Mahfood for Thought

Today, the comic nerd representatives of Stranger Factory/Circus Posterus are out in full force again, as store manager Mikee Riggs writes his personal thoughts about Jim Mahfood’s career. 

Art and its makers are ever changing. They are always looking to better themselves and evolve from their roots, and Jim Mahfood is an exemplar of that. Jim has been making art and comics for well over a decade, and in that time has grown immensely through his many different projects.

His early work screams of youth and DIY ethos. The master of the mini comic, Jim created some amazing characters early on in his career. Zombie Kid was just the right amount of fun and simple, and he brought life to the pages of any short he was written in. The mini comic, while a mainstay of comics, was a place that Jim flourished in. While others were using it as a platform for outdated superhero ideas, Jim was cultivating a slick new idea of style that comics was sorely missing.

What some would consider his big break came at the tail end of the ’90s, when riding high on the success of his film characters, Kevin Smith decided to take the plunge into his first love, comics.

The art duties on the first two Clerks comic books were handled by Jim. Jim brought his thick sharp line work to the page and brought a brand new life to classic characters like Dante and Randall. The first books’ success led to a second one-shot – and that led to much more.

Seeing his style, editors at Marvel took note and quickly snagged Jim for projects with them. Working on high profile books like Tangled Web and Ultimate Team Up helped to further Jim’s exposure which in turn brought Jim to Image and back to his creator owned roots. Image allowed Jim to dive into many different projects and collaborations and really start to push and evolve his style. and works like One Page Filler Man and Bad Ideas were very well received and critically acclaimed in the comic scene.

Jim’s milestone book was a labor of love about three girls fighting against the odds. Grrl Scouts was originally printed by Oni and sadly missed by many in the comics community. When Jim began working with Image, he found himself able to return to his creator owned idea and elaborate even more on his trifecta of dope slinging beauties. Grrl Scouts:Work Sucks was a second four issue mini that helped to firmly establish Jim’s knack for the female form as well as his love of funk and hip hop. The Grrls were strong and personable, but also a fun satire of the Gen X mentality.

With his time in comics still producing exciting work, Jim has also taken to working on fine art. Characteristically, his style has become more wild but his line work even more precise. His women jump from the page and tell of a world where a boombox is not an accessory but a necessity.In the toy world, he has worked with Scott Wilkowski on resins of his Smoke Dog character and also spends a great amount of time hanging out with the Blank Blank Crew. As always, he is continually pushing forward and breaking new boundaries, and making the world safe for hip hop loving head phoned beauties everywhere.

– Mikee


Jim Mahfood’s solo show, Perfect Machine, is available for purchase from Stranger Factory.

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