Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Casanova in the House. Finally!

I know I'm a week late, but what can I do? My shop didn't get Casanova #8 until this week. So here we are. Talking about the greatest comic in the history of this, one of many parallel universes. Screw that, actually. Casanova is the greatest comic in every parallel universe too, even the ones where the Nazis won World War II. In fact, on that alternate Earth, Matt Fraction publishes Casanova from his hidden base, a teched-out extra-large bathysphere deep within the Marianas Trench. Even the parallel Earth ruled by carnivorous bunnies has a Fraction-tastic Casanova comic, only the bunnies don't get the jokes. They take the comic literally and still think it's awesome.

Obviously you're all reading Casanova, because you have good taste, so I won't bother convincing you how good it is, as I kind of did HERE when I equated Fraction and Ba's work on issues #1-7 with Kirby-level greatness. Hyperbole? Nope. It's for real. Great, great stuff.

As you know, issue #8 features the art of Ba-twin Fabio Moon, and once your pupils stop constricting and adjust to the radioactive blue tones, you'll see that this kid's got skills, as you can see in Cass's vicious defeat of the dreaded Dokkktor Klockhammer. The evil Doc, who spouts the great lines, "I'm a REAL DOCTOR. AND a LAWYER. You can't stop me," is no match for Casanova Quinn, the typing-fu of Matt Fraction, or the Fabio Moon monkey wing reverse lightning brush. And that's only the beginning of the issue.

What I love about Casanova, besides lines like, "I could go for, like, 200cc's of...Fuckin' Awesome..injected in'ta my heart..." and "I demand truth--now. When is Casanova Quinn?" is that Fraction creates a nearly perfect super-spy action comic that captures the thrill and fun of the genre while subverting the genre at every turn. His sexy lead relaxes at the beach not with a hot babe, but with a three-faced robot who is more Ms. Modok than Ursula Andress. Then, after Casanova's recalled for the mission, and he gets his briefing, we get a six panel page (not pictured here) which at first seems to be a "calm before the storm" scene. The first panel shows the snowy woods, looking as if the sun is on the rise, the second panel is the same shot, but now day has fully broken. Except, wait. The tree on the right is now a stump? And there's snow on the stump. When did that tree get cut down? What looks like a panel-to-panel transition of an hour or two, upon closer examination, is actually a panel-to-panel transtion of days, maybe weeks. Then the next panel is the spring thaw, surely months later. Then what looks like summer. Then nightfall. Sometime. Only in the final panel does a masked character run through the scene, yelling "Mayday!" How long as the mission gone bad? What has happened? Fraction eliminates the entire mission and shows us only the fallout.

We assume the running character is Casanova Quinn, since he's the star of the book and he's doing stuff like shooting and leaping around. But it's not him, as we find out at the end. Cass is gone. And he's gone some"when"? And there's a six-armed, Chuck Taylor-wearing space cowgirl looking for him has well? All I could think about when I saw her was that she's some Kali analogue, part mother-goddess, part badass assassin. A perfect fit for the world of Casanova Quinn.

I'm sure you loved Casanova #8 too, right? It's a comic book. About being awesome.


James said...

I too, read it a week late! (Because I am British and there were circumstances). I didn't realise how much I loved Casanova until I re-read Luxuria in the hardcover. I love it a lot, and #8 did nothing to change that. Fabio Moon is great, and people complaining about the blue "hurting their eyes" need to sack up: it's not the colour causing your discomfort, it's your puny optic nerve's inability to process all the awesome. Best Book On The Stands.

Timothy Callahan said...

You speak the truth.