Created by the UK-based Martin and famed “Gorillaz” co-founder and illustrator Jamie Hewlett in the late ’80s, the world of “Tank Girl” centers on the eponymous heroine driving her tank around a post-apocalyptic Australia with her mutant kangaroo boyfriend Booga. A genuine cult comic, “Tank Girl” is best known to the general public through the 1995 movie version which starred Lori Petty in the title role, Ice-T and Naomi Watts.
Martin and Cadwell spoke with Comic Book Resources about the debut of “Solid State Tank Girl,” revealing the inspiration for the new series, its new villain, Anti-Tank Girl, whether there’s any chance of a sequel to the 1995 film and more. Plus, an exclusive preview of Cadwell’s pages from the first issue.
CBR News: First of all, for those who may yet be unfamiliar with her, who is Tank Girl?â€¨
Alan Martin: She’s a girl who drives a tank.
That makes a lot of sense! Having laid that out, what’s can we expect from “Solid State Tank Girl?”â€¨
Martin: It’s a metaphysical tale on the nature of being, setting our heroine against a surreal, nightmarish milieu which evokes feelings of senselessness, disorientation and helplessness.
Just kidding, it’s all about farting, wit a few ball-bag jokes thrown in for good measure.
What is Tank Girl up against in this story?â€¨
Martin: She’ll be facing her ultimate nemesis — Anti-Tank Girl. She’ll also be dealing with the problems of entering your own boyfriend’s testicle in a miniaturized spaceship.
What was your inspiration for the new series?
Martin: “Fantastic Voyage.” Doug McClure. Medium-dry cider. And “Doctor Who.”
Warwick, you’re stepping in to some big “Tank Girl” shoes following the likes of Jamie Hewlett and Rufus Dayglo. How do you plan to put your own unique stamp on “Tank Girl?”
Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: Dead Big Shoes! [Philip] Bond, [Steve] Dillon, [Ashley] Wood, [Mick] McMahon and [Jim] Mahfood, too! But Jamie [Hewlett] casts the longest shadow.
There’s no point trying it any way other than my own. [I’ve] just got my fingers crossed that works.â€¨
Why do you think “Tank Girl” has been able to remain fresh for almost three decades?
Martin: I don’t think she has. She’s a tired old has-been that we’re flogging like a dead horse.
Well, on that note, what’s up next for “Tank Girl?”
Martin: Something really horrible and dark. Lots of death, despair, betrayal and oceans of dark, dark blood. A tragic gore-fest. â€¨
You’ve been releasing “Tank Girl” comics in the “Judge Dredd Megazine” in recent years. Why release “Solid State Tank Girl” through Titan Comics rather than in “Megazine” this time?â€¨
Martin: That’s an odd question! We did do a stint in the “Megazine” about three years ago, which was all very experimental, but it was only one book’s worth of material (and Titan did the collection anyway). Titan, on the other hand, have published over a dozen “Tank Girl” books.
Also, a lot of “Megazine” readers hate “Tank Girl,” and as much as I’d like to go back and cheese those guys off again, I’ve got better things to be doing with my time.
How important is the punk aesthetic to “Tank Girl?”
Martin: Not important at all. She is completely against any belief system ideology, culture, or aesthetic. As far as she’s concerned, that stuff can only hold you back.
How would you guys rate the current UK comics scene compared to when you both broke into it?
Martin: I’ve got to be honest and say that I know nothing about the UK comics scene right now. And I knew bugger all about it back in the ’80s too!
Johnson-Cadwell: There are less ‘newsstand’ comics around nowadays for sure, but digital printing and the Internet (particularly the Internet) means it’s a lot easier for someone to make comics and introduce them to an audience.
Alan, It’s been nearly two decades since Tank Girl graced theaters. Do you hope to ever have a sequel or reboot hit the screens?
Martin: MGM own the movie rights, and I can’t get any sense out of them. It doesn’t look like a new movie will be coming along any time soon.
What other projects do you guys have on the horizon?
Martin: More “Tank Girl.” And then a little bit more “Tank Girl.” â€¨
Johnson-Cadwell: More “Tank Girl “would be great! “Gungle” for Blank Slate Books. And whatever they let me get my hands on.
“Solid State Tank Girl” #1 by Alan Martin and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell is on sale May 22 in comics shops and digitally from Titan Comics.