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Cartoonist Kayfabe: The Reading List

For anyone that may be new to the world of Cartoonist Kayfabe or maybe just a fellow comic book reader interested in checking out some great books, then this list is for you! Since it's inception, the Kayfabe YouTube channel, run by Ed Piskor & Jim Rugg, has put out amazing content. Their comic are no exception. While Piskor and Rugg are the head honchos, I couldn't leave out Kayfabe mainstay Tom Scioli on this list. These comics are all great reading from 3 of the best cartoonists ever to put pencil to paper. If you haven't already, make sure you guys check these out. As Ed & Jim always say,



This series by Ed Piskor deals with Kevin "Boingthump" Phenicle, a young prodigy who becomes enthralled with the world of phone phreaking and other forms of technology, before eventually turning to computer hacking. Piskor draws on true stories of real world computer hackers and amalgamizes them into his Kevin Phenicle character. We watch Kevin go from being bullied as a young boy all the way to his time as a fugitive from the FBI. We see how a life of excitement and living on the outskirts of society can quickly lead to fear and destruction.

While this wasn't Piskor's first published work, it was his first project he did completely by himself. It showed his exceptional world building skills and set the stage for his next project, which just so happens to be my favorite.


This, in my opinion, showcases the sheer brilliance of Piskor's work. He tackled a subject that is very near and dear to me, Hip-Hop. Comics and Hip-Hop have gone hand & hand for me going all the way back to high school for me. But the history of those 2 things goes back further than that. So to see a book like this being made, blew my mind. The amount of research that Piskor must have done for this book is absolutely astounding. I learned more from this series then I ever knew before.

If you want an awesome book that documents the early history of hip hop culture, one of the greatest genres of music, then read this book! He ends the series in 1985, so I'm still holding out hope that maybe he'll take us into the early 90's after he finishes his current project.


In my opinion, this is Rugg's greatest creations. Jesse "Street Angel' Sanchez is a12-year-old who happens to be the world's greatest homeless skateboarder and one of the most feared martial artist in her hometown of Angel City. She fights all manner of villainous foes and the fight scenes are both inventive and exciting to watch.

Rugg's world is somewhat of a satire on superhero comics and is full of off the wal12-year-old who happens to be the world's greatest homeless skateboarder and one of the most feared martial artist in her hometown of Angel City. This is the most fun you'll have reading a comic, guaranteed!


Yet another awesome book by Rugg & Maruca. This book appears, at first glance to be a collection of pulpy comics from the 70's. But what we're really looking at, is a tribute to the Blaxploitation genre that is downright hilarious and fun to read. This book starring Alan Diesler aka Afrodisiac, inspired by the likes of Shaft & Foxy Brown, delivers a character full of swag and is one bad muthaf***a.

The different art styles, mixed with differing backstories and mock-up covers out of sequential order add to the allure of this book. The titular hero is the epitome of manliness, going after all manner of villainy. From space aliens and flying saucers to Richard Nixon, all the way to Hercules and Dracula. There's not much The Afrodisiac can't handle .You can't help but wish you had more. The entire package is here from pin-ups, to the homage type covers and even a reference to Angel City for you eagle eyed readers. Rugg drew on so many influences to come up with this book and his inventive mind is on full display.


This series is Scioli taking Kirby's art and modernizing it in a way that no one else could. Along with Joe Casey's sharply written script, these two creatives made a whole series by making Jack Kirby a genre. With fantastic characters and hilarious plots, this is one of those books that you can't help but fall in love with.

Collected into 6 volumes, or 3 HC's, this is a great chunk of Scioli's work and even shows his growth as a cartoonist as his style changes about half way through the series. One thing that is never absent is the sheer joy and love for Jack Kirby. The Krackle permeates from every page.


American Barbarian is an epic revenge quest across the post-post apocalyptic world of New Earthea. This is Scioli at his best, he takes Saturday Morning Cartoons and turns it into a genre. Picking and choosing different aspects and melding them together perfectly.

When we meet Meric, our red-white-and-blue-haired American Barbarian, we our thrust into this post apocalytptic world where he soon loses his entire family after they're destroyed by Two-Tank Omen (a zombie-cyborg-mummy). Throughout the book Meric fights his way through an army of zombies, mutants and robotic dinosaurs. This book is extremely fun and full of all the craziness that we've all come to love from Scioli's work.


  • Ed Piskor

X-Men: Grand Design


The Beats

  • Jim Rugg

Plain Janes

The Guild

One Model Nation

  • Tom Scioli

Fantastic Four: Grand Design


Transformers Vs G.I. Joe

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