Interview with Kurtis J Wiebe writer of RAT QUEENS
1) features a mostly female leading cast and
2) manages to let those leading women be feisty and foul mouthed without simply being “dudes with boobs” or flattened out into one dimensional “bitch stereotypes”.
I’m pleased to introduce you to Kurtis J Wiebe, who brings us the fun fantasy romp that everybody has been talking about.
LG: First off introduce yourself!
KW: I’m Kurtis Wiebe. I write comics and hate myself during the week. Shower on the weekends.
LG: What was the genesis of Rat Queens?
KW: I think it really comes from a place where I wanted to do whatever the fuck I wanted. For years I’d always struggled with the idea that eventually my parents might read some of my offensive books and, for whatever reason, it held me back a little. When Rat Queens started to come together, Roc and I endlessly talked about the tone. Was it going to be aimed at a teenage audience, which was actually the original idea, or was it going to be as hard R as we could make it?
As I started scripting, the tone chose itself and we never looked back. I can cuss, kill and sex the hell out of this book. Merry fucking Christmas.
As far as Roc and I teaming up, we met at NYCC in 2011 and I saw his work in Vescell and knew that as soon as that book ended, I would be there to claim his soul. We stayed in touch and, true to my word, I snatched him up when he was open for new work.
LG: In a time when we are constantly being told “female led comics don’t sell” you all come out with a bad ass female team that seems to be universally loved– Were you worried about the “girl problem” when you launched Rat Queens?
KW: Girl problem? You know, I firmly believe that the problem is solely on the
shoulders of comic writers trying to write badass women. Basically, all they’re doing is taking the macho male trope and adding lady parts and, just to really make it ‘badass’ create a personality that is cold and bitchy.
Who wants to read that? That’s the problem.
I’m not saying I’m reinventing the wheel with Rat Queens. All I’m doing is writing characters. Creating make-believe characters that believe in something. That love things. That hate things. That fear things. You know, emotions and
desires that every human on earth wants or can relate to. Male or female.
Make characters with compelling depth. The rest will sort itself out.
KW: It’s this idea that came to me when I started getting a stack of emails for the Queen’s Court letters column we do in the back of each issue. The response to the series was so fucking awesome, the way people connected to the series was such a highlight. I could sense this community growing, not just through email but through Tumblr.
I knew I wanted to be part of it, in whatever way I could be. Rat Queens Social Club was born.
Basically, the weekend before an issue comes out (generally on a Saturday) we set up a TinyChat room and Roc and I set up the video and people can type their questions. Sometimes others do up their video and show off their cosplay. It’s a stack of fun.
Starting in May, we’re moving onto our second arc called “The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth”. A lot of people have been asking to know more about Dee, and with Issue #5 we are opening up her past and the next arc deals with her connection to the Cult of N’Rygoth. We’re also dropping a huge bomb at the end of issue #5 that deals with something we’ve been hinting at the entire first arc.
Longer than that? Roc and I have 4 arcs (20 issues) in mind and are saving some characters to play with later. Characters that have already made some pretty candid appearances.
More swearing. More blood. More sex. More drugs and alcohol.