Now I know that Rat Queens, Kurtis Wiebe and Roc Upchurch’s three-fortnightly comic about four young women who make money as mercenaries in an irreverently drawn formerly-bucolic fantasy city, is getting a lot of love lately.
I want to add to the love.
I love Rat Queens. The humor sings and the characters are awesome. The point where I was hooked was in the first panel of Issue #2 when Hannah (elf) and Violet (dwarf) are arguing about ethnic stereotypes. In a single panel, Upchurch and Wiebe simultaneously skewer old fantasy standards (like “Dwarven ale” and “elven eyes”) and the comic-book habit of having characters spouting a book of dialogue within a single frame of action (which is usually supposed to represent five to ten seconds), while in danger (“Uh… friends? Can we… stow the racial slurs for now? Giant troll just made man mash.”).
Oh and did I mention we have relatively realistically drawn women with a variety of body types, and Betty (the cute hobbit seen above) is a lesbian whose sexual orientation isn’t played for titillation?
The only drawback to the comic is that there are not a lot of women involved in its production. But this is partly an artifact of the general sexism of comics as a medium (which does, in fact, go above and beyond the sexism of the media in general, I’m sorry to say – but that’s a topic for another blog post).
In conclusion: Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery is out in TPB right now. It’s a fun read and well worth the ten bucks. Do yourself a favor, pick it up (plus issue #6, which is the first issue of the second storyline) and (sorry for the awful pun) have a bloody good time reading it.