Jeff Smith’s “RASL”

The creator, self publisher, artist, and author, of the seminal comic Bone has just recently released a fantastic new comic entitled “RASL,” pronounced rassle, like “let’s go on out in the yard and have us a rassle after we chug these beers.” I picked it up the other day and it looks like quite the interesting series. Jeff Smith recently did an interview at Newsarama where he explained the premise of the book in a much better way then I could. He says:

“RASL is this guy who has a special immersion suit that allows him to go into other dimensions. It’s a very sci-fi idea, or at least a far-out idea of physics, where he straps these giant engines on his shoulders and knees, and using thermo-magnetic forces, he can actually warp space around his engines and step into a parallel dimension. And if you give him enough money, he’ll go to those dimensions and steal things for you. He’s found a really lucrative market in doing things like getting someone their own Mona Lisa, or something like that. A world leader who is really rich can pay him go get their own Venus de Milo or whatever.”

If that does not excite you, then I am not going to ask what is wrong. The first issue, puts us right into the action as RASL spray paints his name on a man’s house and steals a painting with the man in the room. He then runs away from cops, straps on his suit, and poof, makes a jump into another dimension. RASL, the character, is drawn in a very gritty, muscular caveman look, and judging by the first issue he is quick as well is resourceful and cagey. However, the real interesting character is what appears to be an Agent Smith sort of character dressed in a black suit who has a horse like monkey face that will adorn the cover of issue #2 that is due out in May.

Another cool thing about RASL is that is entirely self produced by Jeff Smith’s own Cartoon Books and he has been posting some interesting articles on his Blog about self published comics of late that are a really good read. In the age of self produced internet web comics, the rebel spirit of self production seems hardly the immense task that is, but it is still cool to see something like this come out and made available through the traditional comic book store market. Go check it out and see what you think.