Thursday, June 22, 2006

"You talk like a comic book, man."

Matt Fraction is having fun writing comic books, and Casanova proves it.

From the above quote - itself a riff on funky karate master Jim Kelly's badass retort to the evil crimelord Han in Enter the Dragon - to the trippy locales, twisted plot, whacked out characters, and drug-fueled insanity, this is what comics should be like. Outrageous, derivative-yet-wholly-original mini works of art. True POP culture junkfood.

Fraction gleefully proclaims his influences - from Jim Steranko to Phil Spector - and takes readers through the outlandish world of super-sleuth Casanova Quinn, a rebellious second-generation spy who's pretty much a degenerate fuck-up.

Fraction sometimes skates a thin line along the cracked ice - perhaps it's getting a little repetitive to see over-the-top analogues to Nick Fury, his agents of SHIELD, and the evil Hordes of HYDRA...Warren Ellis is simultaneously doing the same thing in NEXTWAVE...but, overall, Fraction manages to pull it off. His characters exude a frenetic charm and the story moves at such a break-neck pace that the comic book has a look and feel that's uniquely its own. Like throwing Maker's Mark and a Porterhouse steak in a blender; it might be messy, but it's gonna taste good.

Unafraid to revel in utter madness - and at a buck-ninety-nine - Casanova is a savory slab of juicy, madcap fun. So why haven't you read it yet?!