By Daniel Vlasaty
Issue one of Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks had a frenetic energy like nothing else I’ve read in a long time. I thought it was a really great and nice and special book. And now Jim Mahfood and his badass Grrl Scouts are back for issue #2 of this revenge/drug-fueled/psychedelic nightmare of a book. I am pretty sure in my entire life I’ve never sincerely called anything a tour de force, and don’t get me wring I’m still not going to because I think that’s a lazy, stupid, clichéd thing to say. But I think if I ever were to call a book a tour de force, it would be this book. Anyway, Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks is a crazy and insane and awesome book, and here’s my review for the new issue.
This issue started with a very detailed hilarious and entertaining history of the Magic Socks. It’s the origin story of the Magic Socks. And it’s narrated by a crazy-ass old man named Humphry Sanchez, who is Daphne’s and Josie’s uncle. He tells us where the Socks came from, and who throughout history possessed them. And about how he came to guard them after they were passed down through his family. But Daphne wants them and so does Josie. And the shit is definitely going to hit the fan. Believe that.
After the brief origin story of the Socks, the book resumes its usual pace, which is so fast and frantic that I’m pretty sure it only took a handful of minutes to completely devour the issue. Part of this is because this issue is mostly action. Once it kicks off, it kicks the fuck off, if you get what I’m saying. There is no stopping. There are no pauses. There is no chance to even catch your breath. It’s just balls to the wall action.
Speed in a comic is good. I like a book that reads quick, as long as it is also enjoyable. But there is a downside to it. It’s a small downside, mind you, and one that might not even end up mattering in the long run. But because of this issue’s breakneck speed there is very little room for character development. I have a pretty good idea who these characters are. They’re badass punk rock, drug dealing, sometime-assassins who are totally badass and they don’t even give a fuck. I get that. But I’d also assume there is more to them than that. Like, what’s their motivation and shit like that? But again this is something one expects from a book or movie or whatever, from any book or movie or whatever. Like I said, maybe that’s important to this book or maybe not. It’s still only the second issue and I’m still not at all sure where the hell this thing is going to go anyway. So I can’t one-hundred percent say that it’s a good or a bad thing yet. It’s just something that I noticed and made me pause for a second and say hmm.
Much like I was saying in my review of the first issue, Jim Mahfood’s art is really something special. It’s street art meets an acid trip meets punk rock. With a little ADHD in there also. At some points it’s almost dizzying. There is so much going on in every panel, on every page that it’s almost too much. But that’s a good thing. I don’t care what anyone says too much of a good thing is never a bad thing. I like when fight scenes are messy. I like when there’s energy and confusion. Because that’s how a fight is. I’ve been in my fair share of fights and, man, that shit is messy and all kinds of all over the place. But again, in terms of the art I’m going to stick with what I said before and call it a perfectly controlled chaos.
Flat-out, I loved this book. It’s just fun and ridiculous and totally over the top. I wish there was a little more in the way of character development, or even a pause to explore some of the wild idea and imagery Mahfood lays out for us. But I’m not really complaining about it. I love the energy in this book. I love the little side jokes and commentary from background characters. I love that Mahfood just seems to be having a whole hell of a lot of fun with this book. And that translates to me, to us readers. It works. The Grrl Scouts are just fucking badasses, man.
Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #2