COMETBUS #59, $5, 8” x 5 ¼”, printed, 140 pgs.

In “Post-Mortem,” Aaron evokes the wanderlust of past issues by wandering around, conducting interviews in “a wide-ranging survey of the underground… to look honestly at where we succeeded and where we had fallen short.” Aaron’s interviews cover a wide swath of the underground, spanning big punk labels like Epitaph and Fat Wreck on down to smaller community theaters, squats, and poets. It’s odd, because I left the zine feeling hopeful even though many of the stories focused on collapse as much as sustenance. There are no hard and fast rules for success in the underground, and there are some notable omissions (ahem). But I think the omissions are the point here. If you watch any documentary on “the scene,” such as it is, there comes a point, usually right before the end montage, when the players talk about how the soul left when this band broke up, or this thing happened, or this person died. It might be true for those people, but it’s not true for all people, you know? Hardcore didn’t end when Springa declared its end from the stage, or whatever other arbitrary point sticks in your head. Punk doesn’t end so much as it evolves, or mutates. The end of the theoretical documentary inevitably laments how codified things became before the end. Who are we to proclaim a codified version of success? Aaron knows this. –Michael T. Fournier (PO Box 1318, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276)