BOOK REVIEW- JAMIE HEWLETT & ALAN MARTIN – TANK GIRL Titan Books. 2002.
The first 15 Tank Girl comics in a single edition, developed by Gorillaz artist, James Hewlitt, and as fresh & subversive as ever.
Tank Girl, is a punk who flies around in a tank, usually managing to run people over when she lands it. She couldn’t care less about anything but sex (mostly with mutant kangaroos) and beer for breakfast, dinner and tea.
In the first few strips, she is a bounty hunter, rounding up other rebels, but when a mission to deliver colostomy bags to a VIP goes wrong and she fails to prevent him from crapping his pants, she ends up with a bounty on her own head. Other adventures pitch her against Satan, The Mafia, and more besides.
The Mafia story is a brilliant pastiche of The Italian Job, with Tank Girl (never named) joined by Sub Girl & Jet Girl, for a raid on the mob, which have stolen all the good beer in Australia.
The style of he comics is very irreverent and subversive, with stories often having no real conclusion, lots of pop culture references, such as Booga the Kangaroo phoning celebrities to tell them how crap they are, and captions under the stories reflecting the artist’s disdain for life and the readers.
Tank Girl makes Booga life miserable, forcing him to take up boxing, (at which he is rubbish), making her food and doing all the washing up, and even duping him into thinking the world willed to save herself buying him a birthday present. For once, he gets his revenge, making a paper mache meteor to convince her that it really is crashing into the earth, and leaving her with it stuck on her head while he drinks the beer. Serves her right, LOL!
Funny, anarchic and ingenious story telling that seems as fresh as the day the tank first flew.
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