Sex Criminals: One Weird Trick
Written by Matt Fraction
Drawn by Chip Zdarski
Published by Image Comics

“Sex Criminals” is my jam.  A heady combination of character study, an intriguing high-concept premise, and dick jokes, it is one of those books that feels like it was written just for me.
It is the story of Suzie and Jon, two people with the rare ability to stop time when they have sex.  Each believing themselves to be unique, they meet each other at a party.  As their relationship develops, and they find themselves in a world inhabited only by themselves, they do what comes naturally in a budding relationship: They rob banks.  Specifically, one bank.  The bank which is foreclosing on the library where Suzie works, which is the same one where Jon works a depressing 9 to 5 job he hates, which is also the place where Suzie’s father died in a random shooting when she was just a girl.  So there’s a lot going on there.  As they plan their heist, however, they learn they aren’t the only ones with this ability after all, and someone is on to them.
“Sex Criminals” is a beautiful, funny, and especially dirty look at the awkward, sad, and joyous paths of self-discovery.  It is also a uniquely affecting look at the early stages of a relationship, filtered through a surprisingly poignant sex comedy.  Moving back-and-forth through time and featuring a plethora of ingenious sight gags, this is a comic that rewards careful re-reading.
Zdarski’s art is great, and The Quiet has a beautiful, unearthly look that is fantastic.  It works in perfect concert with Fraction’s script, delivering every awkward teenage gut-punch and nonsensical sex joke to life with aplomb.  My absolute favorite gag is a fourth wall breaking sequence in a pool hall where a spontaneous dance to “Fat Bottomed Girls” starts up, while the text apologetically explains that they could not secure the rights to the lyrics.
This is a magical, rare comic, which, like a great lover, challenges and moves the reader, but still can make you laugh when you least expect it.  “Sex Criminals” is available from Amazon, Comixology, or your local comics shop.

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