Cartoonist James Romberger, creator, along with colorist Marguerite Van Cook, of 7 Miles a Second, the acclaimed comics memoir of the late artist David Wojnarowicz, paid a visit to the popup Jack Kirby Museum in November to speak about the “King of Comics.” In this video of the event held on the Lower East Side, Kirby Museum director Rand Hoppe interviews Romberger about the life and work of Jack Kirby, the “pre-eminent comic book creator of the 20th Century.”
Called Prototype: Alpha A Conversation with James Romberger, the event (as well as the series of pop-up stores) was made possible by miLES (Made on the Lower East Side) Storefront Transformer Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $33,000. The Kickstarter campaign funded a program that takes vacant Lower East Side storefronts and converts them into multi-use spaces that can host informative events focused around innovative small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Chosen along with seven other ventures, the pop-up Jack Kirby Museum held a series of three talks over a week in early November that included Romberger, comics expert Arlen Schumer and cartoonist Pete Friedrich, creator of the indie comics series Lower East Side Story.
Longtime creative figures on the Lower East Side, Romberger and Van Cook have been instrumental figures in alternatives comics and the Lower East Side gallery, art and music scene since the 1970s. Romberger is also the creator, along with his son Crosby, of Post York (Uncivilized Books) which was nominated for a 2013 Eisner Award. In early 2013 Fantagraphics published a newly revised edition of 7 Miles a Second, an acclaimed graphic memoir that maps out the life of David Wojnarowicz starting as child hustler in Times Square before he became a signature East Village artist and gay activist during the early years of the AIDS crisis.
Originally published by Vertigo in the late 1990s, the new edition of 7 Miles A Second restores the original cover design and coloring, as well as adding several new pages of artwork in an effort to release the work in the final form intended by Wojnarowicz, Romberger and Van Cook.