Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stupid Comics: Phoenix Edition Vol. 1

by Jim Mahfood

There is a lot to like in this collection of Jim Mahfood's comic strips for the Phoenix New Times, a counter-cultural newspaper.  The strip has a few recurring characters, but is more focused on cultural and political commentary from one of the more underground creators to achieve mainstream comics recognition.

Mahfood's strip is concerned with many of the usual issues of the day - cultural complacency, environmentalism, Republican wars of aggression, the prominence of social networking technology in peoples' lives, Democratic ineffectiveness, celebrity culture, and the ridiculousness of Twilight.  To that list, he adds issues that are much more central to life in Phoenix, most especially, the on-going debate about immigration and the institutionalized lack of support for Mexicans and other Latin Americans in the region.

To that end, Mahfood positively eviscerates Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his tent city prison, his pink underwear rules, and vicious anti-Mexican stance.  Sheriff Joe is an easy target, but that doesn't make it less fun.  He also takes aim at Governor Napolitano, and the Mayor of Phoenix with great regularity.

Not being from the area, I'm sure there are many jokes that I missed, but I did enjoy this collection of strips quite a bit.  There are many pages in this book that made me laugh.

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