WIZZYWIG is Ed Piskor’s comic about a hacker named Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle. It tells the story of how he grew up and learned to become a phone phreaker and scammed long distance companies and became a fugitive hunted by the FBI.
It’s an interestingly told story because Phenicle is a fictional amalgam of all the famous hackers of the 20th century (or he at least knows them a la Forrest Gump). The way he’s interwoven with the real history (including the Secret Service raid on Steve Jackson Games, which was my personal introduction to how governments can freak out about hacking) makes it feel very real. It also helps that Piskor is a guy who’s drawn historical work before (including Harvey Pekar’s The Beats).
So yes, a well-told story that is a good jumping off point for further research of how hackers actually did things (as opposed to their portrayal in ’90s movies about cyberspace). And in the end the parallels to Wikilieaks and Bradley Manning contemporizes it nicely. Well-done.
Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim’s The Eternal Smile is a collection of three stories about layered realities.
Duncan’s Kingdom is a sword & sorcery tale of a young knight who is trying to win the hand of a princess, though he’s haunted by dreams of an older woman and a cola bottle. Gran’pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile is about a greedy (to Scrooge McDuck kind of levels) frog who wants a pit of gold deep enough to swim in without hitting his nose on the bottom. When a smile appears in the sky, he builds a church to exploit it and further his dreams. Urgent Request is about Janet, who is a shy worker at a telecom company who responds to a Nigerian email scam when her request for more responsibility falls through.
All three of the stories start off as one thing and then once you’ve bought into the concept they change. And they’re all kind of beautiful.