By Tazzio Bettin and Victor Gischler
Pulisher: Titan Comics
On Sale: 09/03/2014
Synopsis: Sally of The Wasteland is a no-holds barred post-apocalyptic grindhouse comic from artist/writer team Tazzio Bettin and Victor Gischler. It’s been more than 80 years since The Fall, and the earth is now a massive swamp, The Bayou. Inhabited by a profusion of the mutated and the deranged. Somewhere near the top of the food chain is Sally, a psychotic, hypersexed, bare-knuckle brawling whirlwind of a woman.
I’ll be honest. I’m not necessarily a fan of grindhouse; not a critic of the genre either, I’ve just never taken the time to thoroughly explore it. That being said, I almost put this book down after the first couple of pages. But then I didn’t. And then something wonderful happened.
I slowly realized that the scantily clad ladies and deceivingly cheesy dialogue (“Because I’m all nurturing and stuff.”) weren’t leading me in the direction of a futuristic Pirates of the Caribbean with blood and guts as much America 3000 or Radioactive Dreams. Unfortunately, “Sally” doesn’t have the slammin’ 80’s soundtrack provided by either of those films.
But that’s OK. This book rocks without the music and very much on it’s own merit.
Satisfying like all guilty-pleasures should be, the book is a refreshingly original take on the dystopia by destruction trope. Like the recently released Godzilla: Cataclysm, Sally relies on fictional vehicles other than zombies to deliver the gory goods. And the goods are definitely gory in a Kill Bill kinda way.
Last issue we heard tales of cannibals, mutants and crawgators. Well, if reading the word crawgator wasn’t sufficiently mind-blowing, meet the Bamazons. The friggin’ Bamazons! C’mon man. Amazons that wear (and kick serious butt in) Crimson Tide athletic gear. Doesn’t get much more creative than that. Roll Tide.
I’ve made mention of the dialogue previously, and while it never quite reaches Shakespearean standards, it’s never meant to. Gischler moves the rapidly paced story along with tongue-in-cheek humor (in one scene Sally gets offended that a band of roving pirates would choose to ravage her boyfriend instead of her) that is meant to engage you as a reader but by no means overwhelm you.
The peripheral characters, generally speaking, show a surprising degree of self-awareness for literary ground beef. They have just enough complexity to keep things interesting.
The artwork is reminiscent of Dillon (Preacher, Hellblazer) without infringing on that hallowed ground excessively. Bettin is his own artist and his action panels are devastatingly brutal. As the limbs fly and the blood spurts, the glee that Sally (especially Sally) and her cohorts experience is palpable.
Titan comics has definitely hit a home-run with this action-packed and blood-soaked title. Be warned, Sally is not for the faint of heart or stomach, so the easily offended should be wary before cracking this one open. If you take issue with strong leading women who subjugate and decapitate men regularly, steer clear of this book. Otherwise, get ready for one of the most thrillingly chaotic stories of the year.
By Adam Cadmon
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