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Seven Miles a Second

64-page squarebound one-shot, Vertigo/DC Comics, 1996.
ISBN: 1-56389-247-2.
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Category: aids, autobiography, homophobia.

Author(s): David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger.
Website: No website.
But on Queer Arts, you can find an analysis of Wojnarowicz's work.
You can also see him read here. There's a CD of his reading set to music, titled Istofomo.
The book on Wojnarowicz's art.

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 this 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 (see above right). 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 and 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 .

Fuck you Faggot Fucker, 1984. A painting by Wojnarowicz.
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