Review: Seven Miles a Second

Artist(s): David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger.

Run. Run from your life, from the guys who pay a twelve-year old kid to get sucked, run for your life. Run fast enough, and you’ll be free of all those people, run seven miles a second, and you’ll be free of gravity, whatever that might mean.
This is what David Wojnarowicz seems to be doing on the cover of Seven Miles a Second1, a powerful autobiographical graphic novel drawn by James Romberger, a then-newcomer to Vertigo who later worked on short stories for various anthologies from this publisher.

This volume tells the story of Wojnarowicz’s life, from his days on the streets as a kid, hustling and staying barely alive, to his adult self, an artist living with aids. Wojnarowicz, who died in 1992 aged 37, was an artist who left an important and varied body of work, including paintings and books – you can learn more about his work in Fever, a 1998 book.

A painting: Fuck you Faggot Fucker, 1984

Seven Miles a Second was completed after his death by Romberger, a friend of his. The texts are all written by Wojnarowicz, some of them having been taken from previous writings.
Wojnarowicz’s writings have an hypnotic power I’ve rarely seen. They combine very realistic descriptions of the world he lives in with vivid dream imagery. They are full of rage against the hypocrisy of a society which pretends there are no poor people, no people with aids, no fags or dykes.
Romberger’s illustrations are equally powerful, staging squalid events in the life of Wojnarowicz as well as his oeniric vituperations.

This is the kind of graphic novel William Burroughs and Jean Genet would not have disowned. It has the same disruptive energy, the same hate of society’s mores as their own work. But Seven Miles a Second does not leave us with the hope that things could be set right. Not for Wojnarowicz. Not for any of the countless people whose lives and deaths were - and still are - largely ignored .

64-page squarebound one-shot, Vertigo/DC Comics, 1996.<BR>ISBN: 1-56389-247-2.<BR><A href=”;affiliateID=10″ target=_blank><FONT size=1>order from</FONT><BR></A><A href=”;affiliateID=10″ target=_blank><IMG height=28 alt=”" src=”../divers/MI.gif” width=80 border=0></A>

  1. This 64-page squarebound one-shot, published by Vertigo/DC Comics in 1996, can be found at Amazon

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