November 11th, 2010

Response From Joe Biel

I recently reviewed the zine I Lost My Sense of Irony In Brisbane here.
Yesterday I received a response from Joe Biel (of Microcosm distro) addressing accusations against him/Microcosm which I reprint here (also followed by my reply and another one from Joe):

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hey stuart
   davida sent me your email and since you were plainly asking questions, i thought i could answer.
Microcosm acts as a distro for each zine, like any other distro. While I can see how our name can be confusing, we order finished copies that are printed by the zinester, put them in a box in our house, list them on our website, and send them to the people that order them. 99% of the zines we handle are like this. I don't know where the rumor comes from that we reprint zines without the author's permission and keep the money. Does anyone have some examples of these zines or people that we should talk to about this? This rumor makes it sound like we pull zines randomly off the shelf and make more of them. Moreso, like a nonprofit, we don't have "profit," operate on a mission statement, and publish our financial reports so you can see how we spend our money.
   As far as me personally, I have been described as emotionally abusing my ex-wife during our relationship. It is undeniable that she has been hurt and is scarred by my actions and I am doing my best to make good on that. I have done all of the objective things asked of me as a result and you can find more about this if you google it. Of course things like that are complex and hard to take in. There's virtually no models for how you move on from accusations like this in our community, and so largely people don't want to take action to create community healing, and process publicly.
   hit me up if you wanna chat.
 take care


hey joe,
   thanks for your email. i'll run your response on my blog if that's ok with you, or would you rather it just stay in the comments of that review?
i always take accusations and that kind of negative stuff with a pinch of salt, especially when it deals with the zine scene. that's why i wrote about wanting to hear the other side too. i found it hard to believe you guys would xerox people's zines without them knowing it. if there are these kind of accusations floating around, where is the evidence?
as for the personal stuff, i don't care about that. it seems petty to dwell on that kind of stuff, it's as bad as the trashy gossip magazines. but i guess the zine scene isn't so different after all - people still like to delve into the 'juicy dramas' of private lives.


   thanks for the response. according to the zine's author, elle, she got her nonspecific info from my ex-wife's blog who cited no examples or offered any details. that seems to be what numerous people repeat about the photocopying, but you raise a fine question. it's a hefty accusation for people to repeat knowing no details and lacking evidence.

   spending several years of my life reading about and taking seriously the accusations against me, i feel like a better person, but mostly i learned that sometimes two people can just communicate very badly to the point that one or both feel that the other is cutting them down endlessly and can have exactly the same results as abuse (low self esteem, no confidence, etc). i am far from an objective enough position to say either way, but the more i learn about personal dynamics the more i want to live in a cave far from such risks!
  take care



72 pages, A4, $5.00 from David Puckeridge, PO Box 491, Harbord NSW 2096, AUSTRALIA 
David works in a warehouse of a major tourist attraction west of Sydney. Since he deals with cardboard boxes every day, perhaps it was only a matter of time before he got the idea of making a zine out of this stuff.
David's got all the usual suspects of cardboard box art represented here, including such classics as This Way Up, Please Recycle, and Fragile. But there's a whole other world of cardboard box art: crossed-out knife-wielding hands, dripping umbrellas, warnings to store below a certain temperature, and crossed-out shoes (Do Not Step On!). Some images I can't figure out (eg. no hooks?) My favourite image in here is of a vampire, below which reads '8 x 50 COUNT'.
A very unique zine this one, no doubt about it.

Goofy Funnies #2

32 pages, digest, $2.95, Dexter Cockburn, thecomixcompany(at) 
Thirty-two pages of awesome smutty comix here. Before the X-Rated shenanigans begin, Butcher Bob gets Petey Pig to help him make hot dogs, then Stonie Moronie wants a new radio (or toaster, haw!) because the one he's got only gets bad news. 
Next up Bosco the Bear makes sure Junior Ranger Becky has an eighteenth birthday to remember.
Fudster Pudwhacker busts two young girls with his treehouse porn collection, and in another story orders Chinese (with Suk Mee and Cream of Sum Yung Guy on the menu, ding dong!)
Dexter's comix are so great. Funny and totally hot, and his art is to die for .. I mean cum for!
Ultra mega highly recommended for discerning comix perverts.

Spunk Comix #2

32 pages, digest, $0.50 (?!), from Dexter Cockburn, thecomixcompany(at) 
This one gets straight into the horny hi-jinx with no beating around the bush (wait, let me put that another way...)
Pop ('Man of the Year!') checks out his daughter Tootsie's slumber party. Tootsie's snuck out to meet her boyfriend but her four girlfriends keep him occupied (cock-upied?) so he doesn't notice.
Lifeguard Pippa Creme saves Rusty from drowning. In this story there's not so much mouth-to-mouth as mouth-to-everything-else.
Fudster Pudwhacker's working at an ice cream joint but the boss berates him for being a slacker so puts his teenage daughter Trixie in charge. Together they make a porno banana split.
But wait! There's more! Not least of which is the mega bizarro back cover featuring Twinkle the Kid (a giant Twinkie?) and a bunch of girl guides.
Dexter's stuff is wild, and most definitely Adults Only.