Review by Frank Plowright
With a terse caption noting that it’s 82 years after the fall, Victor Gischler plunges us into a world where humanity still survives, where the rusting remnants of mechanised society surround them, and where law and order is what you make it and who you surround yourself with. Somewhere, though, there’s the tantalising hint of proper civilisation, people with technological know-how enough to power a transmitter over thousands of miles. It’s the holy grail in this world.
Sally works in a waterfront bar. She’s confident, has laid claim to the virgin lad Tommy, and has a broad streak of eccentricity bordering on insanity. She’s a sort of toned down Harley Quinn who leaps at the chance of adventure, and Gischler applies the same sort of comedic mood to her entire world, whether she’s fighting pirate crews and giant lobsters on the Mississippi river or mystical mutations on land. In fact it’s the pirates that nail the atmosphere, as Gischler brings the lunacy of Pirates of the Caribbean to comics in a more adult form. He’s allowed swearing, nudity, sexual innuendo and explicit gore, and applies a video game logic to the plot, where each threat defeated is just the stepping stone to a bigger threat.
Tazio Bettin is going to be one hell of an artist someday, and he’s already very good. He obviously loves designing the bizarre mutations of Sally’s world, and the sometimes even stranger people, revels in the comedic pin-up nature of the strip, and he fills those backgrounds like a demon.
The back-up text and illustration features are hilarious as the creators flesh out Sally’s world. Pay attention, as some of reads like whimsy actually plays a part. And stay clear of the Alabama swamp, where the ghost of Huey Long still roams looking for hookers and spare ribs.
While not for the prurient, Sally of the Wasterland is gratuitous about everything and it’s b-movie idiocy at its finest.