Local filmmaker Lonnie Nadler stumbled into a hell of a story when he started profiling the two men behind Rat Queens, a feminist-friendly comic-book series that became an instant New York Times bestseller.
The first half of this unfussy doc is really about the difficulties, personal or otherwise, of maintaining a creative partnership, especially when your stock is skyrocketing. Vancouver-based writer Kurtis Wiebe doesn’t conceal his frustration when deadlines are consistently blown by artist Roc Upchurch, working in Atlanta.
Matters become considerably worse when Upchurch is charged with domestic battery, leaving Wiebe to handle the fallout and find a replacement—assuming their fan base hasn’t completely ditched. Ultimately, he flounders into a sticky situation with another artist, alienating yet more readers and leading to a trial by Internet.
High-strung and often pulling on a cigarette (plus, he’s a new dad), the barely 30 Wiebe is also, seemingly, a constitutionally honest guy, unafraid to look bad or make plain his discomfort with the filmmaking process. It’s hard not to like him, or to ignore the body language when he’s given a chance to air his side of the story.
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