Interview with Sally of the wasteland writer Victor Gischler


While we are in the midst of DC Comics “Convergence” and Marvel is readying their “Secret Wars”, sometimes it’s nice for people to find a comic book that offers the pure reading experience that some feel you no longer get from The Big Two.  “Sally of the Wasteland” is one of those stories, the one you want to sit down with and keep reading.  Written by Victor Gischler with art by Tazio Bettin, “Sally of the Wasteland” is now conveniently available as a trade paperback.  It’s certainly worth picking up if you love stories of high adventure, fantasy, and women who can kick-ass.  Do you really need more encouragement to pick up the title?  Okay, well earlier this month Alternative Mindz spoke to writer Victor Gischler in regards to his “creator-owned comic” and here’s what he had to say.

1)     Alternative Mindz: “Sally of the Wasteland” grew into a significant hit.  It’s an original idea that found an audience which is quite an accomplishment.  How and when did you initially conceive the idea for the character and world of “Sally”?


Victor Gischler: I wrote an irreverent post-apocalypse novel called GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE and when it came time to do my first creator-owned comic, I wanted to do something similar.  I don’t mean rehash the same story, but I did want to tap into a similar vibe – the gritty gory violence that comes with a post-apocalyptic setting but blended with an irreverent over-the-top humor.  (To clarify, SALLY is not my first published creator-owned comic, but it is the first one I started.  The timing just worked out that it was published later.)

2)    Alternative Mindz: Mr. Gischler, you’ve worked on titles such as “Deadpool” and “X-Men.”  Could you speak to the difference of working on a series that’s already been developed as to writing your own i.e. “Sally of the Wasteland”?

Victor Gischler: I was actually thinking about this very issue recently.  There are a number of ways I could answer this, but I’ll focus on one word.  Confidence.  When writing a licensed property, I’m very aware I’m playing with someone else’s toys.  It can be fun and rewarding, but there’s always part of me wondering “Is this what they want?”  I never think that with a creator-owned book.  I ask “Is this what want?”  I mean readers might hate it or love it but that’s after I’ve already made decisions to my own satisfaction.  I like being able to stand back and look at what I’ve done and know that it’s mine, that it came out in exactly the way I intended. 

It’s also a bit liberating knowing you no longer have to aim what you’re doing at a mainstream audience.

3)     Alternative Mindz: “Sally of the Wasteland” has a very unique look.  How long was the process of developing the look for the series?  Did you already have an idea as to how it should look?

Victor Gischler: I take it you mean the art, yes?  I mean, Titan did a great job putting each issue together, but I think you’re probably asking about Tazio Bettin’s art.   The fact is that there’s a lot of trust there.  Yes, I tell Tazio what to draw and try to give him an idea of my vision, but ultimately he’s the one with the pencil in his hand and his style is amazing.  He gets full credit for making it a gorgeous book.  He did pencils and inks and colors.  All of it.  What I LOVE is how the first four issues look as our heroes tromp through the wilds of southern Louisiana, but then in the final issue when we change to a more “science fictiony” type of environment, Tazio adjusts brilliantly and it just looks fantastic.

Alternative Mindz: Thank you for your time.  We at Alternative Mindz appreciate it very much.  Especially as we are fans of “Sally of the Wasteland.”  I’d like to follow that up with one final question.  For those that haven’t read “Sally”, why would you feel they should be reading it?  How would you sell it to those that are unfamiliar with the series?  Thank you again. 

Victor Gischler: “Should” is a loaded word, right?  I mean, the book won’t help you lose weight or lower cholesterol.  But I do think people would enjoy reading it if they like irreverent laughs.  It’s fun and that’s what I think comics do best.  Fun.  Maybe fun with a bit of an edge.  You might wince a few times, but that’s how we roll.
Steven Biscotti
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