Tag Archives: etsy

Steve Larder is my friend…and stuff….and things… and he draws pretty pictures.

I was going to post this in the last one but I forgot. My friend Steve Larder drew this illustration of me for and article about ihollaback.org

I'm thinking deep thoughts as I stare into the Wilamette River from the Steel bridge.

he also did this one for our Zines on Toast tour last year.

modeled off one of the many photos of me with whispy dramatic hair, when I had long hair.

Anyway, Steve does a zine called Rum Lad is a really great friend and and excellent illustrator trying to make his way being and illustrator in Nottingham in the UK. You can check out his images that have been used in zines, on show fliers, albums and magazines here , follow his blog here or check out his guest blogging at Creative Nottingham here, here, here, and here. Steve was also the instigator for our zine band The Copy Scams. I’m not sure how he scammed us into starting a band in 3 weeks and then playing a show but it sure was fun! Paul just remixed our tape of four songs and I have the available on my Etsy site here.

4 lo-fi pop punk songs about zines!

I also have about 5 copies of Brainscan 26.5 Nine Stories left! I put them up on my Etsy shop while supplies last!

I need to head downtown because I have and IPRC shift tonight.



constructive alternatives

While it was pointed out to me by my sister that my last post regarding my experience with Microcosm and Joe wasn’t as angry as I have been in the past, I realize that it doesn’t offer anything helpful besides information. I guess that’s what some people have wanted from me all along, information. I documented a very small fraction of my personal experiences of emotional abuse in a romantic relationship with Joe Biel in my Zine Brianscan 21. It seems people wanted more information about the business side so I tried to tie those together in that blog post.

What I didn’t offer was solutions or what I want specifically from Joe or the community. As for Joe, he has been given sufficient information as to what he needs to do to actually complete an accountability process, and he has been given yet another chance for that. As it was put in the statement of the last accountability team, Joe’s accountability should not be the burden of the community as it has already exhausted everyone involved. that being said, I think we need to seriously look at what can be done constructively.

When I said that survivors of abuse should be supported I alluded to boycotting Microcosm, but it’s not enough to simply boycott. If you mean to send a message you should let them know why you are not spending your money with them, why you don’t want your zine/book distributed or published or your artwork used by them. Also, if you have had specific problems with your interactions with Microcosm you should speak up. Trust me, you are not the only one. Let them know what they need to fix, what they need to pay more mind to. Give them an option, give them a choice to change because ultimately, it’s not only in their best interest, it’s the right thing to do.

If Microcosm truly wants to show that it is a collective, that they do not struggle with Joe’s abuses of power, and that they support the ideas and values behind the books and zine they publish and distribute  then then should as Cindy Crabb said in this post, “come up with a collective statement confronting/admitting Joe’s abuse and manipulation, and/or for Joe to legally remove himself from the collective”. I’d also like to add another option, for people in the community and people who are associated with Microcosm to seriously encourage Joe to cooperate in a transparent accountability process because his hurtful actions and problematic behaviors are putting people’s livelihoods in jeopardy.

My intent was never to destroy Microcosm or Joe or anyone that works with Microcosm. I left Microcosm in October of 2006 because I was not happy with how the business worked or how I was treated. With a whisper I have been asking for accountability for almost 4 years,  I got tired and left it to smoulder. But now I’m tired of seeing other people hurt and disrespected and having no voice and I’m really glad to hear that other people are recognizing this..

So, if you aren’t on the “Alex Wrekk is crazy” train,or the utilitarian “my calculator does social math and it tells me that the good out weighs the bad” camp, or the “Microcosm is great for me so why should I care?” brigade here’s some other awesome distros to check out to buy zines and maybe even have your zines distributed. If you know if more distros that should be on this list let me know:

Bird In Hand(Australia)

Click Clack Distro(US)

Black Lite Diner(US)

False Start(US)

Fight Boredom(Canada)

Marching Stars(UK)

Riot Grrrrr(US)

Stranger Danger(US)

Sweet Candy(US)

Things You Say(US)

Vampire Sushi (UK)

Check out the links on my site (ya, I know I need to update it) for stores, and zine events. Also check out all the people who sell zines directly on Etsy. We even have Team Zine with lots of people who sell zines on Etsy. I think ordering zines directly or trading for them should really be at the heart of the zine community, not one stop shopping at zine Wal*Mart.

Quick response zine unit, upcoming travel and my birthday!

You would think that I would learn that I can’t do every idea that comes to my head that involves zines, apparently not. Yesterday ath the Square Foot Zine Fest I met a lot of awesome IPRC members that I didn’t know. We played boggle and talked about zines and zine culture and had a nice casual hang out day at the IPRC eating cupcakes and Voodoo doughnuts.

Anyway, a few of us came up with this neat idea to assemble some or or guerrilla stlye quick response zine unit that could be made up of independent publishers in Portland that would gather at things like First Thurdsday or Last Thursday with light weight maybe cardboard structures to sell and trade zines from. I figure there are enough of these people in Portland that even if we only have 5 show up that’s a nice representation of zines and comics. I’m not exactly sure where it is going yet but I think it will be fun. Let me know if you might be interested in being part of it. Even if you don’t make a zine yourself you can still be supportive. more details to come!

I’m also in the early planning stages of a possible zine tour with some folks from the UK who are going to come over here and rock out zine world! More info on that later.

In other news, Paul and I are headed down to Oakland next Monday. We are going to pick up my books at 1984 printing and take 2,000 to AK Press and sticker them with ISBN stickers. Then we are going to put the remaining 1,000 copies of Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2 in a car and drive them back to Portland. Just in time too because I think I’m down to less than 200!

From there the plan is to drive up the coast and stop at the breweries we love, try samples and fill or beer growlers so we can drink when we get to our destination each night.  I’m really excited because we have sort of been planning this trip for a few years. Breweries of Northern California that we are excited to see: Lagunitas, Russian River, Anderson Valley, Northt Coast, Lost Coast,  etc. Then we want to camp in the Redwoods and then head over to Crater Lake. Neither of us have been to the Redwoods or Crater lake so I’m stoked!

When Paul and I first did the math it was cheaper to buy plane tickets, rent a car and pay for gas than paying to have the books stickered… but we didn’t expect the one way driving fees and the plane tickets were already bought. Now we are just lookinmg at it as a trip that will be awesome! It is a few days after my birthday so we’ll just call it my birthday trip!

My 32nd birthday is next Friday! Paul wants to buy me a new knife set so we are going to go knife shopping this week. You know you are an adult when you are stoked about the gift of kitchen knives!

Today I am teaching a workshop about Etsy at the library in St. John’s and then headed to an IPRC shift at 5. It will be a busy day.

Etsy Storque, Podcast, punk 7″s and our new house band

First things first! The Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast has had over 100 listeners! At the IPRC staff meeting the other day someone asked Marc and I if we were going to put our podcast out on a schedule like monthly. We shrugged, laughed and said that it is a podcast about zines, how could we possibly have a schedule? You can make fun of us if we ever start apologising for our podcast coming out late.

The Brainscan Audio zine that Paul and I put together for the Fall of Autumn Podcast is featured in this Etsy Storque Guest Curator article by the people from Cinders Gallery. That was nice of them! I remember packing orders for them when I used to work at a distro. Maybe I should get in touch with seeing if they will carry my zines. The audio zine is called Pre-existing conditions and has me reading sort pieces from the never ending up coming zine that I have been working on for over 3 years. Paul blended his music in with my reading and i think it sounds great. I plan on actually finishing the zine at the Anchor Archive Zine Residency in October. Paul has already written most of the sound track…. now I need too do my part.

Speaking of music, last night we ended up having a house party with all 5 of our housemates plus Jess, who is sort of an honorary housemate. It all started when Paul played a 7″ by Scared of Chaka and that damn Cerrado song that gets stuck in his head. At that time it was just Paul, Amanda and I. We proceeded to move through our 7″ collection of crappily recorded 90’s punk records. Jess showed up since we were going to go to first Thursday but we decided to finish a bottle of wine instead.

More 90’s punk all on 7″ and we were remarking about how zine like they are, with bad artwork and inside jokes. PUD, F.Y.P., NAR, Crimpshrine, Prapaghandi, The Prima Donnas, Cringer, Monsula, Teen Titans, etc. Such good stuff!  We miss 90’s punk! The we wondered how much it would cost to put out the records now and it turns out to be ridiculously expensive.

Dan showed up with some beer, we opened another bottle of wine and all decided to start a house band. Then while listening to lo-fi pnk recordings we filled a page with bad (and a few good!) song titles. One being “New York Destiny” and anothr being “New York Density” New York Destiny is the term we used to knowing someone or being someone who happens to be in NYC and runs into the most unlikely person. We all know someone that has happened too.

So, ya. Our house band is called “The Mezz” for reasons that escape me. Jess is going to have Paul teach her to play drums and we haven’t got the rest sorted. I think Paul and Marc are gonna play guitar though. Overall it was a productive night and I’m glad I didn’t go to 1st Thursday!

Here’s a picture of me:

hello there!

hello there!

and here’s a photo of Jackie looking like a stumbling drunk slouched against the wall.

hello mr. slumpy!

hello mr. slumpy!

Selling zines on Etsy workshop at the IPRC

Hey, I’m teaching a workshop at the IPRC (Independent PublishingResource Center) on selling zines and other things on Etsy this Thursday at 7PM. This workshop is intended to be more of a discussion so bring your questions and your experiences to share. I have done this workshop 3-4 times so far and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it.

In this workshop we will explore what Etsy is, how to navigate the site, what the tips and tricks there are to selling on Etsy, and how to have fun doing it while particpating in the Etsy community. We will also discuss Etsy Teams. I’m a team leader for TeamZine and we would love to add more zine writers to our flock!

A decade ago…

My grandfather died 10 years ago today. Yes, Valentine’s Day 1999.  It was the grandfather that I named my zine Brainscan after and even my coffee roasting after… which is a long story.

I think I’m probably a bit fuzzy on the details but in the late 50’s or early 60’s my grandfather had a brain tumor and needed surgery. Brain surgery at the time wasn’t that fantastic and he had a 10% chance of survival… well, he lived through it although they had to severe a nerve in his face that left part of it slouching. I guess people thought it looked wierd, but to me that’s just how Papa always looked.

He raised 5 children, and had several subsequent brain operations through the years. The tumors weren’t cancerous, just persistent and every few years when he would have trouble walking or start acting oddly they knew it was time for another brainscan.

My grandfather was a very strong willed person who always seemed to have a plan as to what he was going to do next, like planning family reunions, world travel or even brunch dates. These things kept him going and kept him sharp and kept him optimistic. I have often thought about his determination in hard times and made plans for myself as to what I will do next. It sort of reminded me of Vikto Frankl and his book Man’s Search For Meaning that my Sunday school teacher used to talk about and the power of finding a reason to live, setting your path and making your plan.

Since then at least 4 members of our family including my mother have had brainscans. It has gotten to a point of comedy with us. When my mom would find her self or any of us doing odd things or forgetting something she would say “BRAINSCAN! BRAINSCAN!” I thought it was a fitting name for my zine when I started it in July of 1997. My mom told me she thought it was appropriate too.

I don’t really remember the call from my mom to tell me that Papa had passed away. I’m pretty sure I was a hungover after the night before. After splitting a bottle of champagne and a pitcher of beer at the Desert Edge Brewery with Paul, we heading to a wacky anti-valentine’s day show where I told the door guy a story of heart break that just happened to involve his housemate. He shared his box wine, I dancing around with a friend tearing down decorations and then ended up yelling at a guy on stage for breaking my sister’s heart… Apparently the universal tensions were riding high because that was really out of character for me.

I flew up to Portland with my mom and took the train down to Eugene to visit my sister at the University. I stayed in her dorm room and rode bikes around town. Standing on that bridge over the rushing February Willamette I could sense something changing in me. I remember writing vaguely about it in Brainscan #8. Looking back now I realize I was on the cusp of a lot of things in my life. Soon I was loose Paul and my Christian faith and I would drop out of college and move to Portland. But that stirring of change was right there under the surface. I knew I needed something.

Let’s switch gears, a month or so ago someone on Etsy purchased some of my Brainscan coffee for a friend who had just gone through brain surgery. I think they were pretty amused by the name of the coffee being Brainscan. The person the coffee was purchsed for happened to be Anhoki from Etsy, a who makes soap. She contacted me about liking my coffee and telling me her surgery story.  I spilled the story of where the name came from and eventually I proposed making soap with my coffee.

I love coffee soap! Nothing beats getting bike chain grease or garden dirt scrubbed off your hands. It is also sometimes called Kitchen soap to get the odors of onions or garlic off your hands… I don’t mind those scents though.

Anyway, I got a lovely package in the mail last week from Anhoki and wanted to share with you her lovely soaps. She even made a “brainscan” stamp for it!:

Well, I have been pushing through orders all week so that I can take today off for Zwickelmania. I’m hoping that Paul and I can hit these breweries: Amnesia, 5th Quadrant, Widmer, Rock Bottle and Deschutes before the Murder City Devils Show tonight.