Fantagraphics Books has announced that, starting in August, they will be releasing Hip Hop Family Tree as a monthly comic book with new material.  While the publisher is best known for their quality hardcover releases, they have published regular comic books in the past (e.g. Usagi Yojimbo), but this will be Fantagraphics’ first monthly comic book.

In his statement below, creator Ed Piskor says that while Hip Hop Family Tree sells well in bookstores, these monthly issues are a way to reach the comic book store market that has been excited about the Free Comic Book Day editions of Hip Hop Family Tree.

Official press release:

Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree to Drop Monthly
MAY 26, 2015-SEATTLE, WA-Deconstructed: The New York Times best-selling book series Hip Hop Family Tree is making its debut as a monthly comic book with new covers, splash pages, a “director’s commentary” by Ed Piskor that traces the creator’s motivations, processes, and research involved in making this masterpiece-plus other surprises!

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Hip Hop Family Tree is the first monthly comic in Fantagraphics’ 39-year history. The first issue traces the very beginning of hip-hop: it spotlights the breakdancers, graffiti artists, DJs, and MCs who formed hip-hop culture in the tenement rec rooms of the south Bronx in the 1970s. Readers will discover who invented the term “Hip-Hop,” and cultural pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa will make appearances…every month!

Hip Hop Family Tree is the history of hip-hop as told through comics. Piskor can’t stop, won’t stop until the entire story is told. Painstakingly researched, Ed Piskor is delivering the most thorough account of the who, what, where, and when of the most infamous music genre the world has ever seen.

This collectible rerelease will be available exclusively through Diamond Comics Distributors and on the remastered Fantagraphics website.

“We’ve found that the existing treasury editions are most popular through the book trade and we thought it would interesting to make an effort to do some outreach with the direct comic shop reader,” says creator Ed Piskor. “Our Free Comic Book Day editions were highly sought after at the comic shops who carried it and we took this as a good sign to try some unprecedented moves.”

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The series will also mark another first for Fantagraphics: exclusive variant cover editions by Piskor produced for retail partners ordering 1000 copies. This will include the Eh! Variant edition, featuring a Slick Rick cover that will be available exclusively from Gotham Central Comics and Collectibles in Mississauga, Ontario.

Likewise, the Third Eye variant, featuring Eazy E on the cover, will be available for purchase this summer at Third Eye Comics locations and online at www.thirdeyecomics.com/hiphopfamilytree. Piskor will be making an appearance at Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, Maryland to sign the variant at a date in August t.b.a.

Each variant cover by Piskor riffs on the beloved Marvel 25th Anniversary cover promotion from 1986 and spotlights a different figure from the history of Hip Hop. Fantagraphics and Piskor will also be producing a convention exclusive variant available only from Fantagraphics or Piskor himself.
“If you would have told me a year ago that we were going to publish a monthly comic book for the first time ever, with variant covers no less, I would have made a face,” says Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds. “But Ed is a singular talent, and Hip Hop Family Tree has proven to be a singular property. When Ed first floated the idea of a comic book series, we jumped. I knew he could pull it off in the way that few ever could.”
Hip Hop Family Tree #1 will be solicited in the Previews for items shipping in August. August will also see the release of Hip Hop Family Tree Book 3: 1983-1984, the latest volume of the best-selling book series, which spotlights The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, The Fat Boys, and many more.

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Retailers interested in partnering on their own exclusive variant should contact Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics Books.
HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #1
by Ed Piskor
$4.99 / Comic / 32 pgs / 6.5 x 10

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