Friday, April 13, 2012

Sandman Slim and the pint-sized, knife-wielding lolita minions

'When I turn around, there's a platoon of twelve-year-old Cutie Honey types staring up at me, letting me know that I'm extremely not welcome. It's Village of the Damned with ankle socks.

I say, "I'm looking for Cherry Moon."

One of the Lolitas walks over to me. She barely comes up to my chest.

"Who the fuck are you?"

It's exactly what I thought it would be, and now that I know, it's even worse. What comes out of this mouth of Lolita in a pink ball gown and yellow ribbons isn't a cartoon squeak, but the voice of a thirtysomething bar chick who's had too many late nights and smoked too many filtered Luckies. That's the other thing Mason gave Cherry. The power to be twelve forever and to do the same thing to her creepy entourage. A terminally fucked-up fountain of youth.'

Above excerpt taken from one of my latest library forages for good urban fantasy yarns. 'Sandman Slim', an urban fantasy book about one James Stark who was condemned to Hell while not dead and eventually becomes a hitman for a demon overlord. After finding out his girlfriend on earth has been horribly murdered, he manages to escape Hell, back to Los Angeles to seek bloody revenge on those who killed his girlfriend and also sentenced him to literal living hellish torture because, conveniently, they're the same posse. Of course.

And one of the posse happens to be a Gothic Lolita going by the moniker of Cherry Moon. Who owns a store on Rodeo Drive called Lollipop Dolls. Who apparently, through blackest magic, is really a 30-ish year old woman who looks like an eternal 12 year old girl and has a website of pictures of her in 'maybe a hundred different Gothic Lolita outfits. everything from Shirley Temple pinafores to pirates to a kimono-clad vampire with fake fangs.' (pg. 180)

I was actually halfway impressed here, that the author knows about Shirley Temple Cute until I realised he was probably talking about the 1930s child actress with her little girl dresses and not referring to the brand itself.

It gets better. Continuing from the first excerpt, after Stark confronts one of Cherry Moon's minions, she...

'snapped out a white furry-handled tanto knife and is pressing it under my chin hard enough to break the skin.

"Why don't you get out of here, Grandpa? We have a reputation and you're driving down property values. Cherry doesn't want to talk to you. And, by the way, you look like a faggot in that jacket."

Even with her cute move with the knife, I'm guessing that she's not a real blade fighter. If she was, she'd be holding the tanto under my ear, where she'd be right above a major blood vessel.

I sweep my arm in front of me, faster than she can see. All of a sudden, I'm holding the knife and she has a sore wrist.'

Thankfully, the gothic lolita related parts in the book are minor and lasts only a few pages. I did enjoy the book despite the allusions to lolita = anime-mad, cosplaying, fake wannabe 12 year olds as I like gritty urban fantasies with foul-mouthed, down on their luck, but still bad-ass heros. Plus I had a good laugh over descriptions of Cherry Moon and her pint-sized, knife-wielding lolita minions. Whether or not lolita fashion is accurately portrayed, you know, I still always get a kick out of seeing the words 'gothic lolita' unexpectedly jumping out at me from a page in black and white.

Read it if only for the mentions of lolita minions!


  1. Why does it seem like everything's written in first-person present-tense these days? I thought it was just popular in young adult books like Hunger Games...
    Interesting to see the lolita references though. But don't most lolis get into it a few years after age 12?

    1. I'm comfortable with first-person or third-person narratives so it doesn't bother me, lol. And god knows, I sloughed through Twilight: Breaking Dawn a few weeks ago just to see what the fuss was about. I know first-person narratives doesn't sit well with quite a few readers, I kinda want to know why is that so?

      I can't speak for most lolis but the ones I know personally actually got into this fashion in their late teens and early 20s. I myself got into lolita fashion in my late 20s ^^ That was quite long ago though! Currently, I do feel girls into loli fashion are getting younger and younger indeed. The average age seems to be 15-18 nowadays. But the author alluding that gothic lolitas, the ones in his book at least, all wanting to look like eternal 12-year-olds just makes me very amused.

  2. I'm rather detached from lolita these days, I hadn't realise that lolita or the mention of some aspects of it anyways have crept into mainstream literature quite so much. I think I'd be terribly tickled if ever I were to read a book I had picked up randomly only to read about lolita minions in it!

    1. Yeah, the fashion is more well-known now as compared to a few years ago, I'd say. Even in Singapore! Although, of course, the 'oh it's cosplay lah!' remarks and comments still outweigh the 'oh it's a fashion call gothic lolita', lol.