Wednesday, August 6, 2014


TITAN COMICS – @ComicsTitan

WRITER: Victor Gischler
COVER/ART: Tazio Bettin
LETTERS: Jon Chapple
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2014)

Sally of the Wasteland is a new comic book series from writer Victor Gischler (X-Men, Angel & Faith) and newcomer, artist Tazzio Bettin.  Right off the bat, I gotta say that Bettin makes a star-turn with his work in the first issue of Sally of the Wasteland, and he and Gischler seem to have excellent chemistry as a creative team.

Sally of the Wasteland #1 opens 82 years after the Fall.  This was a war of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that killed off ninety-nine percent of the human population of Earth.  The story begins in Southern Louisiana, outside of Baton Rouge, now known as “Red Stick” (the English translation of Baton Rouge).

On the west side of the Mississippi River, across from the former capital city of Louisiana, is a rundown, but active bar called “Bottom Feeders.”  A wounded mystery woman, who calls her “Kat,” limps into the bar.  She needs to get to New Orleans, now known as the “Forbidden City.”  To make that journey, travelers have to face river pirates, mutants, and assorted gigantic genetic freaks and roving gangs of blood-hungry barbarians.  And that is in addition to the mutant crawfish.  To protect her object of desire, Sally and her beloved shotgun, Bertha, will run the gauntlet with Kat.  Yeah, things will go from bad to worse.

When I first read about Sally of the Wasteland, I was all like, whatevs.  Mutant crawfish, puh-lease.  Titan Comics wouldn’t even be publishing this if Victor Gischler wasn’t a “name” writer, I thought.  But I was just hatin.’  Sally of the Wasteland is a great read.  I want more… NOW!  As far as I can remember (at the moment), this is one of best post-apocalyptic comic books that I have ever read.

Gischler mixes familiar elements that remind me of one of my favorite bad-future scenarios:  L.Q. Jones and Alvy Moore’s 1975 film, A Boy and His Dog (an adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s story that first appeared in 1969).  There are also similarities to the films, Mad Max (d. George Miller, 1979) and Idiocracy (d. Mike Judge, 2006).  In true Louisiana fashion, however, Gischler uses familiar ingredients to make his own gumbo.  Even if some of the ingredients are mutated, Sally of the Wasteland still goes down good.

Tazio Bettin, who draws and colors this comic book, does a great job creating a distinctive graphic appearance.  I live in Louisiana, so I recognize the topography and a few landmarks.  More than a few people have said that every parish in Louisiana is like its own state.  I think you can travel from town to town and find that each has its own diverse or distinctive culture.  So it is important that Sally of the Wasteland looks different from other post-apocalyptic comics, not just in the characters (which it does), but especially in settings, backgrounds, and interior and exterior environments.  Plus, Bettin, with his eye-candy coloring, just has a pretty art style.

I heartily recommend Sally of the Wasteland #1.  Go and grab that.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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