Ed Piskor has been having a good year. His hacker culture graphic novel telling the story of Kevin "Boingthump" Phenicle, Wizzywig, was nominated for an Eisner Award for the cartoonist's distinctive book design, and was recently translated into a handsome French-language edition from Dargaud. Piskor also became the second recipient of the Columbus Museum of Art and Thurber House 2013 Graphic Novelist Residency. On November 2, Fantagraphics will release the first print edition in a series collecting the artist's widely-read webcomic, Hip Hop Family Tree, which chronicles the history of Hip Hop's most influential artists. ComicsAlliance contributor Tom Scioli got in touch with the artist to discuss his work, his approach to creating comics and more. You can read the full interview, after the jump.
I think the intuition/thought process of buying cheap comics is interesting. There's a combination of randomness, curatorial sense and instinct at play. You end up with a group of comics that would ordinarily never be linked together, from different times, artists and publishers, but links and common themes are there and just need to be unearthed. You end up with a vantage point on the artform you would never get otherwise. No scholar would ever link these comics, but the link is there. This is how most readers, especially the uncounted legion of casual fans who aren't part of the Wednesday crowd, encounter comics.I picked up this particular group of comics at a sidewalk sale for a dollar each. They're exactly the type you'd find at a place that doesn't specialize in comics, in this case The Record Exchange. None are rare or valuable. None are celebrated classics of the form. They're probably comics you've seen a many times and thought nothing of, but each tells its own story.They are Green Lantern Corps #223 and #224, Super Soldier #1, The New Teen Titans #9, and Green Lantern1,000,000.
When a comics creator quietly disappears from the scene, I assume they've moved on to bigger and better things. Comics is a weird, frustrating business maybe most especially for the creative people at the top of the field. I assume an artist of Barry Windsor-Smith's caliber has been working quietly on well-paying, non-disclosure agreement art jobs in film, video games, high end commissions, or alternate reality viral adgames.
I'm a comics fan and when one of my favorite creators moves on to more lucrative work and stops making comics, I don't like it for my own selfish reasons. I've been waiting a decade for that next Barry Windsor-Smith comic.
It's a hit. Shockingly enough, zombie fans slinked and dragged their way to Brad Pitt's new movie World War Z this past weekend. I just got done writing about Masters of the Universe villain Hordak and his Evil Horde. Now I'm writing about Jack Kirby's The Horde, which judging by the WWZ trailer, looked very similar to his unfinished apocalyptic disaster novel.
Keith Giffen has had a long career, almost 40 years in the comics business. He's gone through several creative iterations, but one mode that was there at the beginning and keeps coming back is his all-out Jack Kirby drawing style. As a penciller, he's DC's equivalent to Marvel's John Romita Jr. Both are bold Kirbyesque stylists at companies that favor photoreference, whose work evokes a generation prior to their own. I wish DC utilized Giffen as well as Marvel utilizes Romita. Perhaps that's because DC values Giffen the writer more than Giffen the artist.
It's kind of weird when your generation takes over. I just saw a movie made by a guy who obviously grew up with all the same stuff I did. It's as if the movie was made based on my own notes on what I'd like to see in a Superman movie, but getting exactly what you ask for isn't the same as getting what you want.