After The Wicked and The Divine won three Eisner Award nominations, the books were optioned by Universal Television, with Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Milkfed Criminal Masterminds production company. Production is expected to start in 2018.
Valiant is working on creating their own cinematic universe, starting with Harbinger and Bloodshot, their sequels and, eventually, a group of crossover films featuring all of their properties.
Due to the popularity of Lumberjanes and the critical acclaim it received, 20th Century Fox has already optioned the comic book, with Will Widger (The Munchkin) attached to the script. Fox also is apparently trying to recruit a female director before moving forward with casting.
Terry Moore and filmmaker Angela Robinson are partnering to adapt the Strangers In Paradise graphic novel into film. Described as a “sexy, stylish crime story with tons of heart,” production is expected to begin in 2018.
An animated series is currently in the works for the women of Rat Queens with Wiebe attached as its writer.
Did any of The Beatles meet any of Queen? I know Brian May loves George and Freddie Mercury looked up to John
“I would never like to put myself on any sort of parallel with John Lennon at all because he was just the greatest as far as I’m concerned. […] It’s not a matter of less talent or more talent, it’s just that certain people are more capable of doing certain things better than somebody else, and I just feel that I’m not equipped to do certain things that John Lennon did, and I don’t think that anybody should, because John Lennon was unique and a one off, and that’s how it is. I admire John Lennon very much.”
[Freddie Mercury, when he was asked to compare himself to John, from a rare interview, c. 1981]
This one was a lot harder to determine! I could find next to nothing about Roger Taylor and John Deacon in respect to the Beatles or individual Beatles, so I will concentrate on what I could find! Through just how things fell, when Queen came prominence in music and life, John was in his house-husband phase and not really going out or being photographed with people and all the other Beatles were doing their things more or less away from the mainstream. Here’s what I have found:
Ringo and Freddie, of course. As far as I can tell this is a genuine photo (there’s quite a few fake John and Freddie ones flying around). However, I can’t find any context for the photo whatsoever - maybe some of you Queen experts out there will know? It looks like it’s around 1975 to me, based on how Ringo looks. Apart from this, the only instance I could find of Ringo talking about Queen was the much quoted quote, “Your majesty,” which was from Ringo about Freddie. Again, can’t find any context!
Get out of the photo, Bono.
These photos are from Live Aid in 1985, there’s many more. I picked this one as Freddie has his hand on Paul’s arm.
Paul with Brian and Roger (and Linda of course) at the British Video Awards in London, on the 16th October 1986.
There’s quite a few photos of Paul with various members of Queen, usually at events like the ones above, but it doesn’t appear they are friends, per se.
It appears John was never photographed with or met any of the members of Queen (which is a shame). I think at the time Queen were coming to the forefront of music, John had just moved to America and as Queen rose, John withdrew from the public eye to look after Sean. However, as you may know, John was a hero of Freddie’s in particular.
The above video is an audio recording of Queen playing Imagine live in concert at Wembley, London on the 9th December 1980, the day after John died, and the day the the news would have been spreading and shocking the world. Queen continued to play Imagine live as a tribute to John through out 1981-2 (maybe longer).
Around the same time Freddie wrote the song Life is Real (Song For Lennon) which appeared on the Queen album Hot Space, released in 1982. Life is Real is almost a pastiche of a John Lennon song, starting with three bell-like piano notes, paying homage to Beautiful Boy and Starting Over, and its a ‘sparse’ piano based tune, also playing musical homage to Mother, and the title may be a reference to Strawberry Fields (Nothing is Real) or Love (Love is Real).
Also on the same album is the song Put Out The Fire which seems to reference John’s death in the lyrics:
They called him a hero In the land of the free But he wouldn’t shake my hand boy He disappointed me So I got my hand gun And I blew him away That critter was a bad guy And I had to make him pay
Here’s a photo of George (with Joe Brown and Chas McDevitt) playing a Brian May RedSpecial guitar in 1992 (I think it’s probably Brian’s actual, original guitar!) And here’s George and Brian at the same event:
Brian May is a huge George fan. I think it’s fair to say George is his favourite guitarist. (As an aside, people sometimes like to rip off George and belittle his guitar playing - I think, only because he wasn’t a showboat-er or as ostentatious as other guitarists, people can overlook him - but George is a guitar players guitarist. People who really know what they’re talking about are typically fans of George).
Brian only met George once, at the Water Rats Ball (a charity event) which was held on the 29th November 1992. Here’s a quote from Brian from an interview in November 2001 (just before George died):
“I’ve been thinking about George a lot recently and I really wish him well. And just before you came I was thinking about how the press treated Freddie when he was ill. You know, he literally couldn’t step outside his door for photographers. They were even trying to get in the windows and there’s absolutely nothing you can do; you have no protection.
“But I’ve only met George once. We played together at a Water Rats do, when Bert Weedon was King Rat. There was George, Joe Brown, Bert and me… what a precious moment. I had a blinding migraine, but the moment overcame the pain. I wish I’d had the balls to say what I really wanted to at the time. I hold George in such reverence and I think he’s so underrated by the guitar community; everyone raves about people who play fast, but if you look at the catalogue of stuff he’s produced, it’s colossal.”
Here’s some of my favourite Brian/George tweets from Dr May as well:
I love how Brian loves George, and I love Brian as well!
Thank you for your ask and as ever, apologies for the time it’s taken for my reply!
All right, fuckers. Lets talk about Rat Queens, the comic so amazing I breezed through all three volumes in a day and a half and then almost cried because there was no more to read
For decades, the fantasy genre has had that moniker not just because it dealt with fantastical things like dragons, magic, elves, and other such things, but because it was also a genre where men’s chauvinistic fantasies ran wild, where women were often little more than helpless damsels in need of being rescued, and even the ones who weren’t were dressed up as objects of male fantasy, wearing armor that made no sense, which served no practical purpose. It was all about the male gaze, it dominated the genre for a very long time.
In recent years there has been an effort to overthrow that long standing norm. Many have pushed back (such as the pathetic “Puppy” movement at the Hugo awards recently, a group of voters who banded together specifically to get works that were pro-women, pro-poc, and pro-lgbtq+ to lose) and the result has been a renaissance of the genre, with projects that are inclusive of all genders, sexual identities, and races. Recently these previously ignored or demeaned groups have come to the forefront, leading several titles in the genre.
One of those title is Rat Queens, a comic about an all-female team of adventurers living and adventuring in a D&D style world.
Note: I read all three volumes, so there are some teeny spoilers, but I avoided anything really big. And most of it is character stuff and not plot stuff.
The Rat Queens are violent and magically inclined badasses, but they’re also introverts, nerds, hipsters, stoners, and emotional fuck up. Despite the fact that they use swords and magic to take down monsters in a fantasy world, they’re real.
They also obliterate the idea of what a sexy female fantasy character is. They have wide hips and big thighs, flat chests and real boobs that are sometimes floppy. Their tummies roll when they bend over. These aren’t four female fantasy characters with the same unrealistic, typically sexy body. Their bodies are all very different, and they’re all very sexy.
Hanna would probably be considered the leader of the group, if the Rat Queens really had a leader. She’s a half-elven demon who desperately tries to had that latter part. She’s also a skilled magic user, relying more on her spells than her blades in a fight. She’s a loud mouth, surly, combative, and wonderfully vulgar.
She’s also in an incredibly complicated relationship with the head of the city’s guard, Sawyer.
Her story and backstory really does seem to anchor most of the story, but I really think that’s just because the story is unfortunately finished. We were definitely getting foundation to really explore the other characters’ stories in more depth, but stuff behind the scenes caused the series to be put on hold indefinitely, so they never got to the point of digging into the other characters like they did Hannah. (I’ll talk about the behind-the-scenes drama at the end of the post).
Dee is an incredibly powerful cleric who just happens to not believe in the deity that grants her powers. She was raised in a cult that worshiped an ancient god and she learned her powerful magic there, but she had doubts that led to her leaving home to figure things out on her own.
She’s also a nerd and an introvert who prefers a book to most people. She struggles with how much she misses her family, and the pain of leaving behind her parents, her siblings, and her husband while also struggling with her faith.
Like Hannah, she also favors magic in a fight, but where she really comes in handy is with her curiosity and her fondness for research. One of the things that I really like about Dee is how not sexual her character is. Not because the sexuality displayed by the other characters is bad (quite the contrary) but because every woman is different when it comes to their sexual appetite and their enjoyment of sex, and it’s wonderful to see a character for whom sex and romantic relationships is not a major part of their arc.
Violet is a hipster dwarf who loves stabbing things with her sword. As long as too many other people don’t start loving it, too. Whereas Dee and Hannah use powerful magic in fights, Violet charges in pointy end first, looking to cut apart as many baddies as possible.
She’s also a huge dork who tries so hard at being badass that it almost negates her actually badassery at times. She’s very, very much a hipster, who left her life with the dwarves and shaved off her beard because she felt stifled by her culture, and then grew the beard back when she saw that other dwarven women were shaving their beards, too.
She also really likes sex. While Hannah and Betty are definitely sex-positive and definitely have sex during the course of the story, I think Violet is probably shown to be the most sex-positive and most sexually active. Her boyfriend is an Orc named Dave (or “Orc Dave”, as he’s a member of a group of adventurers called “The Four Daves”) and she is not subtle about the fact that she wants him, and she is not shy about sharing the facts of their sex life once she has him.
Finally, there’s Betty, the cutest little smidgen ever (from the art, I’m guessing “smidgen” is equivalent to gnome). Betty likes drinking, fighting, candy, drugs, and girls. And, specifically, one girl.
Betty’s got it bad for a chick named Faeyri, but Faeyri’s not crazy about Betty’s friends, especially Hannah, who can get pretty combative when drinking. In between all the fighting, the adventuring, and the magic, we get a sweet little love story that actually presents a relationship with very real and honest problems.
While Betty loves to get stabby, and while her small size often serves as an advantage in battle, her greatest contribution to the group might be her skills as a thief and her ability to read people. She can look at any place and figure out how to get her teeny tiny form into it in the most covert way, and she can look at any person and read them look a book.
But no matter how clever she is, she’s still a huge weirdo who loves candy, drugs, and her friends.
The women of Rat Queens are all so different in so many respects, and they’re all so flawed and real. The series is hysterically funny, full of so much heart, and a must read for any fantasy fan who loves well written female characters. This fast became one of my vert, very favorite comics of all time.
Unfortunately there are only three collected volumes + one issue. The original artist was arrested for domestic abuse, and though he ultimately wasn’t charged, he was not brought back to continue as the series’ artist. They did find a new artist for what would be the third volume, but ultimately, according to the series’ writer Kurtis Wiebe, they didn’t really mesh, and now the comic is on hiatus indefinitely. From searching around the internet it looks like the plan is to eventually continue it as a web comic, but Wiebe is currently writing the new series Bounty (which is another great female-led comic, this time taking on the also-until-recently male dominated genre of sci-fi. I’ve only read the first issue but I adored it, and I can’t wait for the TP to come out, which will happen the day after my birthday), so I’m not sure when it’s actually going to happen.
While it’s definitely a bummer that the story just kind of… stops, and we don’t know for sure when it will continue, you have to read Rat Queens if you have any kind of appreciation for stories led by strong female characters, and especially if you’ve been disappointed by other fantasy stories, and especially if that disappointment largely came from the misogyny, lack of diversity, and homophobia in the writing. I’m getting emotional from how much I love Rat Queens, that’s how good this series is.