By Marc Strom
When Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba introduced readers to the world of super-spy Casanova Quinn almost four years ago, they had no idea it would get this big. Now, CASANOVA moves to Marvel's Icon imprint this July beginning with two four-issue arcs reprinting the series' first two storylines-re-mastered and in full color-before continuing with the brand new third volume.
"We had sort of taken the book on hiatus because we didn't know when we would be able to start volume three, the twins and I," explains Fraction referring to Ba and his brother Fabio Moon, who drew "Gula," the second arc of CASANOVA. "[We had] other work and bills to pay and lives to live and all that stuff, so we were just waiting until all our schedules could line up and everybody could work on it at the same time. [Then] the Icon deal came about and allowed us to make a living while doing it, as opposed to
Fraction will kick off that move by re-issuing the first two arcs of the series, originally printed in only one color, in full color, something he and his collaborators always intended.
"We wanted to sort of re-master the book as it stands and re-release and re-introduce it to the world, and Icon was a great platform for that as well," remarks the writer. "There will [also] be some additional bonus material, different than [in the first volume]. But it'll be in full dress, in full color, in full size. Done in two four-issue arcs to get everybody up to speed, because quite frankly retailers and readers alike ignored the book [due to] the format [as] it was 16 pages and one color. It had a lot of trouble finding its place in the world. I think anybody who looks at [the color art] will agree it looks phenomenal."
Since CASANOVA #1 appeared in June 2006, Fraction, Ba and Moon have all seen their careers take flight, something that the writer hopes will have an impact on the new series' readership.
"Everybody's profile is raised, we've all done a lot more work in the industry than when we started," notes Fraction. "So hopefully our profiles plus our fine and polished product will have a little more traction than the book had before."
"The first issue was actually 26 pages, which isn't quite the right size, so we put together an eight-page backup that's about one of the minor characters from that first issue," relates Fraction. "It's a chance to see Fabio drawing one of Gabriel's characters and to see Fabio working in the 'Luxuria' world. It's a fun kind of incentive for folks to check the first issue out."
The re-mastered version of "Luxuria" and "Gula" will feature the colors of Cristiane Peter, who Fraction tells us "was picked by the twins, and when you see her work you'll understand why."
The colors won't be the only change in the book, however. "It's also being entirely re-lettered, too," reveals Fraction. "It's being lettered by hand by a cartoonist named Dustin Harbin, and that just gives it something that it was missing and [we] didn't even realize until we saw it. It's got a warmth and a handmade feel that the digital lettering just wasn't giving it."
Looking towards the future, Fraction will begin telling all-new stories of Casanova Quinn as soon as the eighth issue of the series, reprinting the second storyline's conclusion, ships.
When the third arc commences, Fraction will stick with the full-sized format, producing 32 pages of story each issue, something that has altered the way he writes the book itself.
"Each arc has been pretty wildly different than the last. I think when you read volume two you see it's different as different can be from volume one, and volume three even more so. It just kind of makes sense with how it's changed arc to arc to arc. So yeah, but it would have changed anyway, you know?"
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