[images & words is the comic book pick-of-the-week at OL. equal parts review and diatribe, the post highlights the most memorable/infuriating/entertaining book released that wednesday]
I thought I was just reading a comic. You know, sitting and checking out some paneled narrative. But then it happened. I got to the end of the issue and my heart was beating and sweat was dripping from my brow. I grasped my bosom and shrieked delight.
Casanova mindfucked me. And it was glorious.
There is so much going on in Casanova that I don’t even know where to begin. Hrm…let me think…Okay, so Casanova Quinn is a secret agent who has been transported across spacetime. In this new universe, he works for the criminal organization that is aiming to take down his father’s law enforcement agency. Playing both sides of the field, Casanova gets into all sorts of kooky adventures.
But really, that doesn’t even begin t o convey the insanity of this book. Hell, I might need to give it a few re-reads before I can adequately grapple with the prospect of explaining the story. Within the first five pages, Casanova whomps the shit out of an artist whose twelve years of meditation have granted him godlike status.
And it only gets crazier.
Fugg, there’s just so much going on. The second half of the issue sees Casanova sneaking onto Coldheart Island. He thinks this isle is the last refuge of pre-Neolithic man on the planet. However, Starking Cole gets the hero high with a “bongload of evolution” and explains the true nature of Coldheart Island.
“When I came here, Seychelle wanted me to use the island as a kind of petri dish. I was to monitor how the natives reacted to new outbreaks of technology. I made the island my project. I’d tell Seychelle whatever he wanted to hear while actually evoling the whole of the people here.”
Yes, you read right. Casanova Quinn stumbles upon a hidden island filled with hyper-intelligent humans masquerading as savages. I understand this much and yet I still am at a loss.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Casanova succeeds because it is pushing my brain. Hard. To work. To the best of its damn (in)ability. I’m going to have to flip through these pages more than once to truly appreciate. The density Fraction’s story is supported by Gabriel Ba’s art, which tosses busy panels onto the page with ease. Moreover, it is not uncommon for the gutters to be filled with supplementary dialogue — such is the case when an explanation of previous happenings in the series is provided by God. No joke.
To top it all off, Casanova concludes with a section of backmatter. I’m always intrigued by the creative processes that go into the works I read/listen to/watch, so this section is a real treat for me. However, this third issue presents some especially interesting insights — Matt Fraction details his journey towards sobriety. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to read the Fraction has had issues with drugs and alcohol, as many creators struggle with substances; but I’m a fan of his and I’d never heard so much as an intimation that there were issues.
But it’s heartening to see that Fraction has chosen to disclose this information, perhaps inspiring some of his readers to seek the help they may need. With Casanova #3, Matt Fraction advocates for narrative psychedelia and lifetime clarity.