Born in Berkeley, California, Aaron Cometbus started writing fanzines in 1981 with Jesse Michaels of Operation Ivy, and started his own after Jesse moved to Pennsylvania in October 1981. Aaron became an active participant in the Gilman Street Project and was a founding member of Crimpshrine, a highly influential East Bay punk rock band, which also featured Jeff Ott. After the demise of Crimpshrine, Aaron formed Pinhead Gunpowder with a handful of people from the East Bay punk scene, including Mike Kirsch, Jason White and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. Aaron has also played in a multitude of short lived bands that generally release just a seven-inch or two before breaking up, some of which include Astrid Oto, Cleveland Bound Death Sentence, Scooby Don't, Shotwell Coho, The Blank Fight, which includes Rymodee of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, EFS, Redmond Shooting Stars, Mundt and The Retard Beaters, T. Zatana, Colbom, and Harbinger, which also includes Robert Eggplant, formerly of Blatz, and John Geek of Fleshies. He briefly played drums in the SF anarcho-syndicalist group, Strawman. He has been known to sit behind the kit for This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb from time to time.
In addition to writing for his own zine, Cometbus has contributed stories to several other zines such as Absolutely Zippo, Maximum Rocknroll, and Tales of Blarg, occasionally writing under the pseudonym Skrub. His work is easily recognizable by his distinctive, block-lettered handwritten script. His handwriting also appears in the liner notes to Jawbreaker's Etc. compilation.
On August 1, 2002, Last Gasp Publishing released Despite Everything: A Cometbus Omnibus, a 608-page compendium of selections from early Cometbus issues, which are long out of print and often difficult to find. The following year, Cometbus released a novel called Double Duce, a memoir of his experiences living in a squalid Berkeley punk house with a diverse assortment of oddball roommates. The entirety of Double Duce was hand-written by Cometbus, with some selections taken from older issues of Cometbus. Aaron has also released a few smaller collections of short stories, entitled Chicago Stories and Mixed Reviews.
His latest work, Cometbus # 51 "The Loneliness of the Electric Menorah", was released in September 2008. It chronicles the history of Moe's Books and other longtime buisnesses of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California.