Writer: Matt Fraction / Artist: Chip Zdarsky / Image Comics
Don’t talk to me about compelling storytelling unless you talking about Matt “Parts of a Whole” Fraction. Don’t talk to me about captivating art unless you talking about Chip “when I dip, you dip, we dip” Zdarsky. Unless we talking about this creative team, I’m not hearing it. Unless we talking about the Sex Criminals #17, I’m not hearing it. I’m. Not. Hearing. It. This issue was a warning shot to put all other titles, series, and creative teams on notice because this is how you story tell. This is how you get it in.
Fraction finally delves into Kegel Face’s background, aka Myrtle Spurge. We see that she is a very much a creature of habit so much so that she is even able to get an earlier start on her schedule before her alarm even goes off. Myrtle works as a police receptionist by day but her side hustle is being a self-appointed sex police officer. The reader gets to see how she goes about tracking down a perp or “Sex Criminal” then proceeding to make their life pretty much hell. Yo, the hilarity of this issue juxtaposed with such serious overtones was brilliant. We really get a sense of Myrtle’s personality, attitude, and focus as through this third person perspective ride along that we embark upon with her and her squad.
The dope game portion of this issue is not only the analytical look into Spurge’s day to day but her tailing of the latest sex criminal. She goes over his M.O. and we see this dude from his youth and how this fetish of his developed and the extremes he went to in order to get it. There’s so many bars in showcasing this dude’s “fetish” because you had no idea how it was going to manifest and the turn got real dark but goes for a turn with the reveal. Zdarsky was perfect in showcasing the tone of not this entire issue. This issue had all the jokes we’d expect, dipped in at just the right moments, but the serious stance and bravado of Myrtle really stood out here. As well as our new “sex criminal’s” squirrely soft-spoken personality. Zdarsky is so good at switching the moods either from panel to panel or scene to scene. It’s like watching a comedic actor murder a serious role [Michael Peña, Guillermo Díaz] or an actor with a serious tone and presence excel in comedy [Andre Braugher, Regina King].
I’m not even going to wrap this shit up in a bow telling you how good this book is as I usually do. Nah, you check my other reviews for that shit. Fraction and Zdarsky are givin’ you that art work right here. Take notes. All I’ma tell you to do right the fuck now is take notes. They not playing with y’all no more. This ain’t for play-play no more. Bars only. Bars only, fangirl/boy…. Bars only.
Reading Sex Criminals? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.