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Jeff Smith's newest comic, Tuki Saves the Humans, is free to read online
April 3, 2014 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Jeff Smith, author of the highly lauded and much-awarded Bone comic series, and the subsequent RASL comic series, has returned with a new comic: Tüki Saves the Humans, a web series based on "the most current speculations of scientific experts" about a major ice age somewhere between 2 million and 975,000 years ago ancient Africa drying up, driving or allowing hominids to move from Africa. The first "season" of Tüki is now complete, which makes the Bones happy.

The current version of has some material from Bone and RASL, but you'll have to look elsewhere to read those stories in full.

Bone, previously.
posted by filthy light thief (26 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

To my untrained eye, it looks like he's changed his character style a little bit for this one. Maybe a little more Miyazaki-ish, a little less Disney-ish?
posted by Think_Long at 7:41 AM on April 3

Wait, is RASL finished? I know I'm missing the fourth oversize compendium, but will it be the last?
posted by Shepherd at 7:57 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

Several people who's opinion I really respect have told me to read Bone, I just haven't had the time.

I read the first 20 pages of this and was pretty blown away.

I tend to like the Al Williamsons, Kalutas, Wrightsons, Neal Adams-type comic book art. But there's folks like Scott McCloud and Steve Rude with a seemingly simple style who just get comic books and do them perfectly. Apparently Jeff Smith is one of those guys.
posted by marxchivist at 8:03 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

Yes, marxchivist, Jeff is resolutely one of those guys. GO READ BONE RIGHT NOW

Bone is so, so good. I can't wait to crack into this, too.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:07 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

I should really read Bone again. So damn good.
posted by kmz at 8:08 AM on April 3

Yeah, Bone is one of those classic 'starts out silly and cartoony, then gets deeper, more complex, and darker as the pages wear on' stories. Like Cerebus but, um, funner.
posted by Think_Long at 8:10 AM on April 3


Not later, NOW!
posted by tdismukes at 8:12 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

Ha, that just reminds me of the Jeff Smith/Dave Sim feud.
posted by kmz at 8:14 AM on April 3

Shepherd, I'm not familiar with RASL, but it looks like 1) it is finished, and 2) there were only 3 trade paperbacks (or 15 individual issues, or 1 compendium). This review of the "scifi noir" title, with its "parallel-universe hopping art thief/ex-military engineer" makes it sound awesome.

Think_Long, I think that's Smith's style. His three different series have a different balance of silly and deep, which is pretty great.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:14 AM on April 3

I really enjoy prehistory stories. This is great.
posted by curious nu at 8:19 AM on April 3

So how can we be notified when the second installment comes out? Do we have to follow smith on Twitter or something?
posted by Think_Long at 8:24 AM on April 3

Bone was phenomenal. RASL is just plain fun. I look forward to sitting down and reading this in one gulp. Great post. I always support anything to do with Jeff Smith or comics.
posted by Fizz at 8:24 AM on April 3

I had Bone on my to-read list for a long time, and finally took the plunge and bought the big complete series for my 11-year-old stepson (it turned out that he had been reading the individual books when he could find them at libraries), and then had to wait for him to finish it, and it was SO WORTH THE WAIT OH MY GOD.
posted by Etrigan at 8:31 AM on April 3

Just because it's got no love in this thread so far, everyone should also read Smith's SHAZAM! vs. the Monster Society of Evil, possibly my favourite SHAZAM! thing ever.
posted by Shepherd at 8:36 AM on April 3 [3 favorites]

At first I was all, "What, the Frugal Gourmet is writing comics now?"
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:43 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]

And he's back from the dead!

The Jeff Smith tag is pretty useless on MetaFilter, as there are 4 different Jeff Smiths in 5 posts.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:54 AM on April 3

Which is why you can narrow results with a second tag.

posted by zamboni at 9:02 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

Ooh, fancy! Thanks, zamboni!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:37 AM on April 3

No worries. The Related Tags sidebar thing for adding other tags only seems to appear when there's a large number of items found (e.g. "comic", but not "JeffSmith"), but editing the URL works regardless.
posted by zamboni at 10:55 AM on April 3

Thanks for pointing this out, it's pretty great so far. When is he going to start season 2, do you know?

The protagonist looked a little modern to me for 2mya, but apparently some reconstructions of Homo erectus have them looking fairly close to modern humans.
posted by tavella at 11:11 AM on April 3

tavella: When is he going to start season 2, do you know?

May 16, according to ICv2.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:59 AM on April 3

Hmm. The first release is going to be black and white? I might buy it anyway to support the project, but it's not a great way to sell comics, giving people less than they get following it for free.
posted by tavella at 12:29 PM on April 3

I'm guessing it's a cheap way to gauge interest and get something to people who really want a physical copy now, then re-issue a larger full-color compendium (as has been Smith's style, if not intentionally, since Bone).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:12 PM on April 3

Just because it's got no love in this thread so far, everyone should also read Smith's SHAZAM! vs. the Monster Society of Evil, possibly my favourite SHAZAM! thing ever.

I recently read an archive of the original Monster Society of Evil, with Mr. Mind, which is bizarre but hilarious (although loaded with offensive ethnic stereotypes -- it was printed during World War II after all). For example: Captain Marvel has managed to locate Mr. Mind's secret base on an unknown planetoid. In front of the door is a welcome mat that reads KEEP OUT, and on the door a sign saying "BEWARE! KEEP OUT!! ESPECIALLY CAPTAIN MARVEL!". Later we get a look inside Mr. Mind's evil school, which has an entertaining directory.

The revelation of who, or what, Mr. Mind is is pretty great itself. It's hard to be the greatest evil mind in the universe when you're an adorable little worm in big round spectacles with an old-timey radio around your next that broadcasts your thoughts. Towards the end we kind of feel sorry for the little bug, even though he's been palling around with the Axis Powers. He had such big dreams, but in the end they gave him the electric chair.
posted by JHarris at 2:19 PM on April 3

Seconding all the people who are saying variations on "go read Bone before you take another breath".

Then go read Rose, because Bone-verse + Charles Vess + dragons = the entire mass of the universe converted to "squee!".
posted by sourcequench at 3:15 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]

RASL is indeed finished. It has been printed as some number of floppy comics, four oversized B&W books, and a colored single volume. If you haven't read it and like either Jeff Smith or noir SF, you should grab a copy.

I bought it about one and a half times for myself as various issues and all the B&W books. I just got Jeff to sign them all, and draw in the first! Hooray for comic conventions.

(Actually I bought it two and a half times, but the last one was to give a friend's kid a copy of the color omnibus.)
posted by egypturnash at 5:43 PM on April 3

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