Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

I can't take credit for knowing about the new comic Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. My friend Matt Schneider shared the title with me last winter, when Zdarsky was featured in an Atlantic article about his interaction on Facebook with the local Applebee's. You can read the Atlantic feature here, which compiles some of the Facebook messages that were sent back and forth between Zdarsky and Applebee's. They're absurdist and hilarious, and so worth the read. 

Zdarsky tells Atlantic writer Megan Zarber that the project started when, "I noticed my parents both 'liked' a photo of a hamburger on our hometown Applebee's facebook page. I thought it was funny so I joined in, like one big happy family celebrating this hamburger photo. But then I started digging deeper on the page and noticed it was, well, pretty barren of comments. It just seemed like whoever was in charge of their social media kept putting up new photos and trying to engage conversation and was left with a whole lot of nothing. So, I started chiming in." 

So I found out about Chip Zdarsky first, and then I found out about the comic he illustrates, Sex Criminals. I downloaded the first issue, which was free online, and then somehow managed to wait until the first five issues were collected into one volume. 

I just picked up the trade paperback over the weekend from local comic book store Kapow Comics in Lethbridge, AB. I zipped through in an afternoon and loved it so much that I re-read the first issue, even though I'd already read it twice on my iPad. The comic is about Suzie and Jon, two people who thought they were alone in the world until they found each other. Because they can both do something that no one else can: when they orgasm, they freeze time. And what do they decide to do with that frozen stretch of time together? They rob banks. Suzie wants to save the library that she works at, which is slowly running out of funding. So they practice being criminals together, working towards robbing the bank that Jon works at. 

Sex Criminals is an incredibly addicting story: it's part romance, part comedy, part sex education, with a little sci-fi to tie it all together. It just started up again in June, and the next issue is out from Image Comics on July 16th. And this time I don't think I'm going to be able to wait for the trade paperback. 

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