These Are Our Gods: Tank Girl

These Are Our Gods:…”. A series of influential people who’ve had an impact on (Sub)Culture.


This edition’s God is Tank Girl
, the titular character of the British comic created by Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin in the mid 80’s. Tank Girl was a successor of Women’s Lib and the precursor to the freeballing/independent women of the 90’s & early 2000’s.

I chose Tank Girl because she embodied the carefree-fuck a curtsey-pussy or dick will do just fine-approach that seems very much prevalent in women today. Not to say that ALL women are gender bending sheroes but they are certainly less adhering to societal norms than they were in the past. She was a victory lap personified. The bra burning of the 60’s allowed women a little wiggle room and when all was said and done, Tank Girl demanded a whole continent for just that purpose.

Tank was actually birthed through a collegiate crush. Co-creator Alan Martin played in a band (University Smalls) with fellow cartoonist Phil Bond, Bond had a crush on a girl who resembled a character in the black & white comic Love and Rockets, affection eventually led to inspiration and in the end Jamie conjured up degenerate/heroine Tank Girl. Martin said of Jamie’s illustration;

“a grotty looking beefer of a girl brandishing an unfeasible firearm. One of our friends was working on a project to design a pair of headphones and was basing his design on the type used by World War II tank driver. His studio in Worthing was littered with loads of photocopies of combat vehicles. Alan pinched one of the images and gave it to Jamie who then stuck it behind his grotty girl illustrations and then added a logo which read ‘Tank Girl'” – Alan Martin

Because of her sexual deviance and anarchist overtone Tank Girl became a “cartoon mirror of the growing empowerment of women in punk rock culture.” Tank’s omni-sexuality and defiance also represented a revolution, a revolution that obliterated all couth and tradition. She was, and still is, Punk’s anti-heroine. The fact that she picks her nose and curses like a sailor only adds to her mystique; to know Tank is to love Tank and to love Tank you must broaden your horizons and free your mind.

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