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Sex Criminals comics pull off wild concept with skill and humor

Matt Fraction’s sex romp is not as creepy as the title sounds


/ Courtesy of Image Comics |

Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals series is a monthly publication centered around two characters with the ability to freeze time when they orgasm. Follow the adventures of these sexual time-travellers in their award-winning comic about sex.

Title: Sex Criminals

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Chip Zdarsky

Release Date: Ongoing

Grade: A+

When Suzie and Jon have sex, time stands still.

Not in any poetic, flowery “the world stops spinning when I’m with them” sort of way. When these two crazy kids climax, time quite literally freezes, leaving the couple to do as they please in this limbo that Suzie refers to as “The Quiet” – Jon has a much more colorful name for it.

Naturally, they use this ability to do what any normal human beings would do: rob banks. The proceeds from these criminal capers go toward saving Suzie’s library from foreclosure.

That’s when the Sex Police enter the scene. Gifted with the same powers as our protagonists, this less-than-elite group is dedicated to stopping deviants who would threaten to expose their powers to the world.

Remaining one step ahead of the authorities, Suzie and Jon navigate the treacherous waters of a new relationship as they try to remain free and ensure that their sex life isn't restricted to conjugal visits.

In Sex Criminals, writer Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky take a raunchy, high-concept sex romp and craft one of the most relatable and honest depictions of sex and human connection in comics. After all, isn’t sex really about physically expressing a connection so deep that time seems to stop?

Plus sex is whole lot of fun, and this comic is full of it. Fraction’s script is whip smart and will have you laughing out loud as much as any R-rated comedy you’ll see in theaters. The character interactions are at once believable and hilarious and the book embraces both the truthfulness and absurdity of the plot.

Zdarsky’s contribution to the book cannot be underplayed as his art is truly delightful. While his pencils are cartoonish enough to keep the book light and downplay the more erotic scenes, he is able to perfectly capture the humanity of his characters in a facial expression or a mannerism in the midst of the insanity transpiring around them. The art also rewards eagle-eyed readers as almost every panel is littered with subtle jokes and references in the background of the scene.

Fraction and Zdarsky also have fun with the medium of comics themselves with gags that simply could not work in any other form of entertainment.

A memorable scene involving a pool table, post-it notes, Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” and a total annihilation of the fourth wall proves that comic books are a viable and unique medium for telling stories.

Where else can one see a Coen Brothers’ porn parody and a “sex cop” brandishing a male masturbator fashioned into a taser to stop a couple who are using their orgasms to rob banks?

Certainly not on your television or at your local movie theater.

If you’re looking for some entertainment with lots of laughs, heart and, of course sex, then make sure you pick up a copy of Sex Criminals. Remember, reading is sexy.

David Tunis-Garcia is an arts staff writer. Arts can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.


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