Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kick Drum Comix #2

Kick Drum Comix #2 - Jim Mahfood (Image, $5.95) - I'm not sure what has happened since I did my mini review of the first issue of this two part series. In that review I mentioned that I loved Grrl Scouts, but was sort of uncertain about my feelings for the whole scene that Mahfood's stuff seems to embody. Since that time I attended the Small Press Expo and opened up my mind even more about what I think makes good comics and what I like from an art standpoint as well. This is all a journey, right?

I loved this issue like crazy. I don't know if I have just grown into his art or if it has just gotten increasingly cool, but it just explodes for me now.  The comic is again slightly larger in all dimensions than a regular comic, and the cover is a satin finish that looks and feels great, but that just drinks any oils out of my hands when I touch it. It contains two stories, one is about 26 pages, and the other is 21 or so. 47 large pages of cool stuff with 2 self contained stories for 6 bucks. It is slightly expensive, but a pretty good value, compared to some 4 dollar 22 page stories that are out there.

The first story is Brian & Rod: Battle of the bands, Battle of the hearts: Other than ending with vandalism, which generally makes me sad, even when committed against country clubs, I really liked this. The art is great, the coloring is brilliant it burns itself into your eyes in a good way. This is comic book art. It isn't realistic comic book art, but it has a definite style to it that like I said earlier has just snuck up on me and made me love it even though i resisted at first. Jim Mahfood is about 6 years younger than I am, but I swear I have known some of the characters he writes and draws. I am pretty sure I knew skaters just like these guys. I am not an artist, but I have a character I have drawn since 1986 or so, based on a sort of spiritual twin to Brian that I went to school with. Skating, Bands, and minor acts of property damage while trying to score chicks. It wasn't me, but I am pretty sure I was in art class in High School with those guys.

The second story is Echo Chambers: Bombastic Avenging Disco Space Goddess - It's pretty great as well, and not just because it has gratuitous nudity. Every panel, even ones that are just close ups of an eye and a nose, seems to have a LOT going on. The main character, Echo, Comes across to me as a sort of hip and sexy Mia Wallace(Pulp Fiction) meets the Bride from Kill Bill by way of... I don't know, someone sexy and blue who isn't a smurf... not that I find smurfs sexy or anything... I just find them blue. There is very little to the story, but there is more there than it looks like. It is a very good introduction to the character, and could be used to launch in to a series of stories featuring that character. You get a sense of her personality, as well as the general setting, etc. It's mostly a shower scene and a fight scene, but there is a sense of fun there that I like.

I recommend picking this and the first issue up if you haven't already. It's different and it's fun

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