Click here to return to the main site.

Book Review

Book Cover

The Way of Tank Girl (Hardback)


Writer: Alan Martin
Artists: Jamie Hewlett, Ashley Wood and Brett Parson
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £9.99, US $14.99, Cdn $19.99
ISBN: 978 1 78586 463 6
Publication Date: 18 April 2018

Through 30 years of chaos, misconduct and badly-made cheese sandwiches, Tank Girl has ploughed her own particular, peculiar furrow – always shifting, always changing, never letting anyone pin her down. The trail she has left is strewn with images, anecdotes and nuggets of pure brown wisdom. In this book, we condense her very best moments to bring you the lumpy, erratically pulsing, golden heart of Tank Girl. Page upon page of inspiring images – some old, some new, some borrowed and some abused. This is a manual for modern times. This is the way of Tank Girl…

To mark three decades of Tank Girl, Alan Martin and Titan Comics have assembled this 144-page anthology of comic panels, poems, short stories and extracts from our heroine’s 30-year publication history. It’s not really a best-of collection, more a kind of scrapbook of rare and memorable images. In no particular order, it cherry-picks moments from Tank Girl’s entire career in comics, from the cover (by her co-creator Jamie Hewlett) of the very first issue of Deadline, the magazine in which the delinquent made her debut way back in October 1988, to Brett Parson’s sexy illustration for the front of her latest adventure, Tank Girl Takes a Trip, published the same week as this book.

Perhaps for rights reasons, all of the images presented here are the work of one of three artists, Hewlett, Parson and Ashley Wood – so you will find nothing by Tank Girl contributors such as Rufus Dayglo, Jonathan Edwards or Jim Mahfood.

In his introduction, Martin seems confident that this volume will appeal to dedicated fans and newcomers alike. Personally, I’m not so sure. With no complete strips or stories longer than three pages, I doubt that the assorted images and excerpts herein will make a whole lot of sense to the uninitiated or win over any new converts. At the other end of the scale, hardcore fans will find that they have seen most of the content before – though I did notice some rough pencil sketches that were new to me.

Some of the content does work in isolation, such as single-page pieces of art (covers, posters, etc) and short strips (for example, a three-page funny in which Barney challenges Tank Girl to a fistfight, the one-page The Joy of Swearing and the two-page Super Krunchy Booga Flakes). Extracts from longer strips are frustratingly bitty. For these, we see only part of the story – indeed, sometimes only part of the page, as the square format of this book means that the content of the original page has had to be either zoomed and cropped or presented with wide margins to the left and right.

I think a better way to celebrate Tank Girl’s anniversary would be to read an actual comic strip in a comic book or graphic novel. That’s what I’ll be doing.


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Kindle edition
Kindle edition