April 18, 2012

The Family Tree

Wherever you grew up in the world and whichever era you grew up in, it’s likely that alongside listening to hip hop, you probably also read a comic or two (apologies to our female readers who may not have connected with comics like most of us boys do).  Our love of comics continues into adulthood as we’re the generation that’s now watching the Iron Man, X Men and Batman movies etc.

But when was the last time you actually picked up a traditional comic? For me, it was about 6 months ago when I was rooting around in my loft. I opened a box which I thought contained an item I was looking for, but instead it had some old comics in it. This was a pleasant surprise and I was momentarily distracted as I pulled a couple of editions out and thumbed through them, reminiscing of old times.
I soon remembered that I was in my loft for a purpose and within a few minutes the comics were returned to deep storage and I was back searching for what I’d originally gone up there for.
This kind of summarises my love of comics. It was once there but it has been filed, almost indefinitely, to make space for other things. Until now…..

If there was going to be something that might reignite my passion for comics, it would have to be this, a hip hop comic that chronicles the foundations of hip hop and links together the people, the places and events. Ed Piskor has magnificently combined his knowledge of the old school with his love of comics and has come up with this brilliant series of comic books.
Each edition tells a brief but significant story about a one of the pioneers and then shows us how and where they fit into hip hop’s early family tree. It’s fascinating stuff, and I guarantee that you’ll learn something new from reading them.

They are presented to us in digital form, but Ed has perfectly recreated the old newsprint effect of original paper comics and used the traditional storyboard style layout complete with speech balloons etc, so it feels like you're reading a paper comic. The artwork and dialogue is impeccable, with each artist's trademarks being exploited positively to identify them.
Although the stories are relatively short, one drawing is often enough to tell several paragraphs worth of narrative, it really is top notch stuff.

There are already a dozen or more episodes for you to get started on, and just like a paper comic, a new edition is available each week.   Just click on the link below to get started.
I’ve got to give major props (as well as a Kappow and a Thwack), to Ed Piskor for executing such an innovative idea to comic book perfection. I really hope you appreciate his work as much as I do.


Mike Check

No comments:

Post a Comment