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RASL Hardcover – September 17, 2013

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her
“RASL is like nothing you’ve ever read--it’s electric, eerie and riveting;and as close as you get to a masterpiece. Smith is simply peerless.”

“Smith is a unique talent in the world of comics who’s not afraid to take risks and knows how to pull them off...fascinating.”

Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW
“Stunning visual narrative that impresses with its originality, sophistication, and complexity.”

John Geddes, USA Today
"Smith is awesome. There’s really no other way to put it...RASL reads like one long, dust-filled, sci-fi,blood-stained, crime noir chase scene.

Onion/AV Club
...”dazzling...demonstrates the same knack for arresting character design that made Smith’s Bone such a rewarding read...”

Village Voice
“...briskly paced hardboiled sci-fi inventive mix...”

Paste Magazine
“...audacious...a concentrated thrill.”

Portland Mercury
“RASL is gorgeous, creepy, grim, and crammed with action, history, sex, booze, science, and psuedo-science...a hell of a ride.”

Multiversity Comics
“...there is one simple truth in comic life: you must read Jeff Smith’s comics. It’s just the reality of the situation.”

Bill Baker, ForeWord Reviews
"Jeff Smith is perhaps the most accomplished cartoonist and storyteller of his generation, no small praise for an artist whose contemporaries include the likes of Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) and Chris Ware(Acme Library)... [RASL] offers universe-spanning adventure even as it explores those tender and terrible territories within the human heart."

About the Author

Jeff Smith is the author/cartoonist of the BONE graphic novels which won numerous awards around the world, including 11 Eisner Awards & 9 Harvey Awards, the Alph Art for Best Foreign Book in France, as well as awards in Spain, Germany, and Italy before being chosen to launch the first graphic novel imprint for children by Scholastic in 2005. In 2009 Smith was the subject of an Emmy Award winning documentary called The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, BONE, and the Changing Face of Comics. Most recently, Smith was Guest Editor of The Best American Comics 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: RASL
  • Hardcover: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Cartoon Books; 1St Edition edition (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888963379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888963373
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Charles Day on September 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The ability to travel between different universes or between different dimensions of the same universe is a common plot element in speculative fiction. Multiple worlds not only boost the variety of settings that an author can depict, they also set up plot-enriching paradoxes, conflicts, and choices.

Most of the multiple-world works that I've read or watched present the worlds as an intrinsic and unexplained feature of the work's fictional universe. The Q Continuum of Star Trek: The Next Generation, for example, is an extradimensional plane of existence whose powerful, intelligent, and immortal inhabitants, the Q, can jump into our mundane plane to cause mischief. I've tried in vain to find a physical description of the Q Continuum.

But there are exceptions to the take-it-or-leave-it approach. In Ian McDonald's 2007 novel Brasyl, Hugh Everett's many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is not just an imaginative theory to account for the physically awkward notion of collapsing wave functions; it's also a description of how the world works.

Jeff Smith's comic-book series RASL goes further in exploring the physical basis of multiple worlds. Originally published in 15 black-and-white issues from February 2008 through August 2012, RASL was reissued this month in a single hardbound full-color volume. I read it in one sitting over Labor Day with much pleasure.

Like McDonald, Smith makes use of a speculative theory, in his case a unified field theory that the elderly Nikola Tesla claimed in 1937 to have completed. RASL`s main character, a researcher named Robert Johnson who later assumes the name RASL, gains access to Tesla's lost notebooks. In one of them, he finds the unpublished theory expounded in full.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Adam on September 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered Jeff Smith's Bone a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Acquiring every volume in the series, I ended up making Bone addicts out of my kids, too. So I was thrilled when Smith's RASL was announced to be issued in a single hard-bound volume. The storytelling, characters, and visual style are are 100% Smith. The reader is taken on an interdimensional race for the protagonist to protect the people and values he holds most dear. Surprisingly, the novel also stands as a historical testimony to the greatness of Tesla. Much of the novel is devoted to recounting the highs and lows of the troubled scientist's life. Smith's passion rivals that of "The Oatmeal," both of whom could likely raise sufficient support to see a resurrection of Tesla's life work.

Unfortunately, due to RASL's interactions with prostitutes and other unsavory characters, this is a novel I can only recommend to my peers and will need to be kept safe from my young kids' innocent eyes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Threepwood on September 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jeff Smith first comic book Bone was a silly classic Lord of Rings like Adventure. RASL is a hard boiled noir tale.
I picked up the individual black and white comics while the series was being published.
However, the complete collection is in color which adds a nice "POP" to the story, you really get that sense of the Arizona Desert.
The binding is very nice and so is the dust jacket. Looks like a real nice fun book. Many guest thumb through it on my coffee table.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amit Katz on December 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I loved Jeff Smith's "Bone" comics. They were wonderful, and plenty of praise has been heaped upon them and Mr. Smith (and rightly so.)
"RASL" is a vastly different story in just about every respect. The tone is dark and dreary. It's the story of a man who has been driven to desperation and criminal acts in an attempt to escape a mistake he has made. Unfortunately, unlike Bone, I did not find myself lost in the world of "RASL". The story starts out intriguing, but ultimately it fizzles out. The ending feels rushed, and I feel like I will forget it entirely in a matter of months. I hope Mr. Smith's next project will be more up to the standards of his amazing "Bone" story.

It also bears mentioning, this is not a book for children, unlike "Bone". There is a lot of violence and mature themes, not to mention sex and foul language. I would not recommend this for anybody under 14.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Arnold on November 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unlike Bone, RASL is clearly intended for a more mature audience with drug use, graphic violence, and nudity scattered through out its pages. The book centers around an art thief who is able to jump between dimensions stealing iconic art pieces. As the story progresses a more elaborate theme and plot emerge taking the reader back the the pages of both the main character and the historical Tesla's history. The book is well paced and I didn't see the book's big twist until it happened. The book is well thought out and characters are well developed in Jeff Smith's amazing style. The colors are more realistic and the pages have a matte finish that further enhances the feeling of maturity that is clear throughout the book. The volume itself is high quality being both large and well bound. I honestly wish that they would redo the Bone Omnibus in a bigger book like this one. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Smith's work and is over the age of 18.
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