Notables 2010: Jeff Smith’s RASL

Jeff Smith RASL #3, 2008

RASL is a sci-fi adventure about a dimension-hopping art thief former rocket scientist who is in some kind of big trouble with a mush-faced man. In #3, Rasl meets Maya, the woman whose name is tattooed on his arm, only of course it isn’t exactly Maya.

There are several things I love about Rasl aside from it being an ambitious, well-told, exciting sci-fi noir adventure (as if that wasn’t enough). It’s published (self-published, actually; Smith is one of the prime examples/exponents of the great age of self-publishing) in a gorgeous large format in glamorous black and white, it’s dangerous and sexy, and it’s by Jeff Smith, most famous for Bone, which is now seen as a kids’ comic (not the original intention, but it works). I love that Jeff broke his own mold with this definitely for-adults work.

Do yourself a favor and skip the pocket-books edition in favor of the full-size “deluxe” version. It works small but is so much gorgeous-er big.

Age: adult, duh. Teens would love it, but there’s nudity and sex in it (which is of course why they’d love it).

What is this “Notable” thing all about? Matt and Jessica are the series editors for the Best American Comics, and are responsible for the Notable Comics list at the back of the book, which is comprised of virtually all the comics we sent to the guest editor that weren’t picked, as well as a number of others that we think are noteworthy for various reasons, but that we didn’t send to the guest editor.

We’ve always hoped readers will delve a bit into the list to find more great stories once they finish reading BAC. Realistically, though, we know that’s tough. What can you know about a story from a title and author? So this is one of a series of posts focusing on each of the Notables from the 2010 Best American Comics.

Have or know of a comic we should look at? Find submission info here.

The “age” suggestion is what we think might be the minimum age for reading and appreciating a work. All works on the list, though, should appeal to older audiences too. It’s a minimum suggestion only.



1 Comment to Notables 2010: Jeff Smith’s RASL

  • by Gary Scott Beatty

    On April 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks for the review, Jessica, I had completely forgotten about this series. I have confidence in Smith’s storytelling abilities, no matter the audience. This is now on my Amazon wish list!

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