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Tank Vixens is a short mini-series adult comic penned by writer Paul Kidd, themed around The 101st Tank Crushing Brigade, fighting in a war against a megalomaniacal female vole general, Udda Von Schteppenschlammer and her assigned army of soldier mice aboard The Vainglorious Pratwaddle. Unlike normal wars however, the methods of combat used are based on the power of fashion instead of military might, a totally unorthodox style that generally involves the vixens (female foxes) running around topless or even totally naked during battle and the mouse general being defeated due to her "inadequacies" in most cases as a result. The idea for Tank Vixens came from Phil Morrissey's and Tom Verré's project titled Lesbian Foxes In Hovertanks where lesbian foxes rode around in futuristic hovertanks.
The initial two episodes center primarily around new recruit Firen Prissy, a political studies student who decided to throw out her bookwork and give back to her country the only way she knows how. Firen has some issues fitting in right off--her lack of appreciation for the finer points of bikinis, nipple rings, and cunnilingus, not to mention that she isn't a lesbian, leave her a bit out. Fellow outcast and Queen Of The Bad Luck Sonya Guildencratz steps in and, in a roundabout and completely silly fashion, manages to not only get Firen to loosen up, but to open up, and before long the two are lovers in the strongest definition of the term.
The last two issues, produced primarily based on reader response to the original comics, are less about Sonya and Firen. This time, the Vole Army has managed to figure out a way to travel through time and space by taking advantage of the fact that, at heart, most people are complete idiots. The vicious vole's goal is to go back to a time where fashion honored the svelte over the outright jiggly. With the power of the whalebone corset, Udda would be unstoppable! This issue also introduces Dr. Duffelbunny, the bubble-headed "scientist" who prefers to practice her physics in lingerie than in a lab.
A large percentage of the standing cast members in Tank Vixens are merely eye-candy, happily standing in the background doing whatever they see fit. Only a few really take the forefront for most of the comic. Amongst those who do play a major part (or at least get lines) are:
Firen Prissy: Firen is a conservative, quite heterosexual political student who's decided to throw down her life for her country. By the end of issue #2, she's switched gears to a cleavage-flashing woman-loving member of the 101st, just like she always hoped she could be.
Sonya Guildencrantz: The hopelessly unlucky tank pilot, Sonya tends to sit back and let the bad things happen to her so that they won't happen to anyone else. As a bit of a hippy, her style contrasts pretty starkly with Firen's, but that certainly doesn't slow things down once she figures out Firen's triggers. Sonya clings tightly to the idea that amongst the insane, the disturbed, and the just plain maniacal in the 101st, she's the most normal of them all.
Zeera Gekkados: The unofficial leader of the 101st, she gets her position because the real major is too busy on "other details". Zeera is quite full of herself, and more than willing to throw it down in a fight against the Voles, especially if it involves vinyl.
Udda Von Schteppenschlammer: The psychotic leader of the voles. Udda is hellbent on getting a handup on the 101st, even if it involves going through time and space to get the job done. With her assistant Hilda and nearly infinite resources, it may just be possible...if she weren't completely bonked in the brain and quite ineffectual in fashion-based combat scenarios.
Gedda Spartz, Karin O'Hoo-hah, Anatasia "Ani" Sloane-Blythe, and Major Elsa Carrington-Whiplash pop in and out throughout, while the card game introduces The Bamboid, Avril Chetta, Obersqueakenfuhrer Chippi, Marianne, Tammi, Kiko, and Sheena. While the character development in Tank Vixens is not exactly deep, these characters get little more background than what's drawn behind them.
Some running gags are visible in the comic and are only examples.
- Udda's personal secretary, Hilda, is completely silent, entirely stonefaced, and decidedly homicidal, capable of randomly killing a soldier mouse whenever the general is in a bad mood and is unable to do it herself. These moments usually flow like this: "Hilda, kill something!" *bam* "SQUEEEE!"
- Another running gag supposedly lies in Gedda Spartz's behavior of loving firearms too much, even using a flame-thrower and yelling "brilliant" any time a spectacular explosion results from her use of said weaponry.
- A third and almost ridiculously typical gag is one of the vixens, Ani, and her permanent state as a "typical dumb blonde", with giggling and playfulness added in.
- Firen, the "girl next door vixen who doesn't seem to fit in with the overall nature of the battalion", is aroused to distraction just by hearing heavy political or financial terminology--most notably, Sonya can work Firen to the breaking point simply by generous application of the phrase "sociopolitical ramifications". The 'original furry comic book', Albedo, was a hard-science epic heavy on social commentary, with the result that "SPR" became a running gag amongst furries in the early fandom. Sociopolitical Ramifications MUCK also took its name in honor of the in-joke.
- Udda's breasts are a constant frustration for her and in the end the entire VIMP Army--the power of fashion seems to be amplified by cleavage, which unfortunately voles seem to lack a high quantity of. (This is changed a bit in a character who only appears in the card game; see the cast above.)
At times, this may seem like a very ridiculous comic, but the humor attempts have value for some people. The plight of one of the vixens early on for example, was that she was the only normal and sane member of the group. The comic features at least one lesbian sex scene in it and dozens of suggestive scenes and references, an unsurprising event which serves to profoundly reinforce the adult rating.
So far there have been only two runs of the comic plus a card game.
- The premiere run itself ran four issues under the Venus Comics sub-label of Antarctic Press, with a significant break between issues #2 and #3.
- The second run itself came in the form of all the first-run issues bundled into one single graphic novel referred to as "The Divine Collection" and is the last known run of the comic itself. It also one of two ways to get the only Tank Vixens: Remix story, At The Movies. (The other printing is in the now out-of-print Wild Side Annual.)
- The third incarnation is a trading card game, available from United Publications. Instead of Mike Sagara, the card art was produced by GSPervert, who has since taken over all Tank Vixens art duties. An expansion pack, Extra Insanity, was released in 2004, and features new artwork from Steve Martin, Eric Schwartz, and Taral Wayne.
- Paul Kidd announced that his studio, Pure Hubris, would be releasing an animated short featuring Udda and Hilda. Due to production hold-ups it has yet to surface, as have any new comics by Kidd & GS. The new characters introduced in the card game appear to be intended for use in new comics, though.
- A new saga of Tank Vixens is currently in the works- "Quest for the Frazetta Stone"- however there is no scheduled deadline/release date at the moment. The artwork will be done by Lee Madison. Paul Kidd still acts as lead writer.