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Xerography Debt #42

Xerography Debt #42 imageIn times of political upheaval and personal problems, zines can be an outlet for people to examine the world they live in and their place in it, enabling them to form communities and create dialogues with people they might never have reached through traditional means. Of course, while not all zines are about politics and revolution, they all share within them the ability to inspire others to talk, think, and create. This zine is a collection of reviews by zine writers that was founded to help amplify the voices of people who had largely been marginalized by the mainstream media and to create a safe community for independent thought. In an age of blogs and tweets, Xerography Debt is a beautiful, earnest anachronism, a publication that seems to come from a different era, but is firmly entrenched in the now. And they want to review your zines in future issues, send to: Davida Gypsy Breier / Glen Arm, MD 21057

The Classic Bicycle Coloring Book

The Classic Bicycle Coloring Book imageColor happily and reflect back upon the bicycles of your life with Taliah Lempert's newest coloring book! The pages are perforated and single-sided for easy sharing. Enjoy this beautiful book of bike art!

How Not To Kill Yourself

How Not To Kill Yourself imageAre you inclined to escape the crumminess of everyday life into fantasy worlds? Are you smart and imaginative in a way that isn't really suited to your surroundings? Are you definitely misunderstood, likely angry, and almost certainly depressed? Set Sytes, hailing from the UK, would prefer you stay alive and sort things out rather than the alternative, thanks. He figures there are better opportunities for you out there and lays it all out in a way that's compelling, funny, sharp, and useful. This zine (please don't call it a self-help guide, asks the author) is ultimately about how to be a person in the world. It can be done non-miserably, we promise.
 

Bikequity: Money, Class, and Bicycling

Bikequity: Money, Class, and Bicycling imageA dozen people write about their experiences with bicycling and identity in the 21st century. This is the 14th issue of the Taking the Lane feminist bicycle zine.

Chocolatology

Chocolatology imageChocolatology gives the casual cook dozens of ways to incorporate this stellar ingredient into everyday dishes, and takes intrepid food scientists a step farther, into the art of sourcing beans, making chocolate from scratch, and enjoying 17th Century chocolate concoctions. Unlike many books about chocolate, this one offers a balanced, evidence-based overview of cacao’s health and nutritional value. Chocolatology takes a close look at the chocolate industry and its history, and introduces readers to a variety of trade initiatives and suppliers that are working to improve the lives of cacao growers and their employers.

Unfuck Your Brain

Unfuck Your Brain imageOur brains are doing our best to help us out, but they can be real assholes sometimes. Sometimes it seems like your own brain is out to get you—melting down in the middle of the grocery store, picking fights with your date, getting you addicted to something, or shutting down completely at the worst possible moments. You already told your brain firmly that it isn't good to do these things. But your brain has a mind of its own. That's where this book comes in. With humor, patience, and lots of swearing, Dr. Faith shows you the science behind what's going on in your skull and talks you through the process of retraining your brain to respond appropriately to the non-emergencies of everyday life. If you're working to deal with old traumas, or if you just want to have a more measured and chill response to situations you face all the time, this book can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together and get your life and brain back. Our brains are doing our best to help us out, but they can be real assholes sometimes. Sometimes it seems like your own brain is out to get you—melting down in the middle of the grocery store, picking fights with your date, getting you addicted to something, or shutting down completely at the worst possible moments. You already told your brain firmly that it isn't good to do these things. But your brain has a mind of its own. That's where this book comes in. With humor, patience, and lots of swearing, Dr. Faith shows you the science behind what's going on in your skull and talks you through the process of retraining your brain to respond appropriately to the non-emergencies of everyday life. If you're working to deal with old traumas, or if you just want to have a more measured and chill response to situations you face all the time, this book can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together and get your life and brain back.
 

Cats I've Known

Cats I've Known imageFrom deep friendships to brief encounters, this is the story of the cats in Katie Haegele's life, or rather the story of her life in relation to the many cats she meets in Philadelphia's streets, alleys, houses, apartments, and bookstores. Through Haegele's sharp, wise, and at times hilarious gaze, we see cats for what they truly are: minor deities that mostly ignore the human foibles being played out around them. They accept our offerings with equanimity and occasionally bestow some nice thing on us. Haegele, author of White Elephants and Slip of the Tongue, has a unique and compelling sensibility, and it's a treat to see the world through her eyes as she shows us all the meanness, weirdness, and vulnerability of humans, against an ever-shifting backdrop of the cats we often take for granted, and who ignore us all democratically in return.

This is Your Brain on Anxiety

This is Your Brain on Anxiety imageAnxiety .... it's the worst. Choking, stifling, smothering, tingling, panicking, brain cutting out, bad decisions... You're a human being, so you know exactly what's being said here. Dr. Faith lays it all out in her five-minute therapy zine: what anxiety IS (did you know that people wrote about it more in the 1800s than now?), what it's good for (that's right, it's actually a necessary response that helps to keep us alive in bad situations), how to know when it's gone overboard, and practical tips on how to deal with anxiety when it gets bad. This zine is a lifesaver for panic attacks, breaking out of flight-or-fight-or-freeze responses, and for chronic anxiety. It's also good for folks who aren't burdened by anxiety daily but want to cope better with those tough life situations that affect us all. Read this and breathe!

Notes from Underground

Notes from Underground imageIn the first comprehensive study of zine publishing, Stephen Duncombe explores the history and theory of subterranean cultural production. From their origins in early 20th century science fiction fandom, their more proximate roots in ‘60s counter-culture and their rapid proliferation in the wake of punk rock, Notes from Underground pays full due to the political importance of zines as a vital network of participatory culture, and analyzes how zines measure up to their utopian outlook in achieving fundamental social change. Packed with extracts and illustrations, Duncombe provides a critical overview of the contemporary underground in all its love and rage.
 

Basic Fermentation

Basic Fermentation imageA very literal guide, "A DIY Guide to Cultural Manipulation" is a great resource for learning to use the microbes around you. Wanna learn how to make your own sourdough? Miso? Beer? Yogurt? Injera (Ethiopian sourdough) bread?!!! It's in this handy dandy and super resourceful guide for fermenting in the comfort of your own home. Yummy home made sour cream! Buttermilk! Cheese and tempeh!!! Double and triple wow your friends and family with the helpful directions on how to ferment your own kimchi and other tasty, briny treats. This is the original zine written by Sandor Ellix Katz before he went on to become an international fermenting superstar. It's still his most accessible, basic, and pocket-sized guide!

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever image
Two men. Two myths. One Legend.
  The greatest love story every told has finally been released in graphic novel form. This epic tome features twenty short stories about the domestic life of "Henry" and "Glenn" and sometimes their neighbors "Daryl" and "John." Digging beneath Glenn's bricks in the front yard, Henry uncovers Glenn's mother. Freshly unearthed, she moves in with him and Henry. Glenn's issues come to the surface as she critiques his art, replaces his wardrobe, scrubs their dungeon, and recalls his childhood. Later, Glenn tries to sell his signature to a UPS driver, takes a punch, and has some daydreaming adventures with a plunger. Henry, "a loud guy with a good work ethic," shows his darker side and indifference to a fan as he drinks black coffee and bonds with Glenn over their distaste for their own bands. These are two men who truly suffer best alone together. Among other hijinks, Henry and Glenn go to therapy together, battle an evil cult in the forest, and profess their love for each other, all while dealing with jealousy and other normal relationship problems and trying to figure out if their soft-rocking neighbors are actually Dungeons and Dragons playing Satanists. The saga of Henry and Glenn is a true testament to the power of love to overcome even the biggest, manliest egos of our time. The book collects four serialized comics, the trade paperback, the original 6x6" book, and adds 16 never-before published pages, including new stories, pin up art, and full color covers from the original series. Even bigger update: We're now offering the new hardcover with a signed and numbered dust jacket in a limited edition of 1,000! Get them before they're gone...

Xerography Debt #41

Xerography Debt #41 image"We are here because art, creating, and communication are forms of resistance. We are here because we are not one lone voice screaming into the night. And neither are you." begins this issue of Xerography Debt. In a time of political upheaval and personal problems, zines are here to deliver you to a powerful destination of meaning, purpose, and fascinatingly unique subject matter. Xerography Debt is amazing!" proclaims SeaGreenZines. Since 1999, Davida Gypsy Breier's community-building zine formula in Xerography Debt might be best summarized as an obsession for all involved. Billy da Bling Bunny Roberts recently said "It's the glue that holds the zine community together." Maintaining three issues per year, the 40th issue of Xerography Debt is still the same ol' charming personality, allowing a hand-picked cast of contributors to wax philosophical about the zines they love. In an age of blogs and tweets, Xerography Debt is a beautiful, earnest anachronism, a publication that seems to come from a different era, but is firmly entrenched in the now. And they want to review your zines in future issues, send to: Davida Gypsy Breier / Glen Arm, MD 21057 P.S. True lovers of Xerography Debt can subscribe to the next six issues!
 

In The News

Call for Submissions for #ActuallyAutistic zine series

Don't Be Retarded offers exposition on neurotypicals' neurophobia and the frequent claim that they are supportive of #ActuallyAutistic people...as long as we act like they do. One reviewer for my book Good Trouble mentioned that she couldn't believe that I wasn't part of a radical zine community on the forefront of Autistic theory...so I decided to start one! The inspiration for the title lies in the homocore roots of punk and Don't Be Gay in the 1980s. Queer punks were told that they would be accepted as soon as they acted like straight people. 
Autism now occupies a similar place in the public consciousness at this moment: no one understands it and The Borg demand our assimilation! If you are interested in contributing, the deadline for the first issue will be Feb 15, 2018. Submissions received after that will appear in future issues. We are mostly interested in your personal narrative, origin story, misconceptions you've faced, and aspirations of how you would like the movement to grow. Pretty open forum. 300-2,000 words.
 
Also feel free to submit to our sister publication Your Neurodiverse Friend, which features positively framed advice and narrative from neurodiverse people for the less divergent so we can be seen as real, whole people. Similar schedule/deadlines.
 
email submissions/questions to joe at microcosmpublishing daht com

Punkscription

Punkscription imageSubscribe to all of Microcosm's music books, as they come out. Scene histories, punk memoirs, journalism and cultural commentary about DIY music, in-depth looks at record labels... you'll get 'em all.

Good Life BFF

Good Life BFF imageYour sustainable living toolkit! Subscribe to all of our most popular books, as they come out: Cookbooks, DIY project books, books about healthy relationships, bicycling, fermenting, building, mending, growing, and generally living the life you want in every way.
 

Microcosm In Your Town!

Here are the events we'll be participating in this year. Either we're tabling our books, or an author is presenting, or both! If you’re planning an event and want us to be part of it (speaking, author readings, movie screening, book and t-shirt slinging, etc) please let us know!!

Calling for submissions for the Scene History series!

Are you stoked about the history of your town? Do you find out interesting nuggets by talking to those who came before you or by scouting out details on Google and Wikipedia? Do you want a reason to hunt out some people you respect and fill in the gaps? Well, the Scene History series is an opportunity to do just that. Like our Simple History Series, we will publish a paperback each year of the Scene History series that tell the story of a particular city's scene. (the series does not profile individuals, albums, or bands, but really must be framed around a real scene, no fiction!) Suggested length is 15,000-30,000 words. Get as creative as you find gratifying. Learn about your favorite places and how things developed. Check out the existing Scene Histories here! Submit or ask questions to joe at microcosmpublishing daht com
 

BFF Book Subscription

BFF Book Subscription image

Be our Best Friend Forever (BFF)! For 6 months you'll receive every new title we publish. The subscription is sliding scale price $10-30/month, and you can either pay in one sum upfront here or pay-as-you-go here. Thanks for your support!  Google+

Upcoming

Saying Hello to the New Year With New Friends

This season, we’ve had the pleasure of working with some new Microcosmonauts: interns Kayla, Troy, and Ahimsa, as well as our newest staff member, Trista. They've been a huge help moving into the new year, and we're so thankful for their time and work. Always curious about the people we work with, I asked everyone about themselves and their lives. Below are their answers. . . Say hello to the newbies!
 

Kayla

How would you describe yourself?

A paradoxical blend of easygoing and anxious, introverted and people-loving, and thinking both the book and the movie were good.

How do you think others would describe you?

I relatively recently learned I was known as “crazy clarinet girl” to most of my high school classmates. I don't play clarinet anymore, but people probably think similar things.

What brings you to Microcosm?

A love of books and determination to get into publishing, especially on the editing front.

Where are you from?

I'm originally from the Seattle area and more recently from Boston.

What do you miss/not miss most?

I miss Pike Place, super snowy winters, and joking about how it’s just a little drive down I-90 between my two cities. I do not miss terrible public transportation or Masshole drivers.

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?

My favorite thing is the instant hot water tap—kidding, it’s actually getting the chance to work on a little bit of everything and feel far more supported than pressured. My least favorite thing so far was when the umbrella on the deck blew over and made the scariest thud ever.

What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?

Strengthen my editorial skills, build new skills in departments I haven’t worked in yet, and deal with genres I’m not super familiar with yet (I’ve dealt with a lot more fiction in the past).

What creative or empowering thing do you like to spend your time doing?

I used to write a lot, so I’ve been trying to ease myself back into that since I moved to Portland. Other than that, singing and cooking at the same time is a great power rush.

Favorite snacks and/or drinks?

London fogs, cheese puffs, scotch

Troy

How would you describe yourself?

A kid, coping with adulthood, anxiously creating whatever comes to mind.

How do you think others would describe you?

I’ve been described by my girlfriend as brooding, but I prefer introverted.

What brings you to Microcosm?

A desire to work near other people with a passion for literature

Where are you from? What do you miss/not miss most?

Missouri. I miss my parents and niece, but not the humid summer/frigid winter.

What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?

I want to learn from the materials with which I’m working, as well as make strong connections with, learn from, and be inspired by fellow Microcosmonauts.

What creative or empowering thing do you like to spend your time doing?

Hiking and writing

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?

I love how collaborative the process is and how willing people are to show the ropes.

List three of your favorite snacks and/or drinks.

Coffee, pita and hummus, and Montucky

Ahimsa

How would you describe yourself?

Hopefully in a very clever way. Maybe something like introspective, irreverent, intrepid, and fond of alliteration.

How do you think others would describe you?

I don’t think I’m insightful enough to know that!

What brings you to Microcosm?

Most days, the number 4 bus! But really, I’m here to get a little bit of knowledge about how to be a publisher.

Where are you from? What do you miss/not miss most?

I’m from Oregon. But until recently I’d been away for some time, and I missed the following things: 1. rain, 2. Powell's, 3. Mexican food, 4. Fred Meyer, and 5. walking through cool neighborhoods and seeing the city breathe.

What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?

Know-how, the knack of taking a book from idea to a physical object. What the heck is a trim size matrix anyway?

What’s your favorite thing about where you live now?

I’m staying with some friends in SE Portland, which is rad, but even better they just got a kitten named Beezus. She’s quite cute.

What creative or empowering thing do you like to spend your time doing?

I write a lot, always have, but recently am trying to become less “design-blind.” For empowering things I try to be open to helping people when they ask for help, and volunteer for many activities throughout the city.

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?

The people here are super kind and great to talk to. There’s an anti status-quo vibe that I haven’t encountered in many work environments before.

List three of your favorite snacks and/or drinks.

Buja mix, dried fruit, and bananas.  

Trista

How would you describe yourself?

Motivated, curious, enthusiastic. INFJ (if you’re interested in personality types).

How do you think others would describe you?

Reliable, flexible, thoughtful. A co-worker once described me as a cinnamon roll . . . I’m still not quite sure what that means?

What brings you to Microcosm?

I feel like stories are one of the most powerful ways for people to connect with each other and themselves, and I want to be able to help people find those stories and encourage them to create their own. I think Microcosm does that, plus the collaborative atmosphere is a big draw.

Where are you from? What do you miss/not miss most?

Thibodaux, Louisiana. I miss the food and atmosphere, the swamp witchery that is unique to the south. I do not miss the conservative traditions.

What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?

I never thought about how much goes into getting a book out to its audience, and I’m fascinated by the process and eager to discover different ways to think about books.

What’s your favorite thing about where you live now?

I could live in Powell’s. Also Oasis Cafe on Hawthorne, I could eat the Veggie everyday. Also all the parks/forestry areas.

What creative or empowering thing do you like to spend your time doing?

I love to make comics and writing. I play guitar and write songs, which is just something for myself.

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?

I like that Microcosm has coloring books about vaginas and things to remind us that while politics/activism/diversity/learning to empower yourself is important, it's equally important to have fun and relax every now and then.

Do you have any pets (or particularly interesting kids)? Tell us about them.

I have two cats and two god-children. The cats are Goofy (moody introvert) and Percy (playful and ditzy), both are very clumsy. The kids are Bella/Bells (4yo, princess that loves wrestling and Totoro) and Josiah/Jojo, who is still a baby and I haven’t met in person yet.

Favorite snacks and/or drinks?

Sweet tea, pickles, red grapes (fruit is always nice).
 

Blogifesto!

A Whole New Year of Rampant Media Consumption

HEY!

What have YOU been reading/doing/watching/playing lately?

 

Here’s our traditional round-up of the media we’re rampantly consuming.

Cyn

Honestly, I spend a lot of time watching TV. More than I should. Mostly we’re rewatching cartoon favorites (Adventure Time, Bee & Puppycat, Rick & Morty, Gravity Falls) with my sister and catching up on FlashLegionBlack-ish, and One Day at a Time. I also try to catch up on Outlander and Black Mirror when I get the tv to myself.

In games, for a while everyone took turns playing CupHead and laughed at their endless frustration with it, but then my sister got sick and we just rewatched every episode of The Good Place for a week straight while she got better.

Listening a lot to Chromatics and Desire while working, plus a lot of soundtrack music (curse you, Clint Mansell, and your tone-setting movie music genius).

Finished a fantastically creepy YA audiobook called And The Trees Crept In, by Dawn Kurtagich, during my commute ride and immediately hunted down the author’s other audiobook, The Dead Housefrom the library. I am in love with it as well, and am thoroughly charmed by the author’s moody, atmospheric tales that keep me guessing.

Also been loving on Chin Music Press’s beautiful book on japanese cat mythology.

Kristine

A bed full of books

Kristine & Family’s December reading haul

 

I thought December was a pretty shit month of fires and stress, but our family actually read A LOT. Hooray!

Our movie list:
1. Lady Bird
2. My Friend Dahmer
3. Edward Scissorhands
4. Florida Project
5. Get Out
6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

We saw Lady Bird and Get Out twice, so there was definitely some meat for discussion on those bones. And I would add The Square. Lots of people in my cinema club HATED it, which made it even sweeter.

TV: Stranger Things 2, Better ThingsThe Dark (German series), Mindhunters, and we rewatched favorite cartoons Gravity Falls and Rick & Morty. I want to catch up on Black Mirror too, but the damn kid stays up too late. Or her parents go to bed too early….

Plus the art collective FriendsWithYou and their exhibit at the Oakland Museum was the best mind-altering experience of 2017 that did not involve drugs.

Wow, 2017 was way less sucky if I view it ONLY in terms of great movies and books!

 

Elly

Joe and I have been watching Parks & Rec after work every day and laughing SO much. So needed.

“GOODBYE, LITTLE SEBASTIAN!”
He does BEING A LITTLE HORSE better than ANYBODY!!!”

In media I plan to consume this month: OMSI is playing Studio Ghibli movies all month for 7 bucks.

Trista

I’ve been rereading The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward and havent been watching anything lately, but I’m really looking forward to bingeing The End Of The Fucking World on Netflix.

 

Kayla

I currently have no streaming services and just a DVD player, so I’ve been buying cheap TV box sets and am currently enjoying Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time. I’ve also recently discovered the joy of taking myself to the movies, so I’m more up to date on current films than usual: Lady Bird (loved it as much as every other millennial woman), The Disaster Artist (such great things can come out of badly made things), The Last Jedi (always game for Star Wars), and The Shape of Water (liked it but didn’t love it like I wanted too—a little too attached to Pan’s Labyrinth still, I guess).

 I almost always listen to my entire music collection on shuffle, and lately shuffle has given me extra Nine Inch Nails, Sia, and Kanye West.

I just finished reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, a year behind everyone else because I’m the cheap kind of bookworm who waits for paperbacks, and I’m so glad I got to start 2018 with such a well-written, hook-in-the-gut book. About to move on to The Child in Time by Ian McEwan, which I expect to also love since I like the author so much I named my new cat after him (well, in all honestly, partially after him, partially after Ewan McGregor).

 

Troy

Music: I’ve been listening to Marvin Gaye, Elton John’s “Honky Chateau”, and a newer artist called Ariel Pink.

Books: I’m reading Oxford’s A Very Short Introduction to Black Holes and a biography of Antonin Artaud (the creator of Theatre of Cruelty) called Poet Without Words by Naomi Greene. I like to read a lot of different stuff at a time so I don’t get bogged down by one topic, so I’ve also been reading a collection of Langston Hughes’s poems.

Television: The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross and finally finishing Stranger Things.

Film: I haven’t had a chance to go to a movie theater recently, but I really want to see Loving Vincent. Every frame of the animation was painted in his style and the whole film required over 100 oil painters.

Theatre: I recently watched a production of Eugene Ionesco’s Victims of Duty at PSU and it blew my mind. The script encompassed absurd theatre so well and the cast and set refused to allow the incongruous language to strip away meaning and urgency. There’s so much unnecessary information available for consumption, it often feels like a chore gathering the necessary media. I wish I kept up more with politics and daily news, but it usually just makes me tired or upset and I lose motivation to dig further into the things I really want to know. Instead, I would rather sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the soothing rhythms of Langston Hughes.

“Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,”
~ From “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes

 

Ahi

My media consumption has been pretty wordy lately: I finally read forgotten fantasy masterpiece Lud in the Mist and totally loved it. This Census Taker by China Mieville is perfect autumn reading as well. I’ve also been reading more nonfiction, most notably stuff from Alan Watts and Slavoj Žižek.

I also started playing The Witcher 2 and it’s pretty great even if I’m seven years late to the party.

Musically, I can never get enough of Alt-J or Of Monsters and Men, and I keep listening to Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley and fervently wishing I had arranged my life better so I could have been at that concert.

 

 


Your turn!

Tweet your #rampantmediaconsumption to @microcosmmm to win a free sticker pack and book coupon!