Last issue, Jon broke into Kegelface’s house, finding a file cabinet containing files on not only himself and Suzie, but of countless other people who can apparently also enter The Quiet. Oh, and dildos. He also found a whole lotta dildos. This issue, we open with Suzie explaining she and Jon are taking a break. Say it ain’t so! Is it good?
Sex Criminals #8 (Image Comics)
Jon’s behavior is too much for Suzie to handle at this point, and so are his numerous mental issues. Suzie explains this to us, naturally, in a gynecology examination chair, moments before dashing, sexy doctor Robert Rainbow (no, I didn’t make that name up, but I suppose when the surnames of your two protagonists are Dickson and Johnson, and “Sexual Gary” is a pervasive brand, names shouldn’t surprise me anymore) comes in to work with Suzie to find a solution to her birth control problem. Long story short, Robert’s a hunk, Suzie’s smitten, and she asks him out for coffee.
This sets the rest of the issue in motion, which ends up including some backstory for Robert Rainbow, catching up with Jon, and some revelations that’ll lead us into #9.
We also learn how birth control works, narrated by a stripping dude. Science!
This issue moves fast, with a lot of flashbacks that help you learn who Robert is, as well as connect emotionally with Jon. As someone who has dealt with depression in his life, a lot of Jon’s experiences and reactions to them were spot-on. Without knowing anything about his past, it’s easy to dismiss Jon as a lunatic or someone who just can’t handle the complexities of adult life, but, well…adult life is fucking hard and sometimes it sucks. Sometimes you just need to sit in a dark room and cry; sometimes you need to yell “shit on a dick!” in a crowded food court (okay, I don’t have any experience with the last one).
Matt Fraction continues to effortlessly write a complicated story with a lot of moving parts. The dialogue is like something out of a Kevin Smith movie: you know people don’t actually speak in such a witty, rapid-fire fashion, but it’s so perfectly crafted you don’t care. Actually, with the sage-like advice from an unlikely source near the end of this issue, you’d be hard pressed to distinguish this from a hypothetical draft of the script for Chasing Amy 2—and in my book, that’s a compliment. It’s irreverent, it’s bitingly sharp-witted, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to read.
Chip Zdarsky continues to present Fraction’s story in an incredibly charming package, nailing facial expressions and the weight of flashbacks with aplomb. Each new setting is chock full of puns, gags, and other hilarity, encouraging you to take in the scenery with each flip of the page. You’re so truly immersed in this insane unreality that you’ll never want to leave.
Is It Good?
Sex Criminals continues to hit it out of the park, impressing with another issue that’s all at once heart-wrenching yet hilarious, flippant yet suspenseful, and visually beautiful to boot. If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, all aboard the next train to Cumworld!
…Sorry. Had to.