More than a blog, less than a zine...

Brief thoughts, clever quotes, general love notes to the internet.

Open letter to Microcosm Publishing & Distribution

On behalf of myself, and members of the zine community, I’d like to know a little more about the recent split between Microcosm Publishing and Microcosm Distribution.  

I think we are all pretty exhausted by this dialog. I think it’s easy to be dismissive and to make assumptions. This has been ongoing for several years. I think it’s important to have clear conversations about abuse and the effects that they leave on radical communities. I think it’s more important than ever to have these conversations - exhaustively if needed - out loud in public in a way that is respectful to everyone involved. In the past, I’ve been unclear about individual collective members, where they stood, and the perspective of individual members of the accountability process. 

Other members of the zine community have expressed confusion and concern about this. In the interest of transparency, I’m posting this on my blog ( and will repost your answers there as well. 

1) What was the reason for the split? Why did you decide to maintain the Microcosm name for both branches? In what ways was this influenced by the Microcosm boycott and/or the Cindy Crabb’s request for an accountability process. 

2) Where are both branches located? Who is physically at each of them? How do the collective members who are part of both Publishing and Distribution participate in both branches? (Travel, skype, email, etc?)

3) How were the members of your resource council selected? Were the former members (Alex and Sparky) who were active in calling Joe out for abuse or manipulation contacted? Why or why not? 

4) Do you share an anti-oppression policy? What does that look like? 

5) Is distribution required to carry books by Microcosm Publishing? Does Distribution have any input on projects created by Publishing?

6) Coming back to the accountability process that Cindy Crabb requested, is there a place that the statements from your collective members individually is available (rather than the collective statement published here: I am particularly interested in statements by women/queer and gender variant folks/POC. I’m also interested in knowing why you chose this website to publish your statement on rather than on ones more relevant and widely read by the punk and zine communities (Zine World, Broken Pencil, Maximum Rocknroll, Razorcake). I’m trying to frame all of this within the same context, but honestly - I (and maybe other people?) feel that there are some gaps within this history. Maybe formatting this in a timeline of events would make it more accessible. 

I look forward to your response. 


Sarah Rose

  • 8 September 2012
  • 11