Arts & Culture

A Zine Writer Gets the Essay Treatment

Aaron Cometbus came into my life the year after my Bar Mitzvah.  I was sick of everyone and everything (family, religion, school, etc.) and becoming an angry little punk rocker.  For a nerdy/nervy Jewish kid living in the suburbs of … Read More

By / May 12, 2010

Aaron Cometbus came into my life the year after my Bar Mitzvah.  I was sick of everyone and everything (family, religion, school, etc.) and becoming an angry little punk rocker.  For a nerdy/nervy Jewish kid living in the suburbs of Chicago, getting my hands on one of his photocopies zines for the first time was a huge revelation, and made me realize not only that I wanted to be a writer, but there were other outlets to vent my frustration.  It’s a heart warming story of a life changing moment in the the life of a total dork.  (Of course if I told Aaron Cometbus any of this, he’d probably laugh at me and call me an idiot.) Over at The Rumpus, Aaron Lake Smith has written what I think is one of the finest pieces on a writer whose name belongs among the ranks of the other great Jewish writers of the last 50 years as much as anybody I can think of.  Hopefully it’s an article like this that helps put him in that place:

Cometbus is an incredible subterranean archive, a venerable one-man WPA project for the underground; but the world it embodies seems now historical rather than current and relevant: handwritten letters, posted fliers, run down cafes is now a kind of sweet and sentimental physicality that is under constant threat by the data cloud.

Amen.