Oni Press began publishing Wasteland in 2006, a black and white post-apocalyptic series that takes place in the desert formerly known as the United States. A monster-esque people referred to as Sandeaters live in the desert and attack any humans they encounter, speaking a language just barely recognizable as an offshoot of English. A character who—without my having ever read them—reminds me of the Dark Tower lead walks through the desert, a ragged man long on the road, the classic loner highwayman who doesn’t have a lot to say but is good in a fight. A frontier town with a female sheriff gets by until disaster comes to town and the survivors have to flee to the nearest settlement. A myth created about the apocalypse’s cause, a religion revolving around the sun, and a conspiracy in the big city government all do a part to up the mystery quotient.
Wasteland may be the post-apocalyptic comic I’ve been hoping to find. I haven’t touched Y: The Last Man because I don’t like the aesthetic style, and Freak Angels oversexualizes the ladies and fails in representing people of color. But because Wasteland is in black and white, there’s no issue for me with the aesthetic, and though it could stand to have a few more women around, I’m willing to give the other issues a chance to improve on that because the women who are present are wearing clothes. It’s a low bar, I know, but after Gung Ho (a German comic whose review will be forthcoming) and Freak Angels, I’m happy just to see some fucking normal, weather-appropriate clothing not designed specifically to show off cleavage. As far as I can tell considering the coloring, however, the majority of the characters are white.
The tenth volume of Wasteland, Last Exit for the Lost, was released in June of 2014, and the series is not yet complete. For a start, they’ve got me interested in the story and have laid a firm foundation for the world, but it is hard to make any sort of final judgment on a comic series based on the first volume alone.
My only issue was that I found it difficult to tell several of the lead male characters apart. Perhaps because of the lack of coloring I keep celebrating or perhaps because they simply lack distinct enough features to make the introduction stick. Hopefully nothing a re-read before book 02 can’t fix.
Seven out of ten loaded shotguns.
Where I got it: Bought, The Book Depository
Where you can get it: Book Depository, Amazon