Tag Archives: sex criminals

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

Around the Tubes

Power_Man_and_Iron_Fist_1_CoverIt was new comic book day yesterday! What’d everyone get? What did you find exciting? What were duds? Sound off in the comments below!

Around the Tubes

Ad Week – Youssef Daoudi to Create a Thelonious Monk Graphic Novel – Well that’s interesting.

The Beat – The Deadpool Movie Isn’t Faithful To The Comics, And I Approve – Do you think it is?

BBC – Did the Maya create the first “comics”? – This is really interesting.

The Beat – Commentary: BATMAN: The Uncomfortable Conversation – Bryan Hill is always someone to see what he has to say.

Panels – 12 Black Comic Artists You Should Know – Some great suggestions.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1

Newsarama – Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1

Talking Comics – Bill & Ted Go to Hell #1

Comic Vine – Bill & Ted Go to Hell #1

The Beat – Midnighter Vol. 1

CBR – Power Man & Iron Fist #1

Talking Comics – Sex Criminals #14

Comic Attack – Shaft: Imitation of Life #1

Comic Vine – Star Wars #16

Comic Vine – Superman: American Alien #4

Talking Comics – Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The New Adventures

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.

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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?

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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:

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

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

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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:

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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?

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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Avengers_Standoff_Welcome_to_Pleasant_Hill_1_CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.


Top Pick: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #4 (Valiant) – I’ve been enjoying this series so far, and while it hasn’t captured me like some other Valiant books (or Old Man Logan), it’s still a damn fine series that’s got a very interesting take on immortality,and the Earth’s Fist an Steel.

Wraithborn #1 (Benitez Productions) – I know nothing about this series, but the cover looks awesome. I’m picking it up for that reason alone.



Top Pick: Extraordinary X-Men #7 (Marvel) – This book has been delivering with every issue; lots of action, a kick ass team line up and Humberto Ramos’ art is just icing on the cake.  Plus I’m looking forward to finding out what made Nightcrawler’s trolley jump the tracks.

Avengers Standoff Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 (Marvel) – I am very curious about this title; a quiet, run of the mill town where everyone knows everyone, but there’s something hiding beneath the façade.  And is that a cosmic cube on the cover?  The upcoming ‘Standoff’ event starts here.

Uncanny Inhumans #5 (Marvel) – A new story arc “The Quiet Room” starts in this issue, and that alone has me curious when it involves a character whose slightest whisper can shatter a mountain.  Brandon Peterson is taking on the art duties for this book, and I am looking forward to seeing his take on the characters.



Top Pick: Power Man and Iron Fist #1 (Marvel) – Written by David Walker with art by Sanford Greene, this classic team-u is back! This is a comic I’ve been excited for, and waiting for, since it was announced and I can’t wait to see how these two creators handle them.

Race For the Moon (Canton Street Press) – This is a reprint that features sci-fi stories with artwork by Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Al Williamson, and Bob Powell. I honestly didn’t know about it until I looked a this week’s releases, but it sounds awesome.

Revenger Vol. 1 (Bergen Street Press) – Collecting Charles Forsman’s self-published series. If you haven’t read it in individual issues, now’s your chance to pick it up and see what you’ve been missing. When all hope is lost, and those who meant the most have been ripped away, there is only revenge.

Snowfall #1 (Image Comics) – Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo’s new sci-fi ongoing series kicks off with an oversized debut. It’s 2045, the climate is messed up, a new corporate government is in charge and one man wages a weather war against the system. Sounds awesome.

Wraithborn #1 (Benitez Productions) – A new series from artist Joe Benitez and writer Marcia Chen. I love Benitez’s Lady Mechanika, so really want to check this one out.


Mr. H

Top Pick: Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 (Marvel) – So of the big two Marvel has been the one handling it better with their event books. Secret Wars was stellar. I know Civil War 2 is a coming but I hope we are not in for another retread. Honestly I’m just giving this one the benefit of the doubt. That and Mark Bagley.

Amazing Spider-Man #8 (Marvel) – This comic has just been fun since go. I like the whole Zodiac storyline and really been enjoying how Slott writes Peter, him and the Parker Industry staff are the highlights of the book. Nothing grand or spectacular but a very reliable book every month. It’s nice.

Poison Ivy: Circle of Life and Death #2 (DC Comics) – She’s sultry, she’s sexy and she’s wanted for murder. It is high time Ms. Ivy has gotten her own monthly. I’m not the biggest supporter of this title but I will in the hopes she gets her own monthly. Scott Snyder please… fingers crossed.



Top Pick: Bitch Planet #7 (Image Comics) – Bitch Planet finally seems to be back on a regular publishing schedule, which is exciting because the story is really getting good. A must-read for feminists, not only for the story, but also for the backmatter, which contains feminist essays.

Sex Criminals #14 (Image Comics) – Sex Criminals is a hilarious comic about time-stopping orgasms (literally time-stopping). I’m not sure if my favorite thing about it is that Fraction and Zdarsky manage a humorous but at times sensitive and relatable story, or trying to describe to people why they should read it.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5 (Marvel) – Doreen is still stuck in the sixties, but this issue features an old lady Squirrel Girl to give her a hand. Surely, more hilarity and butt-kicking will ensue.

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week! We’ve got lots of interviews and post NYCC coverage still to come. But, until then, here’s some comic book reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Batman and Robin Eternal #2

ICV2 – Black Bullet Vol. 1

CBR – Black Jack Ketchum #1

CBR – Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #3

CBR – Sex Criminals #13

CBR – Superman: American Alien #1

The Outhousers – Twilight Children #1

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

Around the Tubes

We’re at Gen Con today and some of the team are getting ready for Boston Comic Con, but we’ve been slowly getting through reviews. What have you enjoyed so far this week?

Around the Tubes

The Outhousers – Chris Pine Officially Joins “Wonder Woman” – So he’s not Green Lantern?

CBLDF – Charleston Principal Removes Some Girls Are from Summer Reading List – Sigh.

The Mary Sue – Diversity in Entertainment and the Media: Then and Now, and How Far We’ve Come – Some interesting history.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Nothing But Comics – Hellboy in Hell #7

CBR – Sex Criminals #11

Review: Sex Criminals #11

SexCriminals11_CoverAOkay. I’m pretty late in the game when it comes to reviewing and heaping praise upon Sex Criminals. I mean, you really can’t do one without the other. It isn’t helping that I’m starting my reviews right in the middle of a story arc, which meant that I had a lot of catching up to do. I have to resist the temptation to write about Sex Criminals as a whole, but honestly? What is there to say that hasn’t been said already? Sex Criminals is funny. Sex Criminals is raunchy. Sex Criminals is smart. Sex Criminals is, above all else, honest.

Good. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about #11 and how it differs from the other issues up to this point. Honestly? It’s not the best. But Sex Criminals not at it’s best is kind of like going into the Cheesecake Factory and ordering the Mango Key Lime cheesecake. Sure it’s tasty as hell, but, really, it wasn’t as good as half the other cheesecakes on the menu. (Dammit, now I want their Vanilla Bean Cheesecake.) Part of the reason why this isn’t quite as good as the others is that it steps back from character and plot development some, to introduce us to a new character.

It’s because of this we have four separate threads to keep track of, so it comes off a little less fluid than the other issues. You’ve got our new character, Suzie Jon, and Ms. “Kincaid,” Jon’s Psychiatrist and his lover, and Robert Rainbow and Rachelle (all in various stages of undress and coitus, natch.) It’s because of this that the comic kinds of bounces around all over the place so it’s a little less coherent than the previous issues.

For me the biggest things that drag this book down is how painstakingly New Guy tries to assert that he’s normal, despite being aware that he’s in a comic book that literally revolves around sex, as well as Rainbow and Rachelle’s post coital (kinda) conversation. While the first is necessary to the plot, the second I think would have been better off if more attention could have been paid to it, in a bit more relevant way. Having said that, it is still a good book. I mean, it’s cheesecake. Who’s going to turn down cheesecake? Chip Zdarsky’s artwork is, as always, detailed, nuanced, and filled with more visual humor than you can shake a stick at (save for a few panels.) Matt Fraction’s writing is good. The use of language is natural, believable and flows well. The plot, well, I’ve already talked about the weak points, but don’t let that deter you.

There’s a huge payoff at the end (double entendre intended) that was unexpected, and is certainly makes the book worth getting, since it isn’t something that I was expecting, though to be fair it is a logical extension of some of the events in last issue. It is, however, potentially problematic for me for personal reasons. I can’t really say more about it without giving it away in a huge spoiler, but it is something that is going to be worth talking about regardless of how it’s handled, so it’s something I’ll address when I cover #12.

Or undress it as the case may be.

Story: Matt Fraction Art: Chip Zdarsky
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided a Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone excited for?

Around the Tubes

The Beat – Carrie-Anne Moss joins AKA Jessica Jones in mysterious role – Woah.

iO9 – 9 Reasons The Hulk Shouldn’t Have His Own Movie (And 1 Why He Should) – Hulk smash this article!

En World – What’s a Freelance RPG Writer Worth? – Some good info.


Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – The Black Hood #1

Nothing But Comics – Imperium #1

The Beat – The Sculptor

CBR – Sex Criminals #10

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