But for the most part I felt I didn’t “get it.” Now, for a confession, I don’t have a longstanding relationship with Tank Girl. No more than anyone who frequented comic shops and had a subscription to Wizard Magazine during the ’90s would have. I can’t remember a standout Tank Girl moment, and I only vaguely remember the movie (which I’ve heard wasn’t true to the comics anyway).
Despite this, I enjoyed the personality and style of every page. The art from Jim Mahfood is punchy as hell, and I loved it. The writing, characterization, and cleverness was all great too.
The only real thing I got hung up on was the chaotic nature of the plot — or lack thereof. It’s essentially a series of vignettes. Some of the pieces seem to reference other scenes, and it’s unclear to the non-indoctrinated if this references are from past issues or simply artifice. That is distracting, in a way, but forgivable. What really aggravated me, in a bit of a backwards way, was just starting to like a story line only to have it cut off with a forced punchline. Not all of the endings felt especially earned or resolved.
I’d recommend Tank Girl for anyone in a counter culture. Really, any counter culture. Gamers, hipsters, punks, metal heads, hippies, anime/manga lovers, or anything else. You get the sense that it was made in opposition of something established, something mainstream, something normal. And that, in itself, is kind of a cool thing.
Now, I don’t think the average guy or gal, or even casual comic readers, would enjoy this. It’s disjointed, perhaps purposely so, and it’ll confuse you a lot. But, I have a hunch, it wasn’t written for you anyway. So no harm done.
Everybody Loves Tank Girl
Drawn by Jim Mahfood and Written by Alan Martin
PRO: Great style and originality
CON: Lack of universal appeal, connective and self-contained plot