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Cringing Not Necessary
April 17, 2014 9:54 AM   Subscribe

Wired on how Matt Fraction's Sex Criminals manages to be a comic book, about sex, that isn't completely awful.
posted by Ipsifendus (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's a neat comic and glad it gets some more mainstream attention, but Fraction's awfully obsessed with making out it's the first mature sex comic ever.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:15 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Hm.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 10:26 AM on April 17


Short answer: Liberal brimping.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:47 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


“I don’t know if you know this,” says comic book writer Matt Fraction, sitting in a largely empty sandwich shop in Portland, “but lady orgasms are totally nuts.”

Curious choice of words, that.
posted by chavenet at 10:54 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I'm sort of a sucker for media that doesn't take itself seriously while still taking the subject completely seriously and Sex Criminals is exactly this thing. And also sex. And also hilarious.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:55 AM on April 17


It's a neat comic and glad it gets some more mainstream attention, but Fraction's awfully obsessed with making out it's the first mature sex comic ever.

Fraction's written a lot of neat comics, but he seems to spend a lot of time directly telling the reader that he has the right opinions and likes the right pop culture rather than letting his work do its work. The page with the cutesy "right issues" talk about the Queen song pasted over the dialogue balloons is a great example of the elements of his work that grate on me a bit.

I get the feeling that he's going to write some truly great comics once he stops trying so hard to be a great writer.
posted by kewb at 10:56 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


It's gotten to the point where I know I'm not going to read this because it's written by a dude, and I'm getting really tired of spending my time on what dudes think empowering female sexuality should look like.

And no, I'm not saying it's impossible for women and men to write stories from another gender's perspective, sexually-focused or not. I'm just basically out of patience for this particular variant. Like enough already. How about we hire some more women to write comics with women protagonists about women's sex lives.

Particularly given the parade of horrors the comics community has rolled out this past year with regards to how it treats women as a whole -- women characters, women creators and women audience members alike.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:04 AM on April 17 [20 favorites]


How about we hire some more women to write comics with women protagonists about women's sex lives.

Well, a certain high-profile women-only sex comic anthology has raised over a hundred grand in two weeks, so apparently the universe agrees with you and has taken your suggestion.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:31 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


This is probably me just being whatever, but that interview had a slight reek of mansplaining to it. (Presumably women already know their orgasms are "totally nuts"--which is a really weird way of phrasing it.)

I'll stick with Oglaf, which at least is authored by a woman and a man who, as far as I can tell, don't take themselves or their subject too seriously. Plus, you know, fukkin dwarves.
posted by maxwelton at 11:35 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Sokka shot first, were you talking about this anthology?
posted by coolname at 11:41 AM on April 17


He's talking about Smut Peddler, I think. (Ongoing KS, so I won't link to it here)

Well, a certain high-profile women-only sex comic anthology has raised over a hundred grand in two weeks, so apparently the universe agrees with you and has taken your suggestion.

Technically Smut Peddler isn't women-only -- there are at least a couple men working on this volume, and I think a few folks who identify as non-binary -- but! Pedantry aside, point taken.

But it's worth noting that it's an anthology being put out by a very small press -- Iron Circus -- in part because more mainstream outlets aren't generally interested in this sort of thing.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:43 AM on April 17


I think they're talking about this one. FAQ makes it sound like a pretty cool project.

It's already hit the funding goal on KS and my understanding is that the excess profits will go back to paying the artists, over and above the page rate that they were originally promised. I don't know if there's a plan to sell it via normal channels once the Kickstarter thing is over and done with, like Cards Against Humanity or Machine of Death (I think?) both did after their Kickstarter openings. But it seems like it could be pretty good for the people involved.

I heard about it via Danielle Corsetto's Girls With Slingshots, which is a pretty awesome woman-drawn webcomic that isn't about sex per se, but occasionally gets pretty blue and does so effectively.

On preview, Narrative Priorities beat me to the punch re Smut Peddler. Oh, well.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:01 PM on April 17


Spike's been tweeting occasional pictures of the previous edition at bookstores, and there's a scratch-and-dent version at Iron Circus's store, so I'd assume Smut Peddler 2 will also be available for sale, eventually.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:21 PM on April 17


It's gotten to the point where I know I'm not going to read this because it's written by a dude, and I'm getting really tired of spending my time on what dudes think empowering female sexuality should look like.

I am so glad another woman feels this way about this comic because I was really beginning to feel like I was the only one. I don't need a couple of men explaining my sexuality to me.

I worry this is going to turn into one of those "I bet your girlfriend will totally love this!" comics. I'm not telling other women not to like this comic -- I know of plenty who do -- but I'm just tired of the expectation that I'm "supposed" to. Well-intentioned or not, the whole thing puts me off.
posted by darksong at 12:23 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Just fyi - I'm pretty sure the ongoing kickstarter ban is for front page posts, there's no rule against talking about them in comments.
posted by Think_Long at 1:19 PM on April 17


Sigh. A comic gives roughly equal facetime to a hetero couple and suddenly it's all about female sexuality when discussed. because clearly hetero male sexuality is the normal one.
posted by Zalzidrax at 1:24 PM on April 17


MartinWisse nailed it in one. Fraction has done excellent work with Hawkeye, and maybe he's comparing this to the treatment of sexuality in mainstream comics and/or Joe Casey's Sex, which from what I've seen of it (on scans_daily) seems pretty awful. And what I've seen of Sex Criminals on s_d also seems better than the similar premise of Nicholson Baker's The Fermata, which came off as just creepy. But it's not run-out-and-get-it-ASAP good.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:28 PM on April 17


Although you've got to admit that the paraphrase of "Everyday Is Like Sunday" is pretty funny. (I mean, I like that song.)
posted by Frowner at 4:52 PM on April 17


Well, FWIW, I liked it, by and large. OTOH, I have yet to read a book/series I don't have issues with at some point.

And, ummm, Mr. Fraction's favorite topic seems to be Mr. Fraction. As in how edgy, cool, and hip he is.
posted by Samizdata at 7:46 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


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