‘Big Hard Sex Criminals Volume 2:’ Advance Hardcover Review

Most comic book fans know of Sex Criminals by now, whether it be from reading the book, hearing about it from friends, or seeing the multiple and ridiculous social media posts form its creators, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. That being said, for those who aren't familiar, Sex Criminals is a comic book series about a young couple, Jon and Suzy, who have some very interesting abilities - namely, that when they have sex, they can stop time after they complete the act. Using this ability, they do what any decent human being with sex powers would do: rob banks. This conceit is the basis of what the story is about, though, it also turns out to be about so much more. The second volume of the series begins to take a turn with our sexy protagonists, as they've come to know that they are not the only people in the world with these kinds of powers. In fact, there are several, and some of them are not too happy with what Jon and Suzy are up to. A huge, ten-issue volume, things go from bad, to weird, to worse for our stalwart crew of morally ambiguous deviants.

This is a tough book to describe, especially since it's incredibly graphic and full of very mature content. To describe even some of the tamer things in this book would likely up the content rating in this review, which isn't ideal. So, let's stick to the things about this book that really shine and don't force me to use dirty words, starting with the overall narrative. This is probably the most beautifully told story featuring a plethora of crude humor that I've ever seen. Fraction and Zdarsky really find a way to blend humor, the ups and downs of relationships, and the utterly bizarre in a way that is a sight to behold. Jon and Suzy's relationship is one that is heartfelt, honest, and truly loving. It's easy to like them, hard to watch their struggles, and one of the best depictions of relationship, especially one where sexual exploration is a big part of the story.

Fraction is a fantastic writer, full of wit and humor, and combined with Chip Zdarsky, makes one whirlwind series. It's hard to tell how much of this series comes from each creator, but given that Fraction writes a significant amount of the dialogue, a lot can be said about the way this book flows and the spoken-word jokes inside it. There are several scenes when Fraction just writes what happens and asks the reader to picture it, a joke which somehow works every single time. There's a genuine love of this series that is in every word, as well as every panel drawn.

That brings us to Zdarsky. In my opinion, he is the funniest cartoonist in the industry. His social media notwithstanding, he draws a plethora of background jokes that legitimately made me laugh out loud a few times in each issue. His work is also full of heart and honesty . . . and a lot of genitals.

While this series is a tough book to describe due to the content, don't let the mature content scare you off. It's an incredible story and a hilarious read. While this shouldn't be your first foray into the series (Please read the first hardcover prior to this one.), this is absolutely a book that should be checked out. It's won Eisner Awards for a reason.

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