Sunday, December 7, 2014

Why Sex Criminals?

Because sometimes we bite off more than we can chew.

I shouldn't be telling you anything when I say that Sex Criminals was one of the best new comics of 2013, and to be honest, has easily remained one of the best books of 2014.

At its most basic, it’s a book about dicks, vaginas, jokes, and jokes about dicks and vaginas.

That and robbing banks.

Oh, and I guess there’s also that whole stopping time thing? That certainly seems to be a crowd pleaser.

But it’s also so much more than all of that. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky have seemingly done the impossible

Sex is a big, weird, and confusing topic, but they've created a book that looks at sex, sexuality, and relationships with an earnestness that simply doesn't exist anywhere else in the comic book world at the moment. Frankly, there aren't too many stories in any medium right now that look at these subjects with such nuance and consideration. I am by no means exaggerating when I say that Suzie Dickson and Jon Johnson’s relationship is one of the best realized interactions between two fictional persons that I've seen in ages.

And that’s not even taking into account Sex Criminals’ various meditations on subjects ranging from birth control, depression, mental health – and always with an emphasis on finding solutions that are right for the individual and never the group – to name just a few. This is a book that treats most everything with the proper level of thoughtfulness.

But that’s not to say that there isn't passion behind these words and pictures. While these types of sincere, serious conversations are important to have in our fiction, it wouldn't really matter if that was all they were accomplishing. Thankfully, Fraction and Zdarsky show a keen understanding of this fact, and Sex Criminals oozes passion from every orifice (I'd rework that phrasing, but it seems grossly appropriate). Every character, scene, joke, and plot point is lovingly crafted with a clear goal ahead of it (hell, Robert Rainbow, who only appeared in issue #8 was foreshadowed all the way back in issue #2 ferchrissakes). That is what makes the comic worth reading.

And that is what makes writing our own Sex Criminal pages such a challenge. While we're looking for something sexy, funny, and a little bit dirty, it also has to fit in with all the good stuff that Fraction and Zdarsky have been throwing out there.

A tall order, to be certain.

So, good luck and stuff, brimpers.

And, you know, don’t forget the dick and vagina jokes.

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