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Author/Artist Akira Toriyama
Price $7.99 (£5.50-£.5.99)
Well, I'll admit it. I'm not a big Akira Toriyama fan. I mean, I don't dislike the Dragonball manga but it just doesn't hold my interest. But, I had a few dollors spare and was in the states looking for a good one volume manga, after some deliberation I chose Sand Land. Now, it sat on my shelf for aaaages after the initial read until a few weeks ago I finally picked it up again.
I was never too impressed, it isn't really my style of story telling or art. But Sand Land is a very nice stand alone manga. No commitment, cheap and relatively fun. It revolves around a post apocalyptic world where all water is controlled by a king who sells it at extremely high prices to people. In this world there are demons who like playing 'pranks' on people but don't ever really kill them. One day some demons and a human decide to go out searching for the rumoured "phantom lake". On the road there are revelations, weird vehicles (in Toriyama's signature style), some rather funny (however unhilarious) moments and a relatively good but unamazing manga.
Artistically I've never been much of a Toriyama fan and this is no exception: not bad drawing but not very detailed or shaded. In the end its Toriyama's sublime story telling skills which save the day - he can turn a slightly average plot (like this one) into a memorable piece of joy. He isn't quite on the level of some but Sandland is in every way an achievement in creating a slightly above average, cheap and easy to read blast of fun. Not a classic but if you liked Dragon Ball or anything else by him at least give this a try.
Not a land mark but certainly worth a space on your bookshelf.