Bringing Basic Back

Fermented foods are great for your health, and this book is a great resource for learning to use the microbes around you. Wanna learn how to make your own?

Previously available as the zine “Wild Fermentation,” this classic fermentation book needed an upgrade — and now with step-by-step photos and a lovely paper-over-board cover, it’s ready for new life! And, seriously, it’s beautiful.

Officially out today and available at your favorite bookstore, Basic Fermentation explores the simplest ways to ferment at home, with delicious recipes for kefir, injera, honey wine, vinegar, and way more.

And it’s officially out TODAY!!

 

Praise for Basic Fermentation, 3rd Edition:

a “must-have little book”Foodista

“invites readers into Katz’s kitchen to try some extra-funky homemade yogurt and fresh-baked sourdough—and to learn the theory, practice, art, and magic of fermentation. Don’t be surprised if you get hooked.”Spoonful Magazine

best-selling author and fermentation evangelist Sandor Katz is the consummate guide. Follow his lead, and get your funk on.” PureWow

Enter to win a copy over on Goodreads, or buy one today from us and get it next week!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

Basic Fermentation

by Sandor Ellix Katz

Giveaway ends July 15, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

BAGGAGE CALL! [a call for submissions]

Ever want to know what makes Microcosm tick? Now you can. To celebrate Microcosm Publishing’s 21st anniversary, the Microcosmonauts are putting together a new zine!

Dear readers, zinesters, writers, and friends,

To celebrate Microcosm’s 21 years in business, I want to produce the next piece of our story: a zine about the experiences and passions of the people that have made up Microcosm’s sweat, blood, and tears. I want to celebrate the people who have made Microcosm what it is now through good and bad, and to share our voices and all the reasons why we do what we do.

The theme for this zine is BAGGAGE (We’ve All Got It). Because like any business, we are made up of folks who are people, and like all people, we’ve all got some kind of baggage. Emotional, psychological, physical, familial, legal, romantic; the list could go on, right? Who doesn’t have somethin’?
So let’s talk about it.

In this zine collection of essays, articles, and art from Microcosmonauts past and present, we’re talking about our lives: our pasts, our passions, and our problems. What brought us here and what the hell keeps us going?
But for this to truly celebrate the people who make Microcosm what it is, we also need you.We wouldn’t be anything without all the zinesters, readers, and BFFs out there that keep us going. So tell us about you.

How did you discover Microcosm Publishing?
What draws you to our titles? What do you like about them or us?
Has a Microcosm book or zine ever helped you through a problem or critical situation or led you on an adventure?
What kind of baggage has something from Microcosm helped you to unpack, solve, or sort through?
Has a zine ever gotten you through a panic attack, a bad hair day, or tough times?
Tell us about it!

We’re looking for short personal essays, stories, mini-comix, or zine pages having to do with Microcosm, our books, our mission, what we do, etc. The theme we’re using to bring all of this together is (We’ve All Got) “Baggage”, so think about ways your work might reflect or fit into that theme.

Some other questions you might consider if you’re interested: What do you think makes Microcosm unique, and why do you like it? What part of our mission or brand reflects or differs with your own personal values, perspectives, or identity​? What do you wish you saw more of?

Deadline is August 1st, and submissions should be 300-1000 words (though feel free to submit art/other media) and can be as creative as the above call to action strikes you.

Email me directly at Cyn@microcosmpublishing.com with questions and submissions. Include [BAGAGGE Submission] in your subject line.

Thank you for keeping us going, and here’s to 21 more years of punk rock publishing.

Cyn Marts
Publicity Director
Stay strong out there.

New Kickstarter: A zine about bikes, class, and social justice

The new (14th!) issue of Elly’s feminist bike zine, Taking the Lane, is called Bikequity and it’s live on Kickstarter right now.

Inside you’ll find a mix of new and familiar voices, from Bicycle / Race (forthcoming from Microcosm 2018) author Adonia Lugo’s motivational tale of cofounding an iconic cycling event to a stunning personal essay by many-times Bikes in Space contributor Gretchin Lair. Writers tackle issues of how bicycling interacts with their identity and socioeconomic status in diverse and compelling ways.

Oh, and the project was selected to participate in Kickstarter Gold, a month-long initiative to bring back the creators of iconic past projects. We’re honored to get to be part of it.

We think you’ll like this zine-book. Please consider backing it!

the book cover

The cover of Bikequity

Six Days in Cincinnati Out Now, & Other Social Justice Titles To Survive Trump’s Amurica

This month sees the official publication of our comics journalism re-release, Six Days in Cincinnati: A Graphic Account of the Riots that Shook the Nation a Decade Before Black Lives Matter by Dan Mendez Moore.

This is the graphic history of the 2001 Cincinnati riots, told for the first time from the perspective of the participants.

When Timothy Thomas, a 19 year old black man, was fatally shot by police, the city broke out into nonviolent civil disobedience that was met with further police violence.

This was the first major uprising of the 21st Century, matched only the LA riots a decade before and the protests in Ferguson over a decade later. Author and

 

illustrator Dan Mendez Moore was 17 at the time and participated in the six days of protests that shook the city between Thomas’s death and his funeral.

Mendez Moore’s comics journalism account sensitively captures a fiery moment in U.S. history through interviews with protesters, community leaders, bystanders, and a frustrated looter. He portrays the tension of a city boiling over, political leaders taking advantage, and an inner-city community coming together.

Six Days in Cincinnati is an all-American story of systemic racism and the power of popular movements, more relevant today than ever before.

→ Behind the Scenes Note:

Six Days was originally published as Mark Twain Was Right,

referring to a protest sign seen at the March for Justice that quoted Mark Twain:

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati.

Everything comes there 10 years later.” ←

Check out an interview with creator Dan Mendez Moore over at Literary Hub, or check out some of the other love on Library Journal or Broken Frontier.

Get one now!

And if you can’t afford a copy, our website offers sliding scale pricing, so you can pay what works for you.  If you still can’t, check out this Goodreads Giveaway, starting today and ending June 20th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Six Days in Cincinnati by Dan Méndez Moore

Six Days in Cincinnati

by Dan Méndez Moore

Giveaway ends June 20, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Here are a few of our other social justice and activism titles, because resisting matters when the rules are wrong.

Activism-Inspiration

Teenage Rebels: Stories of Successful High School Activists From the Little Rock 9 to the Class of Tomorrow — tells the stories of teenagers that took matters into their own hands and got shit done. [Want to win a copy? Check out the goodreads overstock giveaway open from June 19th to July 1st.]

Things That HelpHealing Our Lives Through Feminism, Anarchism, Punk, & Adventure — zinester Cindy Crabb talks healing, helping, and moving forward with feminism and activism.

Think! Eat! Act!: A Sea Shepherd Chef’s Vegan Recipes — a Sea Shepherd’s guide to eating delicious food without compromising your values.

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save The Economy (Updated and Expanded) — explores how bicycling infrastructure can build healthy economies and help with activism and social justice.

Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories in Extreme Futures — deals a lot with societies in need of activism. “By the time I was done [with “Shelter”] I was an angry feminist myself.” (source)

Edible Secrets: A Food Tour of Classified US History

Bipedal, By Pedal! #3: A history of bicycle activism in Portland, OR

Hurt: Notes on Torture in a Modern Democracy

Rad Dad #21: Occupy

Support: Feminist Relationship Tools to Heal Yourself and End Rape Culture

Hidden Histories and Surviving Fascism

Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking — comics-journalist Anne Elizabeth Moore and the LadyDrawers take on the global fashion industry and their many crimes against their employees, customers, and planet.

Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution – Tells the comics-memoir story of Julia Alekseyeva’s great-grandmother, a self-educated woman making her way through life in soviet Ukraine.

On The Books: A Graphic Tale of Working Woes at NYC’s Strand Bookstore

CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting: Dark Deeds & Derring-Do from 1950 to Today

100 Years of Modern Iran (1891-1991)

Getting Through it All

How to Plan for Action: A Protest Prep Zine

Coping Skills: Because sometimes life is some serious Bullshit

This is Your Brain on Anxiety: What Happens and What Helps

Surviving: Getting Through The Shit Life Throws At You

How Not To Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide for Imaginative Pessimists

 

Further Reading

Join the Microcosm Rebel Alliance

Native Resistance Toplist– from Firebrands: Portraits of the Americas and An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, to Empower Yoself Before You Wreck Yoself: native american feminist musings and Everyone Calls Themselves An Ally Until It Is Time To Do Some Real Ally Shit.

Welcome To Trump America Toplist – from How to Plan for Action: A Protest Prep Zine to How Not To Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide for Imaginative Pessimists, Becoming a Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies, and Advice for Changing Our World and Introducing Fascism: A Graphic Guide

Take PRIDE! – from Indestructible: Growing up Queer, Cuban, and Punk in Miami to Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City and My Brain Hurts.

 

Want to be a part of the social justice rebellion? Check out our Rebel Alliance Super Pack. Elly put this together after the 2016 election, carefully picking out some of our most educational and inspirational titles centered on activism, human rights, politics, and rebellion. Get inspired and go make some changes!

Henry and Glenn are BACK

The greatest love story ever told is now all in one place! This month we’re finally getting in the new, hardcover, fully collected editions of Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever. Begun more as a joke than not, this punk satire comic series has grown a life of its own over the years, catching the eye of punks and readers around the world.

Two men. Two myths. One legend. The greatest love story ever told.

Twenty short comic stories about the domestic life of “Henry” and “Glenn” and sometimes their neighbors “Daryl” and “John.” Glenn deals with issues with his mother while Henry shows off his darker side and indifference. These are two men who truly suffer best together.

This book collects the entire series for the first time, adds even more never-before-published-pages, and features a spiffy hardcover to truly make this edition a complete (-ly ridiculous) collector’s edition!

For the collectors out there: Tom Neely has put together a rad special edition dust jacket, which will be signed and numbered, for 1000 copies. This is the ultimate Henry & Glenn fan item: a signed, limited edition tome marking the first time the H&G series will be fully collected in a single volume.
Get one before they’re gone — we start shipping next week!

And for EVEN MORE Henry and Glenn, check out the new H&G Adult Activity & Coloring Book. Color your idols! This one’s available everywhere in November, but shipping from us direct starting next week!

Check out some of the media hype over at Dangerous Minds and Graphic Policy, or learn more about the creation of H&G in this interview with Tom in VICE Creators.

Then, get a copy!

Low on cash? Win copies from Texas radio station KCAL Nation here:

http://kcalnation.kcalfm.com/app2/Contest/4PWQWH

and: http://kcalnation.kcalfm.com/app2/Contest/ALFFRO

And if you’re one of those social media-types, follow the #henryandglenn hashtag on twitter to keep up with news, updates, and giveaways!

Henry & Glenn always makes a great gift.

Are You Striving, Thriving, or Starving?

Update: The Thrive/Starve poster is now available for purchase!

Too many times in all our lives we let the bad things in our lives outweigh the good, and fall into the toxic habits of being extra judgmental or fearing change, holding grudges or lashing out at others, avoiding responsibility or blaming others for your problems or your own failures. These unhealthy ways of thinking muck everything up in our lives in all sorts of ways that hurt you and the people around you.

Below are some recommendations from Dr. Faith’s 5-Minute Therapy zine series for common unhealthy habits and ways of thinking that we can often find ourselves stuck in.

We know building healthy habits can feel exhausting when you’re weighted down with so many bad ones, but we swear, it’s worth it, and talking (or reading) about these things does help.

 

Respect and Compliment others instead of bypassing their needs or perspective:

Boundaries: Because We Don’t Teach This Shit in Elementary School

BDSM FAQ: Your Antidote for Fifty Shades of Grey  

Relationshipping: Love Differently, Because Rules are for Games     

Embrace Your Self instead of Comparing Yourself to Others and/or Internalizing Criticism:

Coping Skills: Because Sometimes Life is Some Serious Bullshit

 (by Elly Blue)

This is Your Brain on Anxiety

Sex Without Roles: Transcending Gender

How Not To Kill Yourself (by Set Sytes)

Blaming Others and Holding A Grudge:

Anger zineThis is Your Brain on Anger

This is Your Brain on Grief

Feeling Entitled or Never Setting Goals:

Working: Makin’ Paper Without Losing Your Mind or Selling Your Soul

Adulting: How to Be An Adultier Adult

Fearing Change or Thinking You Know It All:

DeFriending: Navigating the Friendship Breakup

This is Your Brain on Addiction

Emotional Freedom Technique

Surviving: Getting Through the Shit Life Throws At You

 

If you like more than a few, you might want to check out the Dr. Faith Superpack, and start your own collection.

Contest Alert! : The Velocipede Races

If you like YA novels, bicycle fiction, strong characters, or just empowering books, you should check out The Velocipede Races by the rad Emily June Street. Published around this time a year ago, Velo Races is Microcosm’s first young adult novel… first steampunk novel… first feminist YA steampunk bicycle racing novel—a lot of firsts, but featuring our good old fashioned theme of self-empowerment.

This is what I am. I’m a jockey. I ride velos. I ride velos as well as a man. If I stay quiet, if I keep it a secret, I’m just being a coward. Don’t you see how it is? Someone has to break the box. If I don’t show them what I can do, if I pretend to be a man forever, the box isn’t broken. But if I say, yes, I’m a woman, and I did this thing that no one believed I could do, then I’ve made room for someone else to do it, too. I have to make space where there is none, just like in a velocipede race. 

Praise for Velo Races has applauded the style and writing, and the bad-ass hero, Emmeline, including the cover blurb by steampunk queen Cherie Priest. Here’s some of its love:

“Street also does not glorify or fetishize Victorian women’s fashion, as many steampunk stories do…I enjoyed getting to see a young woman using the development of her physical skills as her jumping off point to grow in her emotional life as an adult, and not solely the love of a good man.” http://www.paperdroids.com/2016/07/05/velocipede-versus-corset/

“This book weaves in the history of women and cycling into a fictional story about one girls journey into her emancipation. Not only is this the first novel that I’ve read that weaves in these themes, it also comes with many firsts: first steampunk novel, first YA steampunk feminist/bicycle racing novel, and my first love into the work of Emily June Street.” http://citygirlrides.blogspot.fr/2016/02/book-review-velocipede-races.html

“Tense, thoughtful, and truly thrilling – The Velocipede Races is a marvelous fantasy of manners and machinery.” Cherie Priest, bestselling author of the Clockwork Century novels

 

If you haven’t gotten to pick one up yet, you can get always get a copy from us or wherever books are sold, OR enter to win ONE of FIFTY copies over on Goodreads from now till the end of the month. Happy reading!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Velocipede Races by Emily June Street

The Velocipede Races

by Emily June Street

Giveaway ends May 01, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Fix Your Clothes Officially Pubs Today!

Fix Your Clothes: The Sustainable Magic of Mending, Patching, and Darning

 

by Raleigh Briggs

64 pp, 5.5×7″ paperback, ISBN: 978-1-62106-906-5

Out today! April 11th, 2017 from Microcosm Publishing

The bestselling zine is now a charming new paperback encouraging readers to save money (and the planet) by fixing their own clothes.

Clothes are expensive and the clothing industry is the 2nd most polluting industry worldwide, not to mention responsible for oppressive labor conditions. DIY enthusiast Raleigh Briggs offers a simple solution, giving readers the basic tools to fix, sustain, and breathe new life into clothes they’d otherwise throw away.

Ideal for thrifters, vintage clothes collectors, and anyone into not tossing their clothes because a button pops off or a zipper is stuck. There is something deeply pleasing and satisfying about mending and making clothes last.”— Angry Chicken

“A really solid foundation on sewing.” – Utne Reader

 

About Raleigh Briggs:

Raleigh is one of our best-selling authors, with Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills, Make it Last: Prolonging and Preserving the Things We Love, and a charming collection of zines, like Herbal First Aid and Non-Toxic Housecleaning. She lives with her husband and two needy cats in Seattle, Washington.

 

Rampant Media Consumption edition 2017!

For the first time in a while, we asked a few staff members what they’ve been into so far this year! Read on for Elly, Cyn, & Jeri’s responses, plus a gift!

Elly

My favorite media lately:

Patti Smith accepting Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize more graciously than he ever did anything in his life. Her mid-song screwup makes the performance even better.

– I read In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate — a really mindblowing and wonderful book about addiction

– And I loved the movie Kedi, a documentary about the street cats of Istanbul:

 

 Cyn

• Been catching up on the amazing graphic novel Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. The horror genre is my passion and Joe Hill consistently puts out brilliant writing, and this is some of the best: engaging, thoughtful, endlessly creative and often viscerally brutal.

• Been obsessed with song covers; my current songs on loop are Johnny Cash’s Hurt, Rasputina’s You Don’t Own Me, Janet Devlin’s Friday I’m In Love.

• Was disappointed with Marvel Television for the many, many ways they dropped the ball on their new Netflix show Iron Fist, but fell in loveloveLOVE with FX’s Marvel show, Legi⊗n, which was amAAZing (why can’t I find feminist analysis/reviews on it yet??? ).

• Recently reconnected with my college best friend watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer while on the phone together, which is something we used to do (in person) when I was on the east coast. We had been halfway through season 5 when I moved, and in March we finished it via phone. It’s my 3rd or 4th time watching the show, but the finale left me (us) in tears all over again. Weeks later, they’ve taken all 7 seasons of Buffy off Netflix…

 

Jeri

Soundtracks! I am super judgmental about movie soundtracks. In fact the film can be shitty but if the soundtrack is stellar, the film is redeemed. Here is a list of films with great soundtracks. And listen on Spotify below.

 • Snow Falling on Cedars • Last Tango in Paris • Public Enemies • The Alamo (the one with Billy Bob Thornton) • The Revenant • Bridge of Spies • Let’s Get Lost • Miami Vice (the movie with Jamie Fox) • Ned Kelly (with Heath Ledger) • Last of the Mohicans • The Last Time I Committed Suicide • The Last Picture Show • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. • The Changeling (with Angelina Jolie) • In the Electric Mist • Country Strong • The Informers • Paranoid Park • The Good, The Bad, The Ugly • 

 

What are YOU reading/watching/listening to/or obsessed with this year??

Use the hashtag #RampantMediaConsumption on Twitter, Litsy, or Instagram, tag us or let us know, and get a 10% off code good for anything on our website all month, to further encourage your media consumption!

Small Biz Spotlight on Chin Music Press

 
Chin Music Press is a fascinating indie press currently based out of Pike Place Market. Started in Japan in 2002, Chin Music blends Japanese aesthetics and literary beauty into eye-catching, magical books. You can now get a selection of Microcosm books at their shop, and we wanted to know more about this lovely company and the story behind the books.
Elly asked co-founder Bruce Rutledge a few questions to get the details…
1. How did Chin Music Press come to exist?
Yuko and I were living in Tokyo. I was working for a magazine and a TV station, and she had recently left a wire service reporting job. This was around the turn of the century. I came up with the crazy idea of starting a publishing house that focused on Japan partly because I wanted to get away from the grind of daily journalism and work in a longer form and partly because I saw the mainstream media paying less and less attention to Japan (this was in the early 2000s, as attention was shifting to China). I thought, “This is our chance!”
2. There’s a lot to be said about your books, but the thing I keep coming back to is how beautiful they are as physical objects. Can you talk about your design principles and inspirations? This also brings up a taboo topic in publishing: the economics of it. It’s no secret that book production values have plummeted along with the publishing industry’s race to the bottom in the past decade. How do you continue to make beautiful books in an era when everyone else seems to be trying to pare away any extras?
Our first hire turned out to make a huge impact on the press. We hired Craig Mod, a young designer just out of college, and somehow finagled a visa for him to work in Japan. He was inspired by Japanese bookmaking aesthetics and principles, so from the start, our books had a different look and feel than other American books. We included sewn-in bookmarks, washi paper, we printed straight on the cloth covers (now common but not so much in 2004-5). Our first book, Kuhaku & Other Accounts from Japan, was beautiful, but it also was a financial disaster — except it got us a distribution deal with Consortium, which is very hard to do when you have just one book. That helped ease the financial pain. But what really turned matters around was our second book, a response to what was going on in New Orleans after Katrina. The US government response was so outrageously inadequate that we were compelled to put together an anthology, structured like a jazz funeral, called Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? It was a hit in New Orleans and is now in a third printing. The book was profitable, so I rather foolishly thought that I had gotten the hang of this publishing thing and went full-speed ahead. I had no idea how hard this business is.
Your question about how we create these physical objects and still stay in business is a good one. We’ve scrape and claw to get by. We believed that as everything started going digital, people would begin to long for well-made things. A beautiful book would take on more meaning today than it did in 1980 or 1970. I think our assessment was right, but it also means our profit margins are slimmer. We needed to sell more books directly to readers than your average press to make up the difference. That’s one of the reasons we opened our store in Pike Place Market.
Over the years, we’ve gotten a reputation for making beautiful books. That has led to some projects where we’ve helped businesses or individuals put out their own beautiful books. That has made the difference on the bottom line.
3. You’ve been celebrated as one of the rare publishing houses that operates a bookstore. Can you talk about how you decided to do that and how it’s been going? Any lessons learned for others?
These things go in waves. We think we have this unique idea, but across the country other like-minded people are coming to the same conclusions. There was a wave of indie presses around 2004-2005 that came about largely because they could use the Internet to find readers. Us, Two Dollar Radio, Exterminating Angel Press and many others. Microcosm, Akashic and others took advantage of the early Internet in the mid 1990s. Now, I see a wave of publishers opening their own shops. Melville House, Milkweed, Curbside Splendor and others have all opened their own stores in the last few years. So we’re part of a wave. For us, it is about having a place to build community. I suspect that’s true of the others too.
 The bookstore is connected to our office. It makes for a healthy learning lab. Our staff can see what sells, how people interact with the books, who is attracted to what.
 As for lessons learned, I would say don’t rush into this. Retail is hard, Make sure you don’t over-leverage yourself where the store starts taking up all of your time. Keep your sales goals modest. Keep your eye on community, not on maximizing sales. That approach will bear fruit in the long run.
4. What are some of your favorite books lately, both in your publishing list and on the shelves of your store?
We are about to release Ghosts of Seattle Past, an ambitious anthology of lit, art, comix and photos that looks at what we’ve lost in Seattle to gentrification and other forces. The book will include seven hand-drawn maps. It’s a massive undertaking for us, and we can’t wait to unveil it on April 11 at Elliott Bay Books.

We’re also very proud of our first children’s book, Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Kaneko Misuzu. We’ve had to go back to the printer twice since September to meet demand. Who says poetry doesn’t sell?

We’ve just added a sample of Microcosm’s books to our collection. I love the aesthetic and the intention behind the books. In fact, I love being an indie publisher in this part of the world. From Wave and Copper Canyon poetry to Fantagraphics and Dark Horse to the amazing talent that comes out of the Ooligan program, like Overcup, and the sterling literary presses like Forest Avenue, indie-press culture in the PNW is flourishing.

5. Looking into your crystal ball, where do you see Chin Music and the book business as a whole in the next 5 or 10 years?
We are about to sign a five-year lease for our shop in Pike Place Market, so I see our store still going strong, still building community, adding to the literary ecosystem in Seattle and the PNW. I don’t see e-books taking a larger slice of the pie — they’re a flawed product in many ways because we don’t own them or share them like books — but I do see digital marketing and data mining being more and more important. A decade from now, indie presses will still be the trendsetters, the ones taking the most risk. That’s our role, and I don’t see that changing.

 

 
Get more info and check out their amazing stuff at www.chinmusicpress.com, or visit their Pike Place shop.