DTLR sat down with acclaimed muralist Ed Piskor to discuss his artwork and the inspiration behind the AF-1 mural.

Q: Can you explain to our readers what it means to be called an “alternative” comics artist?

A: This simply means that I’m a cartoonist who would make comics for fun or profit with or
without the prompting of an art director, editor, or publisher. I’ve spent most of my life just
hunkered down making books without even knowing if they’ll end up getting published or if
people will support the work. Thankfully my books do get published and thankfully readers buy
the books in a big way, making it possible for me to keep a roof over my head while I continue
to indulge in my medium. The difference between independent comics artists and the
mainstream ones is that the mainstreamers would probably just end up doing storyboards for
Hollywood or designing greeting cards if there wasn’t a dollar in the comic book game for them.

Q: What’s the message that you want to communicate through your art for this anniversary
celebration?

A: I only work on dream projects that blow my mind. AF1s are some of my favorite sneakers and
having the incentive to explore their history is something right up my alley. Comics is like a
second language to me, and it’s my favorite way to communicate my passions and ideas. This
platform gave me the chance to illustrate one path about how a shoe can become a cultural
phenomenon.

Q: How would you say your personality is reflected in the comic book and mural?

A: I’m not quite sure how my personality specifically is reflected in this project but definitely is
there because I’ve been getting emails and messages on social media constantly through every
stage of the mural’s production from readers with keen eyes who recognize my style. I was
even getting messages from guys at the printing plant for the comic who was excited to see
how I’ve been secretly spending my summer.

The Nike SF AF-1 ‘For Baltimore’ drops 9/30 at Mondawmin Mall and Monument St. only!