Queen of Wands
|Queen of Wands|
|Followed by||Punch an' Pie|
Queen of Wands is a webcomic that began on July 22, 2002, and ended on February 23, 2005. The comic is a loose adaptation of events in the life of the artist, Aeire. The story's tone shifts back and forth from comedic installments to more serious and dramatic chapters. In 2004, it won Outstanding Romantic Comic from the Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards.
The comic has three main characters, Kestrel, a no-nonsense red-headed woman with a low tolerance for sexism, Felix, one of Kestrel's ex-boyfriends, and Shannon, Felix's wife. The three are close friends and roommates.
The comic originally updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until its conclusion, though for a period it updated five days a week.
On Monday, February 28, 2005 the comic restarted, beginning with the very first strip; the intent was for comics to update daily, with a commentary by Aeire beneath each one. These rerun updates ceased in early March, and her only remark on the matter came via her LiveJournal community, after speculation as to where she was led to somebody linking to a comment she made in another LiveJournal. On April 13, she posted the following
- In the words of the eloquent Granny Weatherwax: "i aten't ded".
- More to come later, but please stop the following me around. It's slightly unnerving.
Between June 10, 2006 and July 12, 2006, Aeire posted updates as to her status, but no further information followed. However, as of October 23, 2006, commentary updates have again resumed.
On the October 24, 2006 Aeire posted in her LiveJournal that she has written comments for all remaining strips so they'll update automatically by Keenspace. She explained that her absence was due to her heavy work load, and that she'd like to start the QoW sequel if she loses her job.
On November 15, 2006 Chris Daily (Striptease) let slip in his LiveJournal that the QoW sequel would tentatively begin in January 2007 with Aeire writing and Chris doing the art. This was confirmed by Aeire in her LiveJournal. The comic, entitled Punch an' Pie, started on February 26, 2007. The strip, based around QoW character Angela, updated erratically throughout 2011, returning to thrice-weekly updates in April 2012.
Setting and storyline
Queen of Wands follows the lives of Kestrel, Felix, and Shannon, three friends who have been living together in Denver for about four years. Felix and Shannon are married, while Kestrel is single but looking. The three friends have an extensive history, with plenty of personal demons to work out. These problems from the past frequently form the basis of comic plotlines. Usually, a plotline defines the focus of a group of strips; for instance, Kestrel dating Seamus, Felix taking the group to meet his parents, or Shannon becoming pregnant.
Queen of Wands has a close relationship with R. K. Milholland's comic Something Positive. There have been several "crossover" plotlines, usually published simultaneously in both comics and sharing characters from each strip. The day after Queen of Wands ended, Kestrel was run over by a car in the background of Something Positive. Aeire made no comment about whether this apparent death was canon, and many fans took it as a metaphorical statement about the comic's ending, or as Milholland's blunt response to speculation that Kestrel would join the cast of Something Positive. Other comic artists followed Milholland's lead in noting the end of Queen of Wands, with characters from Checkerboard Nightmare driving the car, and a subsequent appearance of Kestrel in the afterlife in Irregular Webcomic!
On November 30, 2005, the speculation ended when Kestrel joined the cast of Something Positive. It has been implied that she spent most of the time in the hospital, and many speculate she was in a coma. It has also been hinted that S*P character Avagadro was the driver who hit her, making the Checkerboard Nightmare theory questionable.
In 1996, Felix was seventeen and just out of high school. He met a girl named Julie and the two of them dated for a few months before they found out Julie was pregnant. They found out the baby would be a girl, and decided to name her Marie when she was born. However, when Felix told his parents about Julie and Marie, they were furious and refused to support Felix. Then, on Julie's 18th birthday, Julie's parents dropped in for a surprise visit, found Julie six months pregnant, and took her away, without leaving any contact information for Felix.
Felix became despondent, putting all his energy into contacting Julie, who never responded. He became goth, and met Kestrel, who was also goth at the time. They started dating, but Felix refused to label it as such; he felt it would be a betrayal to Julie.
After four months, Kestrel introduced Felix to Becca, a friend of hers. Becca and Felix became very close very quickly. Then, two months later (February 1998), Kestrel walked in on Becca and Felix sleeping together. Felix dumped Kestrel, saying that all she ever meant to him was a "pretty good fuck."
After driving all his friends away and sinking deeper and deeper into depression, Felix received an e-mail from Julie saying that she never wanted to talk with him again. Felix attempted suicide, but woke up in the hospital where his parents apologized for rejecting Julie. Slowly, Felix recovered and picked up his life again. He became engaged to another girl named Mary.
Around this time, Shannon was married and had a son named Joshua. Then, her husband divorced her and married Shannon's best friend, leaving Joshua with Shannon. In 1999, she met Kestrel working at the local Renaissance fair. Kestrel decided to cheer up Shannon, who was feeling dejected from the recent divorce. They were planning to become roommates when Felix showed up again, two years after he had first met Kestrel. Although Kestrel warned her against it, Shannon and Felix became fast friends. Two months later, Shannon gave up Joshua to live with his father, with visiting rights.
Then, as Kestrel was trying to organize that year's Renaissance Faire, history repeated itself. Mary's parents found out about her engagement to Felix, and refused to let her see Felix again. Felix cracked, and wanted to talk to Kestrel, who grudgingly agreed. He asked her if this was karma, punishing him for how he treated Kestrel in the past. Seeing how deeply sorry he was and how much he still loved Mary, Kestrel began to forgive Felix.
In order to cheer up the now-subdued Felix, Kestrel and Shannon asked him if he wanted to participate in the Ren Faire, since both Kestrel and Shannon already were planning to. He agreed. As the Faire drew nearer, Kestrel got more and more wrapped up in preparations, leaving Shannon and Felix to themselves most of the time.
Then, Shannon's ex-husband (who had custody of their son Joshua) informed Shannon that he was getting a court order to prevent Shannon from seeing Joshua again, as a psychologist had determined that her presence was bad for Joshua. Kestrel and Felix helped Shannon recover from her loss.
When the Ren Faire finally came around, there was another shock. Shannon announced to Kestrel that she and Felix were engaged, in order to provide family stability so that the court would give Joshua back to Shannon, after which she and Felix would divorce. Kestrel talked her out of this plan, but when Kestrel found an apartment that she and Shannon could share as roommates (as they had been planning), Shannon wanted Felix to room with them as well, and Kestrel didn't have the heart to say no.
Then, out of the blue, Shannon called Kestrel to announce that she and Felix had gotten married after all. Kestrel blew up at her for ignoring all her warnings and not even inviting her to her wedding, and left Shannon in tears. However, when Felix came by to apologize for everything, she managed to forgive them.
Two weeks later, Kestrel and the newlyweds Felix and Shannon moved into their apartment. A year after that, at the Renaissance Faire, Felix and Shannon renewed their wedding vows, and Kestrel was the maid of honor. They remained together until Kestrel and her kitty, Zot left for life in Boston, and a new comic series, Something Positive. By that time Shannon and Felix had started their own family, welcoming their infant daughter, Adrienne Kestrel, a few months prior to Kestrel's departure.
Kestrel is Felix's and Shannon's roommate. She is 27 years old and has red hair and green eyes. She has a steady job in computer tech support, and an off-and-on job at the toy store in the local mall, which is where she met Angela, her best friend. She used to be Wiccan, but now classifies herself as simply pagan.
Kestrel is impulsive and eccentric to the point of childishness, when she wants to be. While she is obviously very intelligent, most of the time she prefers to have fun in every way she can. When asked about this by Shannon, she said "I'm an adult, and fully cognizant of the fact that there is no one around to tell me 'no.'" Easily distracted and easily amused, she frequently makes random comments and puts herself (along with Felix and Shannon) in embarrassing situations. (When Felix and Shannon embarrass her, however, she is quick to tell others that she doesn't know them.)
After the birth of Felix and Shannon's daughter, Kestrel decided it was time for a change, and after getting a new job, moved to Boston. Unfortunately, she was soon run over by a car and spent several months in a coma. Since coming out of it, she now works at Nerdrotica, a phone sex/technical support company. She is now a recurring character in Something Positive.
Felix is Shannon's husband and Kestrel's roommate. He is 25 years old and has blue shoulder-length hair (dyed — naturally blond) and blue eyes. He works in the copy center of a business. His manager is a middle-aged, slightly senile man named Brian who talks to office supplies. While often lighthearted and somewhat ditzy, Felix is an intelligent young man with a fair amount of empathy. Felix occasionally cross-dresses for amusement.
Felix's parents live in Boston.
Shannon is Felix's wife and Kestrel's roommate. A 29-year-old redhead on the orange end of the spectrum, Shannon is the 'straight man' in the household, providing a motherly figure in more ways than one. Don't let the sane disguise fool you — she's just as capable of being odd as the rest of them, and her 'normal' appearance often makes such outbursts appear very, very odd. Shannon and Felix recently had a daughter, Adrienne Kestrel. She has a son from a previous marriage, with whom she is denied contact.
- Angela is a short, spunky girl that Kestrel met when she started working at the toy store. Angela has blonde hair and brown eyes. She is bisexual, polyamorous, and has had several relationships in the past, including one with Brad. She has a deep abhorrence of small children to match Kestrel's, which was what began their friendship. However, she enjoys being mistaken for a kid due to her small size, as it allows her to take advantage of strangers. Recently, she has broken up with Seamus (December 2004). Angela had a crush on Kestrel, which led to the breakup and subsequent strain on Angela's relationship with Kestrel. She is the current lead character in Aeire's spinoff comic, Punch an' Pie.
- Dawna is a manager at the toy store where Angela and Kestrel work. She's fairly lenient with Kestrel when she's got up to something again but does try to keep up some semblance of order.
- Seamus and Kestrel met at a coffee shop, and eventually they started a relationship. He has brown hair and blue eyes, and he likes to read. He was engaged to Elaine for about a year and a half before they broke up, and has been in and out of a relationship with her for a while now. Seamus and Kestrel dated for 24 hours until Seamus picked up his relationship with Elaine again, dumping Kestrel. However, the two of them are still friends. Seamus recently moved on from Elaine completely, and had been dating Angela (until late December 2004). In the spinoff comic, Punch an' Pie, it is revealed that he dumped Angela over her crush on Kestrel, has become a doctor, and moved to California.
- Brad is a handsome but lecherous guy whom Kestrel met working at the toy store. He has black hair and black eyes. He was previously involved in a relationship with Angela and with Wanna-Be Wiccan Girl. He is frightened of a toy bear that sings the macarena. He was involved in an illegal drug ring, and was busted by the feds.
- Becca used to be Kestrel's friend, until the events of the backstory ended their relationship. She has blonde hair and blue eyes. Becca is a Wiccan who firmly believes in fantastical creatures and mystic events. She disappeared after some of Kestrel's Wiccan friends cast a spell on her with malicious intent. A guest strip by Something Positive author Randy Milholland insinuates that she was eaten by Choo-Choo Bear.
- Adam is a friend of Felix, who introduced Adam to Kestrel. Adam and Kestrel dated for 3 weeks, until Adam dumped her over AIM.
- Wanna-Be Wiccan Girl is an annoying, energetic girl obsessed with Wicca. She has blonde hair that is always in pigtails, and blue eyes. She frequently appears to pester the main characters (and everyone else in the strip) with questions about Wicca and witches. Her knowledge of the subject is very limited, as she seems to think that Wiccans are "real" witches.
- The Grammar Nazi is a middle-aged woman who occasionally appears in the strip to violently punish those who use bad grammar, specifically chatspeak and leet. She has grey hair, glasses, and red eyes. Her comics are usually not part of any real storyline, but appear fairly randomly.
- Davan MacIntire is the main character from Something Positive, which has done several crossovers with Queen of Wands. A bizarre series of events resulted in Davan getting large quantities of Kestrel's underwear, which he sold on eBay; the resulting Internet confrontation between Davan and Kestrel led to an eventual acquaintanceship. Other characters from Something Positive have also appeared occasionally.
- Zot is a calico cat that Felix and Shannon gave Kestrel for her birthday. She occasionally eats people's hair.
- Adrienne Kestrel is Shannon and Felix's newborn daughter, who was introduced not long before the end of the series.
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