Page 45 Review by Stephen
Gorgeous cover. Inevitably this does make mention of the film because it killed the comic. It killed the creators' interest in the character, and it killed the fans' interest in the creation.
Before then it was a rollercoaster ride of gleeful mayhem thanks to a chance meeting at Worthing Art College between Martin, Hewlett and 2000AD artist Brett Ewins who came down to lecture for the day, saw the throwaway ad for "Tank Girl - she'll break your back and your balls" in a comic they'd self-published, and commissioned their first TANK GIRL strip for a new magazine he was launching with Steve Dillon and Tom Astor. That magazine was DEADLINE, an inspired fusion of comics and music which was to become a British cultural icon for its 60-odd issues... at least in circles I walked.
Wherever Tank Girl roamed - A1, Dark Horse's DEADLINE USA, the first Penguin trade paperback or Manga Publishing's little effort - DEADLINE remained Tank Girl's central residence, and reprinted here are all the many, many covers she adorned, plus interior posters, some strips, lots of designs, bits o' merchandise, sundry appearances elsewhere and several enjoyably silly photos. On top of that, Alan has exhumed for your delectation full strips of other projects the pair collaborated on and even abandoned pre-publication. In fact the final episode of "The 16s" here remains half-inked.
Martin is your guide, casting off from his early school friendship with Philip Bond (KILL YOUR GIRLFRIEND etc.), setting sail through college days with Hewlett and co., then navigating the choppy seas of their creation's instant success before beaching on the lifeless dessert that was Hollywood's mooovie treatment. You'll also learn where Tank Girl's first hair crop came from (makes so much sense now I know, but I'm not telling you here), and why she constantly evolved: in direct rebellion against being co-opted by everyone claiming her as their own, "from political causes, to fashion tribes, to individual comic-obsessives". He's not wrong. She was also the go-to icon for grrrls wishing to express their individuality by looking exactly like each other.