I love Sex Criminals. And by Sex Criminals, I mean the critically acclaimed comic book series by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. And not the…you know…other type of sex criminals…
Sex Criminals tells the story of Suzie, a young woman who discovers that she can freeze time when she orgasms. It’s not until she meets and bumps uglies with Jon that she discovers that she isn’t the only one with this ability. Together, Suzie and Jon set out on a mission to save their local library by pulling off a series of bank robberies.
As you’d imagine, there is a fair bit of sex in Sex Criminals. But it’s how the series handles the topic that makes Sex Criminals really shine. The early issues of the series balances the bank robbing with the story of how Suzie and Jon first learn about the often taboo subject of sex and deal with the discovery of their time-freezing superpowers.
In Sex Criminals, Suzie and Jon’s discovery of sex is the equivalent of the “origin story” found in most traditional comics. In a way, this makes the characters in Sex Criminals more relatable than those found in traditional comics. Very few of us come from an alien planet that exploded or are billionaire orphans that have dedicated our lives to fighting crime. But most of us have had to go through the awkward process of learning about sex while growing up. It’s a journey that is both unique and universal.
Sex can be many different things to different people. In fact it can be many different things to the same person. It can be naughty, awkward, fun, funny, crude, amazing, embarrassing or emotional. Sex Criminals captures this perfectly with moments that range from incredibly honest to laugh out loud funny.
The worst thing about Sex Criminals is that it’s over too quickly (insert joke here). You spend the whole month waiting for the next issue and before you know it, it’s finished. But perhaps the only good thing about having reached the end of an issue of Sex Criminals is getting to the letters page.
I’ve been reading comics since I could read and I’ve never once read the letters printed at the end of each issue sent in by fans. But Sex Criminals has built a large community of loyal fans who write not only to sing the series’ praises, but also share their own experiences, and to ask questions – both of which are often hilarious. In some cases, there are 6 or 7 pages of fan letters, all with responses from Fraction and Zdarsky. The pair also take it one step further by offering a number of “SEX TIPS” in the letters section such as:
SEX TIP: Role playing can help spice up your sex life. Pretend to be someone who’s good at sex.
SEX TIP: 1. Stick it in. 2. Wiggle it around. 3. NAILED IT
SEX TIP: Sex is a wonderful and natural way to discover if your partner is a lousy lay or not.
SEX TIP: You need to change your safeword every three weeks for security reasons, and it must have numbers in it.
SEX TIP: Have sex while standing up (for the rights of gays and lesbians to marry their partners).
All in all, Sex Criminals is one of the best and most interesting comic books that you can read at the moment. Through the combination of great writing and artwork, the series is able to tackle the topic of sex in way that is both humorous and human. If you like comic books you should read Sex Criminals. If you’ve never read a comic book, you should read Sex Criminals. Just have a cigarette ready for when you finish.
Sex Criminals is available at all good and bad comic shops. For instant gratification, you can also get Sex Criminals on comiXology