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Atom Tan, Tank Girl's first appearance, and The 633 Squadron.
The return of our most requested treasure...
In 1987 I was at art college with Jamie Hewlett and Philip Bond (two of the world’s greatest comic artists, imho). We did a lot of crazy stuff together, most of which involved drinking silly amounts of fizzy lager beer, and (for Jamie, at least) igniting the ensuing farts with a cigarette lighter. One thing that we did (whilst relatively sober) kickstarted our careers, and has become a legend in its own lunchtime - the home-made fanzine-comic “Atom Tan”. The debut issue was put together during breaks at college, and after hours, on the floor of the rented bedroom that I shared with Jamie. It contained the first image of a character that we haphazardly called “Tank Girl”.
Six years ago (to celebrate its 30th Anniversary), we released a half-size replica of the fanzine, which sold out promptly, copies being squirrelled away by collectors, rarely reemerging for re-sale.
We get a lot of requests for copies of the replica, so this is what we have done - for the first time since 1987, Atom Tan Issue #1 will be released in its original full size. And I have coloured up the fold-out poster in a complimentary style.
As a lot of you already know, when we were at art college we called ourselves The 633 Squadron (after the World War Two matinee action movie from the 1960s). We designed our own patches, which we hand-painted and wore on our sleeves. In the Atom Tan Anniversary pack, we included an embroidered replica of the 633 patch, which went down a storm. Now we’re going back to basics, and Lou and I have screen printed a “mono” black-on-white version of the patch - an “unfinished” raw item, for you to abuse as you wish. My own original patch (in the photo below) was folded and safety-pinned to my jacket sleeve.
We’ve got 200 of these packs, and (as usual) they will go on sale in The Official Tank Girl Shop at 11am (GMT/DST - UK time) tomorrow (that’s Friday the 17th).
In the meantime, I hope you are all keeping well, holding it together, and no one is blasting you with premature Christmas music.