Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks is one of those comic series where you kinda-sorta know what’s going on but yet have no fuzz-ucking clue. Your brain is stuck grasping at all the details as you have flashbacks of that one time you and your buddy got fudged up on magic mushrooms, and damn is it glorious.
I don’t even have to be biased when I say that Jim Mahfood is one of my favorite artistic creators of all time because his work is just that fantastic. Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #4 is a psychedelic trip into a world that probably has some sort of storyline within all the beautiful punky chaos, but it’s more enjoyable just get swept into the scenes and take it all in.
Daphne wakes up in a Ralph Steadman-esque world with her magic socks missing. As she comes to the conclusion that social star Josie has taken them, Hunter S. Thompson appears and the beautiful mind-gunk of Jim Mahfood vomits magical art all over the page. Fin. But really, this thing doesn’t read as a comic book, but more as many different types of creative expression in comic book format. It’s so new and different and I’ve never seen anyone pull of work of this caliber in a way that is just so fine and dandy. Justin Stewart’s colors even flow along perfectly, adding sparse splatters in one place, rich rounded hues in another, and the two artists working together are a match made in zonked-out heaven.
The story is definitely there, but if you’re just jumping into the middle of the series, good luck figuring it out. As much as I have been following and loving each book that comes out every month, I simply cannot get over the illustrations. Mahfood is known for Tank Girl, and this Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks feels like a spiritual successor to the OG trouble maker. All of the badass women that grace these graphically slashed pages would be friends with TG, and now I’m just imaging what an epic mashup that would be.
I adore the fact that this series isn’t for everyone, and this only goes to show how Image is pushing the boundaries in the comic book industry. This slashy, graphically designed and ink-dripped illustration style works so harmoniously with the trippy story and hypersexualized humor, and it reminds me of reading Jhonen Vasquez’s work when I was way too young to do so. It’s silly, it’s creative, and the damn thing is simply oozing with brain-stimulating treats a-plenty.
To put the cherry on top, the last few pages of the book contain a page entitled “Unofficial Sounds” which is a playlist listing artists and songs that match perfectly with the story. As a brain wire-crossed weirdo with synesthesia, I particularly love this segment because it makes the book a complete multi-media piece, and who doesn’t need kick-ass music recommendations? There are also a few pages of sketches and random art following Unofficial Sounds; and to see bits and pieces of the creative process gives us just a bigger peek into the brain of Jim Mahfood when the gears are a-turning in his head.
What do you think I’m going to give this book? Seriously, I’m already rotting from the inside out waiting for more.
Story: 5 Stars
Artwork: 5 Stars
Colors: 5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
Story / Art / Cover: Jim Mahfood
Variant Cover: Lauren Ys