It’s been some time for me–almost two years, in fact–but, I’ve found a new love. Or four, I suppose.
Rat Queens is a comic series written by Kurtis J. Weibe and drawn by Roc Upchurch. It’s one of those comics that I sort of accidentally came across and fell into. I can’t even remember how I found it in the first place. Might have been some hapless wandering through whatever Amazon decided to recommend because of previous purchases and/or my wish list items. I prefer to conjure an image of a deity, grandiose and modge-podged from newspaper trimmings and American-style heavy ink. Beautiful and terrible. Much like the Rat Queens, themselves.
Here’s the deal, I’m not that familiar with D&D (I’m sorry, I’m not. Maybe someday, but somebody better invite me over and ply me with Dr. Pepper), which makes me feel like sort of a poser for enjoying this comic so much, as it is clearly influenced by the game and the culture. Of course, I comfort myself in knowing that the geek culture, at its heart, is about loving something no matter what and that I have a fair background and affection for Tolkien. Who, I’m sure, would be just pissed off for being the inspiration for anything like Rat Queens. Screw that, though. I mean, I love the guy, but screw that.
Then I remember the wonderful American Gothic, Lovecraftian edge and twist to this whole thing, and I feel gads better. Of course, not much can stop me from obsessing over something once I’ve fixated on it (watch out, Mr. Armitage).
Like I said above, it’s been a spell since I fell head-over-nerd in love with anything. The last thing was Witch Doctor, which I still love, but there doesn’t seem to be any news or definite plans for future issues. I’ve been a touch starved since Witch Doctor: Mal-Practice came out last year; Rat Queens has more than made up for the lack.
It’s also made up for the lack of female leads and teams (I’d like to call for a moment of silence for Birds of Prey, followed by years of boiling rage. Dammit, DC, I swear…) and is keeping up with the surging trend of new women characters that are acting as more than love-interests and fridge-fodder.
I’ll be keeping up with this series through its run and I would like to make my own little series of posts dedicated to it, discussing its potential use in the classroom, its point-lead in changing the position of women in the comic book and general geek community, and its multi-faceted embrace of positive representation (of gender, race, sexuality, etc.), and how it disassembles the tropes of Good and Evil in the fantasy genre set out by Tolkien and taken up by fantasy authors/creators since.
When I geek out about something, I geek out about it hard and I am taking everybody with me, so help me gods.