Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Welcome to “Report Card,” our week-in-review feature. If “Cheat Sheet” is your guide to the week ahead, “Report Card” is typically a look back at the top news stories of the previous week, as well as a look at the Robot 6 team’s favorite comics that we read.
So find out what we thought about Thunderbolts, Wonder Woman, Herobear and the Kid, Vibe and more.
I saw this crazy page from Robert Ball on his blog and had to share. Great design meets great drawing meets great gag. ROBOT 6 had the exclusive announcement of Dangeritis on New Year’s Day, and there have been regular updates at the book’s workblog ever since. The physical edition will be released soon, launching July 20 at the MCM Manchester (that’s in the United Kingdom, not New Hampshire). Ball and WJC are two of my favorite illustrators around, and Winter’s Knight and Solid State Tank Girl have both absolutely knocked my socks off this year.
I did wonder how the two artists would work together, though: They share clear influences, but then produce very different-looking styles with very different methods. The best examples from the Dangeritis blog show them managing to gel together in interesting ways, from literally splitting duties on double-page spreads …
Tank Girl returned to shelves on Wednesday in the form of Solid State Tank Girl #1 from Titan Comics. Perhaps coincidentally, but probably not, the artists at Ashcan Allstars have been celebrating Tank Girl week.
There’s some good work there — Tank Girl is a hard character to get right, tonally. Alan Martin’s signature character may have inspired a generation of Suicide Girls, but it’s hard to find an instance in her comics where her sexiness is ever being used in an exploitative fashion. Sure, there’s loads of gratuitous female and male nudity in the back catalog, but it’s almost certainly there for comedic reasons rather than titillation. So any artist attempting to draw the character as a straight-up cheesecake pin-up is completely missing the point. By and large, the Allstars have mainly got it right, but I’ll let you be your own judge of who’s been successful and who hasn’t — there’s a gallery of examples after the break.
We followed along as Tank Girl co-creator Alan Martin sought out a new artist before at last finding one in Warwick Johnson Cadwell. Now Titan Comics has announced in May it will debut their first collaboration, Solid State Tank Girl.
The four-issue series, which pits the title character against her “nastiest nemesis,” starts out simply enough, with Tank Girl, Jet Girl, Booga and Barney on a mission to save their favorite radio store: “But somewhere along the line Booga manages to electronically summon the gang’s evil counterparts, fronted by the darkest bitch on the planet – ANTI-TANK GIRL! The fight is to the death, as each gang member draws on their deepest, most screwed-up powers to eliminate their own personal nemesis. Things are about to get very dark, very bloody… and very stupid!”
The announcement arrives a week after the United Kingdom’s Titan Publishing announced the launch of Titan Comics, an imprint devoted to original creator-owned comics and new and classic graphic novels (among them, Numbercruncher by Si Spurrier and P.J. Holden, and Chronos Commandos: Dawn Patrol by Stuart Jennett). That was quickly followed by news that Titan has teamed with Dave Elliott to revive the Atomeka Press line and the well-regarded anthology A1.
“The new Titan Comics imprint is all about taking a chance on new creators and new talent,” Steve White, Titan’s senior comics editor, said in a statement, “and pairing Warwick’s street-art energy to Alan’s potty-mouthed imagination has refreshed Tank Girl once again. The results are blindingly good!”
Solid State Tank Girl #1 arrives in print and digital editions May 15. Read the full announcement below.