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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rat Queen Dee

Dee in conversation with her mother
I'm in the market for new comics-- but let's note that to me, all comics are basically new. I have read and loved Maus 1 and 2 by Art Spiegelman and Alan Moore's Top 10 series, but that's pretty much it. In thinking about what to start reading I came across some review or another for Rat Queens, maybe this one on The Mary Sue. It sounded like what I was looking for-- a good story, amazing art, plenty of humor, and female main characters.

Then I read that one of the characters is an atheist cleric, and I was sold.

An atheist cleric? Yep. Dee is the daughter of two adherents of the blood-drinking squid god N'rygoth. She rejected the faith of her parents and set out on her own to join an all-female band of adventurers called the Rat Queens (all of whom seem to be rejects of some form or another), in which she functions as a magic-user, primarily a healer, apparently drawing on divine magic even though she doesn't believe in any gods. When Betty, the smidgen (think halfling) thief asks how this is possible, Dee explains "I'm goddess enough." No, I don't know exactly what that means either.

That's in the first volume of Rat Queens, which is the only one currently-- the next one should be out in December. And let me stress that the entire thing so far is awesome. Everybody has a backstory, and of course the first volume contains a lot of exposition about those stories. Dee is but one member of a group of talented, badass, sarcastic women of various races who exist in a D&D style fantasy world and spend a good amount of their time making fun of it. But there are some very serious moments too, and they are sharpened by the levity with which they're contrasted.

The story is by Kurtis J. Wiebe and art by Roc Upchurch. They've done an amazing job, and I want everyone to see it. Definitely recommended.

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