Matt Fraction: Sex Criminals Volume Three Three the Hard Way



Every time a new volume comes out I m dubious because I remember how weird the last volume got And then every time I m freshly blown away by how smart and entertaining this title isThe clever references see Brubaker s Criminal cover the montages Anna s excruciating 80 mini panel beauty routine the unusual but intuitive use of the medium reverse silhouettes to display a series of happy memories Fraction and Zdarsky kill Plot pointsview spoiler John and Suzy meet with the Semen Demon guy and the Japanese woman They fail to find common ground John buys Suzy a series of sex toys She resents that he s trying to change her I find the tone of Sex Criminals fascinating In some ways it s the first adult comic book I ve read that s truly adult Certainly depictions of genitalia and graphic drawings of sex much graphic than Sex Criminals has thus far been I might add are relatively common But there s a difference Even the best of the sex comics Phil Kaja Foglio s XXXenophile Colleen Coover s Small Favors Birdland by the Hernandez brothers much of Milo Manara s work particularly Click and Butterscotch are intended to arouse They may be highly entertaining and readable and even funny but at the end of the day part of their intent is to get the reader horny as the tagline on the cover of one issue of XXXenophile puts it Tales of One Fisted Adventure There have been other attempts to downplay the sex and bring the story forward over the ears Reed Waller and Kate Worley s Omaha the Cat Dancer Howard Chaykin s Black Kiss but they still linger over the bedroom antics not that that s a bad thing by the way Sex Criminals is the first comic I ve read where the characters have sex on panel and it s not leered at It s just part of the story The characters have powers that manifest at the moment of orgasm so of course sex is going to come into it but it s not the point of the story just kind of there The story is about relationships and the sometimes complicated desires and attitudes that people have towards sex And it s extremely funny Fraction Zdarsky That hot dog truck with the Wide Weiners jingle You know ou re going to Hell for that right Just saying Sex Criminals is definitely worth reading Highly recommended Delays are hurting this a bit especially since I m reading it in singles but I still enjoy it whenever it does come out This is serious and less funny arc shit is getting real for the characters It s still good though Sexuality is a complicated place To get to the point where we comfortable in it it does take going through a maze of our On one hand I still love Sex Criminals When it s good it s really good and still has that special something that made the series one of my favourites to begin with On the other hand Fourgy heh Fourgy is the second slightly disappointing volume in a row and i m worried that the spark may be fadingChip Zdarksy s artwork and Matt Fraction s characterisation are still great and I know i m so invested that i ll continue reading in spite of any doubts I may have But this is still the second weaker volume where the story has barely moved forward I m all for character interaction and progression and the way Fraction has created a comic where anything sexual and psychological can be discussed with ease is nothing short of remarkable However it feels like som. Everybody's favorite sex having time freezing bank robbing crew of lovable love misfits come together and ask themselves the big uestion are we

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Ething is missing and instead of enjoying the series like I used to I find myself flipping back and forth between praise and it s not as good as it used to beUltimately i m still a fan of the series I mean there s an issue called Down With the Thickness and Fourgy lol Fourgy was still a solid read I just hope that the fifth volume is on a par with the first two and not this and Three the Hard Way Fingers crossed Nothing happens in this thing It s like one long masturbatory session which I guess is appropriate given the series where Fraction tries to draw the story out as much as he can The series has definitely lost the spark of the first ear of stories Chip Zdarsky s detailed panels almost make up for the lack of story though His art is consistently fantastic Sex Crimbos are back But unfortunately not uite with a bang hehe bangJon and Suzie keep having troubles in their relationship the shrink Doug Dave finds a new love interest Ana Kincaid goes to a porn convention to make a uick and embarrassing buck Kegelface is still Kegelface and there s a new cum time stopper in town In other words we have a filler volume It does pick up the pace and goes heavy on the emotions close to the end but most of Fourgy just wasn t very exciting story wiseThere was a whole issue that was a parody of Ed Brubaker s and Sean Phillips s comic Criminal They even got Elizabeth Breitweiser as a guest colourist while Zdarsky did his best Sean Phillips impression so that the comic would look just like Brubaker s classic While it was pretty funny as a gag I didn t uite understand the point of it and why it had to be a Criminal parody just for the sake of making a Criminal parody I guess The issue is focused on the aforementioned new character another time stopper and I ve got to be honest I didn t get his entire storyline not just in that particular issue but in the whole book The guy has some weird fetish where he can only come when people step on dolls I guess It s really confusing And then his uniue power that manifests when time stops just completely went over my head I guess he summons some clay dolls with huge dicks and they have a mind of their own or something And at some point they appear in Jon and Suzie s bed and that whole scene doesn t really go anywhere And then the guy s story takes another eually confusing turn at the end of the book which I won t even try to explain Damn Matt Fraction are Mixed Tape Series Volume you trying to channel Grant Morrison here or something What the shit was thatThe volume is saved a bit by some touching emotional moments in the last couple of issues and the ending promises some much exciting plots in the next book but knowing Fraction s problems with sticking to the schedule and Zdarsky s ever increasing workload over at Marvel nobody knows for sure when we are even going to get the next oneAt least Chip is still on top of his game His artwork keeps being vibrant and expressive some splash pages and double spreads look downright beautiful and there was a particular 64 panel silent page which was probably the best single page in this entire book it was absolutely brilliant And ifou ve read Sex Criminals before The Magdalen you know that Zdarsky packs every background in almost every panel with hilarious mostly dirty jokes and those are as funny as ever He drew a porno convention for chrissak. Till into this THE ANSWER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU ifou think the answer is no Part romance part sex comedy and part heist drama SEX CRIMINALS manage.

E If All the Devils are Here you ve read Sex Criminalsou can imagine how many visual gags Miles to Go (The Walk, you can expect just from that scene aloneOverall Sex Criminals Volume 4 Fourgy was kind of a letdown This is still one of my favourite comics ever just for the sheer brilliance of the first two volumes but I feel like the series is running out of fuel Maybe it s time to wrap SexCrimz up while it still hasn t entirely gone to shit eh chums This one didn t have as much stamina as the previous volumes This comic This fucking comic Sex Crimz is back on form with the brilliantly titled Volume 4 Fourgy Story wise there isn t much happening and that s my only complaint about this book Essentially it s still Sex Criminals vs Sex Cops but there s barely any conflict between them here Kegelface fucks with Ana s teaching job and that s it But that doesn t mean it s a slow read either because the character stuff is really good Jon and Suzie s relationship has its ups and downs and we learn about Jon s mental state It doesn t sound like much when I try to summarise it but it s something else to read forourself The most satisfying aspect of this series is how convincingly and realistically Matt Fraction has captured their relationship There s maybe a bit too much time devoted to the other couples in the series Ana and DaveDoug and Rach and Robert their stories feel superfluous but they re also pretty cool characters so it evens out A new character appears with a new sex power the ability to bring fuck Smurfs to life The character was well written and funny but I hope Sex Crimz doesn t go the way of Chew where a new weirdosuperpower gets introduced in every book until it gets annoying This dude s a mobile hot dog salesman whose wide weiners are popular with the kids I feel like FractionChip Zdarsky included him just so they could have a scene with kids The Wake yelling that they want wide weiners And the wide weiners theme song is so amusingly silly I may not think much of his writing but Chip Zdarsky is an outstanding artist There s a Kegelface issue written and drawn in the style of BrubakerPhillips and Zdarsky s pastiche on Sean Phillips art is really uite accurate as is Fraction s take on Brubaker s noirish clipped writing style The characters facial expressions are perfect throughout heh Zdarsky does good facials and the page crammed full of panels showing Ana s preparation for the porn con was remarkably detailed I love that panel in the restaurant when DaveDoug gives a lengthy speech to Ana and the exposition literally knocks the background characters around that playfulness and creativity is one of the best aspects of this title And the Sexual Gary running gag is still funny The thing is that those jokes are memorable at the expense of an unmemorable story why is Jon appearing in a Hulk parody play again I m much invested in Jon and Suzie s relationship than the half assed revengeish story being attempted between the cops and the crimz Still Fourgy is a very entertaining and fun read and there s a lot here fans will love It s slightly meandering at this point but still such a great comic I m enjoying all the newer secondary characters and the trajectories they re heading towardAlso Matt and Chip actually published five comics in six consecutive months after the one issue that came out lastear I m super proud of them. S to turn a story about two lovers who rob banks with orgasms into the most emotionally realistic and relatable sex comic ever made Wired Magazin.

Alex Pham Los Angeles Times