Have you heard the good news? A year since last releasing work with his now former publisher, outlaw cartoonist Aaron Lange is back with his own story of creation; via the recent launch of his and co-founder Jake Kelly’s small press project, Stone Church Press. Sure to become the pride of Cleveland, Ohio’s underground publishing scene— no small task considering the city’s prestigious history in that respect— the self-described “midwestern cult/micropublisher” is an answer to the various stupefying yet predictable trappings thrust upon creators (like Lange & Kelly themselves) producing anything-but-middlebrow comics and art in the 2020s.
With engrossing, divergent new work such as his upcoming book Peppermint Werewolf also just around the corner, the already bona fide underground hero marches forward with yet further greatness planned….
Maybe you’re familiar with Aaron or just finding out about him now – If the state of things inside and out of comics & publishing has you losing heart, read on and find faith in the visions and insights of Mr. Aaron Lange.
Welcome. Let’s dispose of the basic bio – We’ve got a lot to get through!
Tell us in 25 words or less who you are, where you’re from, what you do and how many feral cats you feed regularly.
Born in Cleveland, 1981. My family moved to the suburban west side when I was six. I had a normal and almost idyllic childhood, but in early adolescence I started to feel different from other people and my interests became more obscure.
I liked to draw but I wasn’t fanatical about it.
What little writing I did was usually in the form of loose scripts.
I rented movies with religious zeal and spent countless hours listening to records.
In my early 20s I started to get serious about drawing comics.
As far as the feral cats, I still see them everyday but they haven’t really been coming around for food lately. They must be getting something better somewhere else.
Maybe an old lady down the street is putting out wet food for them.
Regarding what you do, these past ten years have been a pretty fucking heavy time to be doing it, right?
How the hell have you stayed sober for most of that time?
I have found that sobriety and a clear head actually makes things much easier to deal with. Quarantine and Covid hardly disrupted my life at all. However, had I still been drinking and hitting the bars, I’m sure I would have gone stir crazy.
As far as the general experience of the larger Trump era, everything is so fucking weird and unmoored that drugs almost seem redundant.
Amen. Just to get the uninitiated out there up to speed, I’ll run off a few factoids that I think paint a pretty tidy picture of Aaron Lange, outlaw cartoonist:
- Our man spent about a half of the last decade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before ending up back in Cleveland, Ohio around 2017.
- Since 2011, when he was picked up by his (now former) publisher, Dexter Cockburn at The Comix Company, he’s written, illustrated, and released the well received satirical and autobiographical adults-only comix titles Romp, Trim, and CA$H Grab, as well as several one-shots such as My Dad Comics, Huge, and the collected Washington Beach.
- He’s supplied art and writing to various comix anthologies, underground publications & journals in print and online (including Mineshaft, Cinema Sewer, and Real Stuff to name just a few), and has been hard at work on yet more noteworthy projects to be discussed here today.
How’s that? Did I miss anything? I must have.
I also had work featured in The Best American Comics, 2018.
Emphasis on “BEST”!
And we’re gathered here today to spread the good news about your recent venture into publishing and the launch of your new small press enterprise, Stone Church Press.
Any background on the name?
We wanted to reference a local landmark, and “Stone Church” manages to simultaneously be both obvious and esoteric.
Let’s come back to this project after a bit of general bullshitting.
For starters, what the fuck makes someone want to be an underground comix artist in the 21st Century?
Who said I do? This is just the road I got on, and at times I feel like a living anachronism.
I’ll say this though: The great thing about comics is that you don’t need anyone’s permission. And even when you factor in printing costs, producing a comic is infinitely cheaper than trying to make a film or record an album. Comics are extremely suited for the “DIY ” ethos.
Well, anachronism or not, you’ve enjoyed the acclaim of many a celebrated comix legend since your earlier books. Robin Bougie connected you with Dexter at The Comix Company if I’m not wrong, and missives from such heavy-hitters as Jay Lynch, Kim Deitch, Mary Fleener, Jim Blanchard, Noah Van Sciver and R. Crumb feature in your books’ “letters” pages.
Was that kind of attention much of a factor when deciding to make a serious run at the career you’ve garnered for yourself, earlier on?
When I was younger I was pretty hungry for guidance, or even some sort of mentor. I never really ended up getting that. But I did end up getting some support and encouragement, and maybe that was enough.
As far as my “career,” I’ll be perfectly transparent: I would probably make more money with a fulltime minimum wage job.
I remember really enjoying your interview with Glenn Head from 2016 via Den of Geek, where he compares your Romp stuff with the style of old romance comics artists and even Roy Lichtenstein – an observation I don’t disagree with – but those guys never made porno comics!
Who were you looking at earlier on that made you want to draw hardcore pornography?
I went through a prolonged period where I was interested in old romance comics, but only in a very superficial way. I never really read or collected them very seriously, and I couldn’t even tell you the names of the better artists. I’d just grab cheap copies as I stumbled upon them, and kinda casually absorbed their aesthetic.
I was very interested in clean and generic looking comic art, like Wally Wood—and Wally did do some porno stuff.
As far as pornography, I’ve always been interested in pornography.
I always thought I saw a hint of EROS artist Art Wetherell in some of those earlier Romp pages. Did you ever read his porno/war comic Blazing Foxholes? Now there’s a guy who liked drawing swastikas and girls!
Honestly, I’ve never heard of him or that title.
I do have a decent stack of Eros comics, and out of those my favorite is probably The Blonde, by Saudelli— though I didn’t discover that title until long after I’d finished doing Romp.
Many of your audience will have had their first taste of your stuff during your time with The Comix Company. All said, you’d put out 21 odd releases with Dexter during those years and had earned something of a reputation by the time you left the building, which must have made deciding to publish elsewhere a tricky call to make.
How much did the departure have to do with starting your own small press project?
Did I really do 21 books? I guess some of that stuff was reprints of earlier work, and slapdash sketchbook collections.
If I could go back, I’d have been a little more selective about what I did and didn’t release. But I guess I was just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what stuck.
As far as The Comix Company, the relationship made sense back when I was doing Romp, and I remain grateful for the boost that Dexter gave me. But I had been going in another direction for some time and I needed to try something else.
From real laffs to real life. (Left to right) pages from Romp #1 and Trim #5.
Yeah, the shift from humor to honest personal reflection across those books makes your changing interests pretty clear.
Did you ever feel like you needed to be evolving and producing comics at a certain pace?
Like you had to have put out X number of books by a certain age?
Back when I had a job (and was drinking), I basically tasked myself with putting out one mini-comic a year, and I more-or-less kept that schedule; And those were relatively large mini-comics, like 30-40 pages. As far as “evolving,” I just don’t want to do the same thing over and over.
So you finish up at The Comix Company – Enter your co-founder at Stone Church, Jake Kelly, another important figure in a long line of great underground artists out of Cleveland.
How far back do you guys go?
Jake is a couple years older than me and he’s been a fixture of the local scene since the 90s, mostly through his poster work. In Cleveland there is still a very strong culture surrounding flyer and poster art for bands and events.
I left Cleveland in ’99 to go to art school two hours south down in Columbus, so I was pretty out-of-touch with what was going on in Cleveland. At some point I was back home for a visit and I found a Xeroxed zine collection of Jake’s flyer art at a local comic shop—That’s when I first heard of him and saw his work.
A few years later I was living out in Philly, and I met Jake at an indie comics fest in Cleveland while back for a visit. That was about 12 or 13 years ago. Jake and I eventually started to keep in touch and I would see him maybe once a year. When I moved back to Cleveland, four years ago, we naturally started communicating more.
Of course, I live on the far west side, and he lives on the far east side, and neither of us has a car. So we still don’t see each other very often!
Lange & Kelly: Two comix mainstays forged in the same Cleveland.
Covers of Aaron’s Cash Grab 10 and Jake’s Death, Destruction, Vice, & Sleaze: In The New Era.
From what work I’ve seen of Jake’s, the Lange-Kelly partnership seems to make great sense. You both have a fascination with Americana in the key of Cleveland and have each earned your stripes as far as representing cartooning from the city.
Care to share any details about Stone Church’s genesis?
We were basically just fed up and frustrated with the trends and the politics and the bullshit that permeate the comics scene. We figured we should shut up, stop complaining, and just do things our own way and see who wants to come along for the ride.
It’s good to see you’ll be putting out stuff from a few other familiar OH undergrounders, too— Liz Valasco, Valerie Temple, the great Gary Dumm…
Are you adding anyone else to that roster in the foreseeable future, or looking to?
I don’t want to get too deep into what our plans are, as nothing is fixed in stone. But there is a loosely planned project with Valasco, and Valerie has a few ideas that I think could develop well. No plans with Gary Dumm at the moment, but we are selling some of his backstock through the web store until we build up our own catalog, which takes time. There’s a lot of people we’d like to work with, both inside and outside of Ohio. Mary Fleener has designed a limited edition art print for us, which should be available soon, and we plan to work with other artists in a similar capacity. And of course we will be publishing the forthcoming installments of Jake’s Death, Destruction, Vice, & Sleaze series, which should be running for some time.
Great — something tells me there’re more dedicated creators out there like yourself & Jake, frustrated with the current landscape, looking for a home like the one you’ve made for yourself. There’s gotta be!
Yeah, “alternative comics”— as presented by the media and established publishers— is mind-numbingly middlebrow. But there will always be outsiders and weirdos who swim upstream.
We’re not interested in the artists who win awards or get publicity on public radio.
Your style of self-promotion and social media “presence” has never come across as desperate or forceful the way most cartoonists on Facebook or Instagram (even the legit ones) tend to.
Does the prospect of hyping up Stone Church, posting and sharing and linking and responding all over the internet, make you queasy at all?
We live in this weird hype culture where so often the hype itself is the product. I try not to even think about it, but I do probably have some sort of subconscious reaction against it.
That said, I feel a lot less awkward about promoting other people’s work than I do my own. I know Jake feels the same way. I’m not embarrassed to say that Jake is doing incredible work, because he is.
And being a seller of comics and art in 2022, I trust you’ll be adopting the same strict ethics as Big Cartel, Squarespace, Storenvy, and Etsy, disallowing materials depicting self-harm, fascism and fascist symbols, homophobia, misogyny, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?
Honestly, this is one of the big reasons we started Stone Church. We just needed to separate ourselves from these corporate politics as much as humanly possible.
When I decided to leave The Comix Company I figured I would just set up a small little thing for myself through one of these platforms. But looking at the fine print was really discouraging.
Big Cartel is the absolute worst. They posit themselves as the best platform for artists, but if you look at their policies they are absolutely draconian. “Hate speech” is a vague concept under the best of circumstances, but these people take it to another level. The “self-harm” thing is one.
To their credit, Patreon at least adequately defines what that term means: they view the promotion of “self-harm” as pro-anorexia kinda content. Now, I may not agree that such speech should be forbidden, but I can at least see where they are coming from and they explain themselves clearly.
Big Cartel does not, they are incredibly vague. Big Cartel also doesn’t allow content that “glorifies policing.” Now what the fuck does that mean? I certainly have no intention of glorifying the police, but I also don’t like being told that I can’t. And then of course there’s the racial slurs and whatnot. Fine. They don’t want to allow Holocaust-denial literature, and I can understand that. But as written, Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mocking Bird would be in violation of their vague policies.
I tried to start a conversation about this online, and people acted like I was some Q Trump voter! To be clear, I don’t think Big Cartel is combing through everyone’s store and looking for micro-aggressions. But what they ARE saying is that if one noisy person complains, they will not have your back and will throw you under the bus if there is the slightest whiff of controversy.
Long story short, I decided the best way to steer clear of all this was to start my own website. Jake was at Big Cartel and he was also frustrated with their policies and he began asking me what I had learned about costs and whatnot so he could also set up his own thing. As we were talking, it began to seem stupid for us both to set up our own separate websites, so we decided to split costs and do it together.
These talks snowballed into ideas of publishing other people as well, and Stone Church was born.
Which small presses do you see Stone Church emulating, if any? Are there micro-publishers out there whose mission statement you’ll take after?
I’d like to think there is some small comics publisher out there which would interest me, but I honestly can’t think of one. There are artists doing work I like, but they are either self-publishing or working with a more established outfit like Fantagraphics or whatever.
That said, there is some really exciting non-comics stuff going on in the small press world. I am absolutely enamored with Amphetamine Sulphate, out of Texas, who are doing some incredible work and only seem to be expanding. And they don’t use Amazon! Also, there’s a handful of small publishers associated with the Neo-Decadent movement (Snuggly Books is one) who are doing nice work. If you poke around, there is cool and smart stuff to be found.
We’ve chatted about how you don’t necessarily plan to put out comics exclusively— Can you elaborate on that aspect of Stone Church’s future at all?
Yes, some of our planned projects are more akin to zines than comics.
We certainly won’t be publishing any novels or anything like that, but I wouldn’t be opposed to publishing a short story, with illustrations, as a chapbook. That kinda thing.
I want to cultivate projects and pair writers and artists together. In the right circumstances, even poetry wouldn’t be off limits.
It sounds like you’re looking forward to leaning into the curatorial responsibilities of your new role, no?
Editing and editors get a bad rap. Whoever we work with, I want to make them look their best.
Then of course there’re your own books. Speaking of which, it’s about time we dug into Peppermint Werewolf, your first new book to be published by Stone Church – and arguably the most abrupt, vivid, and puzzling of any of your titles to date.
It’s a Situationist’s wet Jungian dream told in three signifier-soaked parts (and a survey), and it’s fucking awesome.
Is that about right?
I developed a vague interest in the Situationists back when I was a teenage punk fan— smarter writing would often link the Sex Pistols with Situationism so I took a mental note of that.
I finally read Debord’s Society of the Spectacle the other year, and I was really floored by how much of it seemed to be describing today’s world. I didn’t consciously incorporate any of this into Peppermint Werewolf, though my notes for a second issue do directly incorporate some ideas from Debord and Situationism.
Jung interests me too, and when I get the time I’d like to explore him more seriously.
I’m interested to know what you think the book represents where it totally abandons storytelling and writing styles we’ve seen from Lange in the past. Sure, you’ve done abstract before, but as a product, a cover-to-cover undertaking, this thing is a different trip. It’s self-reflective via a different “methodology” than your autobiographical work.
Not to get too hippy-dippy, but reading a “story” like “Against the Grain,” I wonder if you’d say you went somewhere different and scratched a new itch internally (whatever that means to you) in the act of creating it, that you may not have while realizing your previous books.
I think there were some indications of this new direction in my earlier work, some flashes of experimentation, but you are right: Peppermint Werewolf takes this much further while also being much more cohesive.
All my work is very personal, but with this new book those aspects are probably more oblique. I was never all that comfortable working in a directly autobiographical mode, and I doubt I’ll ever return to it.
Working with more metaphorical constructs affords far more possibilities.
While reading (taking?) “SURVEY 21,” I might have totally forgotten I was reading something of yours if it weren’t as fucking funny as it is.
I think I got that idea from Throbbing Gristle – They included a survey in one of their old releases. But while TG was rather straight-forward and surprisingly sincere with their survey, my version is satirical and takes some cues from concrete poetry.
All my ideas are stolen; I just put them in a blender and mix them up.
How much of Peppermint Werewolf reflects the effects of your specific environment? Does living and working where (and when) you do inform you artistically, spiritually, philosophically, or otherwise?
I think Peppermint Werewolf takes place in a non-space, in a future that is always three seconds ahead of us.
In future issues I may more specifically comment on Cleveland, or even Philadelphia and other locations.
I’ve become rather fascinated with concepts relating to psychogeography, which has had a spiritual effect on how I experience my environment.
Parts of Peppermint Werewolf, namely the faceless personages of “BOBL%S,” bear close comparison with some photography you’ve shared online in the time leading up to the book’s completion, which could be taken as a clue that there’s some autobiographical significance in these images.
I suppose you are connecting the faceless anonymous figures from “BOBL%S” with some of the mall mannequin photos I took. Honestly, I never thought about it, but I guess there must be some underlying interest that connects them.
There is so much obsession these days with “identity,” and yet there is this dreadful feeling of a bland mono-culture swallowing everything. So much of what passes for “identity” strikes me as off-the-shelf signifiers.
Identity is a product. It’s not even a boutique product— it’s something you can get at Target.
I suppose the faceless figures are a blunt way of talking about these feelings, this sense of dread.
In non-space, no one can hear you scream; Pages from Peppermint Werewolf’s “Xodiac” and “BOBL%S.”
Now THAT was Debordian! I know what you mean, though. Nothing says self-realization better than a shirt with “love is love” spelled out in an over-sized Star Wars font.
Somewhere right now, an adult in a Darth Vader shirt is writing a tweet about Fascists being cringe.
This all probably makes it sound like less of the tried-and-true Langean motifs aren’t here in Peppermint Werewolf; I’ll assure readers right now, that ain’t the case! Many of them not only appear throughout Peppermint Werewolf but feature strikingly; mysticism, American kitsch, religiosity, language, symbology, modern media, yourself, pornography, comics themselves… Handling these topics the way you do here, do you feel like you’ve officially outgrown doing so the way you did in Romp and Trim? Are funnies & gags a thing of Lange’s Comix Company past?
At the risk of sounding pretentious, I have outgrown that stuff but I don’t disavow it.
Honestly, I think gags and humor are a good way to learn to write. You have to be succinct and organized in your thoughts to create effective gags. There is also a musicality to humor, a sense of rhythm, which once internalized can be employed with subtler and more caustic effect.
I think Peppermint Werewolf still has a lot of humor in it, it’s just not the knee-slapping yuk-yuk kind.
Alright, enough of the esoteric shit— let’s sober up with some shop talk!
I recall one of our very first conversations having to do with you being paid in a client’s products instead of in cash and it not being cool. Do your commercial clients fuck you around any less these days than in the past?
I can’t recall the incident you speak of…
Over the years I’ve heard a lot of artists complain about people expecting them to work for free. Outside of the occasional favor for a friend, I’ve very rarely encountered this. I do commercial work and I get paid. I may have to send a polite reminder about an invoice, but I usually don’t have any problems.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work for the TrueAnon podcast, like t-shirt designs and promotional stuff. I also work with the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick in a similar capacity.
I should probably raise my rates, but it’s not like my clients are Nike or Disney.
Or Target, for that matter!
In Val’s (Aaron’s wife) mini-documentary Aaron Lange – Where Did I Go Wrong? from a while back, you say you think you’d go insane if you ever ended up making comics fulltime…
Were you right?
Do you ever question your ability to handle your workload?
I think I was 30 when Val shot that short, so that’s from about ten years ago. I did feel that way at the time. I was a drunk and I lacked discipline and focus.
Of course, since exiting the square workforce, I’ve only grown more eccentric. There is a risk of getting lost in a Byzantine maze of your own construction.
Out of a Byzantine maze and into Summit Mall: A Science Fiction Story in Pictures.
Photos by Aaron “I don’t consider myself a photographer” Lange.
…Which is when remembering to venture away from the house proves important.
We touched on it earlier, but you’ve been posting some pretty great photos of your city as you see it lately.
Do you ever get the urge to fuck around with anything more serious than a phone camera? Like, a fat, stupid Nikon SLR with full zoom and a bright yellow & black neck-strap?
Up until a few months ago I still had a flip phone. One of the main reasons I decided to upgrade to a smartphone was for a camera. (I never look at the internet on my phone and I hate texting.) I made sure to get a phone with a cutting edge camera. I mostly wanted this for taking reference photos, but I’ve discovered that I really like taking pictures. And with this camera it’s so easy!
I actually fucked around with film and chemicals when I was younger, and that process just wasn’t for me. I don’t consider myself a photographer. I just take pictures, much like everybody else these days. But I try to keep an eye for a good composition and light, and largely avoid selfies and that kind of bullshit.
For me, the camera has made me engage more with my immediate surroundings. If I’m walking down the street to get cigarettes, I’m always half-looking for something to catch my eye. If you look for something interesting, chances are you will find something interesting.
Sublimation is a powerful thing; the world is malleable and a visit to the mall can easily become a science fiction adventure.
You often post about whatever you’re reading or listening to at any given time.
I was surprised to see you share online recently that you’ve been trying out Darkthrone— I thought I remembered you commenting at one point that you’re not generally a fan of heavy music.
Are you a metal guy or something now?
Did I say I don’t like heavy music? I started listening to punk and Black Flag and Circle Jerks and all that back in high school, and that certainly seemed “heavy” to me at the time.
I did go through a period where I was really into sugary pop music, like bubblegum and pop glam rock. But about a year ago I started seriously listening to more extreme and experimental music, specifically power electronics.
As far as metal, no, I am not a metal guy, though some of my friends are. But I’ve always had a vague interest in black metal, and I did read that book Lords of Chaos about five years ago. My friend Andrew runs Mistake By The Lake Records, down the street from my house.
He got a bunch of black metal shit in recently and I figured I’d pick some of it up, just for the fuck of it. Black metal is interesting to me sociologically, and I do like Darkthrone. But for somewhat similar ideas and themes, I’m probably more likely to listen to neo-folk.
And have you made a start on any of the 24,820,497 books you’ve brought home in recent months?
Yeah, I do read a lot, but not fast enough to keep up with the steady stream of books coming into the house.
I finished Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray recently, and in general have been dipping in and out of 19th century literature. But I read all sorts of stuff.
Yesterday I was reading some old Shadow comics that DC put out in the 80s. And a friend recently lent me a Thomas Ligotti collection, so I should probably start that so I can return it.
And that brings us to the COMPLETE FUCKING NERDS ONLY portion of the interview, during which you’ll be probed in matters of interest unique to the true faithful, the hip priests in the audience today:
Pen or rapidograph?
I use rapidographs for very specific purposes: ruled lines, lettering, stippling, cross-hatching, and fine detail.
I use a Pentel Tradio for most of my “regular” line work— for the aspect that most people would conventionally think of as “drawing.”
For looser things like hair, trees, ocean waves, etc., I have a handful of brush pens that I use.
For filling in large black areas I use a Copic marker.
In my older work, I used Micron pens but now I hardly touch those things.
300dpi or 600dpi?
Jennifers: Connelly or Love-Hewitt?
Something Weird or Criterion?
Pornocracy or Anatomy of Hell?
Bic or Zippo?
Blonde on Blonde or Blood on the Tracks?
Debord or Mcluhan?
The Night Porter or Max, Mon Amour?
I just looked up Max, Mon Amour, and I’m surprised I’d never heard of it before!
The Night Porter, however, is one of my favorites. You can’t go wrong with Charlotte Rampling, she’s such a fucking ice queen.
Ditko or Toth?
Witzend or Weirdo?
Raw or EXIT?
Seven of Nine (Borg) or Seven of Nine (Post-op)?
Leather or latex?
The Scientists or The Birthday Party?
Crocodile Dundee— Discuss.
Have you seen it yet? I was shocked that you hadn’t. I figured that film was some sort of cornerstone to Australian identity.
It’s an odd movie. It’s hardly great, but it’s not exactly bad either. What people forget is that it was such a huge hit in the 80s. It was certainly up there with Ghostbusters and Back to the Future, and all those other 80s films that have been re-animated into some sort of hollow simulacra.
It’s interesting what the nostalgia machine does and doesn’t recognize. When I was a teenager in the 90s, “80s movies” meant John Hughes and Ferris Bueller. Now it means something else, something that never really existed— this kind of fake Stranger Things alternate reality.
My friend Justin Isis says we are still stuck in the 80s. And he’s not even talking about low-hanging fruit like Ghostbusters. Even the worthwhile stuff, like cyberpunk and industrial music, seems to have created a holding pattern.
I’m guilty of this too. I’m completely stuck in this trap. So many of my favorite movies are from the 80s: Blade Runner, Videodrome, Blue Velvet…
The 80s showed us the future and we are still hypnotized by all the shiny surfaces.
I suppose I agree with Justin, somewhat; at this point, I’m of the mind that to participate in culture (as far as that term applies to most people reading this) is to more-or-less cast ourselves in the real-time acting out of a kind of revisionist history of one romanticized decade or another.
Perhaps that makes all of us a living anachronism, to some extent.
And no, I still haven’t seen Crocodile Dundee!
Yeah, there’s been so many advances in technology, but there hasn’t been much in the way of cultural development. But I’m not sure the type of cosplaying pseudo-subculture you speak of is truly “revisionist,” so much as it is ahistorical.
“Revisionism” suggests some sort of engagement with history, at least insomuch has having a desire to reframe or re-contextualize it.
What we are seeing is something else, something far more superficial and ephemeral.
I think some of these archly ironic niche “movements,” like vaporwave, make a fumbling stab at addressing these types of postmodern anxieties.
Ok, it’s probably about time I let you get back to your myriad professional pursuits, but before we wrap this up I’ve gotta ask about one of them in particular: Your years-in-the-making history of Cleveland’s punk underground, Ain’t it Fun… How is that progressing? I know you’re not ready to reveal all but I’d love to know how much time I have to save enough cash to get the thing shipped to Australia since I know it’s gonna be HEAVY.
I’ve got about 300 pages in the can and at least 100 more to go. It’ll be a big book for sure. The story focuses on Peter Laughner, who is best remembered as a founding member of Pere Ubu. I use Laughner and his life as a device to talk about the greater punk scene that surrounded him, but also the city’s history as a whole, from the mound-building natives up to the present day.
It’s been a mind-bogglingly complicated project!
Well – What are you waiting for? Stone Church Press is taking orders right now at www.stonechurchpress.com
You can pre-order Peppermint Werewolf (shipping mid-May) and while you’re at it, grab back-issues of classic Lange titles Romp, Trim and CA$H Grab – As well as works by Jake Kelly, Liz Valasco, Valerie Temple, and Gary Dumm.
Don’t forget to also tip the collection basket over at Patreon, too – Check out patreon.com/stonechurchpress and rejoice in the artistic hysteria.
- Aaron Lange – Instagram
- Aaron Lange – Facebook
- Aaron Lange – Entry at Lambiek: The Comic Encyclopedia
- Stone Church Press – Website
- Stone Church Press – Patreon
- Jake Kelly – Instagram
- Dan Heyer – Instagram
- Dan Heyer – Facebook
Header image shows Mr. Lange in the Cleveland Metroparks. Photo by Scot Rudge.