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.
Comics
Logical, Believable Ducks

Logical, Believable Ducks

With the December publication of Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes, Fantagraphics will bring the classic comics stories of cartoonist Carl Barks (1901-2000) to bookstores in a comprehensive collection of handsome, durable hardcovers. This first volume is actually the seventh in the series’ complete timeline. The publisher elected to debut the series with stories that...
Frank Santoro’s Timeless Lovers, Lines and Ashes

Frank Santoro’s Timeless Lovers, Lines and Ashes

This month sees the release of Pompeii, Frank Santoro’s historical graphic novel, published by PictureBox. I first noticed Santoro as a columnist at the innovative but now-defunct Comics Comics website. We initially began a correspondence based on his perceptive comments about color in comics, a crucial but probably least understood aspect of the medium. When...
Control Freak: Michael DeForge

Control Freak: Michael DeForge

Michael DeForge is one of the most striking and popular talents in alternative comics, as evidenced by his two Eisner nominations this year: for Best Single Issue (or One Shot) for Lose #4 and Best Digital Comic for Ant Comic. This month, publisher Annie Koyama’s innovative imprint Koyama Press is releasing the first trade paperback...
The Deceptions of Argo

The Deceptions of Argo

For the 2013 Best Picture Oscar-winner Argo, Jack Kirby’s Lord of Light artwork was omitted and his crucial role in the CIA’s rescue plot was downplayed and distorted, but that is only a part of the problem with the film. …History cannot be swept clean like a blackboard, clean so that “we” might inscribe our...
Video of James Romberger talking with Rand Hoppe at Prototype Alpha: the Jack Kirby Pop Up Museum

Video of James Romberger talking with Rand Hoppe at Prototype Alpha: the Jack Kirby Pop Up Museum

Dash Shaw: Pretty Artsy Stuff

Dash Shaw: Pretty Artsy Stuff

New School by Dash Shaw (Fantagraphics Books, $39.99) I find Dash Shaw’s work to be strangely invigorating. I admit I had some reservations when I first saw the daunting heft of his Bottomless Belly Button, with its absurdly extended passage of a man running and profusely sweating, drawn in a style so crunchy that it...
Paul Kirchner's Apocalyptic Sensibility

Paul Kirchner’s Apocalyptic Sensibility

First published on The Comics Journal: Paul Kirchner began his career at Neal Adams’ Continuity Associates in 1973 and he later served a tenure as an assistant to legendary cartoonist Wallace Wood. His own surreal, meticulously drawn comics were mostly seen throughout the seventies and eighties in slick magazines such as High Times, Heavy Metal...
Genius, Clarified

Genius, Clarified

Greg Sadowski and Fantagraphics’ Setting the Standard is perhaps the best book on Alex Toth that has been published thus far, because it represents the complete body of Toth’s 1950s work for Standard Comics, reproduced as closely as possible to its original printed color form (1). Toth did his art with the intent that it...
Neal Adams: Ultraviolence

Neal Adams: Ultraviolence

  In the seventies, Neal Adams’ realism, comprehensive draftsmanship, hyperkinetic storytelling and page design, sophisticated coloring and in addition his efforts on behalf of creators’ rights marked him as a potent force in American comics. He seemed poised to do something substantial in comics, something that would pull all of his skills together in a...
Illustrated Wallace Stevens: Madame La Fleurie

Illustrated Wallace Stevens: Madame La Fleurie

I recently devoured two of the excellent collections of Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates assembled by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell for IDW. It seems appropriate to apply my feelings about Caniff’s narratives to a Wallace Stevens poem. The piece shows the difference between illustration and interpretive cartooning. Stevens’ work roils with imagery, but...
Genius, Disempowered

Genius, Disempowered

IDW’s Genius, Isolated is a gorgeous, impressively scaled hardcover with many crisp reproductions from original comic pages. The first of a series of three volumes that are being hailed as the definitive statement on the art of Alexander Toth, it continues the high production standards set by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell’s previous excellent, essential...
Gene Colan: The Hidden Eye

Gene Colan: The Hidden Eye

In 2008, Steve Cohen asked me to contribute to a magazine to honor Gene Colan, to be entitled Genezine. I took the opportunity to arrange with Gene and his late wife Adrienne to tape an interview. We met at a pizza joint in midtown Manhattan while they waited for an appointment Gene had at a...