Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome (SFSX #6 Comic Review)

Written & Created by Tina Horn

Drawn and Colored by Jen Hickman

Cover Art by Tula Lotay

Lettered by Steve Wands

Edited & Designed by Laurenn McCubbin

Feeling safe isn’t the same as being safe…”

In This Issue: Things aren’t going well for the Dirty Mind crew.

Avory, George, and Casey are trapped in the storage room with Jones and her backup squad. When attempting to appeal to Jones’ sensitivity fails, Casey produces a smoke bomb, which buys them some time. In the haze, Casey and George manage to get the jump on a couple of the Pleasure Center guards, ironically incapacitating them with the very things they seek to destroy—sex toys and kink supplies. Jones is hunting Avory, trying to lure her out, but after Avory strategically dumps a barrel of lube, Jones only succeeds in shooting Avory in the foot. Unfortunately, Avory slips up in her own trap, as does George—who left Casey rigging up a giant metal cage once used for electricity fetishists to try to trap some more guards—when he attempts to come to her aid.

Sylvia, Nick, and Denis are stuck on the thirteenth floor with Dr. Powell, who is excited to have his “Patient Zero” back, and is torturing Denis through the device he implanted in them years before. The device controls both pain and pleasure, and Dr. Powell is applying both with abandon. When Sylvia attempts to come to Denis’ aid, she gets a bullet to the thigh for her troubles. Dr. Powell decides he needs a break, and sits down to lecture Nick for falling in with the wrong crowd. Powell claims to have designed his devices as a means to prevent young people from being ‘distracted’ by all the things The Dirty Mind stood for. Nick, sensing an opportunity, diverts Dr. Powell’s attention towards the grudge he bears toward Ms. Boreman, and appealing to his ego. Sylvia and Denis pick up on the plan, and while Sylvia feigns sympathy for Dr. Powell’s pain at having lost his own lover and wanting to prevent anyone else from experiencing what he has, Denis avails himself upon an unattended electrical device and takes Powell down.

With Dr. Powell down for the count, Nick finds a way to get Denis out of the building, and he and Sylvia go to try to help the others…

My Two Cents: This penultimate issue of SFSX is setting itself up for a showdown when the arc finishes next month. Jen Hickman drew and colored this issue, so one could argue that the art, having been conceived and completed by the same hand, is somehow truer—a whole thing rather than two halves. There were some issues with text this month. The lettering was bold-heavy, leading the eye of the reader to put emphasis in awkward places in the dialogue. This was present in Issue #1 but not #2-5, so it’s difficult to know exactly why it showed up again. With the Dirty Mind crew fighting for sexual freedom inside the Pleasure Center, and the rally outside run by people who are hellbent to strip away any actual pleasure from the act, the stage is set for a thrilling finale next month.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
I was a little thrown by the resurgence of the excessive bold text in this issue, especially since it seemed to have disappeared after the first issue. I know it sounds like such a little thing, but when your images tell more of the story than your words do, you need to be sure that those words are formatted in a way which doesn't mar the flow of the narrative. There were a few 'deus ex machina's in this issue—Powell falling for the 'villain monologues and allows prisoners to escape' trope, Sylvia falling for Jones' emotional 180, ***SPOILERS*** Nick effectively falling on his sword for the benefit of the group—which makes the book lose points for predictability, but the power behind the story still obtains.
Good
  • Extras within the book
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
Bad
  • Overuse of BOLD
  • Story is a bit predictable
8
Great
Art - 9
Story - 9
Writing - 8
Predictability - 6
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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