7 Miles a Second 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. This 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 The Sandman, 7 Miles a Second 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 will finally present 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.
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
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