Teamed with the even funnier (Sorry, Matt.) Chip Zdarsky, this book is such a joy to read. Filled with ridiculous jokes, visual gags, and a story that is as mind-blowing as it is endearing, Sex Criminals is a beautiful and romantic story wrapped around a series of juvenile jokes. While usually a recipe for disaster, it's those qualities that make this book so special.
This volume focuses on Jon and Suzie, our protagonists, as they continue to deal with a woman they dub “Kegelface” (for some off-color reasons) and attempt to work through a rough patch in their relationship. With Suzie looking to make a further commitment, Jon is still struggling, and that is further complicated by the fact that they've found out recently that they're not the only ones with their special abilities.
Without revealing too much, these additional people all harness very unique powers, all based around their various sexual predilections. This leads to some weird stuff, frankly, and while there are so many things to love, it's also a lot to take in. It's clear that both creators are treating these situations with all the care and respect that they can while still making crass jokes, but it's a bit overwhelming, even for those who aren't made easily uncomfortable.
Here's the deal, though: This book is amazing, and Zdarsky and Fraction are geniuses. While full of heart, this book is so laugh-out-loud funny that there were a few instances that I had to stop reading to catch my breath. The plot itself is hilarious, but I think the true test of this book's comedy is the visual gags and the bonus content. I won't say too much, because they are much better viewed than read, but these two have so much fun with this series that it's hard not to love everything they do. Okay, I have to give one example. There's a recurring location that is one of the best visual jokes to ever exist, in my opinion: a mall, which is called Mall Rudd, the mall nobody hates. It's silly, unexpected, and absolutely gut-busting.
Fraction, somehow, has been more of the normalizing force that keeps this from getting too out of hand. His ability to craft stories is unmatched, as shown so many times in his part of the work. He's by no means normal, nor any better in the maturity department than his partner, but even so, he feels a bit less unhinged than Zdarsky, who could very well be the most dynamic comedic artist in comics. From his social media to this book, he's constantly telling jokes, drawing in silly one-off bits, and has a sharp wit that - combined with Fraction's - is so tough not to love. Elizabeth Breitweiser makes an incredible contribution as well, using her industry beloved skills at being a colorist and applying it to two dudes making dumb jokes, all while looking like a professional who is one of the best in the business at her craft.
While this collection doesn't exactly end on the happiest of notes, there is so much to make you happy that it might be overwhelming. It's sophomoric humor, but it's wonderful. While not for the young, any adult with an open mind and a bit of a naughty streak should absolutely love this book.
Also, stay for the additional content. The couple of pages at the back are worth the cover price alone. This book is so brilliant, so funny, and so gorgeous visually. Zdarsky and Fraction are creating something beautiful here. Beautiful and dirty. So very, very dirty.