Comic Name: Sex Criminals
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
# of Issues: 5
Release Date: 2014
Reprints Sex Criminals #1-5 (September 2013-March 2014). Suzanne is different. She discovers that when she orgasms, time freezes…literally. Though she thinks she is different or there is something wrong with her, Suzie eventually finds she is not alone when she meets Jonathan…who also freezes time when he has an orgasm. Together, they realize they could made their own future…and set out to rob the establishment by hitting banks while time is frozen. Unfortunately for Jon and Suzie, a group has set to stop people like them…the sex police are after them and Suzie and Jon’s big job could be their last.
Written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky, Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick is an “adult” series from Image Comics. The series was met with critical acclaim and the series became an instant hit.
I would have loved to be in the room when Fraction initially pitched Sex Criminals. “Ok here’s the idea, a guy and girl have sex and freeze time to rob banks”. It is an absurd concept which is even more absurd when you read it…but it really works.
What is developing nicely about Sex Criminals is that it is just more than this high-concept comic. Both Jon and Suzie feel like real characters and despite their weird “power”, Fraction makes them very identifiable through their fears and desires and writes them with a lot of humor (like the Queen “Fat Bottom Girls” sing-along which was adjusted for the graphic novel collection). I don’t know that I’m crazy about the sex police yet, but this volume doesn’t do much to develop them.
The book is for adults however. It really pushes the sex from everything from Jon’s glowing penis, Suzie’s friend who teaches her the ABCs of sex, and tons of jokes about pornography. It always takes it with some humor however and does add some interesting social commentary about boys and girls (Julie calls her post-sex frozen time “The Quiet” while Jon calls his “Cumworld”).
The comic’s bizarre story is aided by great art. Despite being a comic for adults, the art is somewhat cartoony. This actually works to lighten the story which could have come off as more heavy handed. I really like Zdarsky’s style and hope to see more from him.
Sex Criminals is a very, very odd book and there is little like it on the market. I do find it ironic however that Image is publishing both Sex by Joe Casey and Sex Criminals at the same time…making it the “Sex”iest line out there right now. If you’re an adult reading comics, you should be reading Sex Criminals. Sex Criminals 1: One Weird Trick was followed by Sex Criminals 2: Two Worlds, One Cop.