A century ago, a disaster known only as the Big Wet destroyed society as we know it. Half the world is now covered by poisonous, rising oceans. What dry land remains is a broken, infertile world of hard ground and harder living.
Into this world steps Michael, a scavenger who roams the wasteland, trading what he can salvage from the ruins. But Michael’s latest find will change his life for ever — a machine that talks in a forgotten language, supposedly giving directions to the fabled land of A-Ree-Yass-I, where mankind’s downfall began…
I wrote a foreword for a previous collection of Antony Johnston’s sf comics series WASTELAND, then illustrated by Christopher Mitten, and a bit of it went like this:
I like to think of WASTELAND as having not so much a structure as a pulse.
I remember Eddie Campbell once saying that his favourite stories weren’t all structure: they were found shapes, if you like, that, if visualised, would look more like a branch than an organised and orderly procession of lines. Something more like a branch, or a river. This ties in with an interview I saw with a German musician, maybe someone from NEU!, looking out at a German river and suggesting that that might have been the place when the motorik came to him, the endless pulsing heart of the new German music of the Seventies and beyond that is perhaps best captured in NEU!’s “Fur Immer” — “Forever.”
WASTELAND pulses and rolls on, and the destination isn’t so important when the journey is this fascinating. We discover a whole new world, a world old and broken but new to us, in stages. That’s the way to roll out a world. A river of revelations. Oh, we can pause and take in the sights. Linger at a settlement, sneak into the walls of a town and tour its streets and catacombs and perhaps even prise out a few of its secrets. But the pulse rolls on, and we’re moving ever forward into novelty and invention.
A lot of you know Antony, because a lot of you played the DEAD SPACE games, for which Antony has been the chief writer.
WASTELAND has a new artist, Justin Greenwood, and the next issue, #33, due out on January 18, is a new start for the series. There’s no better point to discover WASTELAND. A preview of issue 33, selected and provided by Antony, can be found by clicking for more.
Find out more about WASTELAND (and discover the theme music) at thebigwet.com.
- Brubaker & Phillips’ FATALE: A Preview (warrenellis.com)
- Tomorrow’s World: The Near Future Of Pop (warrenellis.com)
- GUEST INFORMANT: Jim Rossignol (warrenellis.com)