Customer Reviews: Wasteland Book 1: Cities In Dust (Bk. 1)
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on October 18, 2007
Keeping it short so as not to repeat things, this is a post-apocalyptic story, occurring a bit over 100 years after the war that destroyed most of civilization as we know it. There are the traditional elements of desert-like landscape, survival in harsh conditions, "Mad Max-esque" technology, and mutated beings that either a) look really ugly and are bestial or b) have special abilities.

One has to remember that this is just book one in a series. So far it looks like there will be decent character development and an interesting storyline. I look forward to seeing where this is all going to go. I also hope that we find out more about The Big Wet, the event that destroyed everything.

The art is greyscale and done well, though some characters start to look alike, and it's kind of low contrast where I personally tend to like higher contrast in my black/white graphic novels.

One element that stood out to me is the cultures of the people in the book - particularly their speech patterns. Its done well and isn't cheezy. Also nice to have a strong (so far a main character) female character.

The book is not a stand-alone read, no element is self-contained so it reads like a first chapter to a much larger story. I look forward to future releases.

I have since read the second volume and want to confirm that the story does indeed flesh out and become more involved. The plot and characters really start to become more defined and the tale itself is beginning to elevate to a more epic level, but at a measured pace. I am pleased with the way the story is unfolding and look forward to future volumes.
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on October 4, 2007
The world as we know it drowned. One hundred years later the Earth is still poisonous. There are no clouds, there are no birds, and there are no trees. There are, however, mutated monsters living in the dead cities and infesting the desert like vermin. And people are just trying to survive.

We meet Michael, a loner who walks the wastes, and has been doing so for a very long time (which, in a world that can kill you in a hundred different ways, is saying something). And we meet Abi, Sheriff of Providens, who cares about her people, possibly more than she can afford to.

When the town of Providens is ransacked by Sand-Eaters, the survivors must trek to the city of Newbegin. The desert alone is tough, but Sand-Eaters and "wulves" make it tougher. When a caravan comes along, the travelling is easier, but the company is questionable. And in the town of Newbegin itself, the ruling council is looking more and more unfavorably against the new Sun-Singer religion, a religion which everyone from Providens belongs to.

This series is written by Anthony Johnston and illustrated Christopher Mitten, both Oni Press regulars. This volume collects the first six issues of the monthly series.

Yes it's another post-apocalyptic story. But it's well executed. The story is character driven, and those characters are interesting. What little we know of the history is told by the Sun-Singer priest as a fireside fable. (And on the website [...]) The art is stylized and dynamic. The action is intense and even scary at times.

There are a few weak points where the story doesn't quite track, like lots and lots of mutants attacking but the battle seeems to end too quickly, and some of the minor characters look similar so it's tough to follow who's talking. But these problems are few and far between.

Overall this is a great beginning and I will definately be buying the next volume.
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on January 2, 2015
I got into this series on a whim, and picked up Book 2. Great book, so I knew I needed Book 1. Personally, I don't think Johnston's script hits its stride until Book 3, but the new look at Dystopian Fantasy is a breath of fresh air in a saturated market. The Sunsingers are an awesome take on an old idea, and I highly recommend this to any comic or post apocalyptic settings fan.
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on February 6, 2013
This series was originally published back in 2007, but it is definitely worth looking at again, even six years later. WASTELAND is one of those comics that you can read again and is almost ageless. And I'm saying all of this after reading it for the first time just last week!

This is post-apocalyptic fiction at its finest. Oni definitely found a real gem when they published this series. I'm not sure if it is still going on, but I'm going to find out and start collecting it, if so.

WASTELAND is written well and the illustrating is tight, although I have to admit that this is one comic I would like to see in color. Still, the black and white can pack a powerful punch when needed. It also has great characterization, complete with a sordid and mismatched cast.

For me, the best thing about WASTELAND is the story itself. One of the descriptions on the back of the cover states, "Part Deadwood, part Dune, and all kick-ass..." This is a perfect way to describe it. This graphic novel has mystery, intensity, major science-fiction, and a whole lot of brass.

The WASTELAND series is available now, so give it a look for sure.
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on March 1, 2015
Just got hooked on "The Fuse" and so checked out "Wasteland." The first collection is great. I am normally not so much into black and white books but I really love the layering and effects of this one. Looking forward to reading the next collection.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 27, 2014
Set in a post-Apocalyptic world, something called the Big Wet has (ironically) left Earth a desert planet and wiped out civilisation. In its place are small scavenger towns scattered about defending themselves from the attacks of roving gangs of sandpeople (malformed humans). Ramshackle cities have sprung up and a new society has appeared with a new religion and a mad leader. After Michael, a scavenger, shows up in the town of Providens, the town is destroyed and the survivors head off to Newbegin, the nearest human city, for sanctuary.

Wasteland sounds mildly interesting but it’s far less so. The protagonist, Michael, is a very one-dimensional hero character – he’s the capable, tough loner who’s nonetheless helping out a group of vulnerable people. Han Solo minus the personality, basically. The others… well, there’s a tough female character who’ll probably wind up with Michael in later books. And then there’s…um…that guy…nope! That’s how interesting these characters are! The bad guy is like an anime archetype, at least on the surface – underneath he’s your usual tyrant whose power has gone to his head and he’s going a bit crazy, Caligula-style.

The whole book is basically walking – the group walking from their burned town to the city, so if you like Lord of the Rings, you’ll probably get a kick out of that. For some reason the “Big Wet” means we’ve all devolved into a hyper-religious pagan/superstitious society. The sandpeople are just Star Wars ripoffs. There’s something about different racial groups in the city being persecuted but really none of these things make me want to continue with this series.

The art doesn’t help. I don’t have a problem with black and white art but some colour could’ve been useful in distinguishing between characters. They all live in the desert so mostly wear flowing, baggy robes which covers up their faces and obscures their bodies so they all look alike. That and the uninspired backdrop of sand and junk and it’s an unexciting and very dull comic to look at visually.

I’m not a big fan of post-apocalyptic stories but even by those standards I think this book was very sub-par. It’s not doing enough to stand out from the others, and frankly it’s an extremely boring book. I didn’t care about any of the characters, their plight, this dreary world they lived in, or anything at all. Wasteland has its fans as it’s gone on for many volumes but I’m definitely not one of them.
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on February 27, 2014
I'll leave the storyline alone since the art is what really threw me off from liking this more.

Part of me liked the looseness of the art; part of me thought the artist was just being lazy. The latter part one out in the end. Flowing robes I get in the desert to keep the sun off and loose clothing, but man it certainly felt like a crutch. All the faces looked alike - Anime-esque, white dudes who all have the same lineage looks like. Kind of dull. Some of the action scenes were so hard to figure out what was going on that my eyes hurt and I just skipped a page. Color or solid inking would have been really helpful.

And don't get me started on the blurred focus cliche. Comics aren't film. I don't appreciate when artists try to give you that sensation. Especially when the blurr looks so digitized compared to a purposely rough pencil job, it seems too intentional. Again, my eyes automatically skipped those panels. I hope there wasn't anything important in them...

I am surprised at how well this was reviewed. I ordered it blindly, going for an indy adventure, post-apocalyptic thing. Not sure I'll do that again. Reflective, I think, of the dearth of real criticism among comics readers - maybe we're all fanboys at heart and look past weaknesses because we like the escape comics give. But man, this was really mediocre, derivative stuff.

Other reviewers say this book picks up as you go along. Good luck to you. Limited time + limited budget=spend time on other books that start off better.
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on August 6, 2014
Great condition would recommend highly
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on August 8, 2014
As good as it gets. Product as described. Fast shipping.
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on November 27, 2012
our review system is ridiculous I refuse to provide you any further feedback you should allow me to simply check the stars
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