I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first two volumes of Ed Piskor's comic-book historical hacker drama, Wizzywig. Wizzywig is the story of Kevin "Boingthump" Phenicle, a fictional hacker who's part Mitnick, part Poulsen, and part mythological. Boingthump is a preternaturally bright, badly socialized kid who discovers a facility for technology that's egged on by his only pal, "Winston Smith," a would-be Abbie Hoffman who is obsessed with the potential to use Boingthump's discoveries to monkeywrench the machine.
But soon enough, their roles are reversed, as Kevin's relentless pursuit of knowledge and power scares Winston so much that he tries (without success) to put the brakes on Boingthump's crazy ride through the phone system and the nascent Internet. The story blends fiction and fact, dropping in a Blue Box-selling Jobs and Wozniak (Boingthump picks the trunk-lock on their car and steals a Blue Box) and Cap'n Crunch, along with plenty of fictional BBS scenesters and grumpy computer-store owners. The backgrounds are filled with nostalgia PCs -- Atari 400s, Apple ///s -- and old Bellcore manuals.
The illustration and storytelling style reminds me a lot of Harvey Pekar (with whom he's collaborated on American Splendor), jumping backwards and forwards in time, switching points of view, going inside and outside of the characters' heads. The first two volumes are PHREAK and HACKER, with two more (FUGITIVE and INMATE) planned. Piskor prints and sells the comics himself (the books are quite handsome) and he's got extensive free previews online. At $15 each, with all the money going straight into the creator's pocket, what's not to like?
Wizzywig volume 1: PHREAK,
WIZZYWIG VOLUME#2: HACKER
Zippo went a bit crazy with its lighter colors, introducing a rainbow of material-science wonders that, alas, I have no more use for, being a 15-year ex-smoker with the muscle-memory of an entire repertoire of obsolete Zippo tricks.
Brew Cutlery raised over $20K on Kickstarter to make these handsome, heavy (150g) utensils with integrated bottle-openers in their handles; the backers who got the early sets are effusive in their praise of the look, materials (18/8 stainless steel) and craftsmanship (each piece is hand-finished). Not cheap, though: $50/set.
Brian Mix shows off his replica Jupiter 2 computer, a remake based on the 1960s TV Lost in Space show — which was also used as the 1966 Bat Computer in the Batman TV show.
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If you’re running low on MacBook storage, your options are pretty limited. External hard drives mean toting around another piece of bulky equipment, and you probably don’t want a USB stick constantly protruding from your laptop.That’s why the Nifty MiniDrive for MacBooks is such a desirable alternative, and one of our top tech finds this year. You can add […]