Usually when people think of comic books, they think they are about super heroes with all kinds of cool powers. Everything from gods who wield powerful weapons to space aliens from dying planets who are superhuman. But then you stumble on a book called Sex Criminals. Is this a book about people with crazy sex superpowers who wreak havoc on mankind? Close, but no cigar. This is another out there title in the Image line up.
A Fraction of a Chip
The two creators behind this book are Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. The first one made a name for himself writing for award winning books like Hawkeye and The Immortal Iron Fist. Chip Zdarsky is a pseudonym of journalist/illustrator/designer Steve Murray. He wrote for the new Jughead series and the new Howard the Duck series. He also ran a mock campaign to become Mayor of Toronto. This was the first book they both worked on. Their partnership garnered a lot of praise and even awards.
The Quiet world
Suzie is a librarian, she works in a library that is closing down because of lacking sufficient funds. So, each day she takes home as many books as she can to preserve them. Suzie has a very unique power. She discovered this when she was starting puberty. Every time she orgasms, she freezes time. She calls this the Quiet World. A place where she can retreat from her everyday life. At a party she meets Joe. Joe is an actor who works a soul crushing job at a bank.
After sleeping together they find out they both have the same power. They both can stop time when they orgasm. After telling how each of them found out how they discovered their powers, they start experimenting with it. Joe works at the bank that is foreclosing on the library where Suzie works. They both hatch a plan, to rob the bank. For Joe it is a way to get back at his boss and for Suzie a chance to get back and get money for the library. During the heist they are caught by others who have the same power; the Sex Police. This is where this volume ends.
One weird trick is a great start to a series. A few things really stood out for me.
First off the way the story is told both visually and in text. Suzie is both the main character as the narrator. She pops up in every window explaining things, like a witty sidebar. Breaking the fourth wall in a creative way.
Secondly, I love the combination of a slice of life story mixed with a weird twist. The art of Chip Zdarsky compliments this well. It’s very human and grounded. Creating a real world where this weird twist actually could exist
Third is the open view on sexuality and experimentation. Both characters talk about their previous experiences open and honest. From the first time they both discover their power as well as how they both grow up and experiment with it. it’s empowering for both sexes . Self discovery is ok. The mature content never feels vulgar, just a wink from time to time.
I suggest this book to everyone, it’s another great universe created by Image.