Synopses & Reviews
is the story of legendary artist David Wojnarowicz, written during the last years before his AIDS-related death in 1992, and drawn by James Romberger with colors by Marguerite Van Cook. The graphic novel depicts Wojnarowicz's childhood of prostitution and drugs on the streets of Manhattan, through his adulthood living with AIDS, and his anger at the indifference of government and health agencies. Originally published as a comic book in 1996 by DC's Vertigo Comics, an imprint best-known for horror and fantasy material such as , was an instant critical success, but struggled to find an audience amongst the typical Vertigo readership. It has become a cult classic amongst fans of literary and art comics, just as Wojnarowicz's influence and reputation have widened in the larger art world. Romberger and Van Cook's visuals give stunning life to Wojnarowicz's words, blending the gritty naturalism of Lower East Side street life with a hallucinatory, psychedelic imagination that takes perfect advantage of the comics medium. This new edition finally presents the artwork as it was intended: oversized, and with Van Cook's elegant watercolors restored. It also includes several new pages created for this edition.
"Originally published in 1996, Wojnarowicz's impressionistic memoir is the story of his hustling on the streets of New York in the early 1970s and then, 20 years later, being stricken with AIDS in the face of a society reacting with a mixture of horror and indifference. The author's prose is poetic, arriving with a light touch while delivering a heavy, dark, and understandably angry message. Part of what makes the book unusual is that it does not go out of its way to be uplifting. It is, for once, not about silver linings. It's about having lived a very hard life, paying a very heavy price for it, and then being hated and reviled for it. Wojnarowicz's brutal hopelessness has a jarring clarity; there's no denying that his sometimes hallucinatory depiction of an uncomfortable reality is all the more convincing for his refusal to pull punches. Wojnarowicz was a successful artist, but a life bookended by poverty and AIDS in a nation often indifferent to both is hardly a recipe for happiness. Romberger and Van Cook's art is hyperactive, with splattery color that suggests the out-of-body acid-trip world of contradictory values and constantly shifting danger that Wojnarowicz lived in." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A cult classic... both a celebration of the unlimited potential of the comic book form, and a perfect melding of inspiring, iconoclastic imaginations." Jim Jarmusch
"A revelatory work of art... Romberger renders Wojnarowicz's moments of delirium and violent frustration as well as interludes of tenderness and passionate attachment." Art in America
"The rough and seedy style of Romberger's illustrations provides a perfect foil for Wojnarowicz's text. veers between an almost unbearably gritty naturalism and the incendiary heat of surrealist hallucination." The New Yorker
"Revolutionary.... a runaway, over-the-top circus... An excursion into areas few, if any, comics creators have tread." Jim Steranko
" is punk as f**k, colored in the tones of every kind of acid, and filled with rage, against the indifference of people in general and the naked disgust those in power had for homosexuals dying of AIDS in the early 1990s, when to be diagnosed was to be given a death sentence. It is an immediate work, an attempt to communicate before death that did not win its race against time." Brian Nicholson
The cult classic graphic novel, the autobiographical tale of artist David Wojnarowicz's life as a hustler on the streets of NYC before he succumbed to AIDS, restored and reprinted by Fantagraphics.
“Revolutionary.... a runaway, over-the-top circus... An excursion into areas few, if any, comics creators have tread.” —Jim Steranko
“The rough and seedy style of Romberger’s illustrations provides a perfect foil for Wojnarowicz’s text. Seven Miles a Second veers between an almost unbearably gritty naturalism and the incendiary heat of surrealist hallucination.” —The New Yorker
“A revelatory work of art... Romberger renders Wojnarowicz’s moments of delirium and violent frustration as well as interludes of tenderness and passionate attachment.” —Art in America
“A cult classic... both a celebration of the unlimited potential of the comic book form, and a perfect melding of inspiring, iconoclastic imaginations.”—Jim Jarmusch
About the Author
James Romberger is a fine artist and cartoonist who lives in New York City with his son, Crosby, and his wife, Marguerite Van Cook.Marguerite Van Cook was born in England and has several degrees. She's been a punk performer, ran the Ground Zero Gallery, directed a film and has written and colored comics for DC. She lives in New York City with her son, Crosby, and her husband and collaborator, James Romberger.