This book. This [bleep]ing book.
Each of us has one: that one book that you’ll fight to get into the hands of readers who are so sure it’s not for them because of the genre or the title or whatever. For me, this year, this is that book. I’ve read a lot of big, important literary novels this year and can objectively say that they were very good. Not one of them, however, has lingered with me like Sex Criminals has or has given me all the feels in quite the same way. It’s not the first graphic work to make the shortlist (Joe Sacco’s The Great War was even a winner last year [Editor’s note: Graphic novel Habibi was a winner in 2012 as well]), but this is the first time, to my knowledge, that we’ve chosen a book that flat-out looks like a comic book, and I’m hopeful that it won’t be the last.
So, what’s it about? Well, on its surface it’s about two people who have the ability to stop time when they orgasm and decide to use this power to rob a bank and save a library. But, at its heart, it’s about feeling different and being lucky enough to find that one person in the whole world who just gets you and all your weirdness (and no matter how normal you are, you have weirdness). It’s about love and lust and libraries and it’s just awesome and you should read it right now rather than wasting your time reading my inadequate praise.
There’s a lot of great work being done in the traditional comics format by writers and artists right here in the Pacific Northwest, telling all different kinds of stories, and I hope to see more such work nominated in the future. And, more than that, I hope that seeing this title on the short list will encourage more of you to put aside your preconceived notions of what a comic book is and give it a try.
Go. Now. Read it. Please.
–Billie Bloebaum, bookseller at A Children’s Place, Portland, OR, Chair of the PNBA Award Committee
Members of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award Committee are sharing what they loved about the 2015 shortlist on nwbooklovers.org. For 2015 PNBA Award coverage, click here.