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RASL Hardcover – September 17, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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.”
Booklist STARRED REVIEW
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.
...”dazzling...demonstrates the same knack for arresting character design that made Smith’s Bone such a rewarding read...”
...briskly paced hardboiled sci-fi hybrid...an inventive mix...”
...audacious...a concentrated thrill.”
RASL is gorgeous, creepy, grim, and crammed with action, history, sex, booze, science, and psuedo-science...a hell of a ride.”
...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."
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
"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.
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.
But taken by itself, it is a thoroughly solid graphic novel experience, and obviously the start to a very unusual sci-fi story. Though brief, "Rasl Volume 1: The Drift" introduces us to a very unusual thief who has uncovered a strange new power. Too bad someone's about to cause him trouble because of it.
Rasl was once an eminent scientist, but is now a master thief. He makes his getaways using the Drift: using a couple of engines, he can transport himself from one parallel world to another. But after one heist, he ends up in the wrong parallel universe -- and a strange lizardy man attacks him, making Rasl realize that someone is pursuing him.
Once he's gotten back to the right world, he stumbles into the arms of his prostitute lover Anne, who says he's never looked this bad before. But when Anne is murdered, Rasl sets out to the Compound -- and a bucketload of old memories -- to discover who the lizardy man is, and who is hunting him through all the different worlds...
"Rasl" is in many ways the opposite of Smith's prior work -- it's low on dialogue (whole pages go by in complete silence), the art is spare and sharp-edged as the deserts Rasl wanders in, and the entire collection is redolent of dusty roads, lonely nights, lost loves and a sense of paranoia that keeps you looking over your shoulder.
Admittedly this first collection is brief -- only three issues long -- and the first part is a rather slow-moving affair.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is a power in this universe so great, so mysterious, that once you learn of it, your existence is forever changed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Phoenix
NOT for those expecting another BONE. Dark, sexy, and twisted.Published 9 months ago by paul pirate
Quite simply one of the best comics I've read in a long time. Jeff Smith is a master cartoonist and the story is beautiful to look at as I knew it would be. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Hwy61Joe
I didn't like it. I didn't get it.
Like many of you, I'm a huge fan of the Bone series. After reading some reviews, I knew that this book would be nothing like Bone and... Read more
Item was as described, arrived in good condition, and quickly. Kind of an inconclusive ending, and had some loose ends that would have benefited from more detail.Published 15 months ago by Bhukov Kjells
It's a good comic. Still --- Not a good comic for kids. Not a good comic if you're looking for interesting, well-treated women characters. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Abigail Scott
Recommended by Frank Miller on his AMA, I decided to check this out. Basically a love letter to Tesla, everything about this story is absolutely enthralling. Fantastic read! Read morePublished 23 months ago by AmazonRegular