A comiXologist Recommends:
Michael Crowe recommends Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2
Writer/Artist Ed Piskor (edpiskor) continues his epic journey through musical history with Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 2. Combining his passion for the musical genre with his mastery for creating comics, Piskor takes us on an encyclopedic journey through the growth of a uniquely American art form.
The 1980s were a time of expansion for the genre, across the country and the globe. This volume guides us through the continued rise of early hip hop originators alongside the birth of new acts inspired by these legends. It examines the intermingling between the uptown hip hop scene and thee downtown punk rock scene. It also documents the cultural exchange between New York arts culture and Hip Hop street culture. Piskor does a wonderful job of reminding the reader that this culture is more than the music. Hip Hop is an interdisciplinary art form that combines dance, visual art, musical production and lyrical genius to create an infectious form of modern art that’s craved en masse from Compton to Paris.
Ed Piskor’s art is stunning and his attention to detail is phenomenal. The pages appear to be printed on old textured paper. Each page pops despite the desaturated nature of the colors and the halftones used add even more texture to the pages. The result is a comic that feels straight out of the 80s. This attention to the aesthetic of a time is especially noticeable when flashing forward to the present. He illustrates these panels in a modern, highly saturated style common today. Piskor’s characterizations of classic players in the game are also unforgettable, and will evoke an immediate recognition from even a casual follower of hip hop culture.
For those interested in learning even more Piskor includes a bibliography and a discography to accompany the history he thoughtfully unravels for us. After you’ve finished reading and grooving be sure to pick up Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 1 to learn about the birth of Hip Hop and Wizzywig, Ed Piskor’s debut graphic novel about hacker culture.
Michael Crowe works on the digital assets/launch team by day and writes comics and prose by night. He’s an avid consumer of comics and all things sci-fi.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1
Walking long-legged beds and menageries of strange creatures, a face in the moon and candy-made kids! Nemo is back and walking the dreamscape, however reluctantly, in Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1.
First published in the New York Herald in 1905, Winsor McCay’s celebrated strip Little Nemo in Slumberland is a classic. It’s been adapted into various media including an animated film in 1989 that, I admit, terrified me as a child. The story follows young Nemo’s fantastic adventures when called into Slumberland by King Morpheus. Here too is where we meet Nemo afresh as he’s commanded to become the playmate of Slumberland’s princess. However, it’s not easy to get to the land of dreams when all of your progress is lost upon falling out of bed.
Locke & Key's artist Gabriel Rodriguez’s (gr-comics) detailed architecture and stylization remains faithful to McCay’s art nouveau influences with decorative flourishes and nods to the original jaunty layouts. Meanwhile, writer Eric Shanower is a wonderful fit what with his work on Marvel’s Oz books; he’s no stranger to giving a great voice to kids finding themselves in bizarre new lands. This team works well together in bringing their own touch while keeping that quintessential Nemo look and feel. The story is a whimsical ride with surprises around every corner and as unpredictable as our own dreamtime escapades. Its unfettered pacing flows surreally as it never would in waking hours.
While sure to be a hit for all ages and a great jumping off point for new and old fans alike, if you need more journeys into imagination then try Marvel’s Figment.
Don’t wait for bedtime to explore dreamland when you join Nemo on his nightly romps through Slumberland. Happy reading and pleasant dreams!
Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and could really use a nap herself right about now.
OK, LET’S TALK IGNATZ AWARDS!
Tumblr has been burning up the last couple of days with news that the 2014 Ignatz Award nominations have been announced. For folks that aren’t familiar (and we’re hoping to see many new faces at this year’s show) the Ignatz are SPX’s very own prize for excellence in independent comics.
Each year the winner of the Promising New Talent Ignatz award is invited to draw a version of the famous brick-throwing mouse for the year’s event. Above you can see this year’s rendition by the (Ignatz nominated again for 2014) Sam Alden ( gingerlandcomics ).
The actual award looks a bit like this:
The Ignatz is pretty unique in that A) it is a literal brick and B) only attendees of the SPX festival get the opportunity to vote for the recipients. I will give you a moment to study the most excellent 2014 nominations.
IN EDEN WE TRUST
The Ignatz Awards are coordinated by SPX’s Eden Miller. Under her capable hands the awards have grown staggeringly - 560 print submissions for 2014 and 120 electronic ones. The ballot is created by a panel of five cartoonists and is voted on by the attendees of the SPX festival.
This year the Ignatz jury was composed of: Darryl Ayo, Austin English, Melissa Mendes, Thien Pham and Whit Taylor.
HOW DO I FIND IGNATZ NOMINATED ARTISTS?
Ignaz nominated artists are noted on our MASSIVE 2014 exhibitor list so you can plan your route. Also, all the nominated artists will have swank Sam Alden Ignatz balloons at their table to make it easier for you to zero in on some of the absolute best stuff on offer at SPX.
We’ve also added another feature for Ignatz nominees and winners - special decals for their books. They’re just like the ones at the top of this post except more real and more shiny. So keep an eye out for these on the SPX show floor!
HOW DO I CAST MY VOTE?
As you enter the show you will be provided a ballot. YOU ARE SWORN AND HONOR BOUND TO COMPLETE THIS SACRED TASK. You can drop completed ballots in one of the boxes designated for this task (I might even be holding it), like so:
SO HOW DO I KNOW WHO WON?
Join us for the Ignatz Awards at 9:30 PM on Saturday night. The event will be held in the White Oak Room downstairs at the hotel, beneath the SPX exhibition hall.
Stick around for the Ignatz after-party where we’ll seal our life-bond with a double dip in the chocolate fountain of legend!
Also, in a first, in conjunction with the after party, there will be PROM, SPromX, to be precise. Further details to be provided but suffice to say there is nothing too sparkly, velvety or dashing that you could possible wear to the Ignatz ceremony this year.
PLEASE JOIN US!
The Ignatz Awards are a very special part of SPX - our way of acknowledging the work most esteemed by cartoonists and enthusiasts of their craft. Please join us at SPX 2014 on Saturday September 13th to cast your vote (full event details at spxpo.com).