Comics Review #2: Sex Criminals – One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

Sex Criminals Vol. 1 Cover (source: imagecomics.wikia.com)

Title: Sex Criminals – One Weird Trick
Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Chip Zdarsky
Collecting: Sex Criminals (2014) #1-5
Publisher: Image
Year: 2014

What would you do if your orgasm stopped time?

Yes, you read that correctly. How amazing and/or troublesome would that be? Every time you orgasm, time stops for a little while. For Suzie and Jon, time literally stops. It freezes the people around them. It stops water from flowing, and things from falling. Even birds stop their flight mid-air.

What to do with the time thus gained? You could do it like Suzie and read books (I’d totally do that!), or do it like Jon and take revenge on the world. Of course, when Jon meets Suzie, he gets another idea. Why not combine the two, and rob a bank to safe a library from closure?

Example page from Sex Criminals (Vol. 1, Ch. 1)
Suzie introduces herself (Vol. 1, Ch. 1)

The title Sex Criminals kind of discouraged me from buying this comic at the beginning. When I see the words “sex criminal”, I don’t think of something I’d enjoy reading. Thus, it took me quite some time to pick this comic up and give it a go. I’m really glad I did!

The first volume of Sex Criminals is funny and positive in regard to (sexual) identity, female and male sexuality, and body image. It allows you to enjoy a crazy world within our world without having to think about boundaries that tie us to social norms and even morale to some degree. Together with the protagonists, we as readers get to experiment, to experience something new and unique.
The story is being told in a very creative way, changing between “normal” storytelling as we know it, interaction between the characters, and being directly addressed by an elder Suzie. By breaking the fourth wall, she shares with us her feelings, thoughts and memories.

Suzie and Jon have sex for the first time (Vol. 1, Ch. 1)
No longer alone: Suzie and Jon have sex for the first time (Vol. 1, Ch. 1)

The art is simple and fits the story perfectly. Zdarsky comments on his art work at the end of the book. That in itself is worth a read (and a guarantee for good laugh). The colours change when Suzie enters the “Quiet”. They become sparkly, unearthly, beautiful. And isn’t that just how you feel when you have an orgasm?

I enjoyed the fact that this book deals with different rather serious topics in a light and unobtrusive manner. Zdarsky and Fraction combine their brilliant humor with their undeniable intellect to create a comic book everyone should read. Even if you’re not into comics, I promise you, you will love it. I can’t wait for volume two to be released.

My rating: 5/5

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