An Update on the Final Volume of Piskor’s “Wizzywig”

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 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.

TCLP 2010-05-02 News

This is news cast 212, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In the intro, a quick update on the advertising experiment.

This week’s security alerts are Symantec plans to PGP and a massive quantity of GoDaddy hosted WordPress sites are under attack.

In this week’s news Cyber Privacy Act introduced that would use takedowns against personal info including the flaws that would go along with it, new report shows trillions contributed to the economy by fair use with specific examples of what that means though the point is how the report was produced, Mozilla releases first code for its identity system (which I briefly wrote about earlier ), and raised by Radio Shack inspired by a Wired article and resonating with Levy’s “Hackers”.

Following up this week USTR claims official ACTA draft proves prior rumors were false and MSIE9 to support HTML5 video but only with H.264.


Grab the detailed show notes with time offsets and additional links either as PDF or OPML. You can also grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Steve Jackson Games Raid was 20 Years Ago

Bruce Sterling posted details of a commemorative gathering for the event that led directly to the creation of EFF. The story of this event, as well as the surrounding trends and figures, is of course detailed in Sterling’s own “The Hacker Crackdown”. I highly recommend picking up a copy.

What amazes me is how issues like those informing the Steve Jackson Games raid by the Secret Service have only multiplied and accelerated since then. I feel a bit of pride in how informed, aware and active the info sphere largely is on these issues, due in no small part to EFF and the many other cyber-facing public interest groups that came after.

The gathering is next week, Tuesday, in Austin, TX. See Bruce’s post for the full details.

WIZZYWIG 3 Is Now Available

I noted when Ed Piskor finished volume 3 of his hacker epic, WIZZYWIG. To tide us over, he even made the previous two volumes available for free. Now the third volume is finally available for order in print. Ed has also provide a link so the first half can be read online, as further enticement.

Ed sent me a note, as he no doubt did to anyone who purchased either of the preceding volumes. In it, he gives a reason for the delay between volume 2 and 3.

This particular volume required a lot more research than the previous two, delaying it’s release a bit because there were some intricate details that needed attention.

I don’t know about you, but hearing that more effort went into this volume simply heightens my anticipation. I’ve already ordered my copy, can’t wait for it to arrive.

First Two Volumes of WIZZYWIG Now Free

Last week, I noted that Ed Piskor had completed the latest volume in his hacker epic. To celebrate the milestone, and perhaps to tide us over until we can order a copy, he has made the first two volumes freely available.

The books are shared as a zip file containing a single, large-ish PDF. It’s 218 pages of decent resolution scans of the work. Please be sure to download the file directly from Ed as there isn’t any explicit license grant to share it further and I’d hate for him to think better of being so generous with his work because anyone failed to observe his wishes.

Better yet, if you grab the zip archive from him and enjoy its contents, order your own copies and get in line (behind me) for the forthcoming volume 3.

Volume 3 of Piskor’s WIZZYWIG is Complete

I not only blogged about Ed Piskor’s wonderfully researched graphic novelization of a fictitious but compelling hacker but purchased and devoured both volumes he’s produced in the series so far.

He just announced that he has completed volume 3. Unfortunately, it will be another few months before we can order it. Ed has been posting pages from this volume as he’s been working on it but I have avoided reading them too closely as I’d much rather lay hands on a finished copy and curl up, undisturbed, for the duration it takes to consume it cover to cover.

If you haven’t read the preceding volumes, go to Ed’s store and order them immediately. I guarantee you won’t regret it.