Casanova Is Back
And we, the erudite comic reading hordes, could not be happier.
Casanova, as many know, is one of my absolute most favourite comics of all time. It’s funky, it’s funny, it’s different, and it’s bloody smart. I love that every panel is a lovely piece of art by one of the twins, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. I like the dialogue and description that Matt Fraction writes, and I love that it skirts the line between smarmy smugness and flat-out brilliance, with my thoughts leaning it more towards the brilliant side of the four colour medium.
But Casanova hasn’t been around for nearly two years. The first fourteen issues smashed onto the stands, sold modestly well, were critically raved over, Eisner nominated, and ended a two arc one-two punch with a fantastic reveal that no one, absolutely no one, saw coming. Then the series just up and stopped. Fraction took time off to become the next heir to the throne within the House of Ideas, and this freed up the Moon Ba combo to pursue other work, notably The Umbrella Academy with Gerard Way, and their collaboration together as writer/artists on Daytripper. Sadly, we never knew when Casanova would come back.
We waited, without even a collection of the last arc in trade format, and we hoped. One day Fraction and co would return to the universe of Cass, Zephyr, and the rest of the gang. Surely he wasn’t just out of ideas…was he? I worried, for a little bit, that Fraction was concerned he would not be able to top the previous arc. Think of the first arc, Luxuria, as the Batman Begins; it set minds and hearts afire and was a top effort to better but then he did with Gula (our The Dark Knight for purposes of this metaphor). Everyone is pleased, but how do you top it yet again? To instantly try to may be a foolish endeavour, and so you have to respect the decision by the creative team to take a break. It’s not comics for the sake of revenue, it’s art for the sake of the inspiration. Whether Fraction had the inspiration or not is hardly the point, the fact that he was bold enough to wait with it was interesting.
And now Fraction has been dropping bombs of information that say he is back to writing Casanova Quinn. He has been on Twitter mentioning his efforts of crafting a few pages of Casanova, then he mentioned this:
I can only imagine that he is writing some intensely insane stuff and so his artists might not appreciate the lengths to which they will have to go, though you can’t help but think they must love it. Fraction is a strong man at creating crazy ideas, as shown previously in Casanova, and also in some of his Marvel work with an exceptional run of one-shots about Thor and his Science Club in Uncanny X-Men.
Fraction works well from inspiration and lets us know some inspiration for a few of his pages here:
The man in question is a strange French singer who did an almost surreal song about Bonnie and Clyde with Brigitte Bardot. Watch to get yourself in the mood for some Casanova. It’s a hauntingly addictive piece of melody.
And on his blog, he accompanies the thought with this image. I don’t expect that this first issue back will include a hard man, a sexy dame, booze, guns, Russian hats, and chess, but I would not be surprised to see him incorporate all those elements into some metatextual game of spy-fu, for sure.
I love those old pulp pictures and would love to see Fraction add more back matter to his comic, much like Brubaker has done with his Criminal and Incognito series’. Maybe a run on old spy-fu series’ and their stories, art, etc. I’d write one for him.
But what’s a good story without a fantastic set of language to go with it? Stan Lee exceeded at using the language of the big boys in crazy convoluted and overhyped ways, and so too Fraction uses new words, or composite meanings, to create a diverse and dense universe for his characters and he gives us a few great words here to be added to the Casanova bible.
It all holds so much meaning and ultimately tells me one thing.
I am absolutely positively superexcited about the return of Casanova Quinn to my pull list. If they’re scripting and drawing now maybe we’ll see some hit shelves by the middle of the year, if we’re very lucky and well behaved.
And the question for me remains; which publisher will bring Cass to us? Image began it all, but Fraction’s a Marvel boy now, and they have a lovely independent, creator owned, stable for their top-tier talent in their Icon imprint. Bendis brought Powers across, can Casanova issue forth from the House of Ideas, and will this mean a renumbering of the new series?
All food for thought, but ultimately Casanova could be a weekly newspaper press from the Abu Dhabi Times and I’d still add it to my pull list. This comic is grand, no other way to put it, and Fraction has taken his time which makes me hope that it’ll come back stronger, stranger, and greater than ever.
All hail, Casanova Quinn.
Posted on January 14th, 2010 by ryan
Filed under: comics