Posts By: Joe Biel

How Not To Kill Yourself

Are 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.

Chocolatology

Chocolatology 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.

On the Podcast: Unfuck Your Brain with Dr. Faith Harper

Our brains are doing our best to help us out, but they can be real assholes sometimes. Dr. Faith is here to help! Sometimes it seems like your own brain is messing with 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. That’s where Dr. Faith’s practice comes in. With humor, patience, and lots of swearing, Unfuck Your Brain 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.

Unfuck Your Brain

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. 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

From 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.

On the Podcast: Corbett Redford, director of Turn it Around: The Story of East Bay Punk

TURN IT AROUND excavates 30 years of the California Bay Area’s prolific punk past, highlighting Berkeley’s landmark 924 Gilman Street music collective and its community of bands, many of which also appeared on the roster of Lookout Records. It features original research and cool tellings of the history of bands like Jawbreaker, Operation Ivy, Green Day, and Rancid with lots of never-before-seen footage as well. Corbett (Bobby Joe Ebola Songbook, Meal Deal with the Devil) has been an entrenched part of this scene for decades and was chosen by Green Day (the executive producers) as the unique individual who could make all of the participants, scene, and fans happy—even though this is his first feature documentary! Aaron Cometbus did the lettering. Iggy Pop did the narrating. Jesse Michaels did the illustration. The film will be playing in Portland on August 3-4 at Cinema 21 and the national theatrical release is happening now! Corbett, Elly, and Joe sat down to talk about trauma, healing, and the importance of having a community to make you greater than yourself.

This is Your Brain on Anxiety

Anxiety …. 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

In 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

A 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

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 6×6″ 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…