Comic Review – Tank Girl: Skidmarks

I’ll own up straight away – I am a Tank Girl nut-job so this review of Skidmarks is going to be just a teeny bit biased, especially as I finally got to meet the lovely Alan C Martin recently, who kindly scribbled in my very own copy and didn’t seem to mind when I dribbled on him just a little bit.

Tank Girl launched herself on the world in a hazy fug of stale beer, dirty grotts and a F*** You attitude in the late 80s – her first appearance in Deadline magazine had me hooked and a little Tank Girl clone was born…and I hope after reading this, a few more clones will appear 

Fellow clones revelled in her monthly appearances in Deadline magazine for a decade of anarchy, madness and general depravity. Then Hollywood came knocking and Tank Girl the movie was created, installing a sense of loathing into the creators Martin and Hewlett, and kinda put the kaybosh on Tank Girl’s future. Writer Alan Martin effectively retired Tank Girl and disappeared to the wilds of the British countryside…. Years passed with no TG, until several collected works were released (hurrah), new titles were created with new artists (double hurrah) which eventually led to a beautiful coffee table book the Cream of Tank Girl (if you are a fan, go buy one, it’s fantastic).

In 2008, Tank Girl returned to a magazine format for the first time in far too long – the Judge Dredd Megazine (2000AD’s monthly counterpart) commissioned a 12 part storyline Tank Girl: Skidmarks. God bless Tharg the Mighty. Some questioned whether the Megazine was the ideal home for TG, but I was one who actually picked up the Meg for the first time (after being a 2000AD reader for a while) and am now a huge fan, even when TG isn’t in it.

Skidmarks sees co-creator and all round genius Alan C. Martin team back up with the equally bloody brilliant Rufus Dayglo after their team up on The Gifting and the trippy Kerouac-inspired Visions of Booga.

Titan Books, who previously re-printed and re-issued the collected works of Tank Girl (there’s three, go get ‘em), have now re-printed Skidmarks in all its glory in comic book format – but there’s more!! Skidmarks is now in glorious Krank-colour and has added swearing (woo hoo!!)

The premise of Skidmarks is simple: One of Tank Girls best friends Barney is in a coma after twatting about on a skateboard. TG and mutant kangaroo boyfriend Booga need to raise tons of money for her surgery, so they enter the highly illegal and intensly insane Water Melon Run, a huge automobile race to the death. Things are never simple in the TG universe so the plot thickens in truly bizarre style, but that’s all you need to know for #1. It’s fast-paced, action (and expletive) packed, very very funny and although TG, Booga and the crew are obviously completely crazy, Skidmarks is less surreal than previous TG books, so it’ll be an easier narrative to follow to those who might have found original Tank Girl a bit too off the wall previously.

Just so that the reader is under no misconceptions, the front of issue one has a very proud banner ‘NOW WITH ADDED SWEARING’ so if you disapprove of bad language, this comic is not for you so don’t ****ing pick it up  Martin does not shy away from this announcement either – on the first page alone we have 1 x tw*t and 1 x f*ck – and I won’t even go into detail about Tank Girls pants :/

Tank Girl’s enduring qualities are that she’s a hard-arsed, hard-drinking, crazy, funny bird who pretty much spends her entire time with one finger stuck up at everyone…and long may she continue.

GS Reviewer: Iz

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One comment

  1. gpwatson /

    i’ve always been a tank girl fan-primarily for jamie hewlett’s art. on this as on other recent t.g. projects i think rufus dayglo has actually been a fantastic stand in. my problem with ‘skidmarks’ so far has been it’s unfortunate muddiness. i’m not sure if this is a problem with the colorist or the printer but the two issues i’ve bought don’t have the crispness of the old school tank girl and i don’t think it’s a stylistic choice, it just seems like someone is dropping the ball.

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