Self-Promotion for Introverts: Getting Psyched for Self-Promotion

March 26, 2015 — by Elly Blue

Hello again! This is a series for Microcosm authors (and other curious bystanders) about book marketing and publicity. The first post in the series was a rapid-fire outline of our job as the publisher of the book. There's a lot of misinformation out there about what publishers do and don't do (and a lot of variation in the reality, too), so hopefully this is helpful. This next post gets started on the author's role by focusing on a pretty common anxiety among authors: Self-promotion.

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Record Store Day!!

March 24, 2015 — by Erik

What's almost as good as records falling from the sky? Record Store Day!!!

As one of our favorite days of the year spins closer and closer, we've decided to spotlight our music books in celebration!  

We're offering a special deal for record stores:

Pre-paid orders over $250 get a 50% discount (on these titles only)!

Order fifteen or more books, get a free display box!


We've got some new releases and some old staples:  


Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, The Early Years

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Using dozens of first-hand interviews, photos, and original artwork to offer a new perspective on a group who would become mired in controversy almost from the get-go. It applauds the band’s key role in transforming punk rhetoric, both polemical and musical, into something genuinely threatening—and enormously funny. The author offers context in terms of both the global and local trajectory of punk and, while not flinching from the wildly differing takes individual band members have on the evolution of the band, attempts to be celebratory—if not uncritical.



Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of The Clash

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It’s the story of The Clash's love affair with America that began  began in 1977, when select rock journalists and deejays aided the band’s quest to depose the rock of indolence that dominated American airwaves. This history situates The Clash amid the cultural skirmishes of the 1970s and culminates with their September 1979 performance at the Palladium in New York City. This concert was broadcast live on WNEW, and it concluded with Paul Simonon treating his Fender bass like a woodcutter's ax.



The Story of Crass
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Crass was the anarcho-punk face of a revolutionary movement founded by radical thinkers and artists Penny Rimbaud, Gee Vaucher and Steve Ignorant. When punk ruled the waves, Crass waived the rules and took it further, putting out their own records, films and magazines and setting up a series of situationist pranks that were dutifully covered by the world’s press. 



Barred For Life: How Black Flag's Iconic Logo Became Punk Rock's Secret Handshake
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A photo documentary cataloging the legacy of Punk Rock pioneers Black Flag, through stories, interviews, and photographs of diehard fans who wear their iconic logo, The Bars, conspicuously tattooed upon their skin. An extensive tour of North America and Western Europe documents dedicated fans bearing Bars-on-skin and other Black Flag iconography. Nearly four hundred "Barred" fans lined up, smiled/frowned for the camera, and issued their stories for the permanent record.



The Primal Screamer
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From Rudimentary Peni frontman, this is a gothic horror novel about severe mental distress and punk rock. A diary written by psychiatrist Dr. Rodney H. Dweller, concerning his patient, Nathaniel Snoxell, brought to him in 1979 because of several attempted suicides. Snoxell gets involved in the anarchist punk scene, and begins recording songs and playing gigs at anarchist centers. In 1985, the good doctor himself “goes insane” and disappears. This semi-autobiographical novel from Rudimentary Peni singer, guitarist, lyricist, and illustrator, Nick Blinko, plunges into the worlds of madness, suicide, and anarchist punk. H. P. Lovecraft meets Crass in the squats and psychiatric institutions of early 1980s England. 



Left Of The Dial: Conversations with Punk Icons
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Featuring interviews with leading figures of the punk underground: Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Dave Dictor (MDC), and many more. Ensminger probes the legacy of punk’s sometimes fuzzy political ideology, its ongoing DIY traditions, its rupture of cultural and social norms, its progressive media ecology, its transgenerational and transnational appeal, its pursuit of social justice, its hybrid musical nuances, and its sometimes ambivalent responses to queer identities, race relations, and its own history.



Ben Snakepit (of rocker outfits such as Ghost Knife, J Church, and The Sword) documents every single day of his life in three comic book panels.

In his newest book he Gets Old ($14.95 • 978-1-62106-596-8)

Many things were forgotten so we reissued his first book ($14.95 • 978-1-62106-714-6)

We still have some copies of Jugular Vein ($14.95 • 978-0- 9788665-5-6)  

It comes with a comp CD of punk tracks that he listens to in the comic.

We’ve got copies of his 2007 ($5.95 • 978-1-934620-38-0) 

...and 2008 ($5.95 • 978-1-934620- 23-6) books too!

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You might remember Al Burian as punk’s wandering storyteller of humor and dark humor from when he played in Challenger or Milemarker or, if you’re old u’re old, Hellbender. Clearly we can’t shake the guy. 

In 2003 we published his Black Flag- quoting graphic novel: 

Things Are Meaningless ($8 • 978-0-9726967-3-9) and even after he moved to Berlin we kept publishing his Burn Collector zine, first #14 ($8 • 9781934620052) then #15 ($3.00 • 9781934620946) and now we can only await what his genius brain concocts next. 

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Rob Morton of Plan-it X Records’ The Taxpayers wrote this biography about a college baseball pitcher turned homeless street sage in a redemption tale of pain and forgiveness.

God, Forgive These Bastards ($7.95 • 978-1-62106-876-1)
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The greatest love story ever told depicts punk and metalheads Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig in their domestic life together. Together with their neighbors Hall & Oates they have myriad adventures and deal with each other’s issues as a pair! 

First, there was the book that started it all: 

Henry & Glenn Forever ($6.00 • 978-1-934620-93-9) 

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Then came four issues of the 32-page comic, each filled with three short stories. Each issue also comes in two different covers, a regular and a variant. 

#1 ($5.00 • 978-1-62106-008-6) 

#2 ($5.00 • 978-1-62106-909-6) 

#3 ($5.00 • 978-1-62106-746-7)

#4 ($5.00 • 978-1-62106-806-8)


If you get a combination of 40 or more total issues, we can ship ‘em in a free display box.


Glenn couldn’t understand how complicated it was getting so we released a trade paperback that collects all four issues plus 100 additional new pages.

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever ($17.95 • 978-1-62106-718-4)

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The record-obsessed Bob Suren (Sound Idea Distribution + Burrito Records) tells the stories of his collection and how his life can be framed around it. From the obscure to the mainstream, he collected it all.

Crate Digger: An Obsession With Punk Records ($14.95 • 978-1-62106-878-5)

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Bobby Joe Ebola teams up with Horrible Comics’ Jason Chandler to produce a parody of Little Golden Books (complete with a CD), 

Meal Deal with the Devil  ($12.95 • 9781621066880) 

...and the guide on how to be a sometimes-appreciated comedy duo:

Bobby Joe Ebola Songbook ($15.95 • 9781621060055)

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Known by most only as the birth grounds of Green Day, Lookout Records has been the breeding ground for hundreds of fascinating records that inspired a generation. This book documents the label’s rise and fall from 1987-2006.

Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records ($14.95 • 978-1-62106-612-5)
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Featuring interviews with leading figures of the DIY punk underground, this book outlines how punks are saving the world, despite contradictions, challenges, and having to overcome cultural and social norms, as well as punk’s spotty history. 

Beyond The Music: How Punks are Saving the World with DIY Ethics, Skills, & Values ($12.95 • 9781621064725) 
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Sascha Scatter (Choking Victim) spent his life adventuring all over the globe before founding The Icarus Project, the first member-run mental health advocacy organization. This is his story. 

Maps To The Other Side: The Adventures of a Bipolar Cartographer ($15.95 • 978-0-9788665-0-1)
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Framed around Reagan Youth, the second generation of punk in New York’s Lower East Side that thrived while being ignored by the media and ended like all good things—with a riot in Tompkins Square. 

Punk in NYC’s Lower East Side 1981-1991 ($4.95 • 978-1-62106-921-8)
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Much is written about rock n roll in San Francisco, but not as much is documented about what was happening on the other side of the bay for the first thirty years. Cory M Linstrum uncovers it all thirty years later. 

The Rock & Roll of San Francisco's East Bay, 1950-1980 ($4.95 • 978-1- 62106-515-9)

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Trainhopping, generator punk shows, stealing electricity from lamp posts, squatting, selling plasma, tagging trains, wheatpasting, and dumpstering as seen through the lens of a young punk. 

“Totally, totally essential for anyone with anything approaching a punk rock bone in their body.” —Boing Boing

Scam: The First Four Issues ($16.00 • 978-1-934620-70-0)
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“DIY guides to doing just about everything under the sun—from playing guitar to making toothpaste” —Last Hours Mag

“If there is a book you get this year this is it...the Time-Life series for punks all in one volume, for one low-low price!” —Hanging Like a Hex 

Making Stuff and Doing Things: A Collection of DIY Guides to Just About Everything ($12.00 • 978-0-9726967-9-1)

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What do you do when you wake up from the dream? Get some blueprints for projects towards a better world! An all- grown-up do-it-yourself handbook with easy-to-use info on bicycles, home and garage, gardening, homeschooling your children, musical instruments, and more.

How and Why: A Do-it-yourself Guide ($14.00 • 978-1-934620-04-5)

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Plan-it X Records has been a vision of hope and inspiration since 1994 and this is the label’s story of ups and downs as told through the 2006 festival in Bloomington, IN 

If It Ain't Cheap, It Ain't Punk: D. un I. t Y. ($14.99 • 9781621064329)

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“Punk’s not dead—it’s just cleaned up its act and living in mom’s basement. These well-spoken kids with creative haircuts describe their own basement-band scene as “building community-based movements.” A timely snapshot of contemporary punk’s new sincerity.” —Village Voice

Between Resistance & Community: The Long Island Do-it-yourself Punk Scene ($12.99 • 9781621063834)

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“Accepting of almost all cultural expression or character type that wasn’t mean-spirited, the X-Ray championed a kind of inspired amateurism and a participatory environment that’s unlikely to be equaled for audacity or fun. In the words of one former regular, ‘the X-Ray was the cat’s potato.’ And so is this film.” —The Oregonian

X Ray Visions DVD: A Look Inside Portland's Legendary X-Ray Cafe ($12.99 • 978-1-62106-568-5)

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Rampant Media Consumption - February and March 2015

March 20, 2015 — by Microcosm

DRAFT, not yet live, edit however you all like!

Here's what we took in during the last month.



Been interacting with Magic Seaweed, a mariner/oceanographic interface, well mostly it's a surfers website that has abundant information on swells, weather, and other conditions so you can plan your surf trips. The weekends in Oregon have been fantastic this last month, considering the winters here are typified by the long dark wet, this site has been invaluable while planning my escapes. Been listening to the web stream for All Classical Portland The stream is free and often quite good. Listened to some Radiolab podcasts I found this one to be particularly engaging: It begins with a single story with ambiguous undertones. A baby girl is torn from her adopted parents after 2 years and reunited with her biological father who she's never met. From there is goes to the Supreme Court and unlocks a pitfall of ugly American history. Began re-reading Simone de Beauvoir's Ethics of Ambiguity For those who love flushing out the perimeters of the individual and the margins of freedom, Beauvoir outlines the existential arguments of autonomy and our objectivity while at large in the world of opposing selves. It really is quite gripping! All the while your just hoping that you fill the shoes of your own freedom and subjectivity.


heard: Curtis Harding's (Burger Records), D'Angelo covers (I especially love his rendition of this), Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear, Curtis Mayfield, Caribou (I saw him on Tuesday this week at the Roseland), WAND, and some a few pages of Middlesex. I was distracted by the dirty glass I got of scotch at a I stopped. However, one of my dearest friends gave me a handful of books before leaving to Brooklyn last week, and I plan to dive into those. looked at: checked out the artists from the Bellingham Comic Arts Festival...I'm really looking forward to meeting them (Emily McGratten, Liz Yerby, and Ben Duncan to name a few)watched: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. One of the greatest films I have seen in a long time. I went home obsessing over it and wanting to watch it over and over.



Fredrik Gertten's collection of eye candy on film is a frustrating treatise of emotional arguments stacked on top of jaw-dropping visuals. Lacking in substance, original research, or even delivering on the promises of what the film would offer in advance interviews and articles, the only expert in the entire film is a marketing person at a sad, outdoor car show who the film uses to pick apart the hypocrisy, lack of environmental concern, and unwillingness of the car "movement" to change with a changing world. Instead of looking at solutions to the global problem of an increasing number of cars, the film offers sonic vignettes and personal poetry, showcasing a few somber and opinionated individuals, such as a yoga teacher in L.A. who tries to hold onto the world of one hundred years ago and a compelling woman in Sao Paolo woman who refuses to give up her place in the fight for equalizing the streets. In the final fifteen minutes, the film drops the pretense of being an unbiased look at the debate and becomes a didactic collection of other people's unvetted statistics about the dire state of how we all need to become like Amsterdam yesterday. Disappointing. It could have offered so much.

BIKES vs CARS TRAILER from WG Film on Vimeo.

COMETBUS #56: A Bestiary of Booksellers 

You have to hand it to Aaron. He never rests on his laurels and he never plays a song just to please the crowd. Yet, this might be the most insular issue of Cometbus ever. And that is saying something. There’s numerous literary references and otherwise here without context or explanation. I know my books and still found myself looking up numerous references. And maybe that is the point. He brings you into his life—where he is now—quickly and forcefully. He’s in love with a woman who acts like she is a bit of a savage mess while they scan bookstore dollar tables and he scours used book sales with other dealers all over the city. He looks at all kinds of obscure books and the men who deal them in NYC. How things get endlessly recycled and turned around year after year, changing hands for money, and presumably at some point making readers happy. At least for a while. I wouldn’t say that it’s his best but that’s mostly because he’s set such a high bar. This issue is particularly saccharine. He never quite ties up the love story in the way that you’d expect or hope—the one with the books or the woman—though we are treated to endless character sketches of the wild world of back door book dealing. From those who deal in hot property to weapons dealers to people who buy up storage units to those who deal in the collections of the deceased, it’s all here and it feels a bit like pricking your finger on a rose.


The best thing I've ever read on economics and it's super nonacademic. I couldn't love it more! Where were you all my life little zine?


On the street in front of the theater in Medellin, a ten-year-old girl approached me with a flyer and perfect English. The flyer depicted a bicycle tearing a car in half with a recycling arrow around it and a list of bullet points about the children's visioning for the future of the city. She articulated her ambitions to create a sustainable city, harnessing the economic benefits of bicycling, and getting rid of the choking smog and vicious cycles in traffic for the bicicleta to have a safe and proper place on the street. Hit them up on twitter!


1,000% better than any that I've seen in the U.S., I was shocked. In some circles, it's famous and celebrated. While a literal black cloud of car exhaust hovers over the entire city, half-size busses show up at unmarked roadside stops about every two minutes, though sometimes you have to wait as long as five minutes. If you purchase an "integrado" pass for about 80 cents U.S., you can connect to the metro rail which runs the length of the city to reach the 147 square miles of city proper. The metro was explained to us to be a point of ride and thus it is so clean that you never see a speck of garbage on platforms or trains. A train shows up within five minutes, moves quickly and efficiently, and is so smooth that it makes you wonder why anyone would risk the gridlocked traffic and start and stop streets outside where an average of two motorcyclists die in traffic every day. As a further perk of connecting neighborhoods and allowing mobility for the neediest of citizens, there are escalators built into one particularly steep section of the mountainside surrounding the city. Two sections with massive elevation changes, where poorer ("popular") residents live also have metrocable cars, suspended aerial trams that connect neighborhoods and parks to the main metro line and massively reduce commute times from popular neighborhoods to the rest of the city and for tourists to stimulate their economies. While Colombian traffic leaves much to be desired, the U.S. has so much to learn from these simple, reliable, and effective transit systems.


Founded as a response to a wealthy banker driving through a Critical Mass bike ride in Brazil, this event was founded in 2012 as a form of positive response and change. It has grown and developed over the years to become both a global movement as well as being one of the only transportation conferences that it is literally by the people and for the people. This year, in Medellin, Colombia, once the most violent city in the world but having calmed down after the U.S. murdered Pablo Escobar and slowed down his cartel and gang war, the city is now a pleasant and calm place that strangely bears much in common with most major U.S. cities in virtually every way, albeit with less panhandling. The event took a turn this year to include some trade show elements and to be a bit less of a grassroots exercise in empowerment but more like a U.S.-style suit and tie advocacy conference. It's disheartening in some ways, but clearly was serving as an exciting injection of inspiration for the six thousand people who attended from all over the world and for politicians to stress their dedication to the bicycle. During a massive six-hour democratic discussion on Sunday, the future steering of the conference was decided, including the legal groundwork of the organization, how responsible to the grassroots organizations the board of organizers must be, what priorities are for the event, and where it will be held next. Join everyone next year in Santiago, Chile!

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Meet the Microcosm Staff: Meggyn Pomerleau, Designer

March 20, 2015 — by Elly Blue

Slowly but surely, we're aiming to introduce you to Microcosm's hard-working, book-loving team. Here's an interview with our on-staff graphic designer, Meggyn Pomerleau. She designs many of our covers, and sometimes illustrates entire books.

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Rampant Media Consumption #7

February 20, 2015 — by Microcosm

Here's what we've been reading, watching, listening to, and playing this week.

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Rampant Media Consumption #6

February 13, 2015 — by Microcosm

Here's what's been rocking our small worlds this week!

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Now Kickstarting: The punk lore of Crate Digger!

February 11, 2015 — by Elly

We're Kickstarting again! This time the project is Crate Digger: An Obsession With Punk Records. The book is Bob Suren's epic saga of punk culture and music in Florida and beyond. He goes as far as Texas, Costa Rica, and Brazil on tour with Failure Face and other bands. While at home in the Tampa area he ran iconic record shop Sound Idea and also Burrito Records, always staying a step ahead of the music industry. His story is told through the records he collected—and eventually sold all at once, when it all fell apart.

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Self-Promotion for Introverts: What We Do

February 10, 2015 — by Elly

All our authors ask at some point “how can I promote my book?” This is the first of a series of posts that outlines how Microcosm promotes books, what authors can do, and some tips for tying your book in with your other work, past and future. These posts are written for Microcosm's authors and artists, and are geared towards our processes, but they should still be useful for anyone who is figuring out how to promote any book, whether you're publishing it yourself or have a contract with a major house. The first post is our side of the bargain.

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Things are Meaning More—catching up with Al Burian

February 09, 2015 — by Elly Blue

1. Hi Al! What are you up to these days? Where in the world are you and what's it like there today? My last publication for Microcosm (Burn Collector #15) was about moving to Berlin, Germany, and in fact I’m still living there, even still living in the same apartment. But today I am not at home for a change; I am in Hamburg, a few hours away. I’m at a band practice in a basement room, filled with musical equipment, like so many similar rooms around the world: familiar, non-exotic territory. Outside, the day is a drizzling, oppressive dark grey. I imagine it is comparable to winter weather in Portland, OR.

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Rampant Media Consumption #5

February 06, 2015 — by Microcosm

Here's what we uploaded to our brains this week:

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