11th November, 2010

Tank Girl: Skidmarks

Review by Bernice Watson

If you were concerned that a post-Hollywood, 21st century Tank Girl might have lost her edge you can breathe easy because Skidmarks is a chip off the old block and Alan Martin brings the same boisterously bizarre humour we all know and love to this new series. The basic premise goes something like this: after a horrific longboard accident, involving a railing, concrete stairs and her face, Tank Girl's good buddy Barney lies comatose and drooling in a local hospital. In order to fund the necessary life-saving brain surgery Tank Girl and Booga enter the legendary Watermelon Run: a death defying, no-holds-barred race across the Australian outback. Naturally, mayhem and hilarity ensue.

Martin's storytelling follows classic Tank Girl style as she careens from one unpredictable and random adventure to another with the hapless Booga in tow. Underpants, boobs, pant-soiling, fart jokes, casual violence and general chaos follow in her wake. Martin has a gift for creating a steady stream of twisting, turning, rapid-fire madness and widespread insanity that nevertheless pulls together into a relatively comprehensible series of events. Tank Girl's never been one to fuck around and Skidmarks  is no exception, she hurtles across the desert with all her usual nut-crushing, head-lopping, cigar chewing finesse.

Issue three hosts the eight page 'Welcome to Tank Girl Land!' which harks back nicely to Tank Girl's greyscale beginnings and therefore seems fondly nostalgic to fans of earlier Tank Girl stories. Issue two features 'The Belles of Rhymney' which gives a quick glimpse into Tank Girl's school days and the beginning of her friendship with Barney. You might not recognise her with a bowlcut and blazer though! Issues two to four each have a double spread pull out poster but you'll have to sacrifice the story pages on either side to get them out.

Taking the wheel on the art of Skidmarks is Rufus Dayglo. Dayglo also did the art for issues two to four of The Gifting and Visions of Booga. Some might say that taking over the art of a series like Tank Girl where the characters are so connected to the iconic work of Jamie Hewlett is a bit of a tall order but Dayglo takes the well-loved characters and makes them his own without sacrificing any of the energy or irreverence of Hewlett's work. 

Skidmarks can proudly take its place alongside all the previous Tank Girl comics as a fitting next chapter in the life of one of the world’s most famous and well loved outlaws.

For more on Tank Girl and it's artist, read our recent interview with Rufus Dayglo!

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