Monday, July 28, 2008

Seduction of the Innocent Part 2 - Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon's CASANOVA

James Coburn in Our Man Flint. Jim Steranko-era Nick Fury comics. Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik! Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius. This is only a tiny sampling of the special ingredients thrown into the blender of Matt Fraction's mind with the dial set to "frappé", whisked around until it spews out the nutritious creamy goodness that is Casanova.

I should try and give you a brief synopsis of the series. Not sure that I can. I damn sure can't pigeon-hole it by genre. Here's the best I can do: Spies, psychedelia and sex. Robots and doppelgängers and parallel worlds. Guns and pop music, redemption and identity, family and loyalty. And just good ol' fashioned Blowing Shit Up.

People talk about the writer's "voice". The distinctive individual style that is unique to the writer. Matt Fraction got that shit in spades. His is one of the strongest voices I've heard in a long, long time. Because Casanova is completely and utterly about Matt Fraction and his life, interests and preoccupations. And at the same time you don't need to know a damn thing about any of that to immerse yourself in the delirious, dizzying. wonderful pop-culture stew of Casanova.

Aided and abetted by the brothers Bá and Moon (who alternate storylines and cover art), their two-tone linework is simultaneously concise, expressive, detailed and sparse, telling you everything you need to know in the way that you need to know it.

Like all writers worth a damn, Fraction needs you to keep up with him. He's not spoon-feeding you the story or ladling on the exposition. He credits you as being smarter than that. So let's not disappoint. Casanova certainly doesn't. Fraction can confidently bounce from shit-eating goofiness to cold-stare seriousness and back again in the space of a few short-panels. Did I mention that it's funny too?

Volume 1 Luxuria is currently available, with volume 2 Gula coming soon. Fraction has intimated in interviews that Volume 3 is still about a year off, so wrap your eyes around this good stuff in preparation.


Supplementary Ephemera

Matt Fraction has a blog here and he twitters away here.

And Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá have their own blog full of eye goodies right about here.

Oh yeah, there's a movie on the way too.

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