Comic artist Ed Piskor dead at 41 as sister shares heartbreaking tribute to the Hip Hop Family Tree creator

A CELEBRATED cartoonist who won awards for his best-selling comic series about hip-hop culture has died suddenly at 41.

Pennsylvania illustrator Ed Piskor has been remembered as a gifted artist and beloved sibling by his heartbroken family members.

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Celebrated cartoonist Ed Piskor, seen back-center with his sister, has died at 41Credit: Facebook
Piskor won awards for his series Hip Hop Family Tree, which illustrated the history of hip-hop culture

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Piskor won awards for his series Hip Hop Family Tree, which illustrated the history of hip-hop cultureCredit: Facebook
The series was featured in the Bob Dylan Center Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma

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The series was featured in the Bob Dylan Center Museum in Tulsa, OklahomaCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Piskor, who lived outside Pittsburgh in Munhall Borough, died unexpectedly on April 1, according to his obituary.

His sister Justine Cleaves mourned the loss of her sibling in a heartwrenching tribute shared on Facebook.

“You’re the one who gave me my nickname JP,” she wrote alongside a family photo.

“I’ll never forget the fact that you made me afraid of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song which, therefore, started my hatred of Will Smith.

“Thank you for introducing me to Dexter and fueling my love of Batman.

“I will miss you more than words can say.”

From 2012 to 2016, Piskor created the celebrated series Hip Hop Family Tree which were stylish and educational graphic novels about the history of rap culture.

The first collection, released in 2014, was on the New York Times graphic books bestseller list and The Washington Post dubbed it one of the year’s best graphic novels.

Piskor widened his audience in 2017 when he released the first edition of his comic series X-Men: Grand Design which explored the progression of Stan Lee’s X-Men comics.

That series ended with a trilogy that was released in November 2023.

Wish you were still here

Ed Piskor Fan

EMOTIONAL TRIBUTES

Fans have thanked Piskor for his life and work in emotional comments left on his Facebook page.

One follower said they met the artist at Comic-Con in Baltimore and remembered being moved by the artist’s work.

“Your work spoke to me, brother,” they wrote.

“Wish you were still here.”

Another fan thanked Piskor for answering questions he had as a young artist and said that his comics would live forever.

“You are loved,” they wrote.

And a different fan said, “You were super kind and signed art for me.

“I will always remember you and will never forget how awesome you were to me.”

Piskor first started cartooning professionally in 2005 with his friend Harvey Pekar before moving on to self-publishing, according to the biography on his website.

He amassed a cult following on social media and had over 80,000 followers on Instagram.

In recent years, Piskor started sharing his work through the subscription-based platform Patreon.

Piskor is survived by his parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews, according to his obituary.

He will be laid to rest on Thursday.

Piskor, seen with a fan, will be laid to rest on Thursday

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Piskor, seen with a fan, will be laid to rest on ThursdayCredit: Facebook

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