A toast to Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky! For achieving what no one anywhere ever even anticipated. For imagining an asexual character who possesses a similar ability to stop time. This issue begs more than a few explanations. Does this new character, Alix, move through the space of the “Quiet” differently than Suzie, Jon, Kegelface, and others? What is up with Carl Sagan’s uncomfortable innuendo? And why is Alix watching the original version of Cosmos instead of the reboot with Neil deGrasse Tyson? Does this mean the Sex Criminals universe is set in the past? Or maybe even an alternate timeline?
There’s nothing more satisfying than going back to a comic and finding the issue where everything just clicks into place. The concept, the characters, the story, and the art just start working perfectly in tandem. For Sex Criminals, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s funny book about love, sex, depression, weird tentacle cum monsters, endless background dick jokes, and making fun of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie that one time, it was definitelyissue #3. The issue is tagged with the subtitle “My Sexual Errors and Misfortunes 2001 – Present,” but it’s more commonly known as the issue where Suzie sings ‘Fat Bottomed Girls.’
Sex Criminals #12 truly runs the gamut tonally from the broad, crude, and occasionally laugh out loud comedy of Jon and Susie escaping from Douglas to an incredibly informative lecture about normality and abnormality framed in ideas about female sexuality from Professor Kincaid, a porn star turned college professor and ally of Jon and Susie’s against the Sex Cops.
Many comic stores around the world have various signings from top creators encompassing small, indie or mainstream. Christian Ward used to frequent the Nostalgia and Comics store in Birmingham, UK during his university days. Under the aegis of Image Comics, Christian’s career as an artist has been on the rise over the past few years. Having worked on The Infinite Vacation with Nick Spencer (Morning Glories), he resigned from his job as a teacher to not only draw but also co write alongside Matt Fraction on ODY-C.
Sex Criminals #11 brings something old, something new, and definitely won’t leave long time Brimpers with comic book blue balls. Chip Zdarsky continues to be the master of visual innuendo and also gets to show off his sensitive side in some intimate moments (Read: sex scenes.) between the main characters while Fraction’s dialogue continues to be filthy and insightful as ever. And stay after the letters page for a special post-credits scene. (Wait, I thought Matt Fraction was done writing for Marvel.)
Hawkeye #22 manages to be the action movie of the summer (thanks to David Aja’s layouts and Hollingsworth’s punchy colors) while also rounding off the series’ emotional arc. Prepare to cheer, laugh, cry, and fall in love with Clint and Kate all over again as Matt Fraction and (hopefully not) David Aja take their final bows in the Marvel Universe. Hawkeye is truly the gold standard for regular dude superheroes, and Hawkeye #22 brings this simple theme to an exciting, relatable conclusion.
The Odyssey is one of the oldest and best stories of Western civilization and has been adapted, retold, and expanded upon many times over the years in mediums as disparate as film (O Brother Where Art Thou), modernist novel (Ulysses), and even epic poem (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel). In Ody-C #1, Matt Fraction and Christian Ward move the wanderings of wily Odysseus to space while performing gender swaps on the majority of the characters. Odysseus is now Captain Odyssia, the leader of one of the only three ships to survive the war against the siegeworld Troia. Like any good adapter, Fraction keeps much of the core of the Odyssey, which is the fickleness of the gods, the difficulty of returning home, and Odyssia’s personal struggle between her yearning for adventure and settling peacefully for her family.