LitStack Recs: Sex Criminals Vol. 1 & Fairyland
Volume 1 – One Weird Trick
Volume 2 – Two Worlds, One Cop
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
My recommendation is going to be a short one this week, because I’ve got beaucoup things on my plate and not even enough time to use a knife and fork. But I really wanted to give you a head’s up on a really fun couple of collections of the addictive and hilariously written comic, Sex Criminals.
Matt Fraction is possibly one of the comic industries most beloved writers. He’s an Eisner Award winner (think “the Oscars of comic books”), and his Hawkeye series for Marvel (August 2012 – July 2015) is considered one of the major industry’s best. His droll humor and ability to humanize the larger-than-life keep folks coming back time after time. Partner him up with Chip Zdarsky, and it’s a par-tay!
Let me say this upfront: Sex Criminals is not pornography. However, it is very explicit, adult humor. If you’re okay with having fun with sex, or the idea of fun sex, or the idea of sex being a vehicle for a fun story, then you’re going to enjoy Sex Criminals. If that’s not your thing, then I’ll see you next week.
In Sex Criminals, we meet Jon and Suzie. Jon works at a bank, Suzie at a library. Jon hates his job; Suzie loves hers but the library is in danger of foreclosure from the very bank that employs Jon. The two don’t know each other at the start of the series, but they find each other due to what they thought was a unique “talent” that both of them possesses: when they orgasm, time stops. Not just for a few seconds – long enough for them to wander around and marvel at things and, um, do things. So…… what does a newly infatuated couple do? They have lots of sex. And when it turns out that they need a lot of money, fast and desperate? They have a lot of sex and rob banks. Easy peasy, right? Well, yeah – until the Sex Cops show up.
Listen, the joy of Sex Criminals is not in the plot of the story, except in the broadest strokes. It’s not even in the sex, except in the fun its being the driver of the plot. The joy is in the absurdity of the storylines, the unguarded (and sometimes raunchy, sometime poignant, always genuine) dialog, and the incredible laugh-out-loud humor tickling and spanking you on every page. Even the dedications, biographies and extras (especially the extras!) are freekin’ hilarious.
So if you want to laugh and you don’t have a problem with explicit humor, check out Sex Criminals. You might be able to find individual issues, but your best bet is to pick up one of the collected volumes (Volume 1 is issues 1 – 5; Volume 2 is issues 6 – 10). And be prepared to laugh. A lot.