NSFW: Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski’s “SEX.”

24 May

By Ayo

Sex, numbers. 1-3
By: Joe Casey & Piotr Kowalski
With: Brad Simpson
Featuring: Rus Wooton
Image Comics, 2013

The comic is audaciously called “Sex.” But it really is just one of those “retired superheroes in a quasi-noir genre” pieces. There’s nothing at all extraordinary about Casey and Kowalski’s “Sex” except for… there’s more sex scenes in it than an average noir comic.

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And the whimsical lettering. There’s colored highlights on seemingly random words in many (if not most) of the dialogue balloons. I suspected a code but really I just don’t get it.

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On the other side, the third issue of this series features two black characters having sex with each other which is something that you don’t see every day. First of all, black characters having a true sexual dimension in stories, and second of all, black characters’ sex lives not revolving entirely around white characters. Eyebrow-raising, to me.

Altogether, it’s a comic that is leaning on one hook to tell a different story than it implies. I don’t care about the quasi-noir life of the protagonist. This comic is called “Sex.” And I bought it. So obviously, who cares about the protagonist’s descent into the criminal world or whatever. Let’s be honest: I started skimming when I got to the third issue. For all that I know, this comic might not even be “bad.”

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There’s a huge sex party in one of the issues that made me think of the orgy house in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. That movie was exhaustingly boring to watch and the orgy was especially boring. Same with the orgy in Casey/Kowalski “Sex.” An orgy is supposed to be fun. FUN. Decadent, reckless, irresponsibly fun. This was just a bunch of blocky-shaped nude bodies wrapped around each other in the background. To compare to another comic, the issue of “Saga” (Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples) where a character goes to what I call “Planet Orgy” was much more fun. The little revelers in the background seemed to be having a pretty hilarious good time and it sold the idea of a brothel planet really well. It isn’t the concept that is weak, it’s the execution.

Speaking of executions, there’s a scene where a bad guy murders a prostitute while having sex with her. That’s how you know that he’s bad.

That shit bothers me.

Anyway.

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The title comes out monthly from Image Comics at $2.99 per issue. Not the best three bucks you’ll spend.

@darrylayo

One Response to “NSFW: Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski’s “SEX.””

  1. darrylayo May 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Also note: I fully intend to continue reading subsequent installments in this series. For the principle of it: I think that adult-oriented comics that focus on sex should exist in greater numbers. Even one such as this series which doesn’t take entirely enough chances represents some level of rebellion against our culture of sexual shame.

    But I’m doubling down on “gross” regarding violence against sex workers.

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