I get that this collection by Chip Zdarsky & Matt Fraction Sex Criminals Vol 1: One Weird Trick is supposed to be a “bawdy sex comedy.” Still. . . isn’t most comedy a hair-trigger away from tragedy? Built upon sad truths?
The premise here is that librarian Suzie stops time when she has an orgasm. This puzzles the young girl the first time it happens as a teen in the bathtub. She searches for information on what in the hell is going on, but comes up empty. As an adult, she hooks up with Jon at a party and discovers that he ALSO has time-stopping orgasms. What a happy hook-up, right?
I mean can you even imagine? In my head I’d think finding someone else like me after feeling so alone most of my life would be this life-altering, wholly emotional experience.
Instead, it’s mostly played out as a fun coincidence, like when you meet someone who shares your birthday.
The duo continue to hook up and slowly build a relationship, until one day they decide to use their powers for good & evil. Suzie is a librarian and her small library is about to be foreclosed on by the big, evil bank Jon works for as an assistant.
See where this is going? Time-stopping orgasms always leads to bank robbing. It feels kind of obvious.
Things seem to go really well until the glowing, white-clad sex police show up. So there’s that. The volume pretty much ends when the police show up, so most of it is premise setting, which is why I want to cut it a little slack. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the storytelling groove and the premise is clever enough for me to be curious where they take it.
Mostly, I’m hoping they raise the emotional stakes in Volume 2. Right now it’s all very shallow. There doesn’t seem to be any danger, physical or emotional, for Jon or Suzie. Things go really well for them, everything is easy and there are no complications. I want things to get fraught. I need more than the sexy premise to pull me through this series. Plus, the art feels a little smeary, like the characters’ features aren’t quite fully-developed yet.
Right now the Volume feels a little one-note, haha orgasms! I hope it can grow beyond this junior high locker-room way it treats its material and develop a more mature storyline.