After the sudden departure of artist Johnny “Roc” Upchurch on Image Comics’ Eisner-nominated Rat Queens after a domestic violence arrest, the publisher announced the new ongoing artist on the series Thursday. Witchblade alum and Sunstone artist/creator Stjepan Sejic moves between Image imprints, going from Top Cow, where he’s covered virtually every character in their stable, to Image’s Shadowline, but that doesn’t mean he’s leaving his other work behind.
With the announcement, writer and co-creator of Rat Queens Kurt J. Wiebe had some kind words about this new collaboration. “I'm excited to have Stjepan bring the Rat Queens to life in his distinctive style, a voice that understands both the heart and the humor of Hannah, Dee, Betty and Violet. The future of the series is brighter than ever and we're looking forward to getting new issues out to fans."
Sejic told Newsarama how excited he was to get to work on this project, while reassuring fans of his other work that it’s not going anywhere.
“It's a fun book that needs to be there,” Sejic said, “and now I’m a happy guy! I got my sci-fi with IXth Generation. I got my horror/comedy with Death Vigil. I now got my fantasy/comedy with Rat Queens. My epic fantasy with Ravine, and of course my erotic romantic comedy with Sunstone. I’m walking around with a huge smile on my face these days! Well, I mean, I don't have that much walking around time, but that's fine, I get to tell stories! Lots and Lots of stories! Bilford Boggin! I should get to work!”
Sejic’s art will appear starting with Rat Queens #9, following Tess Fowler’s Rat Queens Special: Braga #1, and the series is back to a monthly schedule with issue #12. Sejic is most known for his high-fantasy art that was featured in his run with writer Ron Marz on Witchblade, as well as their creator-owned fantasy series Ravine.