Sex Criminals Vol. 1 & 2 Review

Monday, 1 June 2015

I read Sex Criminals Volume 1 a while back now but Volume 2 recently came out so I've decided to review them both together. This will be a spoiler-free review. This review (and the graphic novels) obviously might not be appropriate for younger readers due to it's graphic content.

Sex Criminals Volume 1 follows Suzie, a librarian with a strange secret. When she orgasms, she can stop time. She believes that she is the only one until she meets Jon.They embark upon a relationship exploring their 'ability'. Eventually they decide, as a means of saving Suzie's library from closure, to rob a bank.

The premise of this story is absurd, ridiculous but its executed beautifully. It's as funny as a story like this should be. If it took itself too seriously I don't think it would work. But Sex Criminals is also very important story. Through Suzie's strange power, Matt Fraction offers us a carefully crafted exploration of sexuality. More importantly, Sex Criminals is not judgmental in the way it tackles sexuality, particularly female sexuality. Women and sex don't often go hand in hand, at least not in a complementary way. However, in Sex Criminals Suzie enjoys sex and is interested in it. The second volume further delves into the idea of women and sex. Obviously since this is a spoiler-free review, I won't go into detail, but a character is introduced who's story I think is handled carefully but still remains in-keeping with the humorous tone of the book. Mental health issues are also a prominent part of the novel but are handled just as delicately. 

These graphic novels are also just very beautiful to look at. Chip Zdarsky is the artist and he does a wonderful job. When Suzie and Jon enter 'The Quiet' (as Suzie calls it) the world becomes colorful and sparkles. It's a very pretty comic book, the art is as rewarding as the story. 

Ultimately, what Sex Criminals is about is society's view of sex. It works to point out the emotions, the shame and confusion that often develop throughout puberty and later on. It's very sex-positive which I think literature and other media is devoid of. Simply, it is a very important, very funny and very enjoyable graphic novel.


Thanks for reading!

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