I want to take a step back, think for a bit, and if you’re willing to overlook that title for a minute, then I want you to take a step back with me. Not too long ago, a bill regarding reproductive education was in the works here in the Philippines. It would have provided a more comprehensive approach towards sex, how it works, and how the youth can protect themselves while they are engaged in relations. This bill, however, didn’t completely pass because we’re a conservative country with some old school views on religion. For every Filipino kid whose have danced awkwardly around the subject of sex, I say pick up this comic if you want some answers.
The Comic: Not as dirty as you think
Now at first, I approached this comic with a bit of apprehension and doubt. From the title alone, my assumptions brought me to the conclusion that Sex Criminals was going to be soft core porn. I couldn’t have been more wrong about a comic in all my life. Sure, most of the themes in this very graphic novel are sexual in nature; there nudie scenes everywhere, but that doesn’t subtract anything from the core message of the comic. It’s just about two people finding each other, and despite their difficult pasts, falling in love in a very real way.
Oh, and it doesn’t end there either.
Approaching Awkward Themes as Gracefully as a Bull in a Sex Shop
Sex Criminals is also trying to start a conversation about the awkward teen years when you’re just learning about masturbation, how sex works, and how no one ever has a straight answer for you when you do ask. At its core, Sex Criminals is trying to address Sex in a personal and often funny way. One scene depicted Jon, the lead male character, not actually climaxing during his first sexual encounter.
Suzie is also a delight; Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky approach her coming (pun intended) of age in a realistic and none exploitative manner, and that’s rare when it comes to lead female protagonists. Oh, when both of these characters climax they freeze time, so that’s something to look forward to.
While the writing on its own is hilarious, heartwarming, and weird, the real gems are the so called Letter Daddies found on the last pages of the comic. Every month, folks send out hilarious anecdotes about porn in the woods, cleverly worded dick jokes, and surprisingly, a lot of people also try to discuss some very intimate issues they have about sex. Quite recently, the creators have also called upon the services of a professor who deals with sexual issues in real life. You might even learn a thing or two from the sex tips. I particularly found this piece of advice most helpful.
You know, I find a lot of important points that come up in SC. Past relationships, issues about promiscuity, orientation, and even mental health; Matt and Chip do a wonderful job of bringing these stories to light. I may paraphrase this a bit, but I think the words of Matt in one of the later issues sums up the conversation up pretty well. “Sex, like so many other things in life is a continuum of experience”.
It gets two big thumbs up from me; thumbs that go straight up the creators’ happy places.