James Romberger is an American artist and cartoonist 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 Museum of Art and Brooklyn Museum in New York City. His solo and collaborative exhibitions have appeared at Ground Zero Gallery, the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, Gracie Mansion Gallery, The Proposition, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Dorian Grey Gallery and Howl Happening.
Romberger has long contributed work to the political comics collective title World War 3 Illustrated. Ground Zero, his science fiction strip collaboration with Marguerite Van Cook was serialized through the 1980s and 1990s in various downtown literary magazines.
His efforts for commercial comics publishers include his earliest work for 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 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; the 3-issue Renegade storyline in Jamie Delano’s 12 part miniseries 2020 Visions; 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. He has worked for Image Comics’ NYC Mech and for NBM/Papercutz’s revamp of Tales From the Crypt. 7 Miles a Second was reissued in a remastered, expanded edition in 2013 by Fantagraphics Books in the US and in France by Editions çà et là. In 2014, Fantagraphics released Romberger and Van Cook’s The Late Child and Other Animals, a multigenerational auto/biography of Van Cook and her mother; it was simultaneously released in French by Editions çà et là as L’Enfant inattendue. 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; he is currently working on the second issue.
Romberger also interviewed artist/authors for Publishers Weekly and he wrote critically for the pop culture sites Hooded Utilitarian and The Beat. Currently he writes for Study Group Magazine and the website of The Comics Journal at tcj.com.