I am so many months late. I’m so sorry.
A lot has happened recently that have to do with the things I am interested in and the specific things I am an absolute fangirl over. Let’s talk about Rat Queens some more.
Some months ago, Roc Upchurch, the artist and co-creator of the comic, was arrested for domestic violence against his ex-wife, which is awful and really put some worry into the fandom as to what was going to happen with the series. Well, Kurtis released this statement, essentially saying that both he and Upchurch have chosen to part ways for the sake of the comic.
As it was happening, I knew (I knew it, I tell you!) that something like this would occur, knowing nothing of Kurtis’ past. Not going into a rant about the greater control of the writer in such a paradigm, this outcome would be necessary in order to keep the trust of the readership. Rat Queens is a feminist comic the way women are people; it just is.
Rat Queen‘s fandom is growing, but is still a rather obscure text, despite getting more issues and even a television series. If what Upchurch did was brushed off (as something that often happens), the sense of betrayal would be thick and the series would sink. Kurtis’ constant stance as a writer and feminist (or feminist ally, whatever your preferred nomenclature might be) was not surprising.
However, what I found a little more than peculiar was some of the backlash Kurtis and Image received for the decision. I suppose I can’t be surprised at the online reactions (the interwebz is loaded with misogynists and the like), but that my local shop (the owner, more specifically) seemed, let’s say, hesitent in their approval of how the situation turned out. I didn’t press the issue, instead merely expressing my opinion on it. It’s great that Image and Kurtis (more Kurtis, though) stood up for the principle of being against domestic violence and, more profoundly, being a man standing up as a positive feminist and feminist ally. Instead of going the route, that oh-so-many folks take, that “real men”(see the “No True Scotsman” fallacy) don’t abuse their significant others and most certainly would never, ever hit a girl. Kurtis did the appropriate thing in that he implicitly own that there are men who do abuse their partners, thus taking ownership of the problem in order to correct it.
That and Kurtis’ above statement are reason enough for many people to push Rat Queens to the top of their “must read” list and to even stalk him on tumblr.
But, if there more incentive is necessary, the new artist is Stjepan Sejic (twitter, tumblr, deviantart), who has his own series among his other works called Sunstone (which I would like to dedicate some time to in the future).
His art is lovely and he works very fast, making him ideal for the job as all this malarky happened in the middle of the second arc. His style is very distinctive, but each character’s personality shows through his work (which many of the comic industry’s regulars can’t seem to manage. Holy geez, do I have a mega rant about FanX. Later.), thus amplifying their sexiness, quirkiness, and flaws. You know, like women are people even in sequential art.
Thing is, really, I will miss Roc Upchurch. His art is fantastic and was one of the reasons that drew me to the comic. But, I love the Rat Queens more and what they mean to women and women in comics.