Saturday, January 10, 2009

What I'm Reading: RASL: The Drift

Hey there, I still have on more Vacation Reading post to go up, but, I haven't finished to book yet. Hopefully tomorrow night I'll get through it and get a post up. Anyhoo, this week I picked up RASL: The Drift, the first volume of Bone creator Jeff Smith's new book. A ways back I reviewed the first issue of this book, and though I liked it, I had felt that it was simply not paced for single issue reading, especially considering the book is coming out on a quarterly basis, so when I saw the collection was hitting the shelves today, I was excited.

And I was right to be, though this volume only collects the first three issues, it feels like a much more solid chuck of story, though it is obviously only just the very beginning. Our protagonist is Rasl, a man who has discovered how to jump between parallel Earths and uses this knowledge to steal priceless works of art from other Earths to fence on our own. OVer the course of the volume, he learns that other, more sinister interests have discovered how to do this too, and they're out to get him. We also get some back-story as to how Rasl discovered how to traverse universes and what led him to go from straight-edge scientist to hard drinkin' thief.

As a whole, it's very good and I'm definitely interested to see where this is going. I was wondering how Smith's rather cartoonish art style would match up with the more real-world, violent themes of this new creation, but I should not have worried. It all looks good and nothing seems out of place. It's obvious that Smith came from animation, because his art just moves. There are a couple of foot-chase scenes in the book and you can practically see the characters running in your mind as you go.

My only hesitation about the book is that it is so obviously only the beginning and there's probably a lot more to before we really get into the meat of the story. I want the rest now. But, then again, I'm an impatient ass, so YMMV.

Also, a note about the packaging of the book itself. I had assumed that the book would be would be in the "smaller than a comic, but bigger than manga" size that the re-issues of Smith's Bone have been in, however, it was in an oversized (roughly 10''x13'') format and it added some nice heft to the volume. It also allows Smith's art more room to breathe and it helps the story. It made me very happy that I waited for trade.

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