I’ve heard so much about Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals that it had been on my radar for a while. When I finally got my copy of the vol. 1 trade, I was not disappointed. In fact, I was completely blown away.
If you’re unfamiliar, you’re probably thinking a million things right now. First and foremost, you’re thinking this is a book about sex. Yes, it most definitely is. If that makes you uncomfortable, click away now. Because it gets so much better.
Yes, the book is about sex but it’s also about two people: Suzie and Jon. And their ability to freeze time when they orgasm. Now you’re probably thinking, “That sounds ridiculous. How do they even set that up without making it look stupid?”
Answer: unparalled, imaginitive, cinematic artwork. Suzie narrates the story of her devastating childhood by inserting her adult self into the formative scenes from her youth. To see this trick in a movie is to see something clever. To see it pulled off so beautifully in print form is genius.
The “freeze time” effect is shown by dreamy floating strands of colour and light bubbles – like the kind you get when you try to photograph the sun. This both invokes a feeling of delightful afterglow and the sense that something magical is happening without seeming corny or jokey.
Now you’re asking, “So this is a serious book?” Nope. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not only is the wit candid and exciting, the budding relationship between Suzie and Jon that of two witty and clever people you instantly fall in love with, but the book is chock-full of tiny jokes for the extra-observant reader:
So basically, what Sex Criminals gives you is a graphic novel that flows like a movie. Fans of Ghost World should absolutely give this a shot for its gritty realism, if you like Saga‘s snappy dialogue you’ll be in love. But everybody owes it to themselves to read Sex Criminals – Valentine’s Day is coming up, so share it with someone you love. Take it from Suzie and Jon, it’s better when you share it with someone special.