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Seven Miles a Second
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Seven Miles a Second

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  230 ratings  ·  36 reviews
This is the gripping autobiography of David Wojnarowicz, a controversial, world renowned artist and writer who died of AIDS-related causes in 1992. This unflinching story chronicles Wojnarowicz's childhood of prostitution in New York City, his homelessness and drug addiction, and the devastating illness that made him a pariah.
Paperback, 64 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by DC Comics
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David Schaafsma
"Escape velocity is the speed that an object needs to be traveling to break free of a planet or moon's gravity well and leave it without further propulsion. For example, a spacecraft leaving the surface of Earth needs to be going 7 miles per second, or nearly 25,000 miles per hour to leave without falling back to the surface or falling into orbit." www.qrk.northwestern. edu

This text, which I am told is a cult classic, was released in 1996, four years after Wojnarowicz's AIDS-related death, and i
One of the blurbs described this book as a "primal scream." Seems about right. It doesn't feel to me like it qualifies as a graphic "novel" only because it is so brief and loosely structured. The narrative seems to hang on 3 scenes or moments from Wojnarowicz's life - one of hustling as a youth, another living hand-to-mouth on the street, and then as a young adult living in an AIDS-induced fever dream. The art is extremely visceral and unnerving. Sections of it reminded me of Frank Miller's grit ...more
This had been on my to-read shelf for awhile and was on the Denver Public Library's LGBTQ comics list. After a few pages, I wished it had come with a trigger warning (due to graphic depictions of the author's experiences as an underage prostitute, including a violent assault). By the time I figured out who the author was, that he's already well-known and died of AIDS-related causes in '92, the text and accompanying images had taken on a much more purposeful and brilliantly painful scope in my mi ...more
I don't have very many shelves that fit this book, so that goes to show it's not my normal jam. It's a brief novel - it took me an hour to read, if that - about David Wojnarowicz, dying of AIDS. It was a bit like watching someone's dream, disjointed and disturbing. Like dreams, each page seemed to melt into the ones before and there was little of substance to hold onto. I can see this being very emotional for anyone who was alive in the 80s. I kept thinking of something I read once, couldn't rem ...more
I always feel guilty criticizing work as personal as Wojnarowicz's. Especially since his voice, while personal, has come to represent so many without voices.


The best things here, in my opinion, are the art and the watercolors, which to my eye are gorgeous.
Tara Jay
Wojnarowicz is just one of my favorite writers period, so the mediocre rating isn't because of the text -- it's because I'm not sure if repackaging and decontextualizing his work in this way is necessary. Found it more distracting than anything.
Scott Robins
Raw, powerful and such an important book. Someone should save this book from DC Comics and reprint it.
Josephus FromPlacitas
Beautifully executed, bewildering in narrative. More impressionistic than plot-driven. Very hallucinatory, which made it hard to follow some of the longer passages of rambling text. The art was great, with a really weird, unsettling color palette and a creepy way of describing the human form in all its states of decay, despair, and deterioration. Gave me a bizarrely nostalgic feeling for a time (that I never really knew) when New York was hideous and truly dangerous, a place where youth went to ...more
Alex Onôv
¿Cómo he podido llegar hasta hoy sin leer esta obra maestra? Para los que hemos crecido en los 80 y 90, esta maravilla literaria y del cómic es una referencia indispensable. Todo (el texto brutal, el crudo dibujo, el color expresionista) se conjura para crear una obra visceral e intensa que te jode el día pero al mismo tiempo te desvela una gran verdad mientras satisface tus más elevadas papilas gustativas.
Devastating, cruel, and vital. You feel a visceral reaction -- I mean literally visceral, an ache in your guts -- as you turn from one horror-drenched page to the next. Made me want to rush out and get Wojnarowicz's actual diaries so I could mainline more of that seething rage.

Minus one star for the unfortunate package. First off, comics pricing is out of control these days -- $20 for a 50 page mediocrely drawn book?? Yes, sadly, the artwork (not by Wojnarowicz but by his gallerist James Romber
Ooft. This book is like a series of slaps and sucker-punches, followed by a semi-conscious, blood-spattered drag down a back alley.

Based on the diaries of multi-disciplinary street artist David Wojnarowicz, the text forms a surrealist autobiography, describing his movement from teenage street hussling in early-80s NYC, through homeless art-scene squalor, and eventual decline caused by HIV/AIDS, perfectly accompanied by James Romberger's masterful and heavily-symbolic art.

Sounds like a head-fuc
Emilia P
AIDS memoir/prose poem/hallucination dream crossed with Van Cook and Romberger's illustration flights of dark fancy. Pretty good but not quite smooth and flowing. But you know, not everything about everything can be perfect, and perhaps that wasn't the point. I like their collaborative spirit tremendously and will seek out more by these guys.
Dean Simons
There is a brutal honesty to this work. There is some inconsistency in this work. But when I finish its whole 60 plus pages all I am left with is numb sadness and awe at what it achieved in a short span, and left thinking about a life I doubt I could ever fully understand or know.
A fever dream sequence of memory, sex, alienation and rage, beautifully illustrated, and not quite long enough to satisfy but an intriguing appetizer for a full investigation of Wojnarowicz. Somehow I didn't pick up on this artist along the way, and now my curiosity is full-on piqued.
Kyle Aisteach
Wojnarowicz's first-person narrative is a raw and uncensored look at the pain of living with and dying from AIDS in the early 90s. Unfortunately, it's clear that it wasn't written as a graphic novel, and the adaptation is clunky and wordy, and lettered in a manner that is not conducive to long blocks of text. I also question the choice of the soft, watercolor style for the illustrations considering how bold Wojnarowicz's work (at least the work I'm familiar with) was. All that said, I appreciate ...more
Adam Peterson
I am rendered speechless. Such a short, yet vividly illustrated look into the world of a dying man; a world I can take a glimpse at because of this book. Do yourself a favor and give this title the time of day.
G Howard
Gripping. Jarring. Powerful, personal account of Wojnarowicz's life that addresses hustling, homelessness, and experiencing the AIDS epidemic in the early 90s.
A harrowing, semi-autobiographical comic. Beautiful and touching (the story and the visuals).
B+ Graphic novel, the story of Wojnarowicz's life. Sad, powerful, wow.
A graphic (no pun intended) reminder and powerful description of how bad the AIDS crisis was in the 80s and 90s.
Graham Fox
Hard to rate. Disturbing, graphic, sexual, and sad.
One of the most personal, tragic novels I have ever read.
Stoamach-churningly honest.
Mesmerizing, but sad as hell.
Hauntingly dark, poetic and sad.
Visceral and raw. Not easy subject matter to tackle.

This biography covers child prostitution, street life, dieing of AIDS, and the author's anger toward the cold/apathetic culture which disregards him.

One thought from the book struck me hard, and also sums it up if it can be summed up:

"It's the moment of recognition of an entire civilization driving forward at a faster and faster rate of speed and we are asleep at the wheel and the impact is not so far ahead."
Shannon Appelcline
I was interested in the topic of this book, and the third of the three stories is fairly moving in that regard.

However overall the book was too "Underground" for me. The text tries too hard to be poetic, there's too much hallucination, and the art is too ugly. If I liked this stye of Underground, I might be thrill, but ... not so much.
Great stuff from Uncle Woj. This is the last thing he did before he died. Some of his most brilliant and heartbreaking work. Righteous anger that hits in all the right places, yet warm in his empathy with the dispossessed and oppressed. Not easy to find but worth hunting down.
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David Wojnarowicz was a gay painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, and activist who was prominent in the New York City art world of the 1980s.

He was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, and later lived with his mother in New York City, where he attended the High School of Performing Arts for a brief period. From 1970 until 1973, after dropping out of school, he for a time lived on
More about David Wojnarowicz...
Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration Memories That Smell Like Gasoline The Waterfront Journals In the Shadow of the American Dream: The Diaries of David Wojnarowicz Brush Fires in the Social Landscape

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