There are so many comic book conventions now a day that sometimes one can pass you by and you wouldn’t even notice. That’s both the beauty and the burden of being a geek. But there’s one con that you should never let pass you by. That con is, of course, Tampa Bay Comic Con. Over the final weekend of July (or the first weekend in August) and right before kids have to head back to school is generally when Tampa Con takes place. For those of us, Florida geeks Tampa Con has a long and established history going back to around the early to mid-2000’s when it was a smaller one room Sunday convention at the Double Tree Hotel. Eventually, it was bought out by Imaginarium and expanded into the 3-day event you know of today. And according to them, it is Tampa’s largest, true comic con. Featured are exhibitors that cater to a wide-spectrum of interests including comic books, magazines, toys, games, Star Wars, Star Trek, anime, manga, cosplay, artwork, sketches, and apparel.
And during this years show I had the joy of interviewing one of the greatest artists, writers, and creators this industry has to offer. The one and only Jim Mahfood. This genius of a man has worked on Miami Vice Remix, Tank Girl, Marijuanaman, Heavy Metal and so much more. For those who you are new to the wonderful stylings of Jim’s work here’s a bit about him I stole from his website.
Jim Mahfood aka Food One was born on March 29, 1975, in St. Louis, MO. He was raised on a steady diet of classic cartoons, comic books, Star Wars, and his mom’s eclectic vinyl record collection. He began his professional art career at age 15, working for Artline Studios under the tutelage of artist Lorenzo Lizana. At age 18, he left home and moved to Kansas City to attend the Kansas City Art Institute. There he met Mike Huddleston and formed the studio: 40oz Comics. A sacred bond was created, with Mike penciling and Jim inking, and the two produced hundreds of comic book pages together. Most of this material would never see the light of day. Frustrated with rejection, Jim started self-publishing his own work in 1995 with the first issue of Girl Scouts. This would eventually lead to him scoring his first big break in 1997 with Marvel Comics, writing and drawing the bizarre X-Men related Generation X Underground Special. And from there, Mahfood’s career has branched off into the fields of illustration, advertising, murals, fine art, animation, live art in nightclubs, and custom body-painting.
Now, how about that interview? But wait! This time things are a little different. Instead of writing up my interview I’m going to give it to you as an unedited audio to listen to. How cool is that? You’re technically getting it live (not really but go with me here I’m on a roll) and straight from the wonderful convention floor of the Tampa Bay Comic Con. And let me tell you Jim Mahfood was unbelievably awesome and an overall joy. We talked his love of comics. How he got his start in the business. His creator owned work and whether or not his creator owned Image comic GRRL SCOUTS would be getting another chance at that sometimes coveted TV adaptation.
So check it out, hit play and enjoy. Also don’t forget to follow Jim Mahfood via his website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Tampa Bay Comic Con 2017 Interview: Jim Mahfood
What did you think of the interview? Comment below.