"Being in an Ed Piskor comic is cool enough to freeze hot water." – Fab Five Freddy
"This is the comic of all time." – Biz Markie
"This is the comic I've been waiting 40 years to read." – Harry Allen (Public Enemy Media Assassin)
"If ever a chapter of modern American history were ripe for the Classics Illustrated comic book treatment, it is hip-hop's first decade. Ed Piskor, a talented writer and artist who has long savored the connections between comic books and hip-hop, has now written that chapter in the seductive and entertaining form of Hip Hop Family Tree. He weaves dozens and dozens of individual stories into an unprecedented book-length narrative encapsulating the out-sized drive, creativity, humor and violence that defined hip-hop culture from its gestation in New York's outer boroughs in the early Seventies to its thrilling first steps onto the world stage via records and tv in the early Eighties. ... It's a great great story and Piskor tells it immaculately well." – Bill Adler, co-author, Def Jam: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label
"They say the story of Jesus is the greatest ever told, but JC didn’t steal a DJ mixer during the New York Blackout of '77 or bomb a subway car with Fab 5 Freddy. With his 'Hip Hop Family Tree,' comics artist Ed Piskor delves into the history of hip-hop and gets straight-up biblical, penning a 'who-begat-whom' with a b-boy twist." – Jonathan Zwickel, MTV.com
Will Elder: "Robert Crumb said that he's gotten everything he needed from me. That son of a gun."
William Gaines: "I've never believed in any kind of censorship against anything in any way for anybody nohow."
Al Feldstein: "It was an industry of a few innovators and a lot of followers."
Johnny Craig: "The Code insisted that we put in the last sentence, about how 'he knew in his heart she could not escape, for he wouldn't rest until she was punished.' And that made me angry at the time…"
Frank Frazetta: "I didn't realize you could actually paint for a living and get paid for it, that kind of thing. I just did it for fun. But you did comics to make a buck, see?"
Joe Kubert: "I did the best I could … and for whatever the reason, it just wasn't up to Harvey [Kurtzman]'s expectations, and I just couldn't see myself twisting myself any more than I already had."
Harvey Kurtzman: "I have many friends and acquaintances who literally were on something when they worked and you can see it in their work, which is not necessarily meant as a compliment."
George Evans: "This was the joy of working for Al [Feldstein]. When you brought in the finished art, he would say, 'Oh geez, I never imagined a picture like that."
Al Jaffee: "Haiti had one subscriber. The whole country. One subscriber. And he did not renew. And they had his address because it was mailed to him. So Bill got the whole Mad crew to go down to his house and ask him why he didn't renew."
"John Severin: "I walked down the line there, went up to Stan Lee, pulled out the gun and stuck it at him and I said, 'Stan. I came in for a raise.'"
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 flavor 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.
The Comics Journal Library series is the most comprehensive series of lavishly illustrated interviews conducted with cartoonists ever published. To celebrate our republication of the legendary EC line, we proudly present the first of a two-volume set of interviews with the artists and writers (and publisher!) who made EC great. Included in the first volume: career-spanning conversations with EC legends Will Elder, John Severin, Harvey Kurtzman, and Al Feldstein, as well as short interviews with EC short-timers Frank Frazetta and Joe Kubert. Also: EC Publisher William Gaines on his infamous Senate subcommittee testimony, and probing conversations between Silver Age cartoonist Gil Kane and Harvey Kurtzman, as well as contemporary alternative cartoonist Sam Henderson and MAD great Al Jaffee.
Part of what made EC the best publisher in the history of mainstream comics was some of the most beautiful drawing ever published in comic books, and every interview is profusely illustrated by pertinent examples of the work under discussion. The EC artists were renowned for their attention to detail, and the reproduction here takes full advantage of the oversized art book format.
So many new readers of all ages discover Stan Sakai's wonderful, multiple-award-winning, now-classic Usagi Yojimbo as the years go on that we keep having to go back to press — twelve times on Book 1: The Ronin now! Read the rabbit ronin's first adventures in this compact softcover, sporting the new trade dress designed by Jacob Covey a few years back. Fresh copies in stock now and in stores soon!
Virgil Partch burst onto the scene in the nation’s magazines with his zany, sometimes surreal, but always hilarious cartoons, catapulting his career virtually overnight. Known to millions by his signature, “Vip,” this comedic genius was unlike anything the world had seen before. His unique brand of humor and trendsetting approach to cartooning ushered in a new era of the gag cartoon and pioneered a standard of madcap humor across the spectrum of comedy that was reflected in the cutting-edge sensibilities of comedians like Ernie Kovacs, Sid Caesar, and Jonathan Winters, and the trailblazing pages of Mad magazine. Inspiring a new breed of cartoonists, Vip became the most sought-after cartoonist of his generation, as well as one of the most prolific and influential cartoonists of his era. He not only transfigured the pages of an incredible array of the nation’s magazines, he also wrote jokes for other cartoonists; illustrated books, album covers, and advertisements; and his boozy drawings adorned merchandise such as cocktail glasses, beer cans, and napkins. Vip: The Mad World of Virgil Partch is the only comprehensive collection celebrating Partch’s rollicking life and career. His brilliant artwork and writings are reprinted from original art, primary-source publications, and family archives. Finally, Vip’s place in the world of cartooning and humor is distilled in this “lush” appreciation.
Gilbert Hernandez continues his metafictional realization of the film career of his troubled heroine Rosalba "Fritz" Martinez, who abandoned her psychotherapy practice to become queen of the Z-grade exploitation movies. Now she's starring in the role she was literally born to play, in a dramatization of her own mother's life! The "true" story of Maria M. was told in Hernandez's classic Poison River, collected from the pages of Love and Rockets; this original graphic novel embodies the first part of the film version. Maria's life consorting with the underworld makes for a sordid tale of sex, drugs, violence, and power that fits right in with Fritz's other film credits.
Praise for other books in the "Fritz B-Movie" series:
"I picture Gilbert Hernandez approaching his drawing board these days like Lawrence of Arabia approaching a Turkish convoy: 'NO PRISONERS! NO PRISONERS!'" – Sean T. Collins, Robot 6
"Gilbert Hernandez is one of the great craftsmen of modern comics... Hernandez’s new Fritz book, Love from the Shadows, is as bracing as a slug of bottom-shelf rotgut...." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
"If alternative comics can be equated to independent film, then Hernandez has become the medium's David Lynch or Guy Maddin, rolling his personal obsessions and freewheeling abstractions into stories that present as pulp, then take some very weird turns." – The A.V. Club
"The rich emotions and passionate characters of [Gilbert] Hernandez are translated to a welcome new graphic novel, which fills B-movie situations with real drama... Hernandez takes his readers on a harrowing journey.... It's heavy stuff, but highly recommended." – Publishers Weekly
A woman comes to the U.S. from Latin America to escape her shady past, only to fall into a new shady life. After a go at the adult entertainment business, Maria marries a drug lord and her dangerous past is nothing compared to her new life in America. The drug lord's son, Gorgo, secretly falls in love with her and he watches over her like a guardian angel. Danger and corruption (and of course sex) drive the first half of this love story.
Long-time Love and Rockets readers will find the storyline familiar... and that’s because, in an Adaptation-style meta twist, Maria M. is actually the B-movie film adaptation of the life story of Luba's mother Maria, as previously seen in its "real" version in the classic graphic novel Poison River (available in the Beyond Palomar collection) — starring Maria's own daughter playing her own mother.
Confused? Don't be! Maria M. works perfectly on its own terms as the kind of violent, sexy pulp tale that Gilbert Hernandez has proven so adept at these past several years, and the "source material" for the story just provides an extra layer of delight for the cognoscenti.
2012 Eisner Award Winner: Best Archival Collection/Project – Strips
2012 Harvey Award Nominee: Best Domestic Reprint Project
"Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse... by Floyd Gottfredson will be warmly received by comics aficionados but should also intrigue Disney animation buffs who aren’t necessarily plugged into comic strip history… I have a feeling that this book, crafted with such obvious care, will earn Gottfredson a new legion of admirers." – Leonard Maltin
"Gottfredson drew Mickey with a nosy snout and the bright eyes of an adrenalin junkie. The mouse’s diminutive size inspired Gottfredson to have the character attempt daredevil races, leaping stunts, and develop a flurry-fisted fighting style.... This beautiful volume gives the Great Rodent his humanity." – Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
"From the beautifully reproduced strips to the densely packed ancillary features, this must be the book that editors David Gerstein and Fantagraphics’ co-founder Gary Groth wanted for years for their own libraries. Their enthusiasm shows in the wonderfully designed package." – Rich Clabaugh, Christian Science Monitor
"Gottfredson's strips are jammed with incident and detail, energized with a loopy energy that matches the spunky determination of Mickey himself.... The quite visible specter of the Depression and occasional dark humor, as when Mickey tries multiple times to kill himself and fails comically, only add to the sense of heroic grit." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)