YOU GUYS. RAT QUEENS. It’s a fantasy comic series (published by Image Comics) about four ladies-for-hire: an adorable tiny thief named Betty, the Viking-like warrior Violet, the foul-tempered elven mage Hannah, and human cleric Dee. The Rat Queens go off on these quests, which tend to include a lot of swearing, fighting, drugs, and sex. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE ABOUT THAT? The series starts off with them trying to find out who is sending assassins after all of the mercenary groups in their home town of Palisade.
Rat Queens is SO FUN. There is nothing like seeing a bunch of great women beating the shit out of trolls. There are personal back stories, assassins, complicated relationships, big plots against the citizens of Palisade – but amid all that is a group of friends who care about each other, and who remember to enjoy the little things like drinking all night, delicious food, and maybe doing some shrooms on the way to their next bout of ass-kicking. While all that stuff is wildly entertaining, I keep reading because I want to see the story lines develop – are Betty and Faeyri going to be become a steady thing? Why did Dee leave her home? What’s Violet’s beef with her brother? Are Hannah and the handsome Sawyer going to work through their issues?
This comic hits that perfect spot in which both the art AND the writing are fantastic. Roc Upchurch does an amazing job with the art – it’s clear and beautiful and the coloring… it’s all just fantastic. If my friends and I ever decided to have our gaming characters drawn out, I would desperately want Upchurch to be the one to do it. The writer, Kurtis Wiebe, has said that this series is like his love letter to D&D-style gaming and fantasy, and he definitely hit his mark there. And besides the delightful fantasy, adventuring aspect – it’s snarky! And full of wit. Humor is the easiest way to my heart. My favorite books (and comics, it turns out) are the ones that make me laugh. I hope this series never ends. I just want to hug it. But I won’t, because that would wrinkle the comics, but still.
Everyone should start reading Rat Queens so that we can chat about how awesome it is, okay? The first five issues are already out in one trade volume, so get on that. As for me, I am counting the days until issue # 8 comes out.
Sarah Says: 5 stars for an ongoing favorite