What comic are you reading in public today?

Today is the International Read Comics in Public Day!

Placed on the birth date of the late, great Jack Kirby, Read Comics in Public Day was founded in 2010 by Brian Heater and Sarah Morean of The Daily Cross Hatch. And although their indie comics website is no longer running, Read Comics in Public Day is still going strong. This day is designed to upset the stereotypes that comics are only read in public by little kids or else forever kept locked away in acid free bags by uber geeks. Like most public displays, Read Comics in Public is about normalizing the experience and challenging assumptions.

And because today is all about bucking the trends, it’s also Women Read Comics in Public Day, which of course helps to dispel the myth that comics are just for guys. Now I love participating in stuff like this, but I have to admit that seeing an Asian dude on the bus reading a comic  book probably isn’t going to be changing any stereotypes.

So I thought to myself: what could I read that pulls everything together—knocking down the establishment, troubling social mores, changing the way comics are perceived, and showing women kicking ass in nontraditional ways?

"Tank Girl," by Hewlett & Martin

Oh wait, I got it. Tank Girl.

I actually didn’t know about the comic until I saw the movie—and lemme tell ya, it’s a weird fucking movie. It’s an overly ambitious project: part animation, part live acting, part musical, part punk action flick, part quirky comedy—and with some unusually good prosthetics and makeup for the genetically altered mutant kangaroos, one of whom is played by actor/musician Ice-T.

I’m not far enough into the book to be able to say much about it, but I can tell you the art is incredible (even if hard to take in all at once with the punk style black and whites) and I can’t wait to read more. But nonetheless, for those of you who’ve never seen it, I wanted to leave you with something I found on YouTube: a clip collection from the flick, set to the music of “I’m Just a Girl,” by No Doubt. Enjoy:

Later today, Brad and I will be scoping out a local Chicago printing company, to get pricing quotes for our book, and I’ll be posting photos of our little excursion on Facebook and Twitter. By this time next year, you could be reading Chinatown in public!