Bat Fan

in college, my roommates and i had an entire wall devoted to batdrawings. and another more popular one devoted to tank girl.

if you never heard of tank girl, consider yourself lucky. she was popularized by a horrid movie that neutered everything good about the character. what remained was a sassy pseudo-superhero. with attitude! i mean that in the worst way. she had nothing but a haircut to share with the punk queen that tank girl was in her original incarnation.

none of my friends had heard of tank girl until i showed them a literal trunk-load of Deadline magazines. Deadline was a british magazine devoted to music and comics. mixed tapes were sometimes rubber cemented to the covers. tank girl appeared in almost every issue. i was already a big fan but she captured my roommates' imagination as well. we were all in art school. so, within a week or two, there were a dozen tank girl drawings taped to the living room wall. when friends came over, we made them add to the collection. "who's tank girl?" they asked. we showed them the comics at first. as the drawings multiplied though, it became more fun to give the vaguest descriptions. she's crazy. she's violent. she's perverted. her boyfriend is a kangaroo. the drawings were wild. one of our neighbors even shaved parts of her head like tank girl. (i even shaved parts of my head like tank girl.)

the following year, my roommates and i moved to a bigger apartment. we tried to recreate the spirit of the tank girl wall. we filled the extra bedroom with games like air hockey and bumper pool. we called it "The Danger Room" and tried to get friends to draw x-men for it. a few months later, we plastered the kitchen with batdrawings. unfortunately, the new apartment wasn't the social hub that our old place had been. the majority of our visitors were girlfriends and, except for a few cute bunnies dressed like batman, they didn't contribute very much.

the big roommate project that year was a weekly comic strip that we wrote and drew together on the living room wall.

this drawing, based on a photo of Yvonne Craig, is one of two contributions that i made to a Batgirl meme that i found through Drawn! it reminded me enormously of these impromptu art assignments that my friends and i forced on each other.

© 2006 rama hughes