MATT FRACTION AND GABRIEL BA'S CASANOVA: LUXURIA, collecting issues 1-7. If you heard me freak out about the original issues, but missed the boat and could not find them, now is your chance to get them all in one of the best-looking collected hardcover editions I have ever seen. It is oversized, but not too oversized; it is a beautiful object in its own right, but it is slim and not so big or nice you feel like you are going to fuck it up just by turning the pages (I am thinking of my Absolute Authority here). Besides the fantastic content, the size and the cover design make you think if French graphic novels, if you have every seen any: The whole book was designed for this book, if you see what I mean -- it was not assembled according to some generic template, as it would have been at Marvel or DC (e.g. the gold-spined Marvel hardcovers such as Phoenix Endsong). It has some noteworthy dedicatory material, as well as three gems for epigraphs to the collection and some interesting back matter by Ba, thumbnails and such. The only thing that is missing is the back matter from the original issues, but that is a little gift I think for people who bought the originals -- Fraction was never, as he said, writing for the trade. Don't let that stop you from getting this book. You can wait for the softcover, which will be out soon, but I say jump in and get this thing if you can afford it. Here I go again: after years and years of reading comic books this is MY FAVORITE COMIC BOOK OF ALL TIME. Tonight I record the Comic Geek Speak appearance with Fraction talking about the book -- I want to talk about the dedication and the epigraphs especially -- and that will be out tomorrow or the next day.
Sean McKeever and Takeshi Miyazawa's Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane vol 3: My Secret Life. I have not gotten around to reading this yet but the earlier volumes are lovely. This is very much the anti-Casanova, all simplicity and heart. I need both in my life. Reading Spider-Man loves Mary Jane makes you a good person, probably, somehow.
Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo's X-Men 199. Bachalo art. Bachalo art is awesome. In particular I like the scritchy effects around Cable -- they look like they were done afterward, just with a marker or something. It is nice to see something that simple, like Graffiti. Plus the story is kinda fun, I guess. Next time this series is on issue 200. The second comic book I ever owned was X-Men 23. How did that happen?
Newsarama has Joss Whedon interviewing Bryan Hitch, which is quite fun (and long), and an interview up with Ed Brubaker. They also have some nonsense about a Mary Jane statue and a promo image of the Joker or Two Face or something from the upcoming Batman movie. I do not want to talk about those last two subjects -- it all looks perfectly horrible -- but you are welcome to.