Friday, January 1, 2010

Cometbus #52 – The Spirit of St. Louis or How to Break Your Own Heart, a tragedy in 24 parts

Cometbus #52 – The Spirit of St. Louis or How to Break Your Own Heart, a tragedy in 24 parts
by Aaron Cometbus
$3 - Half Sized.
PO Box 4726
Berkeley, California

My friend who gave this to me was saying how he felt that everyone who was involved in the punk scene came from a kind of fucked up background, probably had some sort of family issues, and ended up embracing punk as a new family. I felt there was some truth to this idea, but that there were at least some people who ended up involved in the punk scene for other reasons (my brother and myself being examples a and b).

Now, I have to admit that this is my first issue of Cometbus, and I suppose that makes me a bad zine reader. I’m not quite sure how I’ve avoided it for so long. I’ve seen both issues and the books around, but have never sat down and read one despite having the opportunity to do so. That left me a little confused with this issue, as it reads so true, but is a work of fiction. Fiction that includes a lot of experiences Aaron has probably had, or heard about from his friends.

It’s about living in a not so great city, which is at least better than where you came from. About communities of friends that become so tight knit because there is nobody and nothing else there for them, and what happens when they inevitably fall apart. About love, and life, and everything else.

It’s pretty thick for a zine, weighing in at over sixty pages, and I can only assume that the massive print runs he must do on this thing are how he keeps the cost down. The production quality is pretty rad. It on good paper stock, and is well laid out, though fans of Aaron’s hand lettered pages will be frustrated that it’s all done by computer for this one.

The story will be pretty familiar to anyone who has lived in a punk house or been involved with punk scenes probably anywhere in North America (and maybe even in other places), but I enjoyed the story, and it was nice to read about these characters, despite the sad bits, after not really being involved in the scene for a while.

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