Review by Frank Plowright
Spoilers in review
James Romberger introduces a post-apocalyptic world very effectively without words over the opening pages of Post York. Just the pictures of New York where only the tops of skyscrapers emerge above flood waters effectively tells a story. Different skills are needed to survive in this new world, among them scavenging, controlling a boat and scuba-diving, all mastered by Crosby to ensure his continued existence.
Crosby is a loner, but a few others survive, theirs a more co-operative form of existence, leading to the clash of two worlds over the opening chapter. That sequence stands well alone, supplying visual imagination and precision over multiple small black and white panels, although the sample page shows the panel placement is eccentric, with no obvious reason for large areas of white between them. On some pages it’s to lead the eye, but on many seems to lack purpose. What’s certain is that’s it’s not down to an idle artist, as Romberger keeps the art simple, but the panels are packed with detail.
There’s a big surprise after the opening sequence as Romberger rewinds to the start and extrapolates a different path, and then another. It’s the introspective final story that’s the most memorable, a strange, almost hallucinogenic apocalyptic celebration, both cruel and logical for the end of times.
Just how much consideration informs Post York is revealed after the story, when Romberger discusses the involvement of his son and the response from climate change think tank Unbuilt Labs. It should make frightening reading for anyone with young children who’ll live to see the world as extrapolated, particularly the tidal changes predicted for New York in the next fifty years. They also debunk many myths of post-apocalyptic fiction survival techniques with online sources provided.
While on the face of it simple stories, like the waters flooding the city, Post York has hidden depths and ought to spark much thought, Of course, you could just admire the art and party like it’s 1979.