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Rat Queens: The Baddest Version of Myself

Kat’s Music and Comics Corner (Issue #10)

The eccentrics. The outcasts. The weirdos. These are the kind of people I’ve always been drawn to in the world of art. From film characters like Wednesday Addams in the Addams Family to television show characters like Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds, these have been the most relatable characters, because they’re usually the ones who don’t quite seem to fit in but at the same time totally own it. These are not negative titles. These kinds of characters are far from unlikable, in fact, they’re completely lovable. They slash their way through your heart with sharp-wit, sarcasm, and sass and never say sorry for doing what they do best (unless they’re really in the wrong). These are the kind of women set as the cast of characters in Kurtis J. Wiebe’s and Roc Upchurch’s Rat Queens.

The story is chock full of elements of fantasy, and each of these totally “bad” (the best kind of bad) women are types that you could find in a Dungeons and Dragons game, but they’re ten thousand times better than anything that’s ever been imagined before. They slay in the realm of cool, fashion, bed, and literally slay dragons and other terrifying creatures. They’re the most irreverent, unapologetic babes that ever met the pages of comics.

Upchurch’s art punches you right in your gut and then waits for you to take a big gulp of air, then punches you again. His style is such a marvel to behold and it’s nice to see thick, meaty women instead of generalizing the female body as this one size fits all body shape. We are able to see curves and folds and the raw beauty of the female body that is mostly untapped. His work reminds me of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s work in Bitch Planet, in terms of diversity in the human body.

As for Wiebe’s writing, I found it really, really hard to put down Volume 1 of Rat Queens. Holy crap, these women are the kind of amazing, underdog, screwups that I aspire to be. Each has a unique voice and personality that makes up the band of misfits who are just so darn hard to not fall in love with. They’re definitely far from perfect, but that’s what makes them so bad. They’re the bad version of myself I’ve always wanted to be.

– Kathryn Fornier