Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quick Hit Review: Casanova #1 (Icon)

By: Allen R.

Amidst a collection of books that I usually keep around me, there are those that demand my attention and to spend time reading on them. There are comics I usually get to but there are those seldom few that I have to buy, I can't read a spoiler on or I'll end up getting fussy over it, so on and so forth. One of these comics is Casanova.

Casanova is the brainchild of Matt Fraction and Brazilian illustrator twins, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. The result of their collaboration follows: Time traveling, alternate realities, voluptuous and dangerous women, sleazy and conniving men. This is the world of Casanova Quinn and we, the readers, are only witnesses to this grand feat.

The plot follows a devil-may-care spy, the 'black sheep' in a family of spies, abducted by a rival organization to do their bidding...and the journey travels in directions seldom seen in conventional monthly comic books. To explain this would be hazardous and a denial of the pleasure as only a comic like Casanova can give.

Prior to the re-release of Casanova through Icon, two volumes were published through Image Comics- Luxuria (in muted green tone drawn by Gabriel Ba), and Gula (in a vibrant blue tone drawn by Fabio Moon). Following the release of the two volumes, the comic was in hiatus. The entire creative team sought work in other areas; Matt Fraction would end up writing the Invincible Iron Man and Uncanny X-men (and a short Thor story), while Ba and Moon illustrated titles such as Umbrella Academy, BPRD: 1947, and their most current work, Daytripper.

So after a two-year absence, Casanova... reprinted?

In this new version of Casanova, there are many compliments I can give (note: review is based on the first issue). The colors by colorist Cris Peters do not deter the quality of the art but adds another layer to the story, retaining the spirit of the muted tone from the initial release. The lettering by Dustin Harbin gives dialogue a character to its own, as you can feel weight to the narrative and words expressed by the characters. The backup feature by Fabio Moon gives an interesting perspective of Casanova through another character. The back matter documented excerpts from the life of writer Matt Fraction, and they serves as an analysis of the various influences which contributed to the making of Casanova.

To conclude, this comic is not just a comic meant to be read passively, it is an experience meant to be read over and over. Casanova challenges the norm of the comic book and challenges you with every panel and every page. If you tire of passive reading and seek a challenging and rewarding comic book, I highly urge you to read Casanova. And through the release from the Icon imprint, there is no excuse to deny picking this book up.

No comments:

Post a Comment