James Romberger Takes "Post York" One-Shot And Expands It Into a Graphic Novel

James Romberger is best known for graphic novels 7 Miles a Second with David Wojnarowicz and his wife Marguerite Van Cook, and Aaron and Ahmed, with Jay Cantor.

Post York by James Romberger was a 2013 Eisner Award nominee for Best Single Issue (or One-Shot), published from Uncivilized Press. It also span off into a slide show with a live musical performance of Post York by his son, Crosby, a recording of which was offered in the form of a flexi disc in the back seam of the book.

The main character of Post York is modelled on Crosby, the MC behind Hip Hop Howl of SXSW fame and a prolific designer for Swizz Beatz. Crosby provides the back cover collage as well as the song on the flexidisc, which features production by Kidde and also a special appearance by singer Jordan Lane.

The story is set in New York City after the polar ice caps melt. A young man navigates the flooded city, looking for something, anything, anyone…to start again.

The comic book by James Romberger takes a postmodern turn as it uses improvisatory cinematic techniques to make the reader a focus group for a pair of alternative endings. The song by Crosby extends the story into another medium to add deeper emotional resonance.

It also played out as a live performance in 2012 at Desert Island and The Moon Union Pool in Brooklyn and Ben Katchor's New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium and Bob Sikoryak's Carousel in New York.

Well now it's back, and bigger. Karen Berger has picked up the book for Berger's Books imprint from Dark Horse Comics, expanded from its 40-page one-shot to graphic novel length in September 2020. You don't have to have 'Berger' in your name to be published by Berger Books. But it can't hurt.

The polar ice caps have melted, and New York City is flooded beyond recognition. Amidst the ruin, an independent loner along with his cat and only friend, navigates the submerged city as he tries to live another day. But everything changes when he encounters both a mysterious woman and a trapped blue whale. Will they be each other's salvation… or destruction?

Their paths intertwine surprisingly, daringly, dangerously with others from this makeshift community– from outsiders like himself to the depraved and ruthless elite; all struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy in a city drowned in its past.

Romberger told AIPT "Post York's hero is my son Crosby and the story is my apology to him for the mess my generation has left the planet in. The book is created in an experimental way; it is improvised directly onto the art boards without script or preliminary layouts. The alternative endings came about this way, as did certain narrative twists that grew from my conversations with Crosby, and from his rap song."

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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