Comic Book Review: Sex Criminals Issue #1 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky

Sex Criminals #1: Suzie Down in the QuietSex Criminals #1: Suzie Down in the Quiet by Matt Fraction

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Right from the start, the story justifies its title: you see the police coming for Suzie and her boyfriend, and then they slip into a bathroom to bang…. But wait, let’s rewind for context!

NOTE: if the title isn’t a giveaway, this is NSFW. The only other place I’ve heard of glowing genitalia is hentai, so there.

Fraction’s thing seems to be this whole in medias res setup. Which I’m cool with here, as long as it’s used moderately—it’s a great hook, but also an easy out. (I haven’t picked up #2 yet, I hear it’s hilarious, so on my list. I prefer whole volumes, though. ComiXology had this issue up for free.)

Anyway, this issue explains how Suzie, a bookworm with the easiest female orgasm I’ve ever heard of, discovers The Quiet: a special time-stopped place with enough psychedelic colors and odd lighting effects to be a mushroom trip, but one in which she’s also completely alone—which, yes, is a thematic element…until she meets the guy. (Yes, I forgot his name. All I remember is that he quotes ‘Lolita’, which promptly gets Lana Del Rey stuck in my head because she quotes ‘Lolita.’)

I dig the voice in this one. People who say dudes can’t write ladies, take note: Suzie’s reaction to sexuality is worth noting, it’s totally honest. Jerking off and even having sex don’t make her that much of an un-prude, although she’s un-prudish enough for the 50s aesthetic to be clearly parodic. That said, her personality is somewhat classic librarian, insofar as the love of books and sociability go. The fact that I can get this far into analyzing her character from one issue is a great sign—this is pretty rare. I think this comic will be very much about personality.

Anyway, this is just issue #1 and it’s a character intro. I know #2 is his side of the story. But as far as this issue goes, I like that her mother doesn’t gently ease her into the whole world of ladyhood. I like that I was vaguely reminded of Judy Blume. Overall, despite her unnaturally easy orgasm, sex doesn’t come easily to this woman, despite the slight promiscuity and everything else. And the visual aesthetic helps remind us of this, even while it is a parody.

Zdarksy’s approach to this comic reminded me a fair bit of Lichtenstein. The one big difference is the color palette. To be honest, I would have preferred more limited colors to go with the style, but the bold lines and classic hair/facial features are perfect to offset the fact that we’re reading a story about people who rob places by having sex in them.

Really, the only reason this doesn’t get a straight 5 stars is because it’s one issue and I get all suspicious and jaded about something so short.

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One thought on “Comic Book Review: Sex Criminals Issue #1 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky

  1. Pingback: Comic Book Review: ‘Sex Criminals vol. 1′ by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky | write lies

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