Ed Piskor – Wizzywig (volume 1, phreak, volume 2, hacker)


book, DIY, USA, 2009, English
The first two volumes of Wizzywig are professionally self produced comics on hacker topics. They fictionally retell classic stories on the two topics, but any informed reader can recognize some very well known traits in the characters and events in the narrative. And in the end the reader discovers he was right, because the last few pages contain a careful list of references, citing all the sources of inspiration. So shreds from the hacker’s “hall of fame” can be spotted here and there (Mitnick, Poulsen, Jobs&Wozniak, Cap’n Crunch…), but always flawlessly integrated in the storytelling and eventually ringing a bell in the readers’ head. Even if they talk about the past, it’s something different from talking about a forgotten world, already gone. The tales of an ingenious and active teenager are integrated with basic and easily understandable explanations of technologies, giving them a historical and sometimes even educational perspective. The graphic representation of different posts on a forum as single people’s thoughts placed in single small panels is remarkable. So, stretching the concept, this book should also be seen as an example of a potential form for a popular (and necessarily critical) history of technology. The character’s personal experiences, although told in a thrilling and almost filmic type of narrative, are shared by an entire generation of computer entranced kids. The book is online in the format of single pages, so granting access to the whole, but encouraging people to buy the awesome printed version.