There are times in your life when you have to take a breath, pause, and reflect. For me, it's always been at a time of rising stress, when all the commitments and choices begin to pile up. Before you know it, you're left questioning how you ever came to this place.
In a lot of ways, that is how RAT QUEENS has been for me, from the beginning of the journey to where it stands now. I needed to stop, take a long hard look at the obvious, and admit to myself that I'd fallen out of love with the series.
I know the question on everyone's mind is about this new start. What does it mean?
That's the question I've been contemplating for a long time now, and Owen Gieni taking over art duties is the answer. When I looked back to the creation of RAT QUEENS, it was built on the love of adventure, that sort of tongue-in-cheek attitude about the fantasy genre and comedy. With the break, imagination has returned and I've rediscovered the voice of the series again.
I love RAT QUEENS. I am writing it because I absolutely want to. And to laugh out loud as Owen and I break story together, it's...well, it's all new and all familiar in the ways it needs to be.
Owen is a close friend of mine. We've been telling stories together for the past five years around a table through good old pen-and-paper RPGs. Our timing and shared sense of humour are perfectly realized in this new direction.
And what does this new beginning look like?
Monsters. Mayhem. Comedy. Adventure. Horror. Drama. And as always, more Gary.
I cannot wait for you to join us in March with the brand new arc, "Cat Kings and other Garys."
I fully realize how lucky I am.
An artist booking a job on a medieval fantasy comic is a dream scenario. Add in the comedy, the over-the-top violence, the magic, and the monsters, and we are talking the Holy Grail of gigs. The fact that the book is legitimately GOOD is almost like gilding the lily. Suffice it to say, I'm pretty damn happy to be working on RAT QUEENS.
The book has been so fun to work on. It feels to me like being part of an epic RPG campaign. Whether it's visualizing characters as pewter miniatures on a board or structuring Final Fantasy-esque boss battles, I get to indulge in all of that on this book. The fact that Kurtis and I are for-real, outside-of-the-industry friends who play these fantasy RPGs together fully informs this book. I can see it in the pages, too. That sometimes goofy and loose but still reverent and invested take on the fantasy genre that happens when Kurtis and I play tabletop RPGs—that is here fully in these issues of RAT QUEENS.
I also realize that it won't be easy. This book means so much to people. There are a lot of complexities with the tone, the characters' looks and body language, and the world they inhabit, and I ABSOLUTELY have to get it right. I've been a fan of the book since the very beginning. I feel really connected and protective of the book. I really want it to be a success and make the fans happy.
I'm gonna give it my everything. I want people to look at my RAT QUEENS pages and tangibly feel how much effort I'm putting in. To see the care, but also see the fun I'm having. Both are real.
RAT QUEENS #1 is available for order now and debuts 3/1.