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Can You Pass Out Our Poster Catalogs?

Can You Pass Out Our Poster Catalogs? imageFor many years we've been trying to create a catalog that simultaneously meets the needs of the book industry while also serving as a helpful guide to people who love our books or are at least interested in what we've been up to over the previous year. But stop worrying. We have given up on that ridiculous goal and have now begun producing one catalog for the book industry and one for people that do not breathe Dewey Decimal. Can you leave our catalogs at record stores and coffeeshops or punk hangouts in your town or on a tour? Send us an address and how many!

Good Trouble

Good Trouble image

The history of Microcosm Publishing, from its origins as a record label and zine distro in Joe Biel's bedroom closet in Cleveland to a thriving, sustainable publisher of life-changing books. The book comes out to mark Microcosm's 20th anniversary and all the shit and splendor that's gone into making us who we are. Good Trouble is a tale of screwing up, trying again, and always finding a way do it better. It's a book for anyone who has ever failed big and dreamed bigger. It's about developing a toolkit for turning your difficulties into superpowers, building the world that you envision, and inspiring others to do the same. This is the story of how, over 20 years, one person turned a litany of continuing mistakes and seemingly wrong turns into a happy, fulfilled life and a thriving publishing business that defies all odds. With a foreword by Sander Hicks, founder of Soft Skull Press, and an introduction by Joyce Brabner, co-author with Harvey Pekar of Our Cancer Year.

Railroad Semantics Box Set

Railroad Semantics Box Set image

Devoted to train-hopping, graffiti, and railroad culture, Aaron Dactyl's Railroad Semantics zines describe the sights, sounds, successes, and defeats of exploring the western U.S. by freight train. 

The first four Railroad Semantics zines were made into books, and are all together in this box set. You'll find epic, hidden works of art, read up on rail lore and riding tips, meet rail workers and fellow adventurers, and experience the perils and glories of life in rail yards, train cars, small towns, and encampments.

 

Urban Revolutions: A Woman's Guide to Two-Wheeled Transportation

Urban Revolutions: A Woman's Guide to Two-Wheeled Transportation image

Urban Revolutions is a different kind of cycling book. Author Emilie Bahr draws on her experience as an everyday cyclist and a transportation planner in New Orleans to demystify urban bicycling in this visually-compelling and fun-to-read field guide. 

What does it mean for a city to be bike-friendly? What makes bicycling a women's issue? What does it take to feel safe on a bike? How do you bike to work in the summer and still look professional? What is the most fun you can possibly have on two wheels without being athletic? Bahr answers all these questions and more in her friendly and thoughtful essays and detailed practical tips.

Xerography Debt #38

Xerography Debt #38 image

"We don’t just blindly provide 'good' reviews—we’re here to support a community and foster its members. If your zine is reviewed,you earned that ink. Keep up the good work!" opens this issue of the review zine with perzine tendencies. Since 1999, Davida Gypsy Breier's gluten-free recipe for Xerography Debt might be best summarized as an obsession for all involved, none of which are likely to be as wealthy as the preserved zine king depicted on the cover. Billy da Bling Bunny Roberts recently said "It's the glue that holds the zine community together." Maintaining three issues per year, the 38th 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: Davida Gypsy Breier / PO Box 347 / Glen Arm, MD 21057

2016 Slingshot Organizers are IN.

2016 Slingshot Organizers are IN. image

Can you believe it's almost 2016? Time to get ready. The good news is that Slingshot has released their classic, radical organizers and resource guides and we currently have them in every color! Large ones lay flat, small ones fit in your pocket. We ALSO have the Just Seeds beautifully illustrated 2016 planners in stock. Get ready! Next year's going to be a big one!

in stock. Get ready! Next year's going to be a big one!
 

Mama Tried: Traditional Italian Cooking for the Screwed, Crude, Vegan, and Tattooed

Mama Tried: Traditional Italian Cooking for the Screwed, Crude, Vegan, and Tattooed image

Cecilia Granata grew up cooking with her family in Italy. As a vegan, she learned to adapt her favorite recipes to be animal-free while retaining the flavor and feeling of true Italian home cooking. She shares her commitment to ethical and artful eating in this alphabetically-arranged volume with over 100 recipes, ranging from traditional favorites from across Italy to homemade liqueurs to aphrodisiacs—all "senza sofferenza"—without suffering. The recipes are lushly illustrated with Granata's food-inspired tattoo art.

Railroad Semantics #4

Railroad Semantics #4 image

In Railroad Semantics, seasoned train-hopper Aaron takes you along on an epic train journey through desolate stretches of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. He identifies the groups of fellow travelers that are poseurs, drinks under overpasses, and suffers a major injury alone in the desert. There are plenty of photos of sweeping vistas, and railroad graffiti, and a selection of rail-related articles. This issue is thick as usual, and packed with information about tramp life.

Our Bodies, Our Bikes

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An homage to the classic Our Bodies, Our Selves, this encyclopedic, crowd-sourced compilation of essays, resources, information, and advice about the intersection of gender and bicycling covers a lot of ground—bold meditations on body parts, stories about recovery from illness and injury, biking to the birth center, and loud and proud declarations of physical and emotional freedom.

 

Cycletherapy

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Can you pedal your way through everything life throws at you?

Taking on the bicycle as a means of making sense of life and death, contributors write about their experiences on a bicycle, enjoying the little things about everyday life, dealing with the most difficult, and overcoming loss, trauma, and fear. Contributions range from the lyrical to the profane, the deeply personal to the keenly analytical. Includes essays, art, and a short story.

This is the first issue of the annual Journal of Bicycle Feminism is a compendium of smart, well-curated writing about topics in bicycling from a feminist perspective. It's the grown-up, moved-out, bigger, bolder, and better version of what used to be Taking the Lane zine. The next issue (2016) will be about money and class.

This is Shanghai

This is Shanghai image

This is Shanghai is a firsthand account of expat life in China's (and the world's) largest city! Like a guidebook, it helps newcomers and visitors discover the city; but, instead of making quickly-outdated lists of restaurants and museums, Alexander Barrett takes you on a tour of the essential facets of existence in Shanghai. Follow him through the sometimes incredibly old, sometimes futuristic, and often just plain strange sights, sounds, and experiences he's come across in the first year of exploring the city. With its light, humorous style and sharp eye for those key details that explain the sprawling reality of a huge metropolis, this book is perfect for anyone who wants a friendly guide to Shanghai or just a window onto another, fascinating world.

Underground

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Underground is all about the history and future of DIY punk touring in the USA. Daniel Makagon explores the culture of DIY spaces like house shows and community-based music spaces, their impact on underground communities and economies, and why these networks matter. He shows that no matter who you are, organizing, playing, and/or attending a DIY punk show is an opportunity to become a real part of a meaningful movement and to create long-lasting alternatives to the top-down economic and artistic practices of the mainstream music industry. Punk kids playing an illegal show too loudly in someone's basement might not save the world, but they might just be showing us the way to building something better.

 

In The News

Microcosm In Your Town!

Microcosm In Your Town! image

We're coming through your town soon! 

If you’re planning an event and you’d like the Microcosm gang to participate (by tabling, presenting, showing films, etc) please let us know!!

Calling for submissions for the Scene History series!

Microcosm In Your Town! image

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 Wikipedia? Do you want a reason to hunt out some people you respect for them to fill in the gaps?

Well, the Scene History series is an opportunity to do just that. Like our Simple History Series, we will publish two paperbacks each year of the Scene History Series that tell the story of a particular city's scene.

Suggested length is 15,000-30,000 words. Get as creative as you find gratifying. Learn about your favorite places and how things developed.

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+

Blogifesto!

Jazzpunk and Underdogs: An interview with Rob Morton of the Taxpayers

god forgive these bastards record book setGod Forgive these Bastards is an underdog book about an underdog. It doesn't really resemble any other Microcosm book so we tend to have a bit of trouble selling it—"Can we interest you in a book about DIY projects, a graphic novel about activism....and a novel about a college baseball player who ended up living on the streets?" doesn't totally make sense to everyone. Once you begin reading it, though, it draws you in and sticks with you long after you've read it, as our intern Natalie recently found. The book is good on its own, but it's at its very best paired with the jazzpunk album of the same name that it was written to go along with it; the songs also tell stories of underdog anti-hero Henry Turner and his forgotten life. The record has been out of print for several years, and we are stoked to announce that we've reissued it in a limited colored vinyl release, packaged with the book—get them right here! In honor of the release, we asked Rob Morton, whose brainchild both book and record are, a few questions: 1. The origin story of this book + music set is pretty amazing. The novel + vinyl record set isn't very common, nor is the ambiguity of the writing and packaging—it leaves you wondering whether or not it's fiction, and it sounds like that's intentional. I had a very hard time filling out the decidedly not-ambiguous distribution paperwork for this! Why did you go this genre-boundary-destroying route? How do you handle the confusion it creates? When the idea came up, it was during a time in our lives when we had a lot of energy for this kind of stuff. Me and the other Taxpayers were high on all these big, fun ideas, like living in Florida in a storage unit, making a living as a Jimmy Buffet cover band, throwing new kinds of music festivals, etc. The Henry Turner project seemed like another neat way to challenge ourselves. In regards to handling the confusion that the project has created—we don't, really. We just kind of hope that folks either enjoy it and get something out of it, or don't. It is funny to get occasional emails from people that say, "Hey, I knew Henry", or "Hey, you guys are taking advantage of this guy's life"—at first, we were going to just let folks run with it and think what they will about it, but we decided to divulge the fact that the story is largely fictional because we thought it would be more fun to let others "in" on the secret. 2. Why did you decide to tell / sing / write a redemption and forgiveness story? You know, that's the way that I've explained the story in the past, but some other people have made the (reasonable) point that it's not really about forgiveness, etc. Dave from Hymie's record store in Minneapolis did a good write up where he said "The lazy listener might take from God Forgive these Bastards a simple lesson of forgiveness and understanding. I suppose that can’t be a bad thing, but the fact is that nobody forgave or understood Henry Turner." I think that's a good take on it. Personally, I like redemption stories where shitty people get a shot to do something not shitty, maybe because I've done things I regret and I want to believe that nobody is all bad. But whether the Henry Turner story illustrates that point or argues the opposite--that people are incapable of changing--is up for interpretation, I guess. 3. Please tell us about the Gathering of the Goof Punx It's a music and culture festival we (the taxpayers) used to put on. We wanted it to be for the goofy weirdos that didn't really fit into other subcultures, including punk. There were parades, games, movie screenings, and of course, shows. Some of my heroes played the festival, and I met some new heroes at the festival, like the kid who came out for the first time in front of a room of 300 people during one of the shows. It's been a few years since we've put the festival on, and we've talked about doing it again in the future, but it takes a LOT of work and coordination, so it's kind of on the backburner for now. 4. It's been a while since you recorded this album and wrote the book, and the album has been out of print for most of that time. What artistic endeavors have you been up to since? What comes next? We're working on a new Taxpayers record right now, which should be released by summer of 2016. Andrew and Noah play in Shitty Weekend. Dylan plays in Tensor, Backbiter, and a few other bands. Kevin plays trumpet in some jazz bands. Me, I garden a lot and build shitty chicken coops. I'm learning to play clarinet and piano. I write a couple of songs per week. I played drums in a group called Negation for a while, but we have been broken up for a while now. My partner Elise and I have a band called Trash Swan that plays a show once every two years. Mostly, I've been slowly learning how to safely use a reciprocating saw and angle grinder without hurting myself or damaging the stuff I'm working on. You just read an interview with Taxpayers singer and God, Forgive these Bastards author Rob Morton. Get his novel-record combo here!