Hip Hop Family Tree

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Hip Hop Family Tree
The cover of Hip Hop Family Tree #1 (Aug. 2015), illustrated by Ed Piskor.
Publication information
PublisherBoing Boing (2012–2015)
Fantagraphics Books (2013–2016)
Schedulemonthly limited series
Publication dateAugust 2015–July 2016
No. of issues12
Creative team
Created byEd Piskor
Written byEd Piskor
Artist(s)Ed Piskor
Letterer(s)Ed Piskor
Colorist(s)Ed Piskor
Collected editions
Hip Hop Family Tree Vols 1-2: 1975-1983 Gift Box SetISBN 978-1606997918
Hip Hop Family Tree 1983-1985 Gift Box SetISBN 978-1606999417

Hip Hop Family Tree is a series of educational and historical comic books written and illustrated by Ed Piskor, which documents the early history of hip hop culture.[1] Originating online with Boing Boing, the series was published in print form by Fantagraphics Books. The first collection was a 2014 New York Times Graphic Books Best Seller (#7)[2] and was listed in The Washington Post Top 10 graphic novels of 2013.[3]

Piskor's artistic style in Hip Hop Family Tree — including his use of Ben-Day Dots[4] — hearkens back to the comic book styles prevalent during the period being retold.[5] Robert Crumb is openly referenced as an inspiration to Piskor,[6] who cites Crumb's "Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country" trading cards as an influence. Crumb and Piskor are similar in their commemorations of key artists and musical figures, and the informative narration of their chosen genre's historical evolution.[7]

Publication history[edit]

Hip Hop Family Tree began on Boing Boing in January 2012 as a one-page "semi-regular ongoing feature,"[8] and ran, mostly weekly, until December 2015. Fantagraphics released the first "Treasury" collection, Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1: 1970s-1981, in 2013, and the second collection, covering the years 1981–1983, in 2014; both of which collected material that had been previously published on Boing Boing. That year the publisher also released a "Gift Box Set," collecting the first two treasury editions.

In August 2015, Fantagraphics released the third collection, covering the years 1983–1984, while also beginning a monthly magazine-format limited series. That series ran 12 issues, through July 2016. Fantagraphics published volume 4 of the Treasury collection in July 2016. That year the publisher also released a "Gift Box Set," collecting volumes 3 and 4 of the Treasury editions.


  1. (Aug. 2015)
  2. "Rapper's Delight" (Sept. 2015)
  3. (Oct. 2015)
  4. (Nov. 2015)
  5. "Culture Vultures: Ice-T Pulls a Lick!" (Dec. 2015)
  6. "The Wild Style Issue" (Jan. 2016)
  7. "World Class Wreckin' Cru" (Feb. 2016)
  8. (Mar. 2016)
  9. "Young Jeezy, Weezy, and Yeezy!" (Apr. 2016)
  10. "Wanted: Cap-One" (May 2016)
  11. "Beastie Boys' New DJ... Rick Rubin" (June 2016)
  12. (July 2016)

Treasury editions[edit]



  1. ^ Weingarten, Christopher (2014-08-26). "See a Raw, Edgy Spike Lee Comic From 'Hip Hop Family Tree' Box Set". RollingStone. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Best sellers - PAPERBACK GRAPHIC BOOKS". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  3. ^ Cavna, Michael. "Top 10 graphic novels of 2013". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  4. ^ Brown, Hillary. "Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  5. ^ Little, Matt. "Hip Hop Family Tree #1". CBR.com. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  6. ^ Lanz, Michelle. "'Hip Hop Family Tree': Comic book artist Ed Piskor inks a comprehensive history of rap music," The Frame (March 4, 2015).
  7. ^ Forman, Murray (2015-09-01). "Ed Piskor. Hip Hop Family Tree, Volume 1: 1970s–1981; Ed Piskor. Hip Hop Family Tree, Volume 2: 1981–1983. Seattle: PB - Fantagraphics Books, 2013. 112 pp.A1 - Ed Piskor . Hip Hop Family Tree, Volume 2: 1981–1983. Seattle: PB - Fantagraphics Books, 2014. 112 pp". Journal of Popular Music Studies. 27 (3): 374–378. doi:10.1111/jpms.12137. ISSN 1533-1598.
  8. ^ Piskor, Ed. "Brain Rot: Hip Hop Family Tree, DJ Kool Herc Spawns A New Culture," Boing Boing (Jan. 10, 2012).
  9. ^ Piskor, Ed (2013). Hip Hop Family Tree Book 1 (1970s-1981). Seattle: Fantagraphics. ISBN 978-1606996904.
  10. ^ Piskor, Ed (2014). Hip Hop Family Tree Book 2 (1981-1983). Seattle: Fantagraphics. ISBN 9781606997567.
  11. ^ Piskor, Ed (2015). Hip Hop Family Tree Book 3 (1983-1984). Seattle: Fantagraphics. ISBN 978-1606998489.
  12. ^ Piskor, Ed (2016). Hip Hop Family Tree Book 4 (1984-1985). Seattle: Fantagraphics. ISBN 978-1606999400.

Sources consulted[edit]

External links[edit]