MASHBONE & GRIFTY, ISSUES #1-3
Art & Story: Oscar Garza
Story: Rolando Esquivel
Publisher: 5 Meats Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A no-holds-barred, balls-to-the-wall Latinx indie comedy about two friends attempting to play detective but settling for general hijinks.
Garza & Esquivel have created a "Latinxploitation" genre, leaning into stereotypes for comedic effect like a Hispanic Key & Peele. The title characters are also obsessed with movies, so each issue plays out a lot like Cheech & Chong did an episode of Community, a send-up of a genre and its tropes.
Basically, it's a lot of fun.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Mashbone & Grifty are two broke friends who decide to be two broke detectives. As such, they can’t pay their bill at the bar, so it's pretty lucky when a man bursts in and hires them on the spot. The mission? To solve the mystery of his missing...erm, we'll say "Rooster." This first issue is a neo-noir, crime/detective story that will make any fan of wordplay and crude humor snort with laughter. In the second issue, they still don’t have enough money to pay their rent, and it's due in 2 days. So, naturally, they play Hobo Football. The game's about what you might expect, where the homeless are paid a meager sum to play a brutal version of American football. This one definitely plays with the "Sports Movie" genre, but it also highlights a lot of issues around homelessness -- of course, while still remaining jaw-droppingly funny. Issue #3 is the CHRISTMAS SPECIAL! Mashbone & Grifty are hired to investigate why Santa Claus is acting so strangely. It plays out like a holiday horror story, complete with poison and murder. Fun for the whole family! Well, so long as your family is all adult (there's a reason there's a disclaimer on the cover).
Mashbone & Grifty is laugh-out-loud funny
If you've ever played the hilarious grindhouse game, Shadows of the Damned, the dirty jokes and double-entendres might remind you strongly of that
Garza & Esquivel have created a solid and hilarious Latinx title, bringing some much-needed representation to the medium
The issues are filled with movie references and film-related humor that fans of the genre will love
Spanish use in dialogue builds tone and authenticity while translations throughout the issues help ensure English-speakers don't miss out on the humor
Plus, when it comes to learning other languages, learning the curse words is the best part!
The tone is light-hearted and fun, even when bringing attention to social issues, like homelessness
Double-sized issues mean more bang for your buck
Disclaimer on the cover is a much-appreciated content warning
Bonus points because the name of the comic reminds me of the Deep Thoughts (from old episodes of Saturday Night Live) that talks about Hambone & Flippy
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
It's definitely not for kids -- ESPECIALLY the first issue
Cursing, humorous but sexually punny language, violence, adult themes, the works
The issues break some serious lettering rules, crossing the tails
There's a decent amount of dialogue to fit into the panels, so it'd take a talented and experienced letterer (and maybe some editing) to make sure it all fit
While the jokes and timing in the comic are spot-on, the title relies on them (rather than the overall plot) to hook readers and inspire purchases of future issues
I'm a non-Hispanic white guy, and so I don't feel like I have the tools to talk about race or ethnicity, so my gut reaction is that folks might get offended by this sort of "Latinxploitation" humor, but maybe not?
The creators have said in an interview that the characters talk this way because it's real and based on their own lives, which should help defuse any discomfort readers may have
If you have feelings either way, please comment here or on Twitter!
No color in issue #1, and limited color in subsequent issues
It doesn't seem to hurt the comic or the content, though!
Pops of red throughout all the issues are a nice touch
There's an upfront in the first issue that's pretty copy-heavy (has a lot of words, for those not in the industry), which may scare people off if they just want to get right to the jokes
It also helps answer any questions readers might have about the guy with a bone through his head, or why we're following these characters
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's 100% the funniest comic I've ever read. If you're a fan of crude humor and comic hijinks, you should already be reading Mashbone & Grifty.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Tristen's Small Problem by Jennie Garza & Oscar Garza
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man Collection by Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, Chris Samnee & Sara Pichelli
Deadpool, Vol. 1 by Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan & Tony Moore
If you like the art:
Mashbone & Grifty #4 by Oscar Garza & Rolando Esquivel
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1 by Bryan O'Malley & Nathan Fairbairn
WHO Is The Strongest?!, Vol. 1 by Zein Okko
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Oscar Garza – Writer & Artist
Dream Team: Co-founded 5 Meats Comics with Rolando Esquivel
Multitalented: Works on both the story side of things and the art side
Influenced by Carlos Meglia, Sam Kieth’s The Maxx, Disney’s Tarzan & WB’s Freakazoid (source)
Rolando Esquivel – Writer
Multitalented: Is also an editor at comics publisher, 5 Meats Comics
Is a huge pop culture fan, as you may be able to tell in the comic
Dream Team: Helped make, with Oscar Garza, the Mashbone & Grifty short on Amazon
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these:
You can also help support 5 Meats Comics' publishing endeavors by purchasing a Latinx-themed shirt from their store!
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