SFSX #1 (SAFE SEX) Review - It's 1984 But With Sex-Workers
Updated: May 1
• Tina Horn (Writer) • Michael Dowling (Pencils-Colors)
During the weekly zombie walk about my local comic shop, I stumbled across SFSX. I flipped through it, clutched my pearls and added it to my stack. After reading the issue I immediately called up my guy and added the rest of the series to my pull list. I was totally sold by the comics narrative and needed more.
I've caught heat for years for being a conservative. Although I'm right-leaning when it comes to fiscal and security issues I've maintained a progressive streak when it comes to social issues and commentary.
SFSX is a progressive story I can get behind, no pun intended. The comic is wild as hell and just may be the most explicit comic book I've ever read. The basic premise of the series is that a conservative feminist political group has taken over America and has clamped down on civil liberties in relation to sexual expression.
The comic premise may sound goofy and radical until you scroll through certain circles of social media and see free speech advocates and sex workers attacked daily for their lifestyle choices. The conversation is almost always related to morality, but when you drill down the commentary amounts to censorship and social fascism.
I thought that the premise presented in this story was fascinating and ironically reminded me of Mirka Andolfo's Unnatural. That series also had a fascistic government controlling the reproduction of the populace.
The lead character, Avory gets away from the lifestyle after a raid shuts down the establishment she works out of. She gets married to avoid scrutiny and comply with government regulations. Conformity and employment become an issue as she is unable to explain gaps in employment related to her time as a sex-worker. I've dated and linked up with a few sex-workers in the past and Avory's concerns are very real and relatable if know anyone that dabbles in the profession.
The linework for the issue isn't big or bombastic but Michael Dowling does a great job in establishing the mood and general atmosphere of the series. He's also great at drawing anatomy and action, pun intended. I wasn't expecting an action setpiece but we get one out of nowhere and it's great.
By the end of SFSX #1, I was thoroughly engrossed in the story and excited for the series direction. Only in indie comics can you get concepts that are executed this well. Tina Horn swings for the fences and scores a home run. SFSX is excellent.