Written by: Dave Cantrell
If there’s one thing Hamburg resident Christian Schaefer can be counted on, it’s that he’ll do what he says he’s going to do. Whether it’s promising to bring cutting edge darkwave and post-punk artists to our attention via the beautifully produced magazine he started (with Kill Shelter’s Pete Burns), Rule of Three or, say, conceiving of, and making happen, a children’s book that uses goth culture to convey messages of inclusion and self-love, you can pretty well be rest assured that it’s bloody well going to happen. As to the former, the beautifully presented Rule of Three has been going for a few years now and never fails to excite. As to the latter, well, Christian may well be in the process of surpassing himself.
Called Wir Kellerkinder (“Basement Children”) and subtitled “Everyday is Halloween,” the non-profit book, bi-lingual in both German and English, will take the form of a classic Wimmelbook – which is to say large, colorful, attractively readable – and will be illustrated by the, well, illustrious Gotikatur. Centering around the legendary Wave-Gotik-Treffen festival that happens every year in Leipzig (and comprises the entirety of this writer’s ‘bucket list’ ), the book will feature a score of real-life, modern day goth personalities – more on that in a moment – and will publish once the soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter campaign completes its certain-to-be-successful run. For the moment, to both stay abreast of the project’s progress and be an essential part of it, we strongly suggest that, beyond checking in to their Facebook page, you subscribe to the Wir Kellerkinder newsletter. That way you’ll be informed the moment the Kickstarter, umm, kicks into gear, have an opportunity to secure a 25% discount on the book, and get details of how you can help. We can, however, let spill this one particularly exciting aspect of that campaign: the chance to join the likes of Ash Code, Lady Amaranth, Lynette of Bestial Mouths and others and be one of the Gotikatur-rendered characters in the book!
More than all that, we find the greatest contribution from this book would be correcting a widely held – and lazily drawn – impression that those of us that are part of this worldwide community are all dour and depressive and openly nihilistic. Whereas it’s understandable, based on the music itself, that those on the outside looking in might think that, the truth, in this writer’s experience with the Out From The Shadows festival and seven years of hosting Songs From Under The Floorboard on XRAY in Portland, is that the ‘scene’ as I’ve found it is intensely inclusive, curious, supportive, and, strange though it may sound, fun to be in the midst of. Aesthetically we may covet darkness, but in many respects brightness – and not a little love – reigns. Thus Wir Kellerkinder is not only a brilliant idea but a necessary one. So sign up, be a part of it, let’s make this thing a reality. And danke, Christian, danke.