As we’ve made quite clear in the past, the On Wednesdays ladies consider Rat Queens to be our sacred text. When Chuck the What’cha Reading editor monkey asked us to roundtable the upcoming issue we jumped at the chance. We spend so much time discussing our Queens generally that it’s good to have some of those conversations published for posterity’s sake. So we all got onto our roundtable thread on WhatsApp and started dissecting.
Nancy: WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ENDING RAT QUEENS?
Rosemary: I’m agitated over that cliffhanger
Nancy: Me too! So sudden! I kept looking for more pages lol. I did think the girls were in fine form, though! I really do appreciate that we’re delving into back story so much
Rosemary: I do, too. And Kurtis has kept solid consistency through the ups and downs, but he’s also gotten artists who get the characters and really keep consistency in the overall look and feel, while still putting their individual style on the book. It makes for rich visuals
Nancy: It does. And yes it still feels like the same book even through all the changes.
Rosemary: There’s a real respect for the book and its characters. And, by extension, the readers.
Nancy: Yes. In fact each artist has brought another dimension to the characters I think. Rather than just putting their own flourish on them.
Rosemary: Yes! And I’m so excited that Tess Fowler is on the book now because she did such a gorgeous job with Braga. Now we’ve got her!
Nancy: She brings so much to it because she loves the Rat Queens as much as we do.
Rosemary Kiladitis: And that’s so evident in the book.
Nancy: Yeah you can feel it in every panel. Were you discombobulated a bit in the beginning since so much of the set up didn’t involve any characters we knew?
Rosemary: Yes, I was a bit confused because they jump right into a story that’s established outside of the pages. I read it a couple of times to get my footing
Nancy: Yeah me too but once I got acclimated I was enthralled wondering what it had to do with our Queens.
Rosemary: Yes! As always, the dialog between the Queens is hilarious.
Rosemary: I love Betty so much. Don’t mess with her candy.
Nancy: Seriously! She may be adorable and cute, but she’s also vicious lol. I thought there was more openness about how much they love each other also, which I appreciated.
Rosemary: Yes. We’ve seen them party together, but there’s a real tenderness between them that we’re seeing. It’s nice to see female friendships depicted so honestly.
Nancy: Yeah it is.
Rosemary: Even though this is a fantasy comic, it’s such a great feeling to be able to read it and say, “Yeah. This is me, these are my friends.” You can identify with any one of them because they have issues we have all the time: man issues, parent issues, bitchy coworkers, people trying to kill you (hey, we all deal with the public on our jobs), it’s all there.
Nancy: Yup. They are the most realistic group of women friends I have ever encountered. There’s no artifice between them at all.
Rosemary: They have no time, no patience for that foolishness.
Julie: Sorry I’m late to the party, it’s been a night over here. Everything you guys have said. That was a long set-up, maybe a little too long for me, actually, but I was glad to get to the Queens.
Julie: Their relationship for me is the best part of this series, although I love the dark humor and will never eat another green candy as long as I live.
Rosemary: LMAO, I promise to always warn you away from the green ones.
Julie: Also, anyone notice Violet has one of Dave’s birds in her beard?
Julie: Loved that little touch.
Rosemary: *opening file*
Julie: At the pub, when she’s smoking her pipe (which btw, I look like a badass with a beard and pipe).
Rosemary: Well, crap, there it is. I love that.
Nancy: That’s awesome I totally missed it. And yes you do look badass with a pipe.
Rosemary: One infallible truth of the universe: All candy must be eaten.
Julie: It’s a fun little touch for our new artist to put in.
Nancy: It’s a great detail
Julie: This is a truth universally acknowledged. Screw that “single man in possession of a fortune must be in want of a wife” crap, it’s about the candy.
Rosemary: For reals. Doubly so if it’s Swedish Fish
Julie: No candy left behind! Except the green ones.
Rosemary: Green Skittles are pretty amazing, though.
Julie: Which really puts me in a bind because I love green apple skittles.
Julie: Now I want some.
Nancy: I want Swedish Fish dammit.
Julie: Going back to what you were saying about openness between them, I feel like we’ve seen them go through a “campaign” now and we’re getting to see how that’s affected them all.
Rosemary: good point.
Julie: When weird shit happens, it does bring you closer to your peeps.
Rosemary: trufax, and we can all attest to that.
Nancy: Hells yeah we can.
Frenchie: I FELL ASLEEP LAST NIGHT…MY APOLOGIES. I WILL CATCH UP NOW BUT WTAF AT THAT ENDING?!
Also, before I read everything that’s already been discussed, I have to say that I wasn’t connecting to this issue the way I usually do and I’m trying to put my finger on exactly why. The art DEFINITELY threw me off, that’s one thing.
Nancy: What were your issues with the art?
Frenchie: The features are more female superhero than I’m used to from RQ. So it’s like my brain has trouble recognizing the comic for what it is, if that makes sense? All my sensory issues acting up, lol. Also, and this is a tiny thing, but my hair…Dee’s hair! Did I get a tex-lax when I wasn’t looking?
Nancy: It was definitely less big and full of fewer secrets.
Frenchie: I need to store my magic somewhere! Idk if I’m in the minority here (CWIDT), but I actually loved the set up with the council and such. I wish the issue had been longer, but I always wish that. Yes, I love that we’re delving into the past and the RQ relationship. Their bar talk perfectly reflected female bonding without making it, idk, simpering? But my biggest boner came from all the political intrigue afoot and the allusion to a proposed dark age by the council.
Nancy: Once I got my bearings yes I agree I enjoyed that immensely as well.
Frenchie: Same with the bearings. Felt like another world for a bit but I guess that’s what it’s like when the RQs have “downtime”? It really took me ’til the end to be IN the story, yk? And then it ended on the cliffhanger where I was like, “really”?
Julie: Yes! A very long set up to get into this new arc.
There you have it. While some of us had issues settling in to the issue, we were all hooked by the end and then left wanting more. Which is always the sign of an excellent issue.
Rat Queens #11
Release Date: August 19, 2015
Writer: Kurtis Wiebe
Illustration: Tess Fowler
Colouring: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Ed Brisson