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Your homework for this weekend is to watch the movie Brazil, and to not feel too guilty if you want to fast-forward through the last 20 minutes. The movie, directed at most points by Terry Gilliam and released in 1985, is technically science fiction in that it takes place in the future, but the more I live beyond 1985 the more it feels to me like a documentary.

This is my very roundabout and pretentious way of saying that this week my copy of Outlook decided to update itself, and in the process wiped out all of my filters and folders, throwing my already tenuously organized workflow into a sort of chaos that feels like every input in my life has been attached to a grumbling sewage line.

That, plus the fact that we’re headed into a long weekend, plus the fact that it’s just a slowish week for comics, is why I’m only reviewing one book this week. Hopefully everything will be back to norbal by next Wednesday and we’ll waltz into the holiday season with our inboxes tidy and our technology compliant. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though. These sewage lines look like they’re here to stay.

Support The Stranger

Thanks as always to Phoenix for looking through this week’s releases! And happy Local Comic Shop Day.

GRRL SCOUTS: STONE GHOST


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I was just talking to a friend about Jhonen Vasquez’s lol-so-random comics from the 1990s, Squee! and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, both precursors to his somewhat more family-friendly show Invader Zim, so I was already in the right frame of mind to receive this worthy contemporary. Originally hailing from the '90s under the title Girl Scouts before the actual Girl Scouts asked him to please not, the series is a wonderful riot of random psychedelic violence and scratchily-scrawled art that veers from doodle-style to splattery collages. In this story, a quiet young bounty hunter departs a rough-and-tumble bar somewhere in a spaceship-and-aliens future seeking a quarry while also, unbeknownst to her, being hunted by other sinister forces. It’s not the most innovative premise, but the weirdly scrawled art, which looks like something you’d find scraped into the wall of a haunted house, provides plenty of visual interest to make up for what is at first a predictable plot. (Collectors, keep your eyes peeled for the Peach Momoko variant cover.) A mid-issue twist, which is told in a flashback that is creatively rendered as simple line-art on notebook paper, lands a sophisticated emotional gut-punch., so keep your eyes peeled for that, too. The style of Grrl Scouts is very love-it-or-hate-it, particularly when it comes to the cute, edgily precious dialogue. Even the crude lettering feels at times like it’s daring you to keep reading. But there’s an explosive momentum to the story, a strangeness to the vision, and a genuine mystery in the final pages that makes me glad to see creator Jim Mahfood once again cooking with ingredients so uniquely, rebelliously bizarre.
Rating: 👧👧👧👧👧 (5/5)
Creator, writer, illustrator: Jim Mahfood. Book Design: Carmen Acosta. Logo Design: Adam Dumper. Variant Cover: Peach Momoko. Production: Tricia Ramos. Special Thanks: Justin Stewart.


ALSO: CHEWBACCA CELEBRATES, THE HULK FLIES, and FURRY REVENGE


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Another story from the future is out in paperback this week — Geiger, whose issue #1 I happily reviewed here. Nerds will be delighted to hear that there is a new Star Wars book focused on Life Day — that’s right, the premise of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. Also from Marvel is a new Black Panther that looks quite promising, and a Hulk in which the big green lug is piloted like a spaceship — sure, why not. And furries, rejoice: Good Boy is an anthro John Wick story about a dog out for revenge.