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Rucka's Q&C Finds New Artist
By Brian Jacks


Oni Press has announced the details for the newest story arc in Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country, set to kick off this spring with May’s issue sixteen. Joining Rucka for this five-issue tale of British intelligence agent Tara Chace is artist Carla Speed McNeil, creator of the acclaimed series Finder.

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“I admit it. I’m an awards show geek,” series editor James Lucas Jones commented. “I love Oscar and Golden Globe pools and trying to guess who’s going to take what home. In comics we have the Eisners and they’re even more fun because I have a vested interest in the outcome. When last year’s nominations were revealed I couldn’t help but notice the number of nods that went to both Greg and Carla. They had five nominations each! No one else had more. I was already a fan of Carla’s work but seeing her and Greg together in that exclusive little group is what gave me the idea to approach her for Queen & Country.”

The fifth story arc of Queen & Country sees a shift in the department’s ranks as a name from Paul Crocker’s past forces the director to dispatch his Minders on a mission of personal importance. That name is Lasha Karpin, son of Declassified’s Valery, and his abduction sends the agents to the former-U.S.S.R. to repay a 16-year-old debt.

“I knew when I sat down to write Declassified that the events depicted there would have a ripple effect on the regular series and this is really just the beginning,” Rucka added. “Readers of the miniseries know why Crocker might feel a certain loyalty to the Karpin family. The question is, does he know what that allegiance will cost him?”

Helping Rucka to answer that question, Speed McNeil brings yet another new look to the cast of the special ops group. Collaborating on Queen & Country is a change of pace for the writer-artist who for the last several years has concentrated purely on her own material, the science fiction series, Finder.

“It’s good to change things up occasionally,” said Speed McNeil. “Working with Greg and in such a different genre will be a nice change of pace. Plus, it’s an opportunity to expose a whole new audience to my work! There’s no downside.”

“Because of both structure and circumstance, we often catch Q&C artists early in their career arc,” Jones concluded. “With Carla we get the rare opportunity to work with a creator already at the top of her game. She brings talent and experience that will surely serve to compliment Rucka’s own. I can’t wait for next year’s award season!”

Queen & Country #16 will feature 32 pages of black-and-white story and art, with a full color cover. Retailing at $2.99, it will hit comic stores on May 28, 2003, and ship monthly thereafter.

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