Grrl Crazy

Artist Jim Mahfood produces a comic for young-adult hipsters in his Grrl Scouts

Apparently the older, hipper kids are into Mahfood's work plenty. For a long stretch last year, Jim had a weekly gig with the Bombshelter Crew, Arizona's premier DJs. Emile, Radar and Z-Trip spun live at Anderson's Fifth Estate while Jim created "big-ass (5-by-2-foot) marker drawings of hip-hop heroes like Run-D.M.C. and Public Enemy, onstage with them. I worked on upright glass panels while they spun -- three DJs, six tables and me. It was crazy. I wanted to do looser, more freestyle shit, and they dug my work, so we hooked up." For Mahfood, those shows were a throwback to the hip-hop jams immortalized in the film Breakin', where MCs and DJs worked the crowd while graf artists threw up murals and B-boys battled. It was also a rare opportunity for a visual artist to perform for a live audience as opposed to the seclusion of his studio, where he spends most of his time. "Six days a week, eight or nine hours a day to meet my deadlines," Mahfood says.

The fruits of those 50-hour workweeks will pay off this summer, when Oni Comics releases the collected soft-cover version of the Grrl Scouts series, as well as a collection of his Stupid Comics, a feature Mahfood has been doing for the Arizona weekly paper Java. "I've also got a story coming out in the The Simpsons Comics Treehouse of Horror No. 6. It's a Simpsons story, but I get to do it my way, not like the usual Simpsons stuff." He's quick to note that all of his books will be available at Star Clipper Comics and the Fantasy Shop: "St. Louis pride, baby!"

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