[This is the text of the book review from episode twenty-three of The Pageist.]
The books this episode are the first three volumes of Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. A sexy comic about a couple of people who stop time whenever they orgasm. Each volume collects five issues of the comic, which is still being produced.
Book one, entitled One Weird Trick, introduces us to our protagonists, Suzie Dickson and Jon Johnson (really, with the names, you guys?) and explains how they each discovered their gift. Then how they got together.
Suzie’s a librarian—she fell in love with libraries when she was doing research trying to figure out why time stopped when she got her jollies—and now the bank wants to foreclose on the property.
Jon—whose dick glows, but I’ll get back to that—suggests they rob banks to pay off what the library owes—just a little money here and there—using their power. Basically, have sex nearby, go in, take a little cash, and leave. No one’s the wiser. He happens to work at the bank that wants to foreclose on her library.
Back to the glowing appendage of delight—it looks like a glow stick. In the comic you can’t really see it because it radiates light when he’s erect. Which makes me wonder why Suzie’s clit doesn’t glow. It’s the same physiological response and same sort of biological tissue. If it glowed maybe guys would have an easier time finding it. Or maybe they’d just think of it as a runway light guiding them in.
Anyway, when younger, Suzie used her powers for good—or at least she didn’t do anything harmful. Jon had a different sort of upbringing (both characters have backstories that help make sense of some of their decisions). Our male protagonist also has some mental health issues, which lead to…well… he poops in his boss’ potted tree. It makes sense in the story.
So they’re doing the sex—which isn’t as graphic as I was expecting, but that’s perfectly fine—and having the orgasms and robbing the banks for small amounts of cash, which they give back to the bank in order to stave off losing the library.
You know, as you do.
But. It turns out our intrepid humping bandits aren’t the only people on Earth with their abilities. There are others. And they are watched over by people Jon and Suzie call the Sex Police. Which is led by a woman Suzie calls Kegelface. Because she always looks like she’s doing kegels.
The Sex Police make life difficult for our friends, indeed.
The second volume is called Two Worlds, One Cop. I would like to officially state: Ewww.
Our frisky friends know they can’t keep up their shenanigans because Kegelface and her two helpers aren’t going to stop chasing them down.
Then things happen that I can’t talk about due to spoilers, but I will say there’s a fight in someone’s personal dungeon that involves a LOT of dildos.
There’s also other kinkiness involved regarding one of a secondary character’s parents. Always knock, kids.
A spoilery thing happens and sets Jon off—they’re going to fight the Sex Police! They’re going to demand to be treated with respect!
So they have to round up someone to help.
I hadn’t received the third volume when I finished the second and I have never been so on the edge of my seat about a comic before. They can tell a story, these guys. The artwork is entirely decent, too.
In the second book—the beginning of chapter/issue 9 something happens and I have no idea what it was. Someone please explain it to me. It was part of a new character’s backstory—I do love all of those, I must say—and … what? What happened? I must have looked at it twenty times.
Volume three introduces more characters—including something for the Hentai fans and yet another fight in a dong dungeon (a different one this time). Also an asexual character! I was so happy! They did it so well! Never in a million years was I expecting an asexual in a comic called Sex Criminals so well done, Chip and Matt.
Most chapters—which are issues of the comic—are about one character—giving us a person’s history and how they wound up in the story. Occasionally, a chapter will focus more on the story as it is or a particular group of characters.
In one scene in the third book Jon wears a shirt that says, ‘Um, actually everybody loves a pedant.’ I would like this shirt, please. It doesn’t exist, I checked.
The authors get creative occasionally. They’re not scared to go meta and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Each book has bonus material at the end. Covers from the issues—which are great, I dig the aesthetic—and other fun things. In the first book, after discovering her gift, Suzie goes to the school sluts because she figures they’ll know why it happens.
One of the girls takes her into a bathroom stall and tells her, just, all about sex. It’s just like some of the conversations I remember having. Where one person states the most nonsensical thing with confidence and the other kids, because they don’t know better say, ‘Wow, yeah, I think I’ve heard of that.’
In the back of the first book there’s a page full of the names for the sex positions this girl made up. Only a handful were illustrated in the final comic, but the full page has dozens. Here’s a new grown up party game. Someone chooses one of these words and everyone has to either describe what happens during that act or they draw it. I shall read a few to give you an idea of the genius:
Frunging, Hambo, Brifknockin’, The Walking Head, Winterizing the House, The Tip Top Cheerio Guvnor, The World Service, Butt-Nugging, Corinthian Lather and my personal favorite, The Maybe He’ll Like Me.
That’s not even the tip of the iceberg. People who are fans of the comic are called Brimpers, as that was one of the acts illustrated in the comic. Brimping. The best description I have for this act (from the drawing in the book) is: a person with long hair kneels on the floor facing away from a person with a penis. Said penis haver then pulls the long hair up as though they’re going to put it in a ponytail on top of the head. The erect penis is then pushed through the hair being held straight up until it pokes out the front, over the long-hair haver’s head. I’m not sure how enough friction can be achieved, but it’s probably something hair fetishists already do.
Universal has signed a deal with Matt Fraction to adapt the books for the small screen. Let’s hope it’s on cable, because you won’t get to see glowing dick on free-to-view.
[It occurred to me after recording the episode I didn’t rate these. They were great fun and had me wanting more. If you’re looking for well-written, well-drawn, sexy comics that will have you on the edge of your seat then they’re a 5 of 5.]