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Book Review

‘Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery’


bookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Julie Goodrich

Image Comics

April 8, 2014




Comic books are known to be a boy’s club. With few (but notable) exceptions, female characters not drawn as human beings but rather living dolls with little personality and even less clothing. Yet recently there has been enormous outrage in the comic community, from fans of all genders, highlighting this outdated and ridiculous disparity. It has vividly illustrated to the world at large that all those girls (this reviewer included) who’ve been waiting for real representation in the medium they’ve adored in secret for decades are no longer interested in waiting.

Enter the Rat Queens — Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. Mixing well-known fantasy tropes, modern humor and a penchant for gore, the writers have elevated the tired-old fantasy epic into a dazzling, hilarious and incredibly addictive story with the kind of characters you might to share a tankard of ale with but you probably couldn’t keep up.

And they just happen to be women who can kick some serious a**(butt?).  No cookie-cutter characters here; each woman jumps off the page with her own style, personality and look. Their femininity is clear without an obstacle or a bonus; it just is. The artist is clearly invested in each member of the team. From clothing to facial expression to movement, there is no mistaking one for the other. The overall feel of the comic is light, whimsical and sardonic — full of attitude, humor and just enough plot to keep the pages turning. It’s a call-back to the comics of old — unabashedly loud, pulpy, sarcastic and incredibly fun — just like the Rat Queens themselves. CV

Julie Goodrich is a collector of pretty words, geeky T-shirts and obsolete college degrees. She lives in Grimes with two weird cats and an obscene number of books. She recently earned a shiny new Master’s Degree in Library Science and is actively looking for a job; know of one? Call her!

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