Jim Mahfood is a name comics fans will recognize. His art style, heavily inspired by graffiti, was one of the most distinct and clever of the ’90s, and Mahfood spent years at Marvel, defining, among other things, the younger X-Men.
Currently, he’s got Everybody Loves Tank Girl on the stands, and we sat down to talk about the book. We’ve also got preview pages for the lovely collected edition.
Gamma Squad: How did you first come into the orbit of Tank Girl?
Mahfood: I first discovered Tank Girl around 1993, my freshman year of college. It completely blew my mind. I had never seen or read anything else like it. Discovering Jamie Hewlett’s artwork was a game changer for me.
I got involved with Everybody Loves Tank Girl when Alan Martin and I became friends on Facebook. We started chatting and he asked me to draw the book, and I completely freaked out and of course said yes. What a huge thrill!
Gamma Squad: How familiar were you with Jamie Hewlett’s work before you started?
Jim Mahfood: Oh, very familiar! I’m a huge fan. Jamie is in my Top 5 artists of all time, for sure.
Gamma Squad: You have an interesting take on her, a pretty nutty character to begin with. How did you approach drawing the book?
Mahfood:I just approached it like any of my other gigs. I cut loose and did my thing. Alan Martin sent me the scripts and basically told me to go crazy and draw it the way I wanted to draw it.
I think that’s the right approach for Tank Girl. It has to be a fun and organic process to make the book, you can’t over think it or over plan it. Just let it happen, let the chaos and destruction ensue.
Gamma Squad: There’s no colorist credited, did you handle the colors yourself?
Mahfood:Actually, the lovely and talented Anne Masse colored the book. She was credited in the individual issues of the series but not in the hardcover collection.
Her work is brilliant and she deserves to be recognized for what she brought to the book. She really made my shabby drawings come to life. I thought it was great that we jumped from full color stories, to one-color stories and one-page prose kinda things, and there was even black & white stuff thrown into the mix.
Gamma Squad: You’re well-known as heavily involved in underground hip-hop; did you find your work in that sphere spilling over a little bit?
Mahfood:Not really. My art is inspired and fueled by my love of music either way, and I listen to a really wide array of tunes when I’m drawing. The attitude and vibe of the music manages to seep into the work in one weird way or another. I have specific soundtracks that I list in the individual stories of what LPs I had in heavy rotation at the particular moment of creation.
Gamma Squad: And, since a few of our readers asked, any chance you might come back to drawing Jubilee at some point?
Mahfood: Whoa! Sure, if Marvel will have me!
On the next few pages, check out the book, on shelves now.