Yeah, you read that correctly. Big Hard Sex Criminals, Volume 1 is the title of this particular literary work. And make no mistake, it’s all about sex and criminal activity. No, that’s not correct. It contains both of those, but it’s about far more than that. It’s about self discovery and growth, too. And not in the dirty ways, you pervert! If you want to know more (and you do), you’ll have to continue reading to see how I got down and dirty with this comic. I really can’t stop myself, I swear.
I usually read my comics on a tablet, mostly my Asus Transformer, and I seldom have to worry about my kids reading over my shoulder or being at interested in what I’m doing. However, this time, I started reading it at my desktop PC which is situated pretty much in the center of the house. Big mistake that. I swear everyone and their dog walked by whilst I read this massive tome. I was less concerned about the teenager because let’s be honest, he’s got full internet access on his smartphone so he’s most likely seen far kinkier things than comic book boobies. It was a different story with regards to my 11-year-old daughter. I was definitely NOT okay with her seeing any of it.
I kept having to drop the digital reader program to the taskbar when she traversed the main rooms. For almost two hours I kept doing that, trust me when I say it sucks. But once we got through her science homework and I double checked her math, the disturbances nearly ceased. And once I was able to make some headway on the graphic novel, I found it utterly amazing! This particular volume collects the first ten issues of the Eisner Award-winning series from writer Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky. And as I said earlier, this wondrous little series is about more than what the title suggests.
Focusing in on two characters, Suzie and Jon, this compendium spends a lot of time traveling in order to allow each character the chance to narrate certain events. Taking care to speak to the reader as if in conversation, this in no way inhibits the tale. Quite the opposite, in fact. It allows the plot to move quickly forward without having to waste undo effort on building up the back story or to preface current events. When done successfully, as this is, it allows the writer far more freedom and even helps to establish a bond between the protagonist and the reader.
So here’s the deal. When Suzie and Jon have orgasms, they enter a different dimension/plane/timewarp. This can be done together or separately, and lasts for an indefinite amount of time. And while many devices and items fail to function in this moment between moments, they are able to move, alter, or even take things. And against everyone’s better judgement, this is exactly what they do. Whether it’s called “The Quiet” (Suzie’s term) or “Cumworld” (Jon’s not-as-eloquent version), the rules stay the same. But along with rules, there are usually rule keepers. Case in point: The Sex Police.
It turns out that Jon and Suzie aren’t the only folks with this ability. As a matter of fact, there are several people who can create this same alternate universe. Some are better at it than others but it is no less amazing. And while these folks are not legion, the Sex Police have kept watch over them to make sure they are not discovered or jeopardize the freedom of the others like them. Many hijinks and jokes permeate this book, folks. I laughed heartily many times, making it that much more difficult to hide the comic from the children.
I really loved the way we see the everyday problems that all couples face, the whole freezing time notwithstanding. Jon has a myriad of issues that he only sometimes deals with successfully and Suzie is emphatically trying to save her local library from certain doom (of foreclosure). Spectacular artwork abounds, creating an almost realistic feel. I was most impressed by the way it all looks like it was taken from an animated film, the lines are clean and crisp with well saturated colors in every panel.
Rumor has it that Fraction and Zdarsky barely knew one another when they started working on this series. But whatever the reason, they have collaborated on one of the best comics I have read in a very long time. I know I didn’t speak to the plot much in this review, but I feel like I would be unable to do it justice if I tried. It is both simple and complicated, if you know what I mean. If you are a consenting adult and enjoy a great story based around what could easily have been a sex comedy, then run (don’t walk) to go get this. You’ll laugh all the way through it, of that I have no doubt.