The Comic: Sex Criminals, written by Matt Fraction, with art by Chip Zdarsky.
What’s it about: Suzie has a weird problem. Every time she has an orgasm, time literally stops. She can’t even figure out for how long- watches are stopped too- but it feels like a good long while. At first, this is a fun superpower, but ultimately leads to a pretty lonely life. It’s impossible for her to get intimate with someone, without being left alone afterward. But then she meets Jon, who’s cute and tall and can quote passages from Lolita (her favorite book). Against her better judgment, she invites him to her place. They… get busy. When they’re done, Suzie starts to get dressed, but when she looks over the bed, she sees Jon doing the exact same thing. “You can do it too!?” they shout together. They can both stop time with their orgasms! And so, Suzie and Jon do what any of us would do in similar circumstances: they bang in the bathrooms of banks, and rob them. Hence Sex Criminals.
Why you should read it: Oh man, well first of all, this is the funniest comic I have ever read. That would be enough. But beyond being funny and an honestly exciting caper story, the book is a really sweet exploration of the freakiness and weirdness and beauty of people’s sexuality. There’s something honest and raw about the way that the book looks at sex and sexuality (with spotlight issues on sex workers, pornography, asexuality and Japanese erotica just to name a few things). All expressions of consensual sex are beautiful in Sex Criminals. And weird. And hilarious.
Also, did you know: The fourth printing of the first issue had a cover featuring the two creators in a pose that evokes a bad prom photo (and also the movie Ghost). It became the most popular cover of the book, so much that fans of the book (who call themselves ‘Brimpers’) recreated the cover dozens of times. In the end though, Fraction and Zdarsky weren’t even in the same country. The photo was the work of clever photoshop.