Ed Piskor is author of the Hip Hop Family Tree series. It started as a weekly comic strip on boingboing.net that chronicled the beginning of hip hop and then was picked up by Fantacraphic Books. Volumes I and II are out now and there is no endpoint on the series, Ed says that he will keep writing and drawing as long as they let him.
I was introduced to Family Tree by thumbing through shelves of graphic novels at Mad City Comics in Madison, WI. For me it felt like a discovery. I love hip hop, and I love graphic novels. I dove into this book. I was amazed at the amount of research that went into this series. The characters live, history doesn’t happen in bullet points, it happens person to person. In addition to the academic sense of research, Ed captures the image of hip hop. With his medium being the graphic novel he shows the personality and style of both the time itself and the people in it.
After finishing the first volume I shot Ed an e-mail, (he has his e-mail address printed on the authors page)and I thanked him for creating something that I truly loved. When the second volume came out I thought, “Why don’t I just ask him if he wants to have a conversation with me?” and I did. He was on board right away and we had a great conversation about graphic novels, hip hop, and much more. Dig the whole conversation in the Soundcloud link below.