Two reviews in one day? The reward for getting all 3 kids to bed by myself before 10 pm!
The second book I dove into from this week's haul was SFSX (Safe Sex #1) from Image Comix written by Tina Horn with art by Michael Dowling.
This was a real judge a book by the cover add to my pull list for me, but something about two either feminine or fluid individuals kissing but being pulled apart by riot cops intrigued me.
The book starts with a massive sex party/orgy/celebration of all things kink at a club called "The Dirty Mind" on sex worker appreciation night. The protagonist (Simona) speaks about how embracing elements of her sexual desire was truly liberating to her, but during her post-orgasmic bliss, the dirty mind is raided by government forces (the Party) citing how the perversion of this space is leading to moral decay. Simona and her significant other (George) have to flee the cops, and return to their San Francisco residence.
Fast forward a few years into the future and you find that sex is a highly regulated practice by the government, and the Dirty Mind has been turned into a government hub known as the "Pleasure Center." The pleasure center is where they track "purity" scores of everyone and the goal is to have a high score (like a sexy credit rating). To raise your purity score, it appears you have to have vanilla sex with your spouse, and then file your paperwork.
The next day, as George he heads to work at the Pleasure Center runs into the woman in charge of this neo-purity movement, and he makes it to a floor where he is not authorized to be, and then is disappeared. Cut to Simona attempting to file her paperwork (I think) while we hear propaganda stating how the purity movement and monitored sex has created productive feminism, which has decreased violence etc. This made me think of Lysistrata, but the exact opposite. Instead of withholding sex to stop war, apparently this monitored sex created a peace. However, when Simona returns home, she finds that George has been arrested, and they find unapproved kink in the home and attempt to arrest Simona as well. In showing how her prowess as a sex worker helped free her from the police and a very gratuitous shot to the eye with a heel (in a very Single White Female sort of way), we find that Simona flees to find her old friends from the "Dirty Mind" which has gone further underground, and may be preparing to challenge "the Party."
This was an interesting read, which as you can note, pulled me into a couple of interesting literary and film references. The artwork in this book is interesting, all of the sex acts have a lifelike grit to them, however after the arrest and storming of the dirty mind there is a whitewashed/sanitized feel to it, which I think is the point. The other thing that was nice while reading the book, was the paper quality. This is the first book I've read in months that I didn't feel like I was going to accidentally rip the cover or the page.
I can't wait until the end of October to see what exactly George spotted in the pleasure center, and more importantly if Simona will be reintegrated with her old band of trans/nonbinary/genderqueer pals from her past. If you are looking for a unique read, pick this one up!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...