The Tank Museum is hunting for Sergeant Oddball and Tank Girl lookalikes to enter a competition to celebrate the forthcoming exhibition, Tanks for the Memories: The Tank in Popular Culture.
Created for the Museum’s 100th anniversary, the exhibition will open on 1st April and run until 16th April 2023. It will look at how the tank has become a cultural icon through the manufacture of multiple toys, games, models, and the production of works of art, books, comics, video games and films.
The Museum, which is based in Bovington, Dorset, is asking tank fans to send in photos of themselves dressed up as either Sergeant Oddball, Donald Sutherland’s character from the 1970 film Kelly’s Heroes, or Tank Girl from the graphic novels of the same name.
From the photos sent in, staff will pick two winners who will be invited to open the exhibition called ‘Tanks for the Memories: The Tank in Popular Culture’
The two chosen winners will open the exhibition, but those highly commended entrants will be invited to attend the opening and be among the first to see the new exhibition.
The opening takes place on Thursday 30th March and the public can visit from 1 April. You have until 20th March 2023 to enter the competition.
“The exhibition represents something of a change from our recent additions, which have focused on conflict and the experiences of the solider,” explains the Museum’s Head of Marketing Nik Wyness.
“This exhibition has been created to mark the centenary year of The Tank Museum and aims to recognise the cultural impact of the tank since its appearance in 1916.
“Tanks have played a large role in popular culture and whether it’s through film, games, toys or in the media, this element of their history is of great interest and importance.
“Visitors will recognise tanks from the Fury and Warhorse films, as well as the iconic photo of the Tiananmen Square incident in China of the protestor standing in front of a tank.
“And for others, names like Dinky, Airfix, Action Man and Victor will create a sense of nostalgia for childhood days and times gone by.”
Exhibitions have been opened by royalty or VIPs in the past, but for this exhibition The Tank Museum is looking to popular culture for inspiration.
“Two fictional characters tied to tank culture are Sgt Oddball and Tank Girl – and we thought it fitting that they should open the exhibition,” said Nik.
“So, we want to find the best Sgt Oddball and Tank Girl lookalikes to do the honours on Thursday 30th March at The Tank Museum.”
Tank Girl is the creation of Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett, and first appeared in print in 1988 in the British comics magazine Deadline and became its most popular strip, inspiring the 1995 feature film of the same name. After a long hiatus, the character returned to comics in 2007 and has appeared regularly in the years since, currently published by Titan Comics.
Originally written by Martin and drawn by Hewlett, the character has also been drawn by Philip Bond, Glyn Dillon, Ashley Wood, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Jim Mahfood, Brett Parson, Jonathan Edwards, Craig Knowles, Rufus Dayglo, Andy Pritchett, and Mike McMahon.
• To enter the competition, send a photo of yourself either in a Sgt Oddball or Tank Girl costume to firstname.lastname@example.org | Enter by 20th March – full terms and conditions here
• Tanks for the Memories: The Tank in Popular Culture opens to visitors to The Tank Museum, Bovington on 1st April 2023 | The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset BH20 6JG | Web: tankmuseum.org
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With thanks to Jeremy Briggs
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.