I guess we are at this point where Aaron Cometbus can walk around claiming he is the best zine writer in the game; he undoubtedly is, and I don’t think many people will argue that. He is up to issue number#53, and while I was under the impression he was supposedly finished a few years ago, I am pleased that he didn’t decide to put a halt to his nearly 30 year old series. This time around, we find our hero reverting back to his novella writing, and ruminating over sixty five pages about a failed punk house/scene/community in god-know-when, but-who-really-cares-anyway, St. Louis. And while I have enjoyed some of his more recent documentations via interviews with punk legends and stories about bookstores, I have to admit that I have missed his personal stories quite a bit. “The Spirit of St. Louis or: How to Break Your Own Heart, a Tragedy in 24 Parts” is much more bitter than a lot of his more recent stuff. He seems to look back on his time in St. Louis as almost wasted, except for the few friends he kept from his stay. Where you usually expect some degree of heartbreak in any Cometbus story, it seems like every other page in this issue contains some new failure, and A.C.’s last words for the whole thing “Fuck old school St. Louis punk. Fuck Life”, might sort of give you some sense of how this goes.
The people at Underscore Quarterly aren’t fooling around on their website when they say “Every _ Quarterly is meticulously curated to ensure a sort of flow between the work, and as such, the zine is more closely related to an art show than a traditional publication.”
Inspired by the cut up method famously employed by Burroughs, Ian Bartholomew takes text from major internet news sources, and spill them over the black and kryptonite green pages.
It’s a beautiful, and inspiring piece of work.
Microcosm Publishing’s Twitter has been a wellspring of zine info, including the news that another one of the best zine writers I can list off, Al Burian (Burn Collector), has a blog. Crazy! Everybody is finding out about technology!