Though hip-hop and comic book culture have often borrowed from one another, there has been relatively little in the way of direct intersections. Other than one-issue takeovers of existing series, the worlds have remained, for the most part, mutually exclusive. That’s all changing now, with the announcement that Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree will become a monthly comic book series. Since it was first published in 2012, Hip Hop Family Tree’s two books have presented an exhaustive history of rap’s early days, featuring stories about Lovebug Starski, Grandmaster Flash, the famed 1977 New York blackout and more. The new, more frequent edition will continue chronologically, each issue with variant covers. The third book will cover the years 1983 and 1984, and focus largely on Run-DMC, The Fat Boys and The Beastie Boys. According to Piskor, each of the variant covers will be inspired by Marvel’s 25th anniversary cover promotion from 1986. Book 3 of Hip Hop Family Tree will be published this August.
Piskor, a 32-year-old artist from Pittsburgh, has been involved in the comic book world since he attended New Jersey’s renowned Kubert School. Beyond the Hip Hop Family Tree project, Piskor has been notable for his work on American Splendor and Wizzywig, among others. In 2009, he published a book called The Beats: A Graphic History, which chronicled many of the principal writers in America’s famous Beat generation, including Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.