Monday, January 25, 2010

Rasl & Echo intermission

I feel bad that I haven't been blogging that much for the month of January and feel equally bad that I haven't given shout-outs to Jeff Smith's Rasl and Terry Moore's Echo (at least I don't remember talking about these titles here on my blog previously - if I have it's been a while).

Jeff Smith, of course is the alternative / independent comic book poster guy for the breakout success he had with his epic Bone series (collected in nine beautiful full color graphic novels and one massive 1,300 page black and white volume). Bone was an all ages, timeless journey quest saga with equal doses of humor and adventure. As successful as Bone was, with its multiple collected printings, Jeff Smith could probably just live off of those royalties, but he has been kind enough to create another comic.

I'm going to "borrow" a description of what Rasl is from the fine folks over at Comixology, in which they said that the title character, Rasl, is an inter-dimensional art thief. Rasl is a far removed from Bone as a comic could be, so Smith gets extra points for not just repeating himself (and Rasl isn't an all ages title). A big part of the newest issue of Rasl involves Tesla, the scientist from the late 1800's who worked with Thomas Edison for a time before they had their differences and split. Rasl is getting better and better with each issue (the newest issue is #6) and with one collection out thus far, I give Rasl a high recommendation for being a finely drawn, highly engrossing, very different comic book.

The other big alternative / independent comic book success story cartoonist is Terry Moore, who is most beloved for his Strangers In Paradise series, a series basically about three people and the crazy turns their lives and relationships took also has had multiple collections. I'm going to shock some readers of my blog though (and not just for shocks' sake) by stating that while I think Terry Moore has always been a fantastic sequential art illustrator, his stories and paces he put his characters through in Strangers In Paradise didn't work for me a lot of the time (I was looking for something story-wise more like Ghost World, but that's like my dumb-ass not liking the movie Slumdog Millionaire because I expected a different movie from what I'd heard about it before seeing it).

Anyway, Terry Moore's Echo, is also about as far removed from Strangers In Paradise as Rasl is to Bone and for that I want to also tip my hat to Terry Moore for not going the easy way and just making more Francine and Katchoo comics and I have no story reservations with Echo. Echo is about a woman, Anne, who gets this experimental robot skin fused on to her, but this isn't your "typical" superhero comic, as there isn't superhero slugfests or supervillain activity, rather, Terry Moore has created a comic book that has about the highest level of intrigue - what's going to happen next - oh man that's the last page of this issue!? comics being produced today. Fortunately, Terry Moore isn't just a great cartoonist, he's also somehow able to do this book on a six week schedule. There's three Echo trades out so far and also gets the big Ralph Ich Liebe Comics ! recommendation (and I wouldn't lie about a thing like that!)!

1 comment:

alxjhnsn said...

Great books. Have you tried Love and Capes by Thom Zahler?

I think it is more than worth the charge. Nicely paced, good characters, excellent artwork. Check it out.