The Crims are back!  Your Major Spoilers review of Sex Criminals #14 awaits!

SexCriminals14CoverSEX CRIMINALS #14
Writer: Matt Fraction/Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
Colorist: Chip Zdarsky
Letterer: Chip Zdarsky
Editor: Thomas K
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Sex Criminals: “Suzie, a librarian, and Jon, an actor, meet at a party and, after sleeping together, they discover that they share the ability to freeze time when they orgasm.”

After that, the plot thickens, and lotsa wild, weird stuff takes place.  With the last issue hitting the stands in October of last year, it’s been a while since we checked in with our heroes, so let’s see whether it’s hard to get back into the swing of things…


This issue opens with a very funny, but weirdly random scene, where Suzie meets a young man who likes to stick “newsletters” (consisting of photographs of his junk) in newspapers for sale, ending with her macing him.  So, yeah, Sex Criminals is back!  Jon and Suzie are still cute as hell together, as she has an idea to build something that she doesn’t know how to do, leading to the wonderful query: “Can you tools?”  At the same time, the villain of the piece, the woman known as Kegelface, is sleeping with Jon’s therapist in order to get more information on his activities, while Jon has taken a part-time job working with his porn idol, the artist formerly known as Jasmine St. Cocaine.  The bulk of the story this issue comes in a confrontation between Suzie and Ana (the former Jasmine), and it’s…


I don’t really know how to describe it.


In an earlier issue of this series, to get around not having the lyric rights to a particular song, Fraction & Zdarsky framed out the whole sequence, drew the art, and had each word balloon covered with post-it notes wherein the creators discussed the scene, how it came together and why they had to do it the way they did.  This issue’s confrontation is actually shown in the form of a telephone conversation between Matt and Chip, trying to hammer out a way to write the scene that Fraction knows has to happen at this point in the series.  With in-jokes about their other gigs (“The Jughead money just came in!”), commentary about whether Suzie’s low-opinion of Ana is in fact slut-shaming, ending with Chip having the brilliant idea to just draw the conversation they just had.  It’s the kind of thing that you can only see in a creator-owned book, and frankly, it works really well here, in the same way that an unseen monster is always more frightening than one that’s shown.


I will say this for any potential new readers: Start at the beginning, because this book and its characters are charming as heck, and the build-up to this issue’s sorta/kinda fight is truly worth the price of admission.  Indeed, this issue shows the strengths of the creators involved, with characters that are immensely likeable, even when they’re jerks, and it’s one of the few series to include sexual relationships that are as complicated, goofy and messy as the ones in real life.  In short, Sex Criminals #14 is incredibly entertaining, well-drawn, creepy, funny, a little scary and as meta as meta can be, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  It’s weird, but it’s weird in a way I dearly love, and want my weird friends to also enjoy, so long as they’re 18 and junk.


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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