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Thoughts on the new Microcosm Publishing statement?

http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2011/06/a-statement-from-...

 

Personally, I think it's too little too late. Most of the comments are right on and bring up some really good points. 

 

Thoughts?

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Yeah, personally I don't buy from Microcosm either, but I can't stop my library from buying from Microcosm. They go where it seems quick and easy, and my explaining the dealings between people behind the scenes would only get me strange looks. The situation doesn't really translate to people outside of a particular community, even within the zine community it doesn't connect on the same level with everyone. But perhaps I can appeal to the folks who choose where to order from by discussing the theft from and unfair compensation of zine artists and writers... I believe I saw a couple of comments questioning Microcosm's business practices. Are there documented complaints?

Femme Fallout said:
Me, personally, I don't buy anything from Microcosm anymore, but what other people do with their money is really, their own decision.
Yes there are, check this thread: http://wemakezines.ning.com/forum/topics/microcosm-issues?id=228884...

Celina said:
Yeah, personally I don't buy from Microcosm either, but I can't stop my library from buying from Microcosm. They go where it seems quick and easy, and my explaining the dealings between people behind the scenes would only get me strange looks. The situation doesn't really translate to people outside of a particular community, even within the zine community it doesn't connect on the same level with everyone. But perhaps I can appeal to the folks who choose where to order from by discussing the theft from and unfair compensation of zine artists and writers... I believe I saw a couple of comments questioning Microcosm's business practices. Are there documented complaints?

Femme Fallout said:
Me, personally, I don't buy anything from Microcosm anymore, but what other people do with their money is really, their own decision.

thanks for posting all this, Derek.

 

I don't buy from Microcosm.

 

and honestly, I think people should read Cindy Crabb (of Doris)'s statements about Microcosm (she used to publish through them, and this documents the problems she had with them):

http://doriszineblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/microcosm.html

http://doriszineblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-wont-be-working-with-mi...

you're very welcome Beth.

Beth M said:

thanks for posting all this, Derek.

 

I don't buy from Microcosm.

 

and honestly, I think people should read Cindy Crabb (of Doris)'s statements about Microcosm (she used to publish through them, and this documents the problems she had with them):

http://doriszineblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/microcosm.html

http://doriszineblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-wont-be-working-with-mi...

Sadly, I can see how larger institutions and people who don't care about accountability and don't care about social justice in their communities would still want to support Microcosm. What's it to anyone in the larger framework of our callous society that someone just behaves as a capitalist, abuses TWO intimate partners, steals artwork, withholds paychecks, reprints zines without permission, repeatedly undermines a supposed collective, and evades multiple attempts at community accountability? It's par for the course in the larger world, and I think it is sad.

 

To me, the damnable shame is the disconnect be the image they have and the items they carry vs. how they behave and what they say.

 

People keep talking about Microcosm carrying all these great zines but something no one has mentioned yet is that people are pulling their items from the Microcosm catalog pretty frequently. I personally know of at least two dozen people that have pulled their great zines, artwork, and even chosen not to publish with Microcosm because of this whole situation and even more who are just going to let their items sell out and not restock. So, where does that leave their selection? Especially when people can no longer get long running zines they expect Microcosm to carry, like Doris?

 

 

It's like they teach you at every retail job: a happy customer will tell 2 people how much they love your business, but an upset customer will tell 10 people how much they hate your business.
I personally think it is pretty ridiculous that they state they want to be transparent and "open the conversation" but then they delete the comments people left. Pretty "shady" business practices....
Reading this statement was really uncomfortable. This seems more the kind of statement a large multinational corporation would write, not a radical zine distro. Jeez. Many good points were made in the comments, and I really liked the links to the Doris blog (thank you whoever posted that - can't recall right now) they were really informative.

I really want to start a publishing/distro because I love the stuff that is at Microcosm. But I'm just learning about bookbinding and things. If anyone would like to connect they can e-mail me at bellavie92@gmail.com - I want to have zines, publish books, tees, dvds, and buttons. :) 

Dan 10things said:

If it's a little too late, do you think any other distro or collective is ready to step up and take their place? I love that there are tons of smaller/DIY zine distros out there to keep the zine community alive, I did one myself for many years. But I really feel for zines to thrive there needs to be a few bigger distros and publishers with great distribution networks. There was a time when we could turn to one or two zine distributors to get our zines into record stores, book stores and zine stores throughout the States (or in the case of Clint at Tower, throughout the world). While about every big distro has failed, usually another has popped up to take it's place. Microcosm has been that distro for many years, if they fail because of this, who's ready to step in a run a big distro full time?

I like Pioneers Press and avoid Microcosm from what I've heard of them. 

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