Sex Criminals Vol. 3 & 4 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (2016-2017)

sex crim cov

L: 7.5/10

M: 10/10

Analysis from expired college credits forever lost on a resume:

It’s hard to believe that Sex Criminals is only at issue twenty. It feels like ten years ago, I first flipped through the pages of issue number one and immediately told everyone about it. With everything inside of a comic shop being developed into a Netflix series or blockbuster movie, I wish more news would come out about the rights being further developed into something great.

These two trades were received with mixed reviews from me. If reviewed separately, volume three would have gotten a much lower score, with volume 4 bringing the average back up into our highly prestigious Upper Echelon club. There seems to be a soft rebooting of the story that takes place somewhere in between these two volumes. The story remains solid, but perhaps not fleshed out to the point of the story continuing through its initial beats. The introductory story arch is such a strong one that anything that follows is faced with quite the burden.

Now I feel obligated to state how silly this makes me feel, having any negative remarks about what I think to be such an important comic. It’s just that the first two volumes worth of issues were so perfect, that I expected the speed to continue at a sex-fevered pace.

There are a handful of characters that get some development time here, and some new ones that get injected into the story. The cast of villains even gets a share of the spotlight, illuminating their purpose and contribution to the plot. Where my gripes start to build, is when the writing team of Matt and Chip (first names/don’t care) fist themselves into the pages. The fourth wall is burned to the ground as a fight between to characters leads to an illustrated phone conversation about how the following pages should go down. What would have been a funny one off-panel, goes pages long, and even takes up a splash page before continuing the story. I find this writing team very funny and such a perfect fit for this story they’ve created. I just wish that the story would stay as the main focus and not be subject to any derailments to remind us of how funny they know that they are.

With all that out of the way, the story gets back on track and picks up speed towards the end of volume four. This remains one of my favorite comics, and I continue to binge-read it in volume formats. Nothing could ever persuade me to not keep my mission to get this into as many hands as possible.

Analysis from that one girl you met that time at that thing, but you can’t remember her name:

Hot damn, I love this comic!!! Once upon a time, L sent me my first two comics in the mail, and this was one of them. It started me on a delicious path of comic discovery and appreciation, and returning to this story always thrills me! The writing is clever and witty, and while it takes a few opportunities to display the over-inflated ego of Matt and Chip, I think it is well deserved; therefore, I’ll allow it.

I love the relationship between the leading characters. I get it. It’s odd and certainly not the norm, but they are charming and cute. Each new player added to the game is interesting and surprising. What I appreciate is that no character is simply added in a rush with no real depth. Each new character has their own style, traits, and vibe that is completely established and well displayed.

Typically, I base a comic on an 80/20 visual scale, and if I were to keep that same grading scale, I would still be giving it a 10. However, the writing is just as much of a star for me. I don’t mind some anime underskirt penis on one page and a food truck on the next, but luckily the writing keeps up, and they compliment each other so well. My only complaint is how seriously unattractive the mean chick that’s after them is. Like she looks just like a methhead woman that once tried to fight me at a gas pump. I get she’s the bad guy, but those are some severe cheekbones man.

Clearly, I’m a fan and love this crap. I’m biased, I’m sure by now, and they can do no wrong.

MattFraction and chip zdarsky

Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

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