Published on September 16th, 2013 | by Richard Boom
Review: RASL full colour HC
Jeff Smith makes me want to read more into scientist Tessla, that is for sure. With RASL he created a new mythos around this scientist, well-known for his working theories on electrical currencies as much as about his wacky (until proven otherwise) ideas on getting free electricity out of the ether or communicating with aliens. Tessla was surely a brilliant scientist, but perhaps in a more guided state he could have been tenfold more.
Jeff Smith became legendary with his creation BONE, and that series had dragons, funny white smurfs and furry freaks. RASL is filled with deception, science, violence, alternate universes and feels more like a crime-noir then a real comic-book. The only things making this an original JEFF SMITH is the artist/creator/writer himself and the fact that this, just like BONE, reads like it could also very well be the middle of a story, as there is loads of room to wiggle around in and delve into a next series, using RASL as our sturdy anti-hero.
I have known about RASL ever since I delved into BONE (I was a late-BONEr) and fell in love with his storytelling and art. I knew that RASL would be a long road and somehow I felt that it would be worth the wait and I waited a long time. But now I have in my hands the totally-NOT pricey colored hardcover and it read like a charm. Seldom have I read a story this intensely or even as if it were a novel instead of pictures-infested. The level of dialogue combined with the background on Tessla, his ‘hidden journals’ and the complete mythos on this and its reflection on Rasl’s adventures is just mind-blowing.
We see Rasl as the scientist, trying to work from Tessla’s designs. We see Rasl develop a conscience in which he asks himself the question all scientists should ask themselves: not the ‘be a scientists’ question but ‘what if this will be used as a weapon’ kinda question. All humans know by know that other humans can never be trusted. Individually, sure. But as a species, we WILL make a weapon out of everything!
So Rasl asks the right question, makes a total mess of himself and his employers and then the chase is on! Across parallel dimensions which are so like one another but Bob Dylan is a dead give-away! As much as we delve into the mind of Rasl, we also come to know Tessla. And as soon as we get to know more about Tessla’s theories, we will get drawn back to Rasl again, as is the magic that Jeff Smith wields.
Rasl turns out to be as skilled an art-thief as he was a scientist, but once the chase is on and Rasl is trying to save his own hide, his loved ones will be the ones to burn at the stake.
And this is where Jeff Smith truly hits the mark: the simplest of emotions might well be the most complexed to tackle and love… love will make or break the world of Rasl.
Fortunately for the world, Rasl is smart, fast and willing to go more then that extra mile to make sure humanity lives another day.
If you truly want to read a story worth your time and dime, get RASL and you will NOT be sorry!
- Hardcover: 472 pages, with dustcover
- Publisher: Cartoon Books (September 17, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1888963379
- ISBN-13: 978-1888963373
- Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.7 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
- Price: 39,95 USD