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Good day and welcome to Comical Musings.  Do you like science?  Not test tubes, Erlenmeyer flasks, and stuff like that.  That kind of science is all well and good for when you want to “prove” things or “discover” stuff, but I am talking kooky science.  There are rumors (some may have been confirmed) that when Star Trek cast members had to talk science, a lot of times they just ad-libbed, as they should have since dilithium is not a real substance so who knows how it would power spaceships.  Anyways, (pushes non-existent nerd glasses up) RASL is filled with that kind of kooky science that I love.  The kind of kooky science that allows people to easily transport from dimension to dimension with a handheld device.  The kind of kooky science that creates truly upsetting extra-dimensional hitmen with names like Salvador Crow.  This kooky science is absolutely obsessed with Nikolai Tesla (as all kooky science should be).  This is some good stuff.

Oh, Tesla….you sly dog.

Now take that kooky science, that inexplicable formula that plays out like magic and adds up to nothing and add a great narrative structure.  RASL doesn’t explain or apologize for anything and as such, leaves you captivated and grasping for plot points.  There is a love story, sure, but most great stories tug at your heart.  There is a loose and awkward spirituality, but when you mix that spirituality with kooky science and great narrative structure, it gets weird…in a beautiful way.

Yeah, it’s pretty much like that…

RASL is a beautiful book.  Entertaining, gripping, and even thrilling (at times).  The pacing allows the story to unravel slowly, fifteen chapters to be exact, but feels deliberate and masterful.  It certainly took Jeff Smith a while to put the book out, but truth be told, each issue was worth the wait.  You can tell that Smith is one of the forefathers of modern day comics by the way that he weaves it all together.  He created a completely different kind of story from his critically acclaimed comic, Bone and that’s what he wanted to do with the series.  So, it was successful, not only critically, but for Jeff as well.  It’s really just brilliant and although I’m not altogether sure what happened in the book, I loved every page of it.  I’ll need to get Hal to explain it to me.  He loves that kooky science.

 Note From The Editor: All 15 issues of RASL are available in five collected editions from $9 – $16 a piece here.


~ Scott Deaux ~


About Scott Deaux

Favorite Comics: Lazarus, Essex County, Chew, Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, Age of Apocalypse stuff, The Nightly News, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Pax Romana, Avengers, NEXTWAVE: Agents Of Hate, Sweet Tooth, We3, others... Favorite Quote(s): "Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world." - Warren Ellis "People who hold signs go hold many other things" - Eddie Pepitone

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