Monday, April 19, 2010

Fraction Brings New Math This Summer

Back in 2006, I remember the first time I met MATT FRACTION--- a little bundle of pop culture energy who took time to match knowledge, blow-for-blow, with yours truly. He began to tell me about a tale he scripted, smashing together all of the things he loved about the spy genre (and a curious love for a little italian fumetti called DIABOLIK ). He signed a first issue copy and gave it to me... The book was called CASANOVA.

Casanova Quinn, debaucherous playboy thief for hire, is kidnapped from his reality and 'switched out' in an alternate reality where his 'other self' is a 'super secret agent' working for his father (in a S.H.I.E.L.D. kinda way) and the mighty E.M.P.I.R.E. --- forced to act as a double agent under the evil iron fist of NEWMAN XENO ( a supercriminal archetype WORTH the ink he's printed with), Casanova is caught between a rock, a hard place, and an even harder time as he struggles to stay alive in a reality that he now knows he CAN'T escape--- even as the walls begin closing in...

The 16 page, B+W IMAGE comic detailed the exploits of a thief-turned-international man of mystery-turned-multidimensional double agent turned the genre on its head, and gave comic audiences a swift kick in the cerebellum with a new smashgenre of Spy-fi Sci-Fi. With now acclaimed superstar artist GABRIEL BA (and later, his brother FABIO MOON on Volume 2) doing the 'dirty brush dance' on art duties, Matt managed to restore my faith in comic geekness once again.

Later, before the release of his equally popular Volume 2, Fraction and I would sit down at the con table together again--- this time, he produced a signed hardcover copy of LUXURIA (the collected volume 1) and gave it to me. (Of course, upon the release of my own OGN, I owe him a signed copy in return, as that was part of our arrangement) Volume 2 took a completely different turn, introducing an entire second arc of the story WITHOUT the title character (Cass went missing somewhere between the end of Volume 1 and the beginning of 2); once again defying convention and forcing audiences to go along for the ride... Of course, the storyline would float off into limbo as Fraction began to turn his scripting pencil to the boys at Mighty Marvel, reinventing their IRON FIST and IRON MAN titles, getting so busy he no longer had time for phone calls... It seemed that the questions surrounding Casanova would go unanswered...

... Until now.

Matt Fraction shall return to the groundbreaking spy equation this July, now to be published under the MARVEL ICON imprint, along with the FULL COLOR re-release of the original series (A move Fraction says would take full advantage of the new prestige arrangement between Marvel and Hachette ). The re-releasing of the two former volumes is a set up for the grand release of Volume 3, which will see the return of Gabriel Ba on art chores and Fraction finally getting around to adding up all the loose ends he left hanging for quite a while.

I seriously urge those of you who have yet to crack open this brain warping slice of spy-man skullduggery to do so. It'll definitely change your perceptions of what a good comic should be!


Brian Miller said...

Casanova was definitely a fun one. I bought it a year or so ago and to this day pull that one out for a fun read (or to be inspired by epic art). Can't wait to see the new stuff!

The Infamous RodBuddah said...

I raised an argument once about how it is when a creator winds up with a hit, usually that's when 'the mainstream' comes calling. Though I can understand the advantage of building a fan base with a big company, at the same time, I think Matt could've easily pulled off the same amount of success w/o them!

I still read them constantly as well! Lol

samax said...

I've never read Casanova, but I'm definitely checking for it. looks awesome!