Time for another review.
This week it's Sex Criminals Vol 1: One Weird Trick.
This book is written by Matt Fraction, with everything else done by Chip Zdarsky, and is published by Image Comics. Pretty simple.
As always, we're using the Prince rating system: Adore is buy it, Beautiful Strange is take it or leave it, and When Doves Cry is don't buy it.
Okay, right off the bat, the book is called Sex Criminals. This means there's going to be sex. If you can't handle that, pass it by.
This is billed as a comedy, and while, yeah, it's humorous, I wouldn't necessarily call it funny. Quirky, sure, but not funny. It's too serious to be funny. It even starts off in a dark place before getting to “jokes.” I'm not saying this is poorly written—not at all—but I wouldn't call this a comedy.
The story is about a woman who finds out she can literally stop time when she has an orgasm, and then she happens to find a guy who can, too. She works in a library that she loves, and he works in a bank that he hates. The library is slated to be torn down, and they come to a decision to rob the bank in order to pay the debt the library is in and spare it from being demolished. While robbing the bank, they discover others who can also move around while time is stopped.
This volume explores the phenomenon of the power these people have, and it's humorous. Imagine: in order to stop time, you have to have an orgasm. Time is stopped until you're ready to have sex again. The exploration of that can be fascinating and humorous. Fraction weaves this well.
Chip doesn't delve into smut. Even though it's called Sex Criminals, there is precious little nudity here, and even though people are shown having sex, no penetration is shown. You'll see more nudity and sex in a Cinemax late-night movie.
There is no hyper-realism here. Chip's shapes are right on the money, as are the colors. Together, they both know how to hit the funny beats and visual gags. Some of this gets played up well, and while others didn't leave me flat, they just weren't as funny as they could have been.
The lettering was also well done. There wasn't really much to take me out of the story.
In all, I'd call this a triumph. Mislabeled, but not grossly so.
Final Verdict: Adore