Jim Mahfood is one of LA’s treasures, an artist and writer in demand by the big comics publishers but also doing his own thing, self-publishing comix in many different genres and styles. Jim exemplifies the taco lifestyle, we caught up with him last week for an interview to explore his love of hot women, tacos, and art…
You’ve done so many types of comix from genre stuff, classic super heros, pop culture, nude ladies, personal stories– what are your favorites to write/draw?
I like doing a bit of everything, variety is cool, but writing and
drawing my own stuff that has to do with music and all the other shit
that I’m into, that’s my favorite. I did two issues of Kick Drum
Comix, and it was all music-inspired stuff with brand new characters
that I created, and I had a blast doing that. I also just finished a
comic one-shot called Carl, the Cat That Makes Peanut Butter
Sandwiches, and I just gave myself the freedom to have fun and do
whatever the hell I wanted, and that usually results in the best
product. I started a new autobio strip on my blog:
www.foodoneart.blogspot.com called “Los Angeles Ink Stains” and it’s
slice of life type stuff about living and all the weird stuff that
happens. It’s like therapy making those comics. The reaction has been
How long have you lived in Los Angeles? What are your favorite parts of town?
I’ve been here for over six years. I like all of it, really. I’m from
the Midwest originally so LA is all new to me, it’s all fascinating. I
lived in Burbank and then moved to Hollywood five years ago. I like it
here. I’m in a pretty cool neighborhood. I can walk to alot of places.
I really like Atwater Village, Los Feliz, Echo Park, Silverlake, some
of the galleries and bars downtown and stuff, all of it.
You have a real talent for drawing hot chicks– do you get laid a lot? What advice can you give to the young, sex-obsessed comic artist who wants to meet hot girls in LA?
Ha ha, yea, I dunno. I was with the coolest girl in the world and
fucked it up, so I’m not really sure. But, I think that if you can
make a girl laugh, and you can dance kind of good, and if you can
maybe draw her a cool picture of a taco, you will probably do okay. I
really dig women. There’s such an interesting and exciting mix of
women out here. It’s really influenced the way that I draw and
represent them in my work. Women are hard to draw, it took me a really
long time to get it right, I think I’m almost there. The highest
compliment I can get is when women tell me they dig the way I draw
Do your parents read your comix? What do they say?
I don’t know. They’ve read some of the stuff I did awhile ago, but I’m
not sure about the new stuff. I think they are very proud of me, but
maybe secretly scared by some of the shit I might write and draw
about. Ha ha. But I send them my artbooks and keep them informed of
what I’m doing. They like my paintings. They’ve been really
supportive. My mom even went out in St.Louis and bought my Colt 45
Do you ever do illegal graffiti street art?
I tried to paint graf in St.Louis and Kansas City years ago but I was
a toy. I was a sucker. I didn’t know what I was doing. I almost got
shot one night sneaking up onto a rooftop and that sort of ended my
painting career before it began. But in K.C. I got to hang out with
some amazing writers like Gear and Scribe, and I got to see them in
action. It gave me a very deep appreciation for graf and the lifestyle
around it. These guys don’t fuck around. Recently, I went out
stenciling one night out here over the holidays when the streets were
empty. It was a thrill. I dig all the stenciling and wheatpasting that
goes on out here. But I’m still on probation, man, I have to watch my
Do you like to travel? Where have you been outside the US?
Yea, traveling is one of the coolest things that has come out of this
whole art career. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, France, Amsterdam, and
London. I got to be a guest at an art show in France, it was amazing!
I did an art show there and a book signing at Album in Paris. They
were bumpin’ Wu Tang over the stereo system and feeding my buddy Jeff
and I tall cans of Heinekin. The french know where it’s at! They are
my kind of people. I did an art show in London and signed at Forbidden
Planet. I met so many amazing people, it was the shit. Art and comix
bring people together, for real.
What’s your favorite street food? Where are your favorite tacos in LA?
Well, I’m a taco guy, a mexican food guy. Growing up in St. Louis,
Taco Bell was about all we had for mexican. Pretty sad. I’ve tried
those street hot dogs when I’ve been drunk, they’re over the top.
There’s a tamale guy that creeps around outside the clubs some nights.
That guy is my hero! When I see him me and my friends will bum rush
him and buy twenty of those things. For spots, I’m down with El
Campadre on Sunset. I can walk there. The mood and atmosphere there is
chill and they have an electric lounge mariachi band and badass
flaming margaritas. I also go to Los Tacos on Santa Monica. That’s
some drunken late-night shit. You have to watch your back in there,
lots of Hollywood freaks and trannys and such. Malo is great on $1
taco night, Cactus is good, Burrito King, I’m down with all of it,