Tag Archives: matt fraction

Matt Fraction and Albert Monteys release Solid State, a Graphic Novel Accompaniment to Jonathan Coulton’s New Concept Album

Writer Matt Fraction and artist Albert Monteys will team up with singer-songwriter/internet phenomenon Jonathan Coulton for the high-concept graphic novel Solid State to accompany his concept album of the same name this July.

Two guys, connected by a name and hundreds of years, somehow stand at the end of man’s beginning, and the beginning of man’s end. But…it’s funny? Also kind of a nightmare. But mostly funny? A funny science-FACTion nightmare about the end of everything, but how that’s all kind of okay.

Solid State TP (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0365-2, Diamond code: MAY170645) hits comic book stores Wednesday, July 26th and bookstores Tuesday, August 1st. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, June 5th.


Review: Sex Criminals #16

sexcriminals16After an eight-month hiatus, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky are back with Sex Criminals #16. An extended series of recap pages gets us right in the mood as our time freezing, orgasm having, crime doing couple of Jon and Susie are at a big crossroads in their relationship. Most of the issue is narrated from Susie’s perspective as Jon just wants to live in the moment and take out Kegelface, this series’ Big Bad no matter who gets on his way. On the other hand, Susie wants to get more serious with their relationship and even mentions writing down their goals in markers on paper because she’s a big ol’ library-loving nerd. But Fraction and Zdarsky resist the melodrama of a big argument or breakup and continue to be grounded in feelings stemming from a long-term relationship while keeping the dirty puns and constant references to “butt stuff” that made this series hilarious as well as real.

Sex Criminals #16 is a great post-hiatus issue for the series because it zeroes in on the messiness of romantic relationships, and what people want to get out of them in kind of silly, kind of serious way. Yes, Jon and Susie dress up in Teletubby costumes and chase each other with dildos, and Jon might be the “intern” for his favorite porn star growing up. But Sex Criminals #16 has long passages of walk and talk (Or walk, fuck, talk, and eat lo mein.) where Jon and Susie get all their feeling out about each other with Susie’s narration filling in some of the unsaid things.

Fraction hits on a great point through this narration that the reason why Jon doesn’t want fill out lists of goals is because he doesn’t think he’s worthy of a future with her. He is stressed out by Kegelface stealing his personal psychiatric files that talk about his oppositional defiant disorder as well as insecure in his relationship and wants to take her out even if he means breaking the law. Susie just wants him to be happy, and Zdarsky draws a beautiful, almost quiet sequence of them spooning even if this kind of cuddle position has been awkward for them in the past. (Someone’s arm falls asleep inevitably.) It’s a glimpse of happiness in the midst of both the interpersonal/Kegelface drama.


Chip Zdarsky’s coloring choices in Sex Criminals #16 also herald the shift in Jon’s character. In the past, the Quiet has been a trippy world of sexy fun and occasional mayhem filled action against Kegelface and her ultra creepy Sex Cops. But, for Jon, it is all red rage, and Susie is lying on the bed away from him. Fraction and Zdarsky cut to these intense red sequences when Jon is really feeling bad. It’s something that definitely needs to be addressed in their relationship, and hopefully these two crazy kids will break through and stay together.

Sex Criminals #16 reminded me of why I loved this series when it first started out in 2013, which is Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s complete honesty about sex and relationships while still having some hilarious background gags from Zdarsky and an eccentric supporting cast, like the Alix who compares Jon to Don Quixote, and villains.

Story: Matt Fraction Art: Chip Zdarsky 
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Casanova: Acedia Celebrates Ten Years

Bestselling creators Matt FractionMichael ChabonGabriel Bá and Fábio Moon return for an all-new story arc this June.

Casanova: Acedia #5 begins a new chapter in the fan-favorite series as the world-melting CASANOVA returns. Casanova Quinn doesn’t remember who he is or how he got here—the only thing he knows is an awful lot of people want him dead and the world might be ending.

Psychedelic, sexy, and surreal science-fiction abounds and sees the continuation of Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Chabon’s Metanaut backup collaborations with Gabriel Bá. The series celebrates ten trippy years of adventures with fans.

Casanova: Acedia #5 Cover A (Diamond Code APR160677) and Cover B (Diamond Code MAR168905) hit stores on Wednesday, June 1. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, May 9.

Casanova: Acedia, Vol. 1 (ISBN: 978-1632154774), is available now.

Image Comics Announces Creators for Creators

Creators for CreatorsAt Image ComicsImage Expo it wasn’t just new products that were announced, they also announced a new non-profit, Creators for Creators. The goal of the organization is to “encourage, support, and promote original works through grants and education.”

The program will be a combination of financial backing and mentorship. The plan is to give $30,000 to a single cartoonist or a wrister/artist duo to support their creation of original work of between sixty-four and one hundred pages over a single year. A committee will decide the recipient.

The mentorship mentioned will be beyond creation and will cover all aspects of the comic-creating experience to help create a firm foundation when it comes to the creative, business, legal, and financial aspects of the business.

Recipients will retain rights to their works and will not just be supported by Image, but also Iron Circus Comics. The long term goal is to also make the website a resource to educate creators.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and you have until May 1, 2016 to apply. You can learn more here.

The Creators for Creators grant was founded by Charlie Adlard, Jordie Bellaire, David Brothers, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Nick Dragotta, Leila del Duca, Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, Joe Keatinge, Robert Kirkman, Jamie McKelvie, Rick Remender, Declan Shalvey, Fiona Staples, Eric Stephenson, C. Spike Trotman, and Brian K. Vaughan.

Review: Sex Criminals #14

SexCriminals_14-1Sex Criminals has always been one of those books that needs to be read a couple of times after purchasing. Usually to catch all the weird visual jokes that get placed in the backgrounds of panels. For the fourteenth issue subtitled “Ladies Please,” it’s to understand just how the disjointed nature of this issue works to its advantage.

The issue is mostly about Suzie and Myrtle. Myrtle is still having sex with Jon’s therapist to get information about him while Suzie and Jon start work at their new and crappy jobs. Jon is working as Ana’s research assistant while Suzie has started work in a new library. One day while sending dirty texts to Jon, Suzie makes some crass comments about Ana’s previous life as a porn star, which leads to a confrontation in The Quiet between the two of them.

Well, in the actual timeline of the story. In the timeline of the comic, we’re actually greeted with a fourth wall break as Matt Fraction struggles to write the scene and ends up calling Chip Zdarsky, asking for help.

From the sounds of it, a lot of this dialogue between the creators is taken directly from conversations the two had about the scene as it was originally planned to play out, with Suzie being judge-y of Ana, but Fraction has reservations of how this comes across. How it all ties back to how insidious and judgmental our culture is in regards to amount of sexual partners and sex workers, but how Ana isn’t exactly in the right either to act as if Suzie’s intentions with the library aren’t genuine. It’s complicated, clumsy, and it’s a bit revealing to see Fraction and Zdarsky hash it out like this.

On first pass, the scene is jarring in the middle of the story, especially after it jumps back into the story as a whole. Hysterical, especially with Chip drawing himself like a cokehead high on his own rising star simultaneously, but jarring. However, on a second read, after seeing how out of it Suzie has become, the outright statement of theme from our creators actually ties back into the story kind of brilliantly. It shows the kind of vulnerability that the series has been known for, especially in an issue where two of the characters are finding themselves in places they’re not sure they want to be in. The theme of the arc may be about “who gets to decide who’s a monster and who isn’t,” but a lot of this issue seems to be about being at a crossroads as well. Suzie isn’t into robbing banks with Jon anymore. Rach doesn’t know what to do about her relationship with Robert. Myrtle might be getting something else out of her relationship with Jon’s therapist. Matt can’t figure out how to write a scene. It all ties together in a strange sort of fashion.

Plus, the decision to “full-on Chuck Jones” the entire conversation and to play up the Zdarsky character super hard may be one of the funniest things this book has done.

If you’re having a hard time with the latest Sex Criminals at first pass, give it another read and see how it all ties together. What comes across as disjointed at first actually has a strange sort of clearness once the thread that ties it all together becomes clear. This book has always been about vulnerability and to see it upfront and hysterically done is kind of amazing.

Story: Matt Fraction Art: Chip Zdarsky
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Comics You Should Be Reading: Sex Criminals (NSFW)

Sex Criminals, an ongoing comic book by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, is dedicated to everyone who has had sex – or is curious about it.

The criminals from the title are Suzie and Jon, described by Fraction as a mix of Masters & Johnson, the pioneer research team on human sexuality, and Bonnie & Clyde, the legendary bank robbers from the 1930s. That’s what they are and that’s pretty much what they do. They have sex and they rob banks. Maybe even both at the same time.

But they’re also much more than that. Because Suzie and Jon share a common secret: when they reach orgasm, time stops. Literally stops. They each enter a private world of silence, solitude and exploration, a world Suzie calls “The Quiet” and Jon calls “Cumworld”. When both have an orgasm at the same time, they get to explore this world together, not so silent and lonely anymore. That’s their superpower.

image 01

Guilt, shame and curiosity. That’s sex and crime in a nutshell. Which brings us back to the title: what’s Suzie and Jon’s real crime? The bank-robbery or the sex? They only rob one bank, and they have good reasons to do so. They’re not exactly Most Wanted for doing that. That only happens after they start exploring their sexuality together.

Which activity is more transgressive? Which couple is more dangerous, Bonnie & Clyde or Masters & Johnson?

image 02

Suzie and Jon aren’t the only criminals in the story. Each character in the series is introduced by their sexual history, which defines them and makes them who they are.

Rach, Suzie’s roommate/best friend, defaces a toilet stall to teach Suzie of possible sexual acts:

image 03

Robert Rainbow, Suzie’s gynecologist and Jon’s childhood friend, talks openly about the different kinds of birth control methods:

image 04

Jazmine St. Cocaine, ex-porn actress and Jon’s teenage crush, responds to prejudiced comments against the nature of her former occupation:

image 05

The other criminals are the creators of the series and their loyal readers. We’re all part of this open relationship called Sex Criminals. Fraction & Zdarsky have created such a delicious story that their readers get to ask questions about sex and share sex tips on the letter’s column.

The comic itself is part of that experience. It shows and tells unashamedly of penises and vaginas, oral sex and masturbation, sex shops and pornography, S&M and prostitution, rape and contraceptives, dildos and sex toys, slutshamming and dick pics, drugs and therapy.

Sex Criminals is a very mature comedy series. It can be extremely provocative and reader-friendly at the same time:

image 06

image 07

image 08

Did you notice it’s Suzie, the woman, not Jon, the man, experiencing oral pleasure? Can you see Suzie’s discomfort at her first gynecological visit? Do you understand Robert’s embarrassment when hearing the words related to his profession?

None of that is by chance. And the crime is exploring this language together. Suzie, Jon and the reader. Time stops all around us. Each panel, in its fixed and timeless moment, is a post-orgasmic experience of reading.

And how can a couple of white men portray sex in such an inclusive way? They research about it. And they aren’t afraid of asking for help. “I ask Kelly”, says Fraction, talking about his wonderful feminist wife. Simple, effective and something all creators should do to reduce the effects of their own privileges.

Please, do not miss this one out. It makes you laugh and it gives you pleasure.

What else could you ask for?

image 09

For more information on the single issues and collected editions, click here.

Enter the Sex Criminals sketch cover contest

SEX CRIMINALS #11 contestImage Comics is pleased to announce that—in celebration of the second printing of Sex Criminals #11 by writer Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky—fans will have an opportunity to enter into a very special contest on Twitter and Instagram.

The Sex Criminals #11, second printing cover will be available on Wednesday, September 9th and feature a faceless Fraction and Zdarsky, allowing readers to fill in with their own sketches and post photos of their finished creations on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag, #BrimperSketch.

Fraction and Zdarsky will then sift through the photos submitted with the #BrimperSketch hashtag and choose one winner. The winner will be announced on the Image Comics website the following week, Wednesday, September 16th.

The lucky winning participant will receive:

  • one (1) signed The Wicked + The Divine #2 Zdarsky variant where Zdarsky himself has eaten the portion of the cover with McKelvie’s face in order to gain his youthful powers.
  • one (1) signed copy of Just the Tips where Zdarsky has drawn a penis tip on every single page.
  • one (1) copy of Big Hard Sex Criminals signed by Fraction and with a personalized, handwritten erotic fan fiction story incorporating Chip Zdarsky and a character of the winner’s choosing.

Image Comics is pleased to announce that the #11 issue sketch cover will be going back to print to meet customer demand. The second printing of Sex Criminals #11 sketch cover (Diamond Code JUL158177) will release on Wednesday, September 9th.

Due to a high volume of demand, Sex Criminals #12’s release date will be delayed from the previous solicitation date and will instead hit shelves on Wednesday, September 16th, and can be ordered by retailers with Diamond Code MAY150540. Sex Criminals #12 Kate Leth XXX variant will be available with Diamond Code MAY150541

BOOM! Studios Announces Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Omnibus

BOOM! Studios and Electric Shepherd Productions are pleased to announce they will collect BOOM!’s entire 24-issue Eisner Award-nominated comic adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s groundbreaking science-fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? into a complete softcover omnibus for the first time. The comic series, as realized by artist Tony Parker, was published by BOOM! from 2009-2011. The new collection features a new cover by Mondo artist Jay Shaw and essays from popular industry professionals, including Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis, and Matt Fraction.

Dick’s novels revolutionized the science fiction genre and influenced many well-known sci-fi films such as Minority Report, Total Recall, and the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, which was based directly on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. His novel The Man in the High Castle was recently adapted as a pilot and subsequently ordered to series through Amazon Studios.

In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, San Francisco lies under a cloud of radioactive dust. The World War has killed millions, driving entire species to extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remain covet any living creature, and for people who can’t afford one, companies build incredibly realistic fakes: horses, birds, cats, sheep—even humans. Rick Deckard is an officially sanctioned bounty hunter tasked to find six rogue androids. They’re machines, but look, sound, and think like humans—and infinitely more dangerous.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Omnibus will arrive in comic shops and bookstores this December.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Omnibus Cover by Jay Shaw

Preview: Satellite Sam #15

Satellite Sam #15

Story By: Matt Fraction
Art By: Howard Chaykin
Cover By: Howard Chaykin
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: APR150669
Published: July 1, 2015

THE END of the first SATELLITE SAM STORY! Who lives? Who dies? Who gets away with what? Who pays? All the bloody answers come out as our broadcast day draws at long last to an end.


Matt Fraction’s Complete Interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers

It’s not too often you get to see comic creators promoting their comics on late night television, by writer Matt Fraction was on last night’s Late Night with Seth Meyers to discuss Sex Criminals. There’s also talk of his time writing Hawkeye….. plus, sex advice!

« Older Entries