Casanova is written by Matt Fraction and drawn by Gabriel Bá. It is a book in the Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. mode, sci-fi meets James Bond. At the time of this writing, only five issues have been published. Each is done in only three colours: black, white and sage green. Each issue has sixteen pages of story, with no advertisements, followed by five pages of “DVD-extra”-style notes in a loose essay format. Each issue, after the first, uses the inside cover for a helpful “Previously in Casanova” section. The covers are stylish and simple; the back cover gives a preview of next month’s cover. The first four issues were so much fun to read I fell down on my knees and denounced God.
Brad counselled me not to use this blog to just link to stuff I wrote elsewhere without adding something new, so let me say three quick things about issues 5, which have further solidified me in the thought that this is the best comic book ever.
(1) How did Grant Morrison fail to come up with the fantastic phrase "Bongload of evolution"?
(2) Casanova 5 has my new favorite example of synaesthesia: "Listen to how the light strikes [his mind]. Its tempo is solely its own." (Synaesthesia is a poetic device, used famously by Wordsworth in "Tintern Abbey", where terms for one kind of sense impression are used to describe another, for example "sharp sound" or "loud colors").
(3) There is also a weird little Robert Frost allusion, when Casanova's captor says of his futuristic prison "You're in a space that isn't really a space." Frost's "Directive" (his best and most tricky poem) reads
There is a house that is no more a house
Upon a farm that is no more a farm
And in a town that is no more a town.
The road there, if you'll let a guide direct you
Who only has at heart your getting lost...
The allusion is important because Frost is leading the reader to a goblet of which you can "Drink and be whole again beyond confusion," which is something like what Casanova is up to; its insanely convoluted plot "only has at heart your getting lost."
I will save a discussion of issue 6 for a future blog.