Thursday, February 6, 2014

RASL by Jeff Smith

Scientist Robert Johnson meets a devil at the crossroads in Jeff Smith's noir science fiction full-colour graphic novel, RASL. The esoteric writings of physicist Nikola Tesla inspired Johnson and his partner to create a powerful new military weapon. But when Johnson realizes the dangers inherent in their project, his conscience forces him to become an outlaw. On the run, in and out of alternate dimensions, his mission is to destroy their work instead. To support himself, Johnson becomes an art thief. Booze and sex keep him fueled for his bloody, dusty quest. What a wild adventure!

While I was immersed in RASL, I found myself drawing ties to so many other books in comics format: Suspended in Language and Feynman, both by Jim Ottaviani; Richard Stark's Parker by Darwyn Cooke; The Watchmen by Alan Moore; The Death-ray by Daniel Clowes; Radioactive by Lauren Redniss; and even Gilles Tibo's illustrations for Poe's Annabel Lee. This added even more pleasure to an already rich experience.

Jeff Smith is a master. What else is there to say?

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