everywhere from Alexander McQueen’s fashion to Tim Burton’s films.
Here, LightBox presents a selection of images from more than 150 years of photo history—photographs made not by Goth photographers, but pictures that instead evoke the original, dark and beautiful spirit of Goth — the spirit articulated so perfectly by Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein himself: “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.”
So, on World Goth Day 2013, why sit on your couch and mope when you can sit in front of your computer and mope?
Enjoy! (But no smiling allowed.)
Michael Ackerman—Agence VU/Aurora Photos
Poland 2010
Paolo Pellegrin—Magnum
Maramures, Romania 
Bruce Davidson—Magnum
Wales 1965
Sally Mann—Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York & Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
Untitled 2000-2001
Trent Parke—Magnum
Australia. Northern Territory. Mataranka. 2003
Trent Parke—Magnum
Outback New South Wales. Menindee. Midnight, Australian photographer Trent Parke by 
Trent Parke—Magnum
Australia. South Australia. Coober Pedy. 2003
Jacob Aue Sobol—Magnum
Greenland. Tiniteqilaaq. 2002
Michael Ackerman—Agence VU/Aurora Photos
Poland, Krakow 2005
Harry Gruyaert—Magnum
Belgium. Province of Brabant. Forest of Soignes, near Brussels. Nature reserve. 
Eugène AtgetMoMA/SCALA/Art Resource, NY
Parc de Sceaux 1925
Sally Mann—Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York & Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
Untitled 1998
Frederick H. Evans—Library of Congress
Ancient crypt cellars in Provins, France 1910
Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress
Richmond, Va. Ruins of the Gallego Flour Mill; a later view 1865
Bill Brandt
After the celebration 1934
E.J. BellocqCNAC/MNAM Dist. RMN - Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
Untitled, Storyville Circa 1911-1913
Mathew Brady—Library of Congress
Crucifix Circa 1844-1860

Post-Punk Comic Book Stars


by Holly (
What do you get when you cross ’80s icons with the Justice League? Awesomeness.  Brazilian artist Billy Butcher has created the ultimate mashup of superheros, derived from comic books and the post-punk world. These pop culture icons, both real and imaginary, have no doubt struck a soft spot at one time or another. Along with his comicbook stand-in creation, he has also cleverly included fitting lyrics from the musician for the superhero depicted.
From the artist, on the project:
As a child of the 80′s I was heavily influenced by everything from saturday morning cartoons on TV to the music coming from the radio. Ian Curtis or Johnny Rotten are as iconic to me as Superman or Batman. Real people or imaginary characters, the incorruptible ideals of perfect superheroes or the human flaws and desires sometimes so desperately depicted in song lyrics – all of those influences affect us to the point of defining our character and personality, career paths and life choices.
Preach it.
You can check out his other cool pieces here. He’s selling prints, iPhone cases, and whatnot for a nominal fee at Society6.

Wave Gothic Festival Draws Thousands From All Over The World (PHOTOS)


The Huffington Post  |  By Carlo Davis ( Getty Images)
This past weekend, vampires, steampunks, zombies, rivetheads, and goths victorian gathered in Leipzig, Germany for the Wave Gothic Festival, or Wave-Gotik-Treffen. According to The Local, the annual celebration drew over 20,000 participants from around the world.
Despite its gothic theme, this year's festival was treated to clear sunny days and verdant greenscapes in Leipzig's Agra Messepark, the main venue and campsite. Still, the primary attraction of the festival was a full bill of concerts by punk, wave, metal, and industrial bands, with 218 artists scheduled to perform according to the festival organizers.
The Wave Gothic Festival is held annually on the weekend of Pentecost, known locally as Pfingsten, according to Die Welt. The first attempt at a Wave Gothic Festival in 1988 was broken up by East German police, but today, reports Die Welt, the Festival is welcomed by the city of Leipzig for its infusion of 5 million euro into the local economy.