Over the past five issues Kurtis Wiebe and Roc Upchurch's Rat Queenshas quickly become one of my favorite comics on the stands. The story of four Dungeons & Dragons-style adventurers who claim to protect the town while actually being the biggest possible threat to the peace is hilarious, brutal and action-packed, and more often than not, it's all three at the same time.
The first story arc, Sass & Sorcery, wrapped up in the fifth issue last week, so to look back on one of the best debuts of the past year, I spoke to Wiebe about the influence of gaming on his storytelling, the character he relates to, and the almost unprintable original title.
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is this special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in the recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
On the surface, Image Comics' new series Rat Queens by Peter Panzerfaust writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and artist Roc Upchurch is a traditional, Dungeons and Dragons-style story. It's got a fighter, a mage, a cleric and a thief going into a cave to clear out some goblins. But there's something...different about it. It's got four female lead characters, for one thing. And kind of a punk attitude.
You can check out the first-issue cover, a Fiona Staples variant, and few (partially NSFW) preview pages from the new series, which debuts September 25, after the jump.
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