Monday, November 30, 2009

RASL The Drift

Imagine you can jump through different levels of time and space! That's what Robert can do! How would you spend your time and where?

In this over sized, black and white graphic novel, Robert jumps around using time travel equipment that he and a fellow university scientist invented. His equipment looks like airplane engines that he straps on his shoulders and legs to propel him into his next "jump" in time. Its very bulky and he stashes it in garbage dumpsters and car trunks when roaming about in vehicles like pick up truck in what seems like modern time.

In the beginning of the novel, we find Robert stealing Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist painting to sell in a different time. He "jumps" to avoid the police takes time to drink, smoke, get laid (all graphically shown), he jumps because a strange lizard man attacks him. In his second jump location, he does another booty call which again involves drinking and smoking. Since he gets into a verbal fight with the booty call girl, he leaves her and goes to a strip joint (which, of course, has thong wearing pole dancers). Lizard man shows up, kills his booty call girl and destroys the Picasso painting - this, of course, becomes the story of the Drift Volume One, which continues on with an open ended ending that leads the reader to future Drift books.

"Graphic" novel really defines this book. Robert is not a good role model for students, unless you are teaching stealing, sex, drinking and smoking to your students! This is not your usual comic book superhero book!

I chose this book because I liked the storyline of time jumping, but I would suggest you skip this novel and "jump" in Steven Gould's Jumper Books and the movie The Jumper, here are the links to a better read:,2178/

Mary Beth Hutting


VCaste said...

Although this book does not preach the greatest ideals, I still think it sounds like an interesting read and something that students could really get into. Classroom discussion could focus on the ways in which Robert's behavior is inappropriate. It could also make a great project for students to brainstorm their own graphic novel about where they would "jump" if they had the ability.

Caitlin Strandquist said...

This book sounds super interesting. I think we sometimes get wrapped up in identifying a book "appropriate" or "inappropriate" and forget that regardless of the content, books are basically for learning, whether its broadening someone's horizons, or learning new words, or expanding a teen's worldview, finding new and interesting ways to do this, whether wholesome or not, are always basically good. (I think, anyways.)

And also! Not every YA book is for teaching!

radcinbad said...


I agree with you about this character when you say he "is not good role model for students", and I also agree with Caitlin's comment statement that "not every YA book is for teaching." I think that this book could be a good outside read, something students read for hobby and not studied in the classroom. I support student reading of any kind, really, and think this graphic novel would interest students and encourage those students to read.
I actually laughed out loud when I read your blog. Your hook truly hooked me; and I liked the idea of a time traveling vagabond who keeps his hodgepodge rocket pack in dumpsters and car trunks. Then it was Bam! the time traveler turns into a pimp-like character making booty calls and frequenting strip clubs. The way you wrote your blog was funny in that way. However, I'm left to wonder how this graphic novel is truly related to Steven Gould's Jumper. Granted I have not read ever of these books, but after reading the link they don't seem incredibly similar. Either way, thanks for sparking my interests!

Paige said...

If these are the main themes taught in the book, then I too agree and think that this should not bee a book taught to young readers. Jumper the movie was interesting, and I will look into the books that you provided the links to.

Clarissa H. said...

Hi Mary Beth,

This is why I hesistate in regards to students reading graphic novels for book reports and such. Many graphic novels I think can be very literary and educational, but unfortunately, some are like the one you have reviewed here. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion.

Hutting said...

I added the Jumper book/movie because the idea of being able to jump into different places at will sounds fun and the Jumper movie was a good movie. I figured if I shared a book that was "unusable", I would give you a "useable" book.