The Essential RuPaul: Herstory, Philosophy & Her Fiercest Queens by John Davis

calarco's review

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I have been a fan of drag queens and their magical art long before RuPaul’s Drag Race graced Logo (and later VH1), but when it aired oh boy did it change the drag game in a revolutionary way. My favorite seasons are easily those early ones (1-5) when the show was finding its footing, and this book does cover queens up until season 7. That said, these queens featured are undoubtedly favorites of the author John Davis, and as such they do leave out some of my own favorites like Alexis Mateo and Yara Sofia. Keeping all that in mind, this book is very much a snapshot of an earlier time period in the RDPR timeline, rather than an up-to-date “essential guide,” nearly twice as many seasons have aired since its publication. It is still a solid coffee table book though, and definitely worth reading if only to see Libby VanderPloeg’s beautiful illustrations.