- Title: Tank Girl: Armadillo! and a Bushel of Other Stories
- Author: Alan C. Martin
- Publisher: Titan Books (April 8, 2008)
- Paperback: 240 pages
This book is nuts.
Now that it’s out of the way, for the uninitiated, Tank Girl is a comic created by Alan C. Martin and Jamie Hewlett (of Gorillaz fame) about the titular Tank Girl, who drives (you guessed it) a tank, her mutant kangaroo boyfriend Booga, and her friends, the creatively named Jet Girl, Sub Girl, and Boat Girl. Oh, and Barney. They do crazy shit. There was also a 1995 adaptation movie starring Lori Petty and Naomi Watts. While it was decent, it still doesn’t hold a candle to how bonkers the comics are.
Tank Girl: Armadillo! And a Bushel of Other Stories is Tank Girl’s first foray into the world of prose, still with the crazy-ass stories that I’ve come to expect as a fan of Tank Girl. Almost like the comics, this unholy love child between a novel and a collection of short stories is an eclectic mix of the titular Armadillo main story and the Bushel, containing an assortment of short stories, comic scripts, and poems.
Armadillo, the main story, takes about half the book and has almost the whole gang embarking on a crazy adventure involving Tank Girl’s tank being blown up, Booga being kidnapped, an army of midgets, and Barney settling a score with her parents. As with most other Tank Girl stories, it’s balls-to-the-wall crazy, curse-laden, and endlessly violent. Just the way we like it.
Its second feature, the Bushel, contains several short stories, poems, and comic scripts by Martin that never made it into a comic page. This part reads even more like a typical Tank Girl comic, zipping between short stories, poems, and comics at a breakneck pace without slowing down.
Despite its origins in the comic medium, Tank Girl still thrives in a purely text piece (save for one thing I won’t reveal here that is complete comedy gold), letting us readers imagine the crazy happenings in Tank Girl’s world as we please. The brilliant choice of having Tank narrate most of the prose pieces also gives us more insight into the inner workings of Tank Girl’s mind and the crazy stuff that happens inside it. I dare say, this is the deepest look we’ve had into Tank Girl and her dynamics with the rest of her motley crew.
The only downside (or is it an upside?) about this book is that 240 pages goes by like it was a drug-fueled roller coaster ride, and it left me wanting more. I wouldn’t recommend this to those new to Tank Girl and would instead direct them to the comics, but if you like Tank Girl and have read the comic, then you’ll be in for a treat. I, for one, would very much like another Tank Girl novel like this.