American fine artist and cartoonist James Romberger was a longtime contributor to alternative comic magazines like World War 3 Illustrated. One of his first creations was the science fiction strip 'Ground Zero', that he made with his wife Marguerite Van Cook for a couple of local literary magazines during the 1980s and 1990s. Romberger and Van Cook opened and ran Ground Zero Gallery NY in the East Village Art scene from 1983 to 1986. The pair was part of a collaborative group around Carlo McCormick, that painted installations in New York and in Virginia.
The group also included the late artist, writer and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992), with whom they created their 1996 graphic novel based on Wojnarowicz's autobiography, 'Seven Miles a Second'. It was published by DC/Vertigo, for which Romberger also worked with writer Peter Milligan on 'The Bronx Kill', contributed to Jamie Delano's '2020 Visions' and created the 2011 graphic novel 'Aaron and Ahmed' with Jay Cantor. Romberger has also contributed work to Marvel's Epic Illustrated, NYC Mech (Image Comics), the 'Big Book' series (Paradox Press) and 'Tales from the Crypt' (Papercutz).
Romberger's ecological comic 'Post York' was published in 2012 by Uncivilized Books. It included a flexi-disc by his son Crosby and was nominated for an 2013 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue. Fantagraphics Books released Romberger and Van Cook's graphic novel 'The Late Child and Other Animals' in November 2014.
As a fine artist, Romberger is mainly known for his pastel drawings of New York City's Lower East Side. His solo and group exhibitions have appeared at Ground Zero Gallery NY, the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, Gracie Mansion, The Proposition and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Romberger is also a critic and writer for Publishers Weekly and the comics blog the Hooded Utilitarian.