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Wasteland: Book One (2007)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Wasteland: Book One (2007) This collects the first six issues of the comic from Oni Press. It's about 100 years in the future, after "The Big Wet" destroyed civilization. Humanity lives in scattered groups. The main character is Michael, a desert scavenger. He's sort of like Mad Max, only more of a loner. In the first few pages he kills a mutant "Sand Eater" and afterwards walks into the small town of Providens. However, the whole tribe of Sand Eaters follows him and decimates the town. The survivors start walking to the nearest city and are attacked my wulvs, mutant wolves. Michael is looking out for them and helps chase the beasts off. Then, they hitch a ride with a Caravan of traders, who have vehicles. However, before they get to the city they have to plow through a precity, and there are plenty of ugly mutants prowling the ruins. While all this is happening, there's a parallel story about what's going on in that city, how the leader wants to enslave all those of a religious cast called "Sunners". Unfortunately, the traveling band of refuges belong to this group and as soon as they are let into the city walls are taken to the huge underground prison. As if this isn't enough, the legion of Sand Eaters is still after them.

The black and white artwork is effective and stark and adds a feeling of grittiness, like Kirkman's THE WALKING DEAD series. I'm always a sucker for post-apocalyptic tales and this delivers everything you expect, though it is interesting and not simply a retread. Boom! Studio's recent graphic novel DEAD RUN seems closely inspired by this.

I'm definitely looking forward to checking out the rest of the volumes.

written by Antony Johnston

art by Christopher Mitten

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