Ever wanted to read a comic but didn't know where to start? Interested in superheroes, manga, romance, webcomics and more? Look no further! We have all the recommendations you'll ever need.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Princeless: Save Yourself

Story: Jeremy Whitley
Art and Colours: M Goodwin
Letters: Jung-Ha Kim
Publisher: Action Lab Comics

What's it about?
Princeless is about Princess Adrienne who lives in a land of fairy tale castles.  When the Princesses reach age 16 they are put in a tower guarded by a fearsome dragon, where they languish until a dashing would be Prince comes to rescue them.  It's traditional.  Apparently knowing which end of a sword to stick in a dragon is a fit test for kingship..

Adrienne isn't best please with this state of affairs, and after one particularly luckless knight turns up she decides she's had enough.  Chatting late into the night with Sparky (the dragon) they decide to abandon the castle, fake her own death and set off on a quest to save her sisters from their towers.

What's good about it?
OK, you read the plot synopsis right?  What, you want more?!  OK, well how about this: Princess Adrienne is brilliant.  From the opening pages where we see her criticising the plot points of a prince/princess-live-happily-ever-after story, to when she's in the tower and reading to make sure her brain doesn't rot, and telling off the would be prince for not knowing what fair skin means, we know that she ain't your typical Princess.
She's intelligent, gutsy and taking control of her own life.  She's written and drawn with such a joie de vivre the reader cannot help but be swept away by it all.  Oh I wish I;d had this book when I was younger!  Princeless easily and humorously points out the flaws in traditional fairy tales.  It shows up and mocks attitudes towards women, daughters, sons and dragons.  You know when people think What Would So And So Do to work out a tricky problem? I reckon that if you start asking What Would Adrienne Do you'd be on to a pretty good and fun life.
You should buy this for your daughters, nieces and granddaughters.  Hell, buy it for your sons, nephews and grandsons.  Buy it for your friends' kids.  Buy it for your school and local libraries!

This, combined with Skal (next on my to-review list), is my book of the year.  And it's only March!

What's bad about it?

What's the art like?
Oh gosh, it's late and I'm tired and I'm having difficulty putting words together to describe things.  So, I can say that the art makes me smile and it's pretty cheerful, I enjoy reading it.  More than that, my brain can't cope with.  So have some example art and make up your own minds:
And one full page for you, just check out that armour!

Other information
Price £10.99
The book will be released in April in both the US and UK.  Although not yet available on Amazon, the distribution is through Diamond (the big comic distributors) so any comic shop should be able to get it.  if they aren't sure, give them the previews order code: FEB120706.  You can find a list of recommended comic stores here.  Or, you can order it from Forbidden Planet.  Or you can buy it digitally from Comixology.

If you like this book then I can recommend the following with similar themes/writers:
Action Lab Comics website (the publishers)
Runaways (perhaps for older young people)

In a rare move for this site I am also going to recommend some prose books.  There are pitifully few heroines like Princess Adrienne so if you thirsting for more please try The Paper-Bag Princess (hey it has illustrations, so it's nearly a comic book) and the Discworld witches books.  Witches Abroad would be a good place to start as that's all about folk and fairy tales too.

Both these books have a no nonsense approach to fairy tales and are worth further reading to improve your girl children's self esteem (there simply aren't enough books out there telling girls they can be whatever they want).

Oh, and there's a sneak preview of the book on this site. Go buy it! Now! (The book, not the site)

Many thanks to Jeremy for providing me with a review copy. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment