Greetings, Explorers! For our sixtieth episode, the gang takes a look at Wizzywig. Ed Piskor wrote and illustrated the story. Top Shelf Comics published the story in 2011. Wizzywig tells the story of phone phreak-turned-hacker Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle. Starting as a child prodigy with a curious mind, he spends his life fascinated with finding ways to game the system. Eventually his activities draw the attention of the FBI, leading Phenicle to becoming a fugitive from the law. Finally, “Boingthump” is a blend of legendary real-life hackers Kevin Mitnick, Kevin Poulsen, and Joe Engressia.
Dennis, Johnny, and special guest Brian begin the episode by chatting about Ed Piskor’s YouTube Channel, Cartoonist Kayfabe. Furthermore, they compare how the story parallels to the lives of Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Also, they discuss the overall character design of Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle by Ed Piskor compared to the other more “realistic” characters in the story. Is the character’s design made to reflect innocence, the world around him, or both?
The gang discusses the history of hacking, including its origins in phone phreaking. This would include the likes of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who sold Blue Boxes from the trunks of their cars. Further topics include if justice was actually served or not by the prosecution of Phenicle; the way “Boingthump” finally realizes the consequences of his actions; and last, but not least, the storytelling and art of Wizzywig.
Please check out our reading lists for previous seasons by clicking here. We would love to hear your suggestions for future episodes of Graphic Novel Explorers Club.
Songe d’Automne by Latche Swing