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Review Group #257: Casanova: Gula #1

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God-Man

Garbage Collector

Postby God-Man » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:26 am

Casanova was pretty good. I don't know if I'll keep reading the book on my own, but it was fun.

7

And...that's it. See you next week!

Royal Nonesuch

Staff Writer

Postby Royal Nonesuch » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:58 am

It's always good to see a writer just cut loose on a book, and that's what Matt Fraction uses Casanova for. Every single panel just throws another bit of content at the reader, and the book is just totally manic. GULA #1 feels like it just keeps going and going and doesn't stop. As much fun as Fraction has here, Fabio Moon, one of the better visual storytellers out there, is the real star of the book. There isn't an out there idea that Moon can't effectively express. CASANOVA: GULA #1 is packed, and doesn't really take much time to breathe, but it is a lot of fun.

9
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:52 pm

SPIRIT, YAY!
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guitarsmashley

Regular-Sized Poster

Postby guitarsmashley » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:23 pm

I don't know if I'm going to bother reading this. I started but I really don't give a shit about it. I read Cassanova vol. 1 and thought it was great but then I read it again and it was very emperor has no clothes. So this book isn't really on my short list of worth reviewing.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:20 am

Casanova: Gula #1(of 4) - 'In Media Res' b/w 'When The Wolf Comes Home' - Fraction, Moon and Peter

Story - Reading Casanova makes you cool. This is a fact, it cannot be disputed, Casanova is just one of those comics that transcends the medium and becomes a legitimate pop-cultural object of cool. And I have to say it, the fact that I'm one of the select few to have already read Gula makes me much cooler than you. Yes, you, and especially you.

Gula is the second arc of Casanova, encompassing issues 8 to 14 of the original run, and unlike the first story, Luxuria, it hasn't been collected, making people like me part of an exclusive club, of your social betters. Gulunatics maybe? I don't know. But basically, I've already read this story, which is important, as even though I've already read it, I'm willing to pay for it all over again, and love it all over again.

Casanova is a mad book, stuff happens and often you can't keep up, but then again, half the time, I don't think you're meant to keep up, the hyper-complexity of Casanova is pretty much one big joke, it's a comment on over-complicated science-fiction. But it is also itself over-complicated sci-fi. Fraction's ability to tilt the absurdity to almost-but-not-quite parodic levels is one of the finest writing balancing acts I've ever seen. The closest comparison I can think of is The Venture Bros, which manages to have an epic superhero mythology that is simultaneously a parody of epic mythologies. The fact that each issue of these Icon reprints is actually 2 Image issues only adds to that hyper-complexity, you aren't given a month to chew over what the hell happened, you are given a page!

To be fair, the first few chapters of Gula are fairly straightforward by Casanovian standards. Casanova takes out a ridiculous villain (Dokkktor Klockhammer), and is then called in for a new mission, to discover the mysterious H-Element. He then disappears. 2 years later, Kaito is now a super-agent, and a weird 4-armed alien chick shows up. None of this really matters, it's just a hook for cool dialogue and action. But at the same time it all matters. We then follow the adventures of Casanova's evil sister Zephyr and her new boyfriend Kubark Benday. The plot here is largely irrelevant (or is it? It's both!), what matters here is the sheer joy, fun and invention that leaps off the page, the one-panel blaxploitation poster for example, it's just great to see someone play around with comics.

In re-reading this issue, you see how Casanova actually does have hidden depths, there are clues here to the question of 'When Is Casanova Quinn?' that at the time seem like goofy jokes, and may have actually been jokes at the time. That's the problem with intellectually discussing Casanova, it robs it of it's Casanova-ness. It's a comic which is deep, but doesn't particularly want to be, to discuss it seriously is just a dick move, it's a lot more fun to just sit back and enjoy the insane ride, and cool dialogue, because not caring is what cool people do, and cool people read Casanova, not once, but twice, and three times on Sunday.

Art - One thing you do have to take seriously when it comes to Casanova is the art, because it really is one of the best looking comics on the stands. For this second arc, Gabriel Ba is switched out for his twin brother Fabio Moon, and really, they're both as amazing as eachother. Their styles are similar, but Moon's is probably a little looser, and a little more expressive, but whatever, whichever of the twins it is (and if you're fourthman, you think they're the same person) you're guaranteed 10/10 art all the way. These Icon reprints of course also add extra colours to the book, the original Image run being in only blue and white, which I loved, but hey, the market demands extra hues, and Cris Peter does a good job of adding more colour when it's needed, but in general keeping the blue tone. I don't really think the added colour is necessary, but if we have to have it, it does look good.

Best Line - Too many to choose from! 'I could go for like, 200ccs of fuckin' awesome injected in'ta my heart... stat' is a good'un, but every page has something worth a chuckle.

9/10
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Greg

Rain Partier

Postby Greg » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:21 am

I have to say, I really enjoyed this. This was a lot of fun.
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Mammon, Fool Breaker

Peanut

Postby Mammon, Fool Breaker » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:29 pm

Cover- Nothing to flashy, but the color scheme was nice, the layout is good. (5/10)

Story- A little bit confusing at the start, but after a few pages and meeting all the characters things became much more clear. The murder of the poor magician twins was particularly memmorable. (6/10)

Art- My first time seeing art by Fabio Moon, it fit the story well, and I never found myself confused by the art. (5/10)

Overall- When compared to Weird Worlds #1... this was freaking amazing! (6/10)

Final score- (5.5/10)
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Zero

Zombie Guard

Postby Zero » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:49 pm

Read it today, reviewing it tomorrow hopefully. It was dead good.
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BlueStreak

The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:21 pm

There are few books that deserve multiple printings. Casanova is one of them. Witty and absurd, smart and thought-provoking, Matt Fraction provides the comic book medium with a book that shines above its peers. This is a book that is awesome even when it's not trying to be. With gorgeous art, strong pacing and fantastic characterization, Casanova provides hope that the comic medium will endure forever.

10
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Greg

Rain Partier

Postby Greg » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:28 pm

I was pleasantly surprised. I read the very first Casanova issue when it was released by Image Comics and while it became a cult hit, I just couldn't get into it for some reason. I found myself easily confused and just uninterested. So I wasn't expecting too much with this one though I did keep in mind that maybe I'd be proven wrong. And thus I was. I very much enjoyed all of this. I don't know about much of the praises and trashing Fraction gets, but based on this one read alone I can see myself being very much into his writing. It was fun and zany and just plain catchy. The characters with their own voices just popped and it was very much like watching a guy come up with random pieces of ideas and toys and finding a way to piece them together to make sense of them. Another thing working well for it was that you definitely had to keep your mind invested in order to keep up. That may have been my problem with the first issue of the series as a whole. Based on this alone I'm quite interested in checking out the previous runs. I wasn't completely wow'd, but a book like this definitely reminds me of why I love the medium of comics and just what can be done with it when a creative team just lets themselves enjoy themselves without editorial mandations... or just plainly having skills to execute a good and trippy story.

Another plus goes to the book having no decompression in sight and also the fun interview in the back of the book. Definitely felt like money well spent.

9/10

******

Postby ****** » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:06 pm

Casanova: Gula #1

Casanova is terrible in singles. Casanova is great in trades. In double issue reprints? Eh, it's okay. On the one hand, yay super fun comix. On the other, somewhat disjointed and unsatisfying. I don't know how far I was into the second issue before I realized Casanova disappeared midway through the first. Awkward. On the art side, Fabio Moon is awesome, but it doesn't quite do it for me the same way his brother's art does even though the differences are subtle. Also the colors were nice compared to most other comics, but I hate hate hate hate hate hate the abandonment of the two-tone look of the original publication. The 'interview' was super rambley and didn't really add anything, but BLOM is greatness so I guess it wasn't a total waste of paper.

Story: 7
Art: 8.5
Overall: 7.75
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:09 pm

John Snow wrote:Casanova: Gula #1

Casanova is terrible in singles. Casanova is great in trades. In double issue reprints? Eh, it's okay. On the one hand, yay super fun comix. On the other, somewhat disjointed and unsatisfying. I don't know how far I was into the second issue before I realized Casanova disappeared midway through the first. Awkward. On the art side, Fabio Moon is awesome, but it doesn't quite do it for me the same way his brother's art does even though the differences are subtle. Also the colors were nice compared to most other comics, but I hate hate hate hate hate hate the abandonment of the two-tone look of the original publication. The 'interview' was super rambley and didn't really add anything, but BLOM is greatness so I guess it wasn't a total waste of paper.

Story: 7
Art: 8.5
Overall: 7.75


It's the same story in all 3 formats.

******

Postby ****** » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:41 pm

Punchy wrote:
It's the same story in all 3 formats.


Yeah, but 2 of the formats suck.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:17 pm

John Snow wrote:
Yeah, but 2 of the formats suck.


By that logic you should give every book we review a bad score because it's not a trade paperback.

******

Postby ****** » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:20 pm

Punchy wrote:
By that logic you should give every book we review a bad score because it's not a trade paperback.


I do when the creators don't make better use of the single issue format.

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