James Romberger is an American artist known for his depictions of New York’s Lower East Side. Romberger’s pastel drawings of the ravaged landscape of the Lower East Side and its citizens are in many public and private collections, including the Metropolitan, Brooklyn, Newark, Delaware and Parrish Museums. His solo and collaborative exhibitions have appeared at the New York galleries Ground Zero, Grace Borgenicht, Gracie Mansion, The Proposition, Dorian Grey, James Fuentes, Howl Happening and the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
Romberger’s science fiction strip collaboration with Marguerite Van Cook, Ground Zero, was serialized through the 1980s and 1990s in various downtown literary magazines. His efforts for commercial comics publishers include his earliest work in Marvel Comics’ Epic Illustrated. DC Comics published Romberger’s work on Paradox Press’ Big Book series and his art for their Vertigo imprint includes the 3-issue Renegade storyline in Jamie Delano’s 12 part miniseries 2020 Visions, which continues to be reprinted by other publishers; the 2009 graphic novel The Bronx Kill with writer Peter Milligan; and the 2011 graphic novel Aaron and Ahmed with writer and Guggenheim fellow Jay Cantor.
Vertigo also first published the critically acclaimed Seven Miles A Second, Romberger and Van Cook’s 1996 graphic novel done in collaboration with artist, writer, and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz. In 2013 it was reissued as 7 Miles a Second in a remastered, expanded edition by Fantagraphics Books in the US and in France by Editions çà et là; it is currently published in paperback by Romberger and Van Cook’s own imprint, Ground Zero Books.
In 2014, Fantagraphics released Romberger and Van Cook’s The Late Child and Other Animals, a multigenerational graphic memoir about Van Cook and her mother; it was simultaneously released in French as L’Enfant inattendue by Editions çà et là. In 2012, Post York, a multimedia collaboration with his son Crosby was published by Uncivilized Books and nominated for an Eisner Award for best single issue; in 2021, Berger Books/Dark Horse published an expanded graphic novel version, which was translated into Spanish by Planeta in 2023.