Funnybook Babylon

June 30, 2007

FBBP #17.5 – Matt Fraction’s Casanova

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 4:50 pm

JOE NOTES: Editing this show, it seems that Warren Ellis read Casanova and thought, “Hmm… I’m going to take all the good ideas in this and do them justice in Desolation Jones“. I didn’t realize how much this was true until after the show…

Slight warning. There’s lots me ranting. Lots. So, you might want to skip this if you don’t enjoy my whiny ass whining. My “Too Long, Didn’t Listen” version: None of us liked Casanova. At all. Go Desolation Jones instead.


  1. Man, I’m not feeling this new one. I feel kinda like you guys are criticizing Casanova for not being the comic you expected it to be, rather than the comic it is.

    I haven’t read any Blueberry, granted, but there is a wide range of spy stories. Joseph sounded like he wanted it to be more of a Bourne story, where alliances shift and everyone lies to everyone else, but there are also Bond stories, Nick Fury stories, Checkmate stories, and so on. Cass is more Nick Fury than Bourne.

    Also, when Cass asked “What does WASTE stand for?” and the guy answered “We’re all so terribly excited?” Joke. He also says that it stands for “We always start things early,” and his ringtone is “welcome another sexy telephone exchange.” I mean, right before Cass first asks about WASTE, isn’t there a caption box that says “I always wondered what WASTE stands for,” and then Cass immediately asks what it stands for? A running joke seems like a weird thing to point out and get worked up over.

    And I’d argue against the idea that everyone is telling the truth, anyway. Cass is lying from the moment he hits the new dimension, as he’s a double agent ace in the hole for the bad guy. He has to juggle both WASTE and EMPIRE, which leads to a lot of lies on both sides. And then, when he finds out about his mother, he’s got yet another ball in the air. I found there to be plenty of deceit and shifting allegiances for an action-y spy comic.

    I’d also argue against Fraction doing anything meta, beyond an Identity Crisis diss and a few other things. The characters were archetypes, but I don’t think he was working with them as archetypes. Sure, Buck McShane is a Dum Dum Dugan, Berserko is MODOKish, and General Quinn can almost be a Nick Fury… Zephyr is what kinda archetype? Femme fatale? Newman Xeno?

    I don’t think the book was about Coded Nick Fury vs Coded Doctor Evil in a battle that will blow your mind because it explains reality as we know it blah blah blah. At the end of the book, it was all about family and whether or not blood is thicker than any substance you care to name.

    Also, it stayed at 1.99 throughout it’s run. The first issue had extra pages and the rest were the usual amount of story pages + backmatter, but they all were 1.99.

    Comment by david brothers — July 1, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

  2. Hmm…

    Maybe the big difference was the it worked better in single issues, and a lost of it was meant to be swallowed in smaller portions, and in the collected format there was something we missed. The more I think about it, the more I feel that this might be the case. That you’re supposed to go back through it multiple times before going on to the next issue.

    The waste thing was probably a bad example, and maybe It simply wasn’t the kind of story I wanted it to be, and calling the story incoherent may be a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but I still felt dissapointed by the whole thing. It could have been the summer heat that got to me…

    Comment by Joseph Mastantuono — July 2, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

  3. Well, the overarching story is a lot clearer in the collected edition, which makes it kind of hard to tell how each issue is done-in-one. If you look, though, the first five issues chronicle one complete mission for Cass, from start to finish. The last two issues are the big ending, so the structure shifts a bit and turns into a two-pronged mission. In that sense, they are standalone stories.

    In the collected book, though, it’s easy to see what subplots stick around and matter, lessening the sense of it being standalone.

    Comment by david brothers — July 2, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

  4. […] Matt Fraction’s Marvel work seems to hit a sweeter spot to me than his work on Casanova, which FBB didn’t like at all. We seem to be evenly divided on his work at Marvel to. I however enjoy a book that people liken to […]

    Pingback by Pull List Analysis for September 26, 2007 | Funnybook Babylon — September 25, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

  5. […] Stewart), two books with creative teams I often enjoy but books that we spoke harshly of in FBBP #17.5 and #28 respectively. I haven’t given either book a second chance in the ensuing five years, […]

    Pingback by Funnybook Babylon · Archives · 5-10-15-20: Comic Book History for May 2012 — June 1, 2012 @ 5:11 am

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