Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1

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NUMBER OF PAGES

112

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

December 2013

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“This is the comic I've been waiting 40 years to read.” – Harry Allen (Public Enemy Media Assassin)

One of
The Washington Post's Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2013

The lore of the early days of hip hop has become the stuff of myth, so what better way to document this fascinating, epic true story than in another great American mythological medium — the comic book?

From exciting young talent and self-proclaimed hip hop nerd Ed Piskor, acclaimed for his hacker graphic novel
Wizzywig, comes this explosively entertaining, encyclopedic history of the formative years of the music genre that changed global culture. Originally serialized on the hugely popular website Boing Boing, Hip Hop Family Tree is now collected in a single volume cleverly presented and packaged in a style mimicking the Marvel comics of the same era.

Piskor’s exuberant yet controlled cartooning takes you from the parks and rec rooms of the South Bronx to the night clubs, recording studios, and radio stations where the scene started to boom, capturing the flavour of late-1970s New York City in panels bursting with obsessively authentic detail.

With a painstaking, vigorous and engaging Ken Burns-meets-Stan Lee approach, the battles and rivalries, the technical innovations, the triumphs and failures are all thoroughly researched and lovingly depicted. Piskor captures the vivid personalities and magnetic performances of old-school pioneers and early stars like DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the Funky 4 + 1, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, The Sugarhill Gang, and three kids who would later become RUN-DMC, plus the charismatic players behind the scenes like Russell Simmons, Sylvia Robinson and then-punker Rick Rubin. Piskor also traces graffiti master Fab 5 Freddy's rise in the art world, and Debbie Harry, Keith Haring, the Clash, and other luminaries make cameos as the music and culture begin to penetrate downtown Manhattan and the mainstream at large.

Like the acclaimed hip hop documentaries
Style Wars and Scratch, Hip Hop Family Tree is an exciting and essential cultural chronicle and a must for hip hop fans, pop-culture addicts, and anyone who wants to know how it went down back in the day.

• 2013 Diamond Gem Award Nominee – Indie Graphic Novel of the Year

• Ranked #3 (tie) on the
Publishers Weekly Comics World 2013 Critics' Poll

• One of
ComicsAlliance’s Best Comic Books of 2013

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REVIEWS

Comic Book Resources

•Comics website

“… Man, did I like this comic … Piskor seems to know intuitively how to relate the best, most revealing and juiciest anecdotes without bogging the reader down in minutiae. I’ve enjoyed Piskor’s work in the past … but he’s never seemed quite as confident a storyteller as he does here.” – Chris Mautner

Page 45

•Comic and graphic novel shop

“The ability of comics to transport you to a time and place in a manner that prose works just cannot match is demonstrated here as Ed perfectly captures the nature of street life and the crazy characters at that time.”

Publishers Weekly

•Publishing trade magazine

“The strip’s visual tone bears a borderline underground aesthetic that perfectly suits the material—brown-edged paper and antique flat color—with a semi-cartoony feel, reminiscent of the graffiti that helped define the graphic aspect of the movement. It’s a massive undertaking, but Piskor succeeds mightily in chronicling hip-hop’s formative years with riveting detail.”