Monday, Sep 15, 2014 7:00p -
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
Lectures & Conferences, Music
Harvard Book Store and the Hiphop Archive & Research Institute at Harvard University welcome acclaimed graphic novelist ED PISKOR for a discussion of Hip Hop Family Tree Book 1: 1970s-1981, and Hip Hop Family Tree Book 2: 1981-1983, the latest installment in his five-volume series.
On Hip Hop Family Tree Book 1:
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, The 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. 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, The 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.
On Hip Hop Family Tree Book 2:
Covering the early years of 1981-1983, Hip Hop has made a big transition from the parks and rec rooms to downtown clubs and vinyl records. The performers make moves to separate themselves from the paying customers by dressing more and more flamboyant until a young group called RUN-DMC comes on the scene to take things back to the streets. This volume covers hits like Afrika Bambaataa’s Planet Rock, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s the Message, the movie Wildstyle and introduces superstars like NWA, The Beastie Boys, Doug E Fresh, KRS One, ICE T, and early Public Enemy. Cameos by Dolemite, LL Cool J, Notorious BIG, and New Kids on the Block.
Ed Piskor is an alternative cartoonist living and drawing out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a former student of The Kubert School and is best known for his artistic collaboration with underground comics pioneers Harvey Pekar, his graphic novel Wizzywig, and his blockbuster series Hip Hop Family Tree. Piskor is revered for his combination of golden age drawing style and smart storytelling. The Washington Post once said that "Piskor is able to render a world that resonates as truth." Currently, he is knee deep in drawing the next book in the Hip Hop Family Tree five-volume series.
Co-sponsored by the Hiphop Archive & Research Institute at Harvard University: www.hiphoparchive.org