the carbon based mistake...
a one-stop art house & zine resource center
with books & records & oddities & comics & collectibles
& beer & wine & coffee & tea & an event stage... &...
all under one roof.


Contact Information: Marc Calvary | | 646.727.8007 | |

Problem Worth Solving: Woodside/Sunnyside lacks a one-stop art-based community meeting place. Somewhere to learn about new art, experience interesting music, and participate in unique events. We need a local art house environment for this growing community. 

The Solution: This project will focus on bringing people together around the love of art. The carbon based mistake offers A one-stop Art House & Zine Resource Center with books, records, oddities, comix, collectibles, beer/wine bar, and a stage downstairs for events. 




Funding Needed: 

  • Line of Credit
  • Kickstater
  • GoFundMe
  • Personal Savings
  • Donations
  • Fundraisers

Revenue Streams:

  • Wine/Beer/Coffee
  • Events
  • Collectibles
  • Books
  • Records
  • Zine Resources

Marketing Activities:

  • On-line Advertising
  • Print Advertising
  • Event Sponsorship
  • Local Partnerships
  • Word of Mouth
  • Social Media

    Major Costs: 

    • Rent
    • Insurance
    • Inventory
    • Payroll
    • Interior Design
    • Miscellaneous

    Sales Channels:

    • Retail Store
    • Website
    • Bar
    • In-House Events
    • Fairs
    • Event Hosting


    The Woodside/Sunnyside area of Queens is wonderful. This neighborhood is home to several great restaurants and bars and is safe and family friendly. Every year more young people are moving into the area as we continue to grow and expand our local offerings.

    However there are very few places dedicated to bringing the community together for art and events in a non-mainstream type venue. Every place is very specific: restaurants, bars, 99 cent stores, hair salons, laundry mats, bodegas, pet supplies. We lost our only local movie theater, and art galleries are scarce.

    While there is a records store in Astoria that holds small concerts and a local vintage shop that sells records and collectibles, I think the carbon based mistake could fit in nicely, without overlapping too much in terms of inventory or offerings, and in fact greatly expanding on those and more.

    The difference the carbon based mistake offers is the unique vision of making art for the sake of art, and introducing the community to a unique experience. 

    This project will focus on bringing people together around the love of art. the carbon based mistake offers zines, comics, books, records, oddities, collectibles, live music, plays, events, readings, craft fairs, wine, as well as an operational zine resource center, with supplies and equipment for people to use to create their own zines... all under one roof!

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    The carbon based mistake brings a one-stop art-based community meeting place to Queens. A place to to learn about new art, experience interesting music, and participate in unique events. We need a local art house environment for this growing community.


    The carbon based mistake has been my on-going project since 1998. I started making zines in 1992 learning and growing since. I attend art fairs, zine and self publishers conversions and have been working with the arts for most of my life. I am a project-based artist, focusing mostly on print but working on different projects to express whatever specific idea I'm trying to convey. 

    This new project, taking the carbon based mistake off the internet and into a physical storefront, will essentially be an art project of it's own. It will be a physical representation of all the projects I currently work on, putting into practice what I call Perpetual Art.

    Perpetual Art is the idea of art or art's sake. Generating interest in creating by creating something yourself, showing others that it is possible. The possibilities are endless and someone else may see what you do and think they can do it better, or just differently, and they will make something that will inspire someone else and it goes on and on, creating a new generation of artists. Money you make does not go into a cool new car, or a piece of designer clothing, but it goes back into making more art, growing, and improving through experimentation and risk taking.

    The current projects I independently work on that will most notably be represented in this new venture will be:

    PULP CIRCUS: Random apartment events, uniting like-minded people to eat, drink, and read out-loud. Usually we gather to read excerpts from our favorite writer works, everyone leaving with a long list of books to check out on their own. PulpCircus has been actively throwing these reading salons since 2000, but occasionally departs from our typical gatherings and  host plays, live music, vinyl listening parties, and movie marathons.

    ART EXCHANGE PROGRAM: To encourage others to fall in love with self-publishing the carbon based mistake founded the Art Exchange Program in 2004, which offered a small first prize of$150, along with professionally printed copies of their zines. After a long hiatus the grant was started up again in 2013 as an annual project, now awarding two different small grants. One grant is for the veteran zine maker and one is for the beginner. Creating art goes beyond whether or not you’re making money from it. People make art because they love doing it. The Art Exchange Program is an award of thanks for that and hopefully an incentive for people to try their hand at what might just become a life long obsession.

    POPUPCO-OP: Re-branding the original project, the POPUPCO-OP was NYC pop-up based artist collective, focusing on lo-fi ways to randomly have small art fests throughout the year. With just a few exhibitors per event, the members equally split all costs for renting retail space in galleries and storefronts for the weekend. Exhibitors created their own advertising and kept all profits they made. Under this new project, the carbon based mistake storefront, we will rent out spaces for local artists at a low cost to participate in selling their art and expanding their work. making it easier and more affordable than traditional means to exhibit their work.

    I plan on hiring one employee to manage the shop during the day, I'll take over for a few hours in the evening and on all day on weekends.  We will also search out volunteers to help run the shop and offer free or low-cost classes to the community. 

    Ideally the carbon based mistake will lease a spot that has a ground floor, a basement level, and if possible a small backyard where we would offer beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks.

    The upper level would be the main storefront, selling books, comics, zines, records, oddities, vintage items, and collectibles, as well as house my zine making equipment for others to use in the creation of their own zines. The basement level would be a small stage for bands to play, readings, movies, plays, gallery type art shows, and all community art events in general. The backyard would be for a nice little getaway from the bustle of the events.

    The basement floor plan would consist of church pews, after all it is a house of worship to the arts, that would go up against the wall when bands play, which can be moved to the center then a movie is shown, or any event requires audience seating. We would also be able to rent spaces for craft fairs, record fairs, and zine conventions in the lower level. 

    Start-up costs will be generated from my own savings and with a line of credit from the bank, and by putting on frequent fundraisers and events to raise money to keep the project running. I will also launch a reoccurring Kickstarter to raise funds, and apply for grants where applicable.


    Our target market are the people who like art of all kinds. Making it, buying it, being a part of it in general. These are the people who spend their time reading, and writing, discovering new music, binge watching awesome television series, making zines. These are the kinds of people who see a great movie and immediately try to find out what other films the director and creative team have made. They absorb themselves in it.

    This project is for people excited to experience how others see the world. They like collecting odd things, and try to live their lives outside their day-to-day work.

    As more people move into the area there is an increasing need for something unique like this to inspire others. Physical art is popular again, especially record collecting. Currently the most exciting places in the neighborhood are just standard bars and restaurants, the carbon based mistake would like to bring something different to Queens.

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    If you create art, you also love art. But you don't need to be an artist to appreciate it. This demographic loves finding out about new artists, and loves introducing people to new art they've discovered. Architecture & Sculpture & Painting & Dance & Music & Poetry & Cinema & Television
    & Sequential Art... we love it all.



    A constant reader will own a kindle... but it will never be a replacement for a real printed book. The smell, the texture... its an amazing part of the reading experience, and constant readers love it all. E-readers are just another way to read a great story, but print will never die at the carbon based mistake.


    Music Lovers

    If a lover of music discovers a new band, you may not see them for a while... they will be immersed in their new found style. Absorbing it, dissecting it, experiencing it. And now with the resurgence of vinyl, new audiences are discovering the beauty of physical media once again after so long in the digital world. 

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    The collector is an odd animal. Our collections are not hording, but we do have to remind people of that all the time. Collecting is the art of exhibition, the art of gathering items of interest to show a picture of society. A time capsule or a snap-shot of cultural history. Collectors like finding the odd little thing that they always heard about but have never seen. They will find a kindred spirit in the carbon based mistake.


    There aren't any bookstores, comic shops or any zine resources in Woodside/Sunnyside, the area is growing and there are a few places in the neighborhood that would appeal to the same demographic as the carbon based mistake.

    There is a great local vintage shop that sells records and collectibles. However they would not follow our model. Their record collection is small and rarely undated. They don't offer live music, or beer and wine during events. They do not carry books, comics, or zines, and carry very few odd antiques. They mostly focus on local crafts, antique furniture, and jewelry. It's a wonderful shop and we have no interest in stepping on their toes, what the carbon based mistake is doing is much different.

    There is also a record store in Astoria, but that's the closest one in the area. They focusing on just records and turntable equipment with hardly any overlap in inventory with the carbon based mistake. They do frequently host live music events, however they are not in the Woodside/Sunnyside neighborhood. The carbon based mistake has no interest in becoming a record store, but we will be a venue that has records.

    The only bookstore in the area is once again in Astoria. A great independent shop that only sells new inventory... no used books. The carbon based mistake will focus mostly on used and rare books.

    Our advantages

    The advantage of the carbon based mistake is bringing everything together under one roof. Books, comics, zines, records, oddities, vintage items, and collectibles. I have been assembling zine making equipment over many years, with this the addition of a Zine Resource Center is a given. Cutters, collating stands, scoring boards,  stamp making tools, virtually all the equipment necessary, bringing a working studio to the area.

    The basement level would be a small stage for bands to play, readings, movies, plays, gallery type art shows, and community art events in general. Wine will be served and the backyard offers a nice relaxing area.

    We would have space to hold zine conventions and craft fairs, giving the local community a great place to introduce the neighborhood to their art all while offering the public something unique. Every place is like every place else. Bookstores, comic shops, record stores and event spaces only differ by the the offerings or location. Nothing is "one-stop" but the carbon based mistake will strive to make itself a true one-stop shop, assembling a wonderland of conflicting and interesting items and activities.


    My website has been operational since 1998, and aside from art fairs and conventions has been the main source of sales of all my projects. Being as involved as I have been with other projects I have had the opportunity to cross promote. For example, The Art Exchange Program is always associated with the main project, the carbon based mistake, so whenever someone submits their work they learn about the main project. The same goes for Pulp Circus and every other project I do. I plan to continue this mode of advertising with the new storefront. Having several different types of projects under one roof gives us the ability to cross-promote at every event or function.

    There is also the natural cross-promotion that occurs when you hold any kind of event or live music. Events like these and craft fairs bring people in for a specific reason, which will introduce them to the carbon based mistake project as a whole. I plan to give any profit made over cost to operate to the bands they play, which will pay their fee and also generate promotion for the shop when they promote their shows on their own.

    Having been a resident of Queens since 2008, I feel I have made a lot of friends with local shop owners, which will also help to promote upcoming events. Restaurants such as The Alcove have even been interested in hosting PulpCircus events and along with them, the bar Solid State have both helped with information and thousands of questions from me while I've been putting this business plan together. One of the things I love about this neighborhood is the community feeling. The people who live and work here, the ones who run business here, they all want to help each other succeed. 

    Aside from local word of mouth, I will pass out flyers around the neighborhood and beyond, as well as publish a free zine showcasing the shop and past and future events - this will also apply to my current MailChimp email service expanding on what I usually send email blast out about.

    Social media promotion is very important, that's why I have been working with April Krueger, a Digital Marketing Strategist on expanding my social media presence, and will continue to work with her on this project. Being involved in international self-publishing, I will have access to writers, magazines, and blogs for interviews and exposure.

    The branding for the carbon based mistake has been active for 20 years, including an official U.S. trademark 4,213,952 and L.L.C. I will be utilizing the logo and branding on the awning over the shop and window decals, as well as sandwich boards advertising what's going on from day to day. Flyers, newsletters, brochures, give away and promotions, all will be heavily advertised to get the word out about the shop.


    Marc Calvary, born in 1975 and Southern California until age 20 when Marc moved to Eugene, Oregon to make photocopies until age 30 when he moved to New York City, having never visited before. NYC was a life-long dream realized, and it is home forever more.

    Marc had his first work published in 1987 in Reflections Magazine. He discovered the joy of self-publishing in 1991 after being a part of an underground newspaper in Oregon, but it wasn't until seeing his first issue of Factsheet 5 in 1992 that he fell in love with outsider art and zines as a whole. After leaving his co-created zine Swoon in 1992, Marc started the the submission based magazines Fragile, and Dysfunctional Order. Later, when he started working solo, he formed the art-zine Strange Adventure, the perzine Journal Issues, and later the self-help zine Shut-Up!.

    In 1998 the carbon based mistake was created as the main on-going project taking the form of zines & books & photography & writing & blasphemy & art & design &... and has been the umbrella name for everything Marc Calvary has made since.

    Other projects that grew from the carbon based mistake are:

    • The Art Exchange Program, an annual zine contest awarding grant money and prizes in an attempt to encourage others to continue to make art;
    • A pin-up style adults-only photography and design project called cherrypepper;
    • A collaborative apartment event project titled PulpCircus, which gathers like-minded people to eat, drink, and read out-loud;
    • A project called Handmade Fiction, that creates original limited edition prop replicas from novels, comics, movies, and television and gives them away for free to unsuspecting Amazon customers,
    • And an artist collective called POPUPCO-OP.

    Marc Calvary designs, prints, manufactures, and packages everything on his own in a small room in an apartment in Woodside, Queens that was turned into a studio. Utilizing as much as possible in such a small space, Marc has managed to fit in the amount of art equipment usually reserved for spaces much larger. This has enabled him to work on a wide range of projects, some of which include:

    • Lamps
    • Original Packaging
    • Business Cards
    • Flyers
    • Brouchures
    • Comics
    • Exhibition Guides
    • Gallery Show Design
    • Original Logos and Branding Materials
    • Cigar Box Guitars
    • Custom Invites
    • Stickers
    • Buttons and Enamel Pins
    • Silk-screened T-Shirts
    • Tote-Bags
    • Posters
    • Jewelry
    • Collectible Oddities
    • Greeting Cards
    • Rubber Stamps


    Marc Calvary contributed zines for The Newsstand installation, exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, a re-staging of the project space that was originally located in an abandoned storefront in a subway station in Brooklyn, New York.

    Marc won the award for Award for Best Art Design from Writer's Digest, and has also been a frequent contributor to magazines such as Brooklyn based Used Gravitrons and Austrian Art Journal +rosebud, as well as winning awards from Print Magazine's Regional Design Annual 4 times in a row and being showcased in HOW Magazine's International Design Awards. His work has also appeared in Dog Eared Magazine, Want Magazine, and Suicide Girls.

    Marc's work has been exhibited during Ukraine's First International Exhibition Zineshow in 2013, and the Dirty Show 17 International Erotic Exhibition in 2016.


    Marc has tried to help out other artists, at no charge to them, since he began making art himself. He has worked on packaging, printing, assembly, design, and publishing of other people's work without charging because encouraging others to continue to make art has been a cornerstone of the carbon based mistake from day one and they best way to do that is to donate your time and money to make it happen. Some of these contributions have included:

    • The Art Exchange Program grant, started in 2004, has donated thousands of dollars in grant money, equipment, and printing to artists worldwide. All expenses coming directly from personal funds without any outside funding.
    • A photography book for Leilani Sun, a 5-year old photographer from Washington
    • A book of original watercolor paintings by an artist with Asperger's and schizophrenia
    • The business materials for Bertrand Roberts, a Brooklyn based photographer that included custom business cards, exhibition guides to his first gallery show, and accompanying 120 page hard cover book of original photographs
    • A zine of the original artwork of Grady Roper from the experimental rock band Attic Ted.
    • Printing and assembly of Used Gravitrons, a strange-fiction literary publication based out of Brooklyn, NY
    • Printing as assembly of the Attack of the Gords, a comic book series by 10 year old artist and writer Oliver Saitz
    • Cover art design for the Finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award, A Chant of Love and Lamentation by Brian Reeves


    This business plan contains confidential, trade-secret information and is shared only with the understanding that you will not share its contents or ideas with third parties without the express written consent of the plan author.