For the first time in three years, I am ashamed to be an Apple user. While I love my iMac, Mac Air, iPad, Apple TV and the iTunes experience (the inception point for the Apple device switch from Windows), I am beyond livid on the Good Taste Gestapo’s choice to omit SEX CRIMINALS from the purchase lineup.
Sure, if one just looked at the title, you would expect a tour of the pedo bear picnic, or the secret diary of Rapey McRaperson. Thank goodness Fraction and Zdarsky put pictures, words and other details inside this book like a plot that has nothing to do with our traditional definition of sex crimes after the cover.
If someone on the modern-day Warren commission decided to take a look inside in the book what they would find is one of the most honest and touching explorations of human sexuality slathered with the trappings of great sci fi, mystery and adventure. SEX CRIMINALS is an honest and engaging delight that can titillate traditional comic fans while bringing in a slew of new readers (i.e. women) if people simply get past the puritanical prickly sensation we get from the association of the words sex and criminal.
I didn’t know what to make of issue 1. Here I was, reading about a young woman describing the sexual awakening of her even younger self. Young men hold the female species at arm’s length because we find them to be so very different from us. Society doesn’t help in this regard, teaching women repression while teaching men reckless abandon with our naughty bits. Fraction dispels the rumor that female desire doesn’t exist, but does regale the truism that women are far more reserved when it comes to discussing the most holy of holes. I laughed as our protagonist Suzy fumbled through first crushes, first touches and first blushes. I was then flabbergasted when Fraction made the climax of these explorations her super power. When Suzy cums, the rest of the world stops. There was a movie back in 1980 starring Pam Dawber and Robert Hays called “The Girl, The Gold Watch & Everything,” where Hays stops time to do bawdy nonsense like Scott Baio did in “Zapped.” SEX CRIMINALS is the reality of this power, but also packs in true and not just insipid humor. As Suzy tries to learn about sex from friends, and thinks her experience is normal, we realize just how alone she actually is in the world. That’s when the laughter stops and the heart of this title kicks into full gear.
Then Suzy met Jon, a man suffering from the same “affliction.” Issue 2 explored Jon’s experience with this wonderful gift. Here is where we see how men and women process puberty differently. Suzy was amazed by this time-stopped world, imbibing the color and sound, simply content to just be inside in her rapture of what she dubbed The Quiet. Jon called it Cumworld and used it as an excuse to get his hands on as much porn as possible at the local smut shop.
The story is not told in the same linear fashion as my synopsis. All of the exploration and our two protagonists falling in love only happens after a scene in the present, when the two enter a bank bathroom, get their freak on, and then decide to make Cumworld their personal ATM. Issue 3 reveals, though, that these two are Robin Hoods, not robber barons. They are trying to get together enough scratch to save the library Suzy works at. Jon is also using this as an excuse for a little comeuppance against this institution that has made his workday a living hell for so many years.
Issue 3 reveals more about Suzy and Jon’s relationship while unveiling the impetus for the plan we’ve been watching in action for the past two issues. The big reveal, though, is that Cumworld is not Blue Lagoon; there are others on the island that are more organized, brutal and really pissed off that Cumworld has multiple denizens.
I guess if I was a complete moron who believed society is comprised of other morons who need to be told what to do I could rationalize Apple’s decision not to carry this book. After all, if you just look at the title and read the first page of issue #1 this is pretty salacious stuff. Sure, SEX CRIMINALS is not as salacious as the thousands of movies that simulate fucking available on iTunes, not as salacious as the millions of pages of porn one can access from their Safari browser, and not as salacious as the Blu-Ray cum bonanza one can upload to iCloud, but it still pretty risqué for a comic. Oh wait, I’m sorry – I forgot about books like CROSSED or anything written by Alan Moore ever that can be easily accessed via Apple digital. Never mind–Apple is simply kowtowing to public frenzy versus making an informed decision.
As a staunch libertarian I find all censorship deplorable, but as a man entering my parenting years I understand how digital items can be easily accessed by children. I ask Apple, though, to focus on areas where kids are actually playing in the digital playground. As I watch my godson look for Minecraft videos and receive a plethora of suggested Minecum videos, I wonder if we should be looking at other places in the Wild West of the World Wide Web that kids are actually inhabiting, instead of places primarily occupied by the middle-aged. Look to places where smut is free with no gatekeepers versus areas that require purchase passwords, and parents should be policing to begin with. I ask them to look, truly look, before they leap with the banhammer ready to strike.