This series is probably the weirdest ongoing thing I read by quite a large margin, but it’s so kindhearted and earnest and willing to take chances, I just very much want everyone to give it a go. I’m trying right now to get my book club to read the first volume, so we’ll see about that (I think some of them might read it with their hands over their mouths in a state of perma-shock, and the thought makes me giggle).
(I’m sorry, now I’m just picturing my one very proper friend getting to the panel with the Dildo Throne.)
This trade is basically the living embodiment of identity crisis.* I mean, it’s just an extended meditation on how finding out who you are isn’t enough, if enough people are constantly trying to tell you that who you are is wrong or monstrous, or abnormal. The first two volumes of this series were a celebration of sex as something that shouldn’t be hidden behind closed doors, as something natural and magical. This one goes further, and if doesn’t quite get to celebratory, it’s only because it’s not possible to do so and remain true to its subject. This comic’s thing (and it’s a thing I agree with) is that there is no “normal.” Normality is a myth, and a prevalent one, and when someone deviates at all from the perceived norm, a lot of harm can come from trying to squash the monstrous deviation and fit in.
*After writing this review, I read that Matt Fraction’s father died while he was writing this, and that’s partially the reason this one turned out the way it did. YMMV.
And that’s just the plot. Fraction and Zdarsky go all meta, as noted before, questioning their own premise. What to do about a series called “Sex Criminals” when your two main characters no longer wish to commit crimes?
This one has gotten mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. I liked the way they used their art to work through some stuff, instead of attempting to do the norm and possibly fail miserably, they did something new that felt right, and I think it worked.
And now once again, I wait.