Well, Jeff Smith finally wrapped up his latest series last week. From about the third issue I've been telling myself to drop this title, but somehow I just kept buying it, thinking it can't last much longer, can it? Thank god it's finally over.
Not that there weren't some nice bits along the way, but the whole series has about as much content as an old EC Weird Science 12-pager. And I'm generally not opposed to decompressed storytelling. Heck, my favorite parts were probably the silent panels of water droplets and indian designs and weird little girls standing in the desert. It was the actual sci-fi plot that I found grating and overlong. Not to mention the love/hate romance elements, which were also grating and overlong.
So in the last issue, several key plot points are conveyed by the display on Rasl's iPhone. Did he even have an iPhone before this issue? Heck, did the iPhone even exist when issue #1 came out all those years ago? Let me google that:
iPhone released on June 29, 2007; RASL Issue #1 released on February 27, 2008. Okay, Smith, I guess you're in the clear this time, but only on a technicality.
Oh, right, here's the big spoiler, the big mystery we've all been wondering about since the first issue: What does the stupid name RASL mean, anyway? Answer: it means "romance at the speed of light." Huh. Okay. We waited four years for this? Does this have any meaning to the story at all, on any level deeper than the caption below Smith's high school yearbook photo? I leave it to greater minds to determine.
Well, I guess Smith felt that he had to do something really different from Bone, so as not to get in a rut? So, mission accomplished there. But for the other goal, of actually making good comics? Still some work left to do. I'm still a fan. I'll be interested to see what he does next. But I think I'll wait for the trade paperback next time.