Tad Martin #7 by Casanova Frankenstein, $10. 40 pages, full color throughout, 8 x 12. Published by DOMINO BOOKS
Casanova Frankenstein is probably one of the best cartoonists working in America today. A veteran cartoonist, now coming in to his own with increasing visibility due to multiple appearances in The Best American Comics line, Frankenstein makes no concessions as his work reaches a wider audience. Any issue of Tad Martin will show true heart, but doesn't flirt with treacle. The ideas are complex but anti labyrinth or formalist. At the center, Tad Martin focuses on the action of emotions, presented with both empathy and revulsion. People fall into despair, obsession, excitement and are never shown as cliches but rather puzzles of layers, all of which are navigated towards a sharp corner.
This is perhaps the best issue of Tad Martin yet, without a doubt the most visually assured. This is the first full color book DOMINO has published, and was quite a project for us to take on. But the beauty of the work inside made it a no brainer. This is a 'silent' issue of Tad Martin that you might classify as allegory, although that wouldn't get you close to the thrill the book provides. Universal themes are synthesized with comic book tropes, without reference to nostalgia or kitsch, but instead a perfect meeting of cartoon imagery and the living breathing world. This is the comic we all dream about.