Thursday, October 04, 2007


Friend Casanova

In next week's book report I'm going to be raving about Matt Fraction, but in the meantime here's a little goodness for you. His Image book Casanova is currently the featured title on My understanding of social networking sites is only slightly better than that of an 80-year old grandmother, so I'm not entirely sure what that means, but what I do know is that Fraction is making available a free .cbr file of CASANOVA #8 (if you don't know from cbr files, you'll probably need to download a copy of CDisplay to view it, or else you can just view the pages inline on Myspace).

I wasn't sure about Casanova when it started last year. I read the first couple of issues, thought they were well done, but for whatever reason it didn't really click with me. Then I went on to read The Immortal Iron Fist (which is the thing I'll be raving about next week), and decided that maybe I should give it another chance. The issues are only $1.99 a piece, and are the most densely packed comics in years, if ever, so were easily worth the few bucks I threw down for them. Rereading the first seven issues from the beginning, the book did click with me, and now it's one of my favorite ongoing comics.

Over on the Myspace thingee, Fraction describes a little bit about the book's origins and influences:
When they were kids, I suspect that most guys in comics had heroes that put on capes. When I was a kid, my heroes put on ties, ordered drinks, and seduced women that wanted to kill them.

Never a clotheshorse or a social butterfly, I was a fat, perpetually new kid in about a dozen different schools, each one existing on a wholly new planet than the last, with its own customs and rituals I generally didn't understand, didn't like, and eventually came to hate.

The appeal, then, to me, of James Bond and his ilk wasn't the action, the state-sponsored murder, or the gadgets-- although all that was supercool-- it was that Bond always knew what to say, what to drink, and how to live in any one of a dozen skins his job called on him to wear from day to day.

I didn't want super-strength and heat-vision; I didn't want to sublimate any latent homosexual desires I may have had by punching other dudes in their spandex-clad taints-- I wanted to look good in a tux, hold my liquor, and go back to my suite with the beautiful girl in the backless evening gown.
Casanova really is one of the best things going, and is worth reading, if for no other reason, to see just how Fraction and his collaborators Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon pack so much information into every panel, and so many panels onto every page. At a time when most comics (a) suck, and (b) are so "decompressed" that it takes five issues for a single leaf to fall, Casanova is comics on overdrive, dense as a white dwarf and extremely sexy.

Go check out the free issue and see if it's your kind of thing. If it is, you can pick up the Luxuria hardcover to get up to speed, and then grab the ninth issue off the shelf, and you'll be all caught up. And you'll be glad that you did.

You know, if writers I like keep recommending new stuff, my to be read pile will never decrease....

I'll take a look at this

Also, my Setember book log posting on rec.arts.sf.written is up, and I read two of your books this month. They aren't reviews, but just general comments...let hope that it draws some attention your way.
Hey, thanks, Howard! Very kind of you!
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