Sex Criminals: Volume 1 – Matt Fraction

Sex CriminalsGreat literature has always gravitated to universal themes such as life, death, love, etc. It has largely ignored masturbation. Sex Criminals taps into that undiscovered country.

This is an astonishingly original read that starts with a theme we can all recognise, gives us characters we truly care about and makes us laugh as it hooks us in. Everything plays out wonderfully.

There are so many original ideas at work here in everything from the narration to the background details. The fourth wall is broken in spectacular fashion but only in the most appropriate and impressive fashion imaginable.

It is a sophisticated read jumping about in time, not to confuse you, but to allow the characters to flourish and come alive dramatically and effectively. By reshuffling the order of events Fraction uses suspense, foreshadowing and dramatic reveals to maintain a constant and engaging pace so the whole work is so moreish.

The art is like Chris Ware but more Disney, more colour. It is that wonderful warm and human texture that makes you empathise and care for the characters almost instantly. Like Chew there are lots of details hidden in the background and you find yourself squinting to read the comedy video titles on the shelves. It uses digital tools to great effect to create the out of time moments that really contrast the hand coloured blocks of the main narrative. The art knows when depart from reality too, inserting an arrow, diagram or abstract background like a visual wink to the reader.

I don’t think I would change anything about this work. It is original in the extreme, artistic, emotional and addictive, but it might not be for everyone.

Double Thumbs Up!

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