[This review is FOR MATURE READERS. Duh.]
Sex Criminals is back and weirder than ever! Really. I know you probably couldn’t imagine how much stranger a comic centering on a couple who can freeze time when they orgasm could get, but creators Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky found a way.
When we last saw Suzie and Jon they had finally met with Dr. Ana Kinkaid a.k.a Jazmine St. Cocaine, former stripper/pin-up/porn star and Jon’s gateway drug to self pleasure. She too shares their unique ability, though the more we learn it seems that stopping time when you come isn’t as unique as we thought. There’s Jon and Suzie, who until they met believed they were the only ones with this power; Ana, who not only stops time but transcends her physical form, turning into glowing naked ghost lady; and of course, the Sex Police.
In Sex Criminals #11, Fraction and Zdarsky share the tale of another with a unique sexual side-effect and it is… indescribably weird. (And for this comic, that’s saying something.) The issue is book-ended with the story of Douglas D. Douglas, another individual being monitored by the Sex Police. It’s a fascinating examination of his absolutely mundane daily life, yet it also paints a picture of man who’s a loving, devoted son and a hard worker. Douglas isn’t anyone you’d expect to be linked to some larger sexual conspiracy or in anyway a danger to himself or others – and that’s probably the whole point.
Perhaps the Sex Police do know of some threat these people pose? Maybe there is a danger to having undocumented individuals traveling though Cumworld– er, The Quiet? But so far all we have are responsible, consenting adults enjoying themselves (who may also be able to control the flow of time). Not so unlike responsible, consenting adults who enjoy a variety of sexual fetishes and never let it infringe upon their daily life. Say… it’s almost as if there’s a message hidden within this weird, little book? Live and let live. Fuck and let fuck, y’know?
As always, Sex Criminals #11 is a laugh out loud book. And not in that way you mean when you type “lol”, where you just sort of snort a little, I’m talking real laughter. Obviously, a large part of that comes from Fraction’s hilarious prose, which he uses in a variety of ways, from having his characters say funny things to each other, or straight at us, the audience, or even when it’s Fraction himself speaking right on the page. It’s also thanks to the excellent layouts from Zdarsky. That guy has great comic timing and it shines through with what he puts within a panel and where he decides to introduce the gag.
Moreover, even when Zdarsky isn’t going for the joke his artwork remains sublime. The expressions he gives character are spot-on and help illustrate the tone of a given line. When people are naked – and let’s be honest, that’s a lot – they look like people, not inaccurate fantasies designed simply to titillate. That is, except when that’s whole the point like when it comes to… well… y’know, you’ll just need to read it for yourself.
Sex Criminals has returned with a vengeance, for both the Sex Police and our sensibilities. Never has a comic so lewd and crude left me as charmed and enthusiastic for where it goes next.