Casanova Is Comics for Music Lovers: An Interview With Matt Fraction

Casanova Is Comics for Music Lovers: An Interview With Matt Fraction

If you don't think music plays a big role in Matt Fraction's writing, you're not reading closely enough. Or the last album you bought was Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet.


Let's present the case:

  • He titled an issue of Uncanny X-Men "All Tomorrow's Parties" and used Velvet Underground references as caption character descriptors.
  • Lyrics from "No Children" by the Mountain Goats appeared in an issue of Invincible Iron Man, which led to a friendship with the band's singer John Darnielle. 
  • The last issue of the second volume of his creator-owned super-spy series Casanova featured tracks for each scene, his way of putting a soundtrack to the story.


So yeah, Matt Fraction likes his music, and it's an interesting lens to look at Casanova, which is being re-released in full color this week. So, taking a piece of advice from Fraction, I put on the new M.I.A. ("It's fucking stellar!") to write about how Casanova is like a mixtape for Fraction, the way music references can be a secret language and what Casanova the super-spy uses instead of Barry White to get it on.  

Spot (A) or full color (B): Which one do you prefer?
Spot (A) or full color (B): Which one do you prefer?
Gabriel Ba

Matt Fraction slipped in two lines from a Mountain Goats song, and that led to a friendship with the group's lead singer.
Matt Fraction slipped in two lines from a Mountain Goats song, and that led to a friendship with the group's lead singer.
Marvel Comics/Salvador Larroca

And it's an approach that has worked on him when he would read Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol and Invisibles series, both bursting at the staples with cultural references that Fraction would decipher then search out. Same with the comics of Warren Ellis. Using art to spread the word about other art is just another way, Fraction says, to propagate, um, art.

"The act of loving art engenders art," he said. "Ultimately, it's an obsession of mine. There are people with far better taste than me, but when I find something I like, I want to tell people about it. ... I'm not much of a seeker but I'm a curator." 

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