James Spooner is a graphic novelist, tattoo artist, illustrator, and filmmaker. He directed the seminal documentary AFRO-PUNK which premiered at national and international film festivals, including Toronto International and The American Black Film Festival. James also co-founded the Afro-Punk Festival, which currently boasts audiences in the hundreds of thousands around the world. His debut graphic novel, The High Desert was named best of 2022 by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and The New York Public Library. His book  is available now. 

Spooner’s work has been recounted in various publications, including NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Vice, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, MTV, NBC News and Variety, and he was a recipient of the ReNew Media Rockefeller Grant. He is an ongoing guest curator for the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and previously programmed for the Brooklyn Academy of Music.


Spooner is also a contributor to RazorCake  Magazine, and he continues to screen AFRO-PUNK at colleges around the country, giving talks on punk and Black identity. He is currently co-editing an anthology from Soft Skull Press entitled, Black Punk Now.