Comic Review – Cream of Tank Girl

creamofTG

In my recent review for Geek Syndicate I made no secret of my complete and slightly creepy stalkerish level of love for Tank Girl….and ‘The Cream of Tank Girl: The Art and Craft of a Comics Icon’ has only sealed that love and perhaps given it a firm boot up the a*se.

The book is split into four sections, each concisely introduced by Martin and completely bloody over-flowing with sketches, unseen strips, unpublished scripts, posters, storyboards, Deadline covers (including the non Hewlett ones by such brilliant comic artists as Glen Fabry (Preacher covers, Neverwhere) and Brian Bolland (The Killing Joke, Judge Dredd).

Whereas the Remastered ‘Tank Girl Vol I’ and ‘Tank Girl Vol II’ are essentially a re-packaging of the original Deadline strips in glorious black and white (and some Tankycolour) with quite a few covers and extra art work thrown in for good measure, ‘The Cream of Tank Girl’ has been lovingly put together by Alan Martin in a thick wodge of historical gorgeousness – tracing the full chaos and mayhem that Tank Girl reeked from conception, through the pages of Deadline and other magazines and books, to the obligatory mention of the Tank Girl film – which I think both Martin and Hewlett would still like to beat to a bloody pulp, ending with a ‘what happened next’ epilogue. To be fair to Alan Martin he does devote a significant section of this hardcover book to showing the reader many storyboards and concept art meant for the Tank Girl film (which were all, as rumour has it, rejected by MGM for not being ‘good enough’. Riiiiight :/) which I’m really glad he did, even though both he and Hewlett felt royally shafted by the way Hollywood bastardized Tank Girl – I think he either accepts that the film actually has a pretty big cult following, or he wanted to show us what should have been – either way, thank you Mr Martin J

‘Tank Girl I’ and ‘II’ can be read by anyone – so could ‘Cream’ but I think the hardcore fans would get more out of it (especially us old ‘uns who get a kick out of seeing the indie bands of the 90s like Senseless Things, CUD and P.W.E.I. plastered across the Deadline covers J )

In a newspaper article in 1995, Hewlett summed up the appeal of Tank Girl brilliantly “She’s much bigger than any other female hero has ever been; even than Ripley in Aliens. She’s cooler and much more fun. That’s why women love her; they like to see a female character doing something good and quick. No screaming. She’s like Arnie Schwarzenegger. With a bra on”.

I’d say that’s still spot-on in 2009 😀

GS Reviewer: Iz

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