Rat Queens artist Tess Fowler walks, cites Upchurch controversy

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Tough news for fans of the comic book Rat Queens today; not only was it announced a month ago that the series would be going on hiatus, but apparently whenever it comes back artist Tess Fowler won’t be along for the ride. Fowler took to Twitter to express her disappointment and clarify the situation, answering questions from fans. It seems that it was ultimately her choice to leave, but it was the result of the return of original series co-creator Roc Upchurch.

Kurtis J. Wiebe and Upchurch launched the series as co-creators together in 2013, but Upchurch left in 2015 after he was arrested for misdemeanor battery. While no further legal proceedings took place after Upchurch paid his bond, he did admit to BleedingCool that he “lost [his] temper and fought back,” which was “wrong.” His ex-wife also spoke out about the incident on her blog and the violence she experienced. The largely female Rat Queens fanbase met the news that Upchurch would be leaving the series three days after his arrest with a sigh of relief. In an industry where staff changes can be met begrudgingly by audiences, Tess Fowler was welcomed with open arms.

However, that relief appears to be short-lived. Apparently, even though the series is currently on hiatus, Upchurch is back to working on Rat Queens and Fowler is clearly uncomfortable being a part of a team with him.

It’s unclear how much this situation contributed to the hiatus, but Fowler indicated on Twitter that she just wants to move on. She says she isn’t calling for a boycott or a mob, but is clearly disappointed. Her version of events, as detailed on her Twitter, is that she asked to be informed directly if it was ever being considered to have Upchurch re-join the team; Fowler says this didn’t happen.

However, co-creator Kurtis Wiebe issued his own statement on Twitter that the return of Rat Queens has no artist attached. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Upchurch hasn’t returned to the creative process in general, but certainly dispels the rumor that he would be reprising his role as series artist for now.

Time will tell what the future hold for Rat Queens and whether or not the fans will be still there if and when it returns.

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Genevieve LeBlanc
Genevieve LeBlanc 126 posts

Genevieve LeBlanc is a contributing writer for NerdReactor.com and lives in snowy Canada.