Being ever interested in the history of hackerdom and in hacker culture, it is hardly surprising that I am an immense fan of Ed Piskor’s series of comic books, “Wizzywig“. I was delighted to be one of some unknown number of folks to whom Piskor sent a personal note explaining that he has decided to go back to the start of the already published first three books (out of a planned four) to re-work and improve them. Rather than publishing volume four, when he has completed the series, he will publish the full story in a single volume.
The whole endeavor will take at least a year to complete so I decided to serialize my progess at www.wizzywigcomics.com Retooled pages will appear every Sunday and Wednesday until the full story is online. About 150 pages worth. I hope you check it out from time to time and I strongly encourage any feedback. It will be much sharper and tighter than the existing work and I feel more comfortable writing in my own voice which should create a richer, less verbose, and better reading experience.
One of my earliest observations when “Wizzywig” first came to my attention was that Piskor should have released some of the work for free to make it easier to figure out if the print books are worth buying (which I totally think they are.) My esteem for Piskor jumped immensely when he released volumes 1 and 2 for free. He’d also started experimenting with releasing excerpts then full pages of his work in progress. The fact that he has crafted a new site specifically for the rework and will be releasing twice a week as a webcomic thrills me no end.
Piskor has crafted an excellent complementary good to the print edition. Regular, free releases keep enthusiasm for the work up as he makes progress towards his goal. It is easily shareable to introduce new readers and stands apart from the finished product, providing a very different but supplemental reading experience. There is an added dimension of transparency that I also respect immensely. Piskor is putting the improvement of his craft and his story telling on display as much as the engaging story itself.
If you’ve read the printed volumes or haven’t but are curious about the story of a mythical Ur-hacker, Kevin “Boingthump” Phenical, especially Piskor’s very distinctive way of telling it, go subscribe to the feed at the new site. While your at it, mark your calendar about a year out because I can guarantee the finished printed story will be a worthy edition to your library.