Posts By: Lydia Rogue

Unf*cking Our Pandemic, Apart but Together

An umbrella made out of a calendar page with emojis on it stops rain from falling on the words Unfuck Your Pandemic. The second u in unfuck is covered by the Microcosm logo. The graphic is flanked by two uncapped black markers.

We are shipping every day out of the Microcosm Publishing & Distribution HQ in Portland, Oregon!

All mail orders are going out within 24 hours. If you choose “pick up at store” as your shipping option, you can come ring our doorbell Mon-Sat 11am-3pm and we’ll do a no-contact handoff.

We’ve always printed our books here in the United States, and so right now we’re not seeing any significant delays in publication of our titles. Orders have slowed a bit, but we’re using the time to get caught up on a serious backlog of work that’s built up in our last year and a half of hectic growth. Far from reducing hours or laying anyone off, we’re cautiously moving forward with the hiring process we began last month. In other news: we aren’t going anywhere.

Ultimately, our strength has always resided in how we’ve built up communities around us, and so we’ve started to work on strengthening those where we can through a variety of ways:

  • Dr. Faith Harper is doing a live story time with her book Coping Skills on our Facebook page. She’ll be doing it nightly at 5 p.m. central until she’s done, and the videos will be archived on our page at least until this passes.
  • At the request of the author, we’ve made the ebook version of Teenage Rebels 99 cents. We hope we can inspire some of the millions of high school students currently sitting at home and help them continue learning. The author of Crate Digger has also requested we put both the ebook and audiobook versions of this Florida punk scene history on super sale!
  • If you’re bored at home and starting to struggle, we’ve got a quarantine self-care pack for you – just $20 for the physical books, $15 for the ebooks.
  • We’ve curated a list of relevant titles on our Quarantine Survival Guide list of project-based books for people who are feeling anxious or just need something to do.
  • If you’re stocked up on books and want to help others, you can do that here! We’ve set up a “give books to people in need” program where you can support sending care packages to spread the book love. As always, we are stepping up to offer ways to offer our books to people who are most vulnerable and in need. We are matching funds from donations at link.
  • We’re going to net-90 terms for independent bookstores who place orders placed before April 30th.

We’d love to hear from you, our customers and peers, about how you’re surviving these weird, weird times and what we can do to support you.

Hot Damn and Hell Yeah: Review

Let me start out by saying, I am not an excellent cook. I’m not even an average cook. In fact, I can count the number of times I’ve cooked this year on my hands, and one foot! But I decided to review a cookbook because despite not being an experienced chef, I am a very experienced consumer of food. To review a cookbook, you must test the recipes! So my boyfriend’s mom lent me her immaculate kitchen and let me get to work. 

Cover of Hot Damn & Hell Yeah, which features a skeleton wearing a cowboy hat.

Hot Damn and Hell Yeah is a vegan tex-mex and southern eats cookbook written by Ryan Splint. I don’t normally keep to a vegan diet, but I know there are several reasons people choose to do so and I applaud them for their resourcefulness in this world of cheese-loving-lunatics. Starting this project, I was very intimidated by words like ‘TVP’ (textured vegetable protein) and ‘silken tofu’, but Splint broke these ingredients down in a simple, albeit southern, way. The descriptions of common vegan substitutes, what they should look like, and where to find them are super helpful to people who wouldn’t know which aisle in a grocery store vegan ingredients would be found.

A southern native who moved to Australia and found themselves missing the cuisine of their home province, Splint presents each recipe from a knowledgeable yet humble platform. Each recipe is laid out in an easy-to-follow format so that beginners like me have no confusion about when to turn the oven on preheat and how to keep dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

I decided to make an Apple Crisp (because I love dessert, and because I already had all the ingredients!) This recipe only took up half a page. It was simple, easy, and delicious, which makes me think that cooking might not be as scary as I’ve always thought. I’ve included pictures for your viewing pleasure, and also as proof so my mother knows I’m not a complete failure.

Making this recipe was fun! And to be completely honest with you, it helped me bond with my boyfriend’s mom, which is always a plus. I definitely ear-marked other recipes to try out– ones that require trips to the grocery store. The southern twang throughout the book gives a sense of authenticity and actually makes reading the cookbook as a whole enjoyable, and I can’t say that about many cookbooks.

This book is for people who have been vegan their whole life, and for those just starting out. In Splint’s foreword he talks about how there are a lot of stigmas about vegan food.

“There’s a lot a’ people that think pompous, self-righteous attitudes and morality lectures oughta be served alongside it, maybe ta make up for the lack of flavor in their food… This ain’t about who’s got a right to eat what, or what should and shouldn’t be on yer plate for proper eatin’.

What this is about is food without obscure ingredients, that’re easy ta make and don’t taste like sawdust even though it ain’t chock-full a’ dairy and meat.”

That is exactly what I got with this cookbook, no-nonsense recipes that taste good and use common ingredients, served up in a good ol’ southern manner. 

This review was written by fall intern, Grace Hansen. Find her on Twitter: @thegracieve and Instagram @grace_evelyn18

From Chaos to Creativity Workbook

Kick procrastination to the curb and start designing your productivity system today! This zine gives you space to start designing a productivity system and implementing it into your life. Designed to go with the book From Chaos to Creativity.

Beyond Throwing Milkshakes: 5 Books and Zines to Help You Fight Back

Are you angry enough to start throwing milkshakes? Well, yeah. So are we. It makes for a fantastic statement – while making the opposition look like a fool – but it sometimes feels like it’s the only thing you can do.

It can be easy to feel like there’s nothing you can do about the world right now – but honestly, that’s what the people in charge want you to think. Take a look at these books and zines and learn how to fight back and make a difference in your community. (But I’d keep buying milkshakes – just in case.)

Cover of Becoming a Citizen Activist, which has green and white rays behind the title like sunbeams.

Becoming A Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies and Advice for Changing Our World by Nick Licata

Do you not even know where to start? This book will give you inspiration by telling the story of previous activists who made a difference in their communities. Learn from the best of the best when it comes to learning how to protest and become an activist.

The cover of Resist! which has a plain light brown background with a white exclamation mark.

Resist! How to Be an Activist in the Age of Defiance by Michael Segalov

Want more straight-forward advice and have things broken down step-by-step? This book walks you through organizing protests, talking to politicians and playing the long game when it comes to creating change in your community. Each section also has a real-life case study so you can read about what it looks like when the advice is put into practice.

Want to get your kids involved? Try Girls Resist! By Kaelyn Rich for a young adult-friendly version!

The cover of Street Journalist, which is bright orange and has a lineart drawing of a megaphone on it.

Street Journalist: Understand and Report the News in Your Community by Lisa Loving

Just as important as organizing protests is getting accurate information out there. Corporate media is corrupt and, while they aren’t quite as bad as Trump claims, they certainly aren’t the unbiased view of the world they claim to be. Learn how to cover the news in your communities and fight back against corporate media with this easy-to-follow guide on how to become a journalist.

How to Boycott: Make Your Voice Heard, Understand History, & Change the World by Joe Biel

We talk about boycotts a lot and how they can force change, but how do you do it effectively? What does it mean to organize a boycott – and how do you follow through? Read this zine to learn about the intricacies of boycotts and their long history – and why just refusing to shop at a specific store isn’t necessarily a boycott.

The cover of Keep Marching, which is the title on a protest sign on a pink background. Along the bottom are more protest signs and hands reaching up.

Keep Marching: How Every Woman can Take Action and Change Our World by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

Are you upset about the attacks on women’s rights? Did you march in 2017 during the Women’s March and don’t know how to get that momentum going again? This book dives deep into how to take that momentum and keep the protests going.

When you’re gearing up for your protests, grab some of the zine How to Plan for Action to pass out – it helps protesters understand their rights and how to be a more respectful protester in their community. (Or brush up on How not to get Arrested at a Demonstration.)

And don’t forget to tell your elected officials exactly what you think of them trying to take away your rights with the easy-to-write postcards found in Make Your Voice Heard Postcard Book.

Need more than 40 postcards? Check out other postcard designs – teach them something with Art of Instruction or have a woman be the face of your protest with Rad American Women. Sending angry letters to politicians has never been easier!

We’ve also got you covered when it comes to protest swag – stickers, buttons and patches galore! So get out there and start fighting back – it’s the only way to turn things around.