Aaron Elliott (born May 20, 1968), better known as Aaron Cometbus, is a Cult Classic Zine author. Influential in the Bay Area scene in the 80s and 90s — the scene that spawned 924 Gilman, Maximum Rocknroll, and too many good bands to count. He has been in a number of these, too: Crimpshrine (with Jeff Ott, of Fifteen), Sweet Baby Jesus, Astrid Oto (with Cindy Crabb, author of Doris), Pinhead Gunpowder (with Billie Joe Armstrong), and Thorns of Life (with Blake Schwarzenbach, of Jawbreaker), among others.
For the longest time, he handwrote and photocopied all of his zines, giving them a distinctive◊ style◊. These days, he alternates between typing and handwriting things. You can still get his zines by mail though, from various zine distributors.
His work has been collected in two anthologies. The first one, Despite Everything: A Cometbus Omnibus includes numbers 24 through 43, with selections from the first four years. Add Toner: A Cometbus Collection came out pretty recently, and would be an excellent place to start. Also great are Double Duce (the chaotic history of a bunch of punks living in the eponymous house; cover pictured) and issue 47, Lanky (a short novel about his life with a girlfriend of his, Larenka, aka Lanky).
Tropes common in his works:
- The Quincy Punk: Averted, subverted, or glorified, depending on the work.
- Roman à Clef: Nearly all of his work (but especially The Spirit of St. Louis) could be considered this, with fictionalized versions of real people and scenes. See also: the short story Stitch, the "Ice City" stories, and Double Duce.
- 10-Minute Retirement: This has happened a couple of times: Aaron will announce that this issue will be the last ever. A year or so later, a new one quietly comes out.
- We Used to Be Friends: So many times.