By Daniel Vlasaty
Man, this book is weird. And I mean that in the best possible way. Jim Mahfood has created an amazing world of action and excessive drug use and revenge and ancient prophecies and secret organizations and internet obsession. Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #3 is balls-to-the-wall weird/wacky/crazy but this issue kind of feels like a needed step back from a story that’s been going over 100 MPH since it started. For some reason this book gives me hard 90’s nostalgia. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the way the Freak City is portrayed as big and mean and dirty and covered in graffiti like I always thought the “big city” would be when I was growing up. Or maybe it’s because there were quite a few montage scenes in this issue and I automatically associate movies with montage scenes to my childhood hood. Again, I don’t know why my brain works the way it does.
Issue #3 opens with some weird creature lecturing Gwen on, essentially, what’s happened in the last issue. The creature is wearing a long red robe and appears to be made up of nothing but eyeballs and tentacles and what may or may not be long gray dicks. These first few pages are set up with side-by-side panels with the creature doing all the talking and Gwen alternating between drinking and smoking. I think this is a pretty good preface on how this how issue is going to be. Things happen and other people do all the talking, and Gwen and Rita (the remaining Grrl Scouts) are just drinking and smoking. I guess it’s their way of mourning or preparing for the fight to come.
Jim Mahfood is giving us some added tension for the Grrl Scouts, as if they needed more tension and action. On top of the murder of one of their ranks they’re also living in a city where a murderer and terrorist such as Josie Sanchez can also become an internet celebrity. She posts her crimes on the internet and after her murder of Daphne went viral she’s now making the round on the talk show circuit. She’s got an ever-growing band of groupies and followers and believers. And she’s also basically been given the okay to do what she’s doing by the police because the Grrl Scouts are a nuisance to them anyway and they just don’t give a shit. Josie’s got bigger plans with the magic socks but we don’t know what they are yet.
Other than this, story wise, this issue is kind of quiet. But it’s the calm before the storm kind of quiet. I think. If the last page is to be believed that storm is going to get pretty violent and bloody and shoot-y and fucked up. Jim Mahfood has created an interesting world here. It’s a pretty solid exaggeration on our own world and our internet obsession and the whole viral celebrity thing and just how much people love drinking and drugs and getting super fucked up. I have no idea where this story is going to go. I think I thought I did before this new issue. I guess I was expecting a more straight forward revenge story. But it’s more than that now. The addition of the secret organization and the ancient prophecy kind of threw that off. But I’ll be the first to say that I have complete and utter faith in Jim Mahfood’s ability to tell this story.
The art in Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #3 is weirder and more surreal than the previous two issues. I’ve always dug it but there’s just something different about it here. It’s both in the bigger details as well as the small minor things. There are more things happening in the backgrounds. Weird things. Silly things. Shapes and patterns that give the book more of a surreal feel. And then there are the montage scenes I mentioned earlier. There’s more where Rita’s doing a graffiti shrine to Daphne. There’s another one where Gwen and Rita are getting all kinds of fucked up as a way to cope and honor and remember their fallen friend. And then there’s the one at the end I won’t spoil. But all I’ll say about it is there’s a cute little talking cat named Carl and he’s wearing red pajamas like something Hugh Hefner would wear. Jim Mahfood’s style is so unique and he’s moving up on my list of favorite writer/artists. He’s up there with Paul Pope and Brandon Graham and James Stokoe in my book.
I’ll say this again. The story is crazy and I can understand how some people might not want to get down with something so off the rails. If you’re one of them, I get that. I get you and I’m not going to hold it against you. But I will urge and encourage you to at least check this book out for the art. The art alone is worth the cover price. Seriously.
Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks is an interesting book. It’s very rare that there’s a book that I can’t find one thing wrong with. In all my reviews of this series there hasn’t been anything that I criticized. I don’t think. I have nothing bad to say about it. I think it’s a refreshing and wacky and silly book that’s exactly what’s needed right about now. In my life and in the world around me (us). Everything’s so serious and fuck that. Have a beer or a shot or smoke a J or do whatever it is you need to do to relax and just enjoy this book already. Okay?
Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #3