Comic Review: Everybody Loves Tank Girl

Posted 6 years ago by Comics

Tank Girl

On the last episode of Tank Girl…Rob didn’t especially like the titular, heavily-armed, cigarette-smoking female’s graphic novel, Carioca.  The story was a little light on everything: violence, character, and story.  It was an unusual, not entirely unwelcome sidestep from co-creator Alan C. Martin’s usual run with the character, but something was missing.

I’m happy to report that the Tank Girl of old is back in this latest outing from Titan Books, Everybody Loves Tank Girl.  Written by Martin with artwork by Jim Mahfood (Clerks, Grrl Scouts), ELTG is a return to the chaotic, cursing, non sequitur style of yore…kind of.

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I say “kind of”, because there is actually a through-story here…sort of.  There are three slightly longer parts to an ongoing tale of Tank Girl, her kangaroo boyfriend Booga, and their friends Barney and Jet Girl, as they babysit a kid named Feldman Haim (you kids of the ‘80s should get a kick out of that).  The kid’s parents are straight-laced and plain, which it appears Feldman will be too, until he starts mouthing off to a gang that are hunting for TG and her crew.  Thanks to the kid’s big mouth, they’re forced to go on the run to keep him alive.  The story ends rather abruptly and without any real resolution, but that’s ok, because in this case – as it is with the best Tank Girl stories –  it’s the journey and not the destination.

The rest of the book is filled with the little in-betweener, short segments that Tank Girl is known for.  They’re always funny, they’re always crass, and in this case, some of them are totally off the wall.  One of the strangest finds Tank Girl, Booga, and Riley as crystals in Jet Girl’s crystal garden.  They’re just tiny crystals with faces, and they talk about wanting water.  Another has Booga, Tank Girl, and Barney participating in a swearing contest.  One the most bizarre shows Booga and Tank Girl attacking a heavily-fortified bad guy hideout while tripping on acid.  But there’s one in particular that I really loved, Bunfight at the O.K. Supermarket, wherein Booga and Tank Girl battle the Wee-Wee Brothers, a band of 13 kids that go around peeing on everything.  Using little more than their wits and some baked goods, our heroes get out of the frying pan, only to find themselves in the fire.

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Not only has the scrambled writing returned, but the artwork is pretty incredible, too.  Mahfood’s sketchy style is incredibly detailed with a very rough look.  The characters are angular and exaggerated, looking more like the drawings from a fashion designer’s notebook than a comic book.  It has the same vibe as original artist Jamie Hewlett’s work that helped make Tank Girl the underground icon she is today.  Carioca’s artist, Mick McMahon, did a fine job with the character, but this is a return to a more true Tank Girl style.  As a sweet bonus, there are a few pages from Mahfood’s TG sketchbook in the back of the book.  His pin-ups only increase the heroine chic sexiness that’s already dripping from the pages.

In case you couldn’t tell, I really liked this graphic novel. The stories are entertaining and bizarre in the best ways.  The artwork is stellar and brings back that sense of chaos that made Tank Girl famous.  If you liked her in the ‘90s, then chances are you too will love Everybody Loves Tank Girl.

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Everybody Loves Tank Girl is currently available on Amazon, and at your local comic book store.