Titan Comics explores the grindhouse scene with upcoming comic “Sally of the Wasteland,” a dirty little adventure rife with hyper-sexualized females, preposterous violence, and cheeky dialogue.
WRITTEN BY: Victor Gischler
ART BY: Tazzio Bettin
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
RELEASE: July 30, 2014
It’s 82 years after The Fall, an unexplained cataclysmic event that’s turned the world into a devastated, mutant bayou terrorized by river pirates, cannibals, and crawgators. CRAWGATORS. Enter Sally. She’s tough and sexy. She’s going to kick your teeth in to protect her man. And she’s the epitome of a grindhouse-feature babe. Along with her gun, Bertha, she joins her bar mates in a quest to save civilization.
I’m a fairly large fan of grindhouse films so I was excited at the opportunity to review this comic. True to form, “Sally of the Wasteland” has boobs, thighs, naked verbal chick-fights, and Ron Perlman-esque sea captains. Gischler uses phrases like: “make a man out of you” and “running your mouth” to perfectly streamline the text into classic grindhouse schmaltz (and I mean that in the best way possible). This comic pays a perfectly honed homage to the days when there was little distinction between sex and violence. And it does it with a kick.
That kick comes in the disguise of Sally’s hard-hitting yet naively charming attitude. She is reminiscent of all the sexploitation female greats. She’s motivated by (somewhat misplaced) lust and doles out acts of violence accordingly. Basically every word that comes out of her mouth is a tasteless good time. (“I can’t decide if you should shut the fuck up, or shut the fuck up.”)
The plot moves rapidly in this first issue, not giving us much time to breathe before the next “big event” happens. The crew jumps into a heap of hell rather quickly and without much debate. I wasn’t sure if I had missed something or if the meat of the plot was to come later, so I plowed on without hesitation. And although I didn’t get that meaty plot in this issue, it didn’t bother me. I have a feeling we’ll get it later on. All the important aspects were in play here. The creators set up a steamy world of sex, danger, and intrigue. And river pirates. Don’t forget the river pirates.
It was instantly refreshing to see monsters instead of the undead in this post-apocalyptic comic. In fact, there’s not one single played out element in the monsters that they fight and that’s highly attractive in this often over-saturated genre. There is a distinct smell of sea/swamp life in these monsters, which only serves to add to the bizzaro-fiction tone of the comic. And it’s the bizarro-fiction tone that helps this excel in the grindhouse style.
In a time when girls are taking the lead in comics and sleazy sex appeal is considered a powerful characteristic, the tropes of sexploitation seem to have found their new market. And Titan has left us in the capable hands of Gischler and Bettin, who clearly have a firm grasp on this genre. Check out the riotous fun in July and watch the fantastically absurd comic trailer here.
Reviewed by – Bree Ogden