Ah, Thanksgiving: a time where we reflect on the many things we’re grateful for. This year, I’m giving thanks for Sex Criminals. No, wait—don’t go. Sex Criminals is a relatively new comic out from Image Comics, written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky. It follows Suzie, a young woman trying to get the money to save her library. Oh, and also when she orgasms, time stops. When she hooks up with a guy who has the same power, they decide to turn to crime as an—ah—alternative method to raise the money Suzie needs.
I originally didn’t plan to pick up this comic, fallaciously thinking to myself that I didn’t need to buy everything Matt Fraction writes. But pretty much every source I trust for comic reviews was singing its praises, and so I bowed to the court of public opinion and picked up #1 while I was at New York Comic Con. And boy, am I glad I did. This comic is a sexy laugh riot and it’s only getting better as new issues come out.
Fair warning: some of the panels I’ve included may be a little not safe for work, or, well, your family/Thanksgiving company.
One of the great things about this comic is the portrayal of sex. (Well, obviously.) Suzie discovers her power when she’s a teenager experimenting with masturbation, and it adds a whole new level of terrible-ness to the minefield that is navigating female sexuality as a teen. The comic really does an excellent job of portraying a girl growing up and dealing with the sex-related misinformation and confusion that inundates young women.
Although I am a pretty hardcore Fraction fangirl at this point, I have never read a book drawn by Chip Zdarksy, and while his style might not work for every sort of story, it’s perfect for Sex Criminals. It’s bright and engaging even while dealing with the seamiest sort of subject matter, which reflects the book’s mentality that sex is something that should be fun and openly discussed, not something embarrassing or scandalous.
It’s also funny as balls. There are a ton of ridiculous gags and Easter eggs hidden on every page, and I find myself laughing aloud more often than not. It takes me longer to read than other comics of its length because I spend extra time poring over every image to make sure I have picked up on every little joke. Even the letters column—which spans several pages at the end of each issue and is filled with facetious sex tips and readers’ odd porn stories—is downright hilarious to read.
Sex Criminals only has three issues out so far, so I suggest you try picking one or all of them up if you’re looking for a good time. Just maybe don’t read them around your family this weekend if you don’t want to scandalize your grandparents.