Sex Criminals #14
By Fraction, and Zdarsky
After a four-month hiatus, Sex Criminals is back! Once again, we have the witty dialogue of Fraction and stylized art of Zdarsky to look forward to every month. Issue #14 jumps right back in to show where Jon and Suzie are now and how their relationship is evolving. New feelings spring up for Suzie around what she wants for her future and a lot of commentary around judgment is made this issue. This is a great springboard issue to take us through to the next arc and it’s more than apparent there’s a lot to look forward to from Fraction and Zdarsky over the next couple of months.
Sex Criminals stands out from other books due to its ability to balance the absurd with everyday scenarios. The magic from this book truly stems from the relationship and creative forces that are Zdarsky and Fraction, who are just comic powerhouses in action. Together, they create masterpieces like Sex Criminals. This book oozes humor from the dialogue between Suzie and a stranger who is inserting pictures into newspapers and from the reaction shots of our main characters throughout the book. It is hard to recall another book out now that is as effective with the illustration narrating the story. In this issue, there are many memorable pages, but in particular there is a page of panels of only Suzie with no dialogue as she waits for a return text message from Jon while they are both at work. This speaks to the collaborative relationship and trust that Fraction and Zdarsky have for one another to tell so much of the story through visually without text and still keep up with the book’s pacing.
This book did something that is truly remarkable and may well fill up Image’s office e-mail for weeks. The story goes full meta with Fraction just showing off his genius in this issue. Four pages of this book just completely break the fourth wall and take you completely out of the story and on a spectacular journey. This off-roading from the story may not be well received by some because it takes away from precious story development. There has been a build up over the last couple of issues that was leading to a confrontation between two characters that is never fully realized before our eyes. If you can go with the flow and follow the path Fraction and Zdarsky take you on, it is worth it. There are plenty of inside jokes for comic fans and puns that will make you laugh out loud. You can just imagine Fraction smiling as he wrote it and you know Zdarsky was grinning ear to ear while he illustrated this piece.
This book continues to woo and amaze comic fans with the stunning art of Zdarsky that has become associated with Sex Criminals. The simple clean lines and bright colors really have become a signature look for the series. Zdarsky nails the art issue after issue and there is a particular splash page here that is just so great for long time Brimpers to see. That page alone should be the reason people read this book.
Sex Criminals can be ridiculous and crude and sometimes offensive, but it always delivers in humor with great storytelling. The book is continuing to adapt and find new ways to have fun telling a ridiculous story about two people who have magical powers associated with having sex who then rob banks. Sex Criminals is such a fun ride each month, and seeing how Fraction and Zdarsky started off this year it looks like they have a lot to live up to in the coming months.