Today, or a month ago if they read Bleeding Cool, fans of Fantagraphics were shocked to learn that the publisher would betray its cherished indie values and release Ed Piskor's acclaimed "Hip Hop Family Tree" as a monthly comic with multiple #1 issue variant covers, each themed after Marvel's 1986 25th anniversary covers.
"If you would have told me a year ago that we were going to publish a monthly comic book for the first time ever, with variant covers no less, I would have made a face," Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds said at a press conference. "But Ed is a singular talent, and Hip Hop Family Tree has proven to be a singular property. When Ed first floated the idea of a comic book series, we jumped. I knew he could pull it off in the way that few ever could."
Reynolds then reached up and pulled a lifelike rubber mask from his head to reveal that he is actually a clone of Marvel Comics Editor in Chief Axel Alonso, who is himself a clone of DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio, as created by Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada to be the perfect comics executive to execute the company's super-mega-crossover-reboot event, Secret Wars. The revelation that Reynolds is also a clone of Didio raises many questions about the ultimate plans of these evil clones and just how deep their control of the comic book industry extends.
To deflect from suspicion, the newly revealed Axel Alonso clone was joined on stage at the press conference by Quesada, and the duo broke out into one of their trademark raps to provide more details on "Hip Hop Family Tree."
"Yo, my name's Joe Q and I'm here to say, preorder Hip Hop Family Tree today!" Quesada rapped. "It didn't win the Eisner, yo, that's true, but at least it got nominated, that's more than you!"
"Word is bond," added the Alonso clone.
Through poetic rhymes and with a blistering flow, Quesada explained that each new issue of the comic would feature a new cover and splash page, as well as director's commentary from Piskor and other special features. But things soon took a turn for the worse.
"These comics are dope so you'd better not wait," the Alonso clone chimed in, "Now look at me while I masturbate!"
The clone then dropped his pants and began physically manipulating himself onstage to the gasps of onlookers. Quesada tried to grab him and pull him off stage, but the clone melted into a pile of goo. The crowd of assembled reporters stood silent in shock and horror for a lengthy pause.
"Uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh," Quesada beatboxed, hastily freestyling "I'm sorry that y'all had to see that mess, but our clones are still a wikki-wikki-work in progress."
"I'll take him to the lab and see what we can save," he added, visibly sweating, "and then... hey... look behind you... is that Flava Flav?!"
The crowd turned around to look, but there was no one there. When they turned back to the stage, Quesada was gone. In the distance, a car door slammed, an engine was started, and the car squealed its tires as it sped off.
Look for Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree #1 in stores in August.