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Rasl No. 1 

Published by Cartoon Books. Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

 

The Deal: Comic god Jeff Smith -- the man behind the acclaimed Bone series -- is back with a brand new comic series. And this new book, titled RASL, ain't nothing like Bone. You won't find any dragons or broadswords in this one; it's set pretty firmly in the modern world. But reading RASL -- which chronicles the adventures of a time/space hopping art thief -- one has to wonder: In which modern world is this comic book firmly set?

The Good: I have to be honest -- if Jeff Smith's name wasn't attached to this comic, I wouldn't have picked it up. But because I followed Bone since the first issue of the actual series (not the trades), I'm willing to follow Smith anywhere he goes. This is a gritty comic with a rough-and-tumble protagonist. In terms of story, this first issue plants the earliest of seeds for what is sure to be a complex mystery. We aren't given much about the book's hero or the forces working against him, but we get enough to stay interested. The art is amazing; it's a little rougher than the stuff Smith did for Bone, but it still features his top-notch storytelling skills and some emotion-packed facial expressions.

The Bad: I've got no complaints. Some may say this first issue lacks much in the way of story, but Smith has set up enough to draw you in.

The Verdict: I'll be reading this every week and you should, too.

Reviewed materials furnished by Heroes Aren't Hard To Find: www.heroesonline.com.

On March 13, Carlton Hargro will speak at the Levine Museum of the New South about black images in comic books. For more info, visit www.museumofthenewsouth.org.

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