Overview

Princeless #1

Review

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Princeless #1

Credits

  • Words: Jeremy Whitley
  • Art: M. Goodwin and D.E. Belton
  • Colors: M. Goodwin and Jung-Ha Kim
  • Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Oct 5, 2011

There just isn’t enough true all-ages material gracing the shelves of our local comic shops these days. Most titles are geared to the market’s core audience of 18-35 year old males. There are a small number of properties or lines targeting young readers but these titles amount to a fraction of the industry’s creative output. Still, every once in a while, a charming little book comes to my attention, that succeeds in appealing to readers both young and old.

Published by Action Lab Entertainment, in association with writer/creator Jeremy Whitley’s Firetower Studios, Princeless is an impressive all-ages title that puts a new, modern spin on the familiar damsel-in-distress fairy tale convention. When Princess Adrienne’s father locks her away in a tower guarded by a fearsome dragon, she refuses to be a stereotypical fair maiden pining away for a brave, handsome prince to rescue her. Indeed, Adrienne isn’t fair at all, as she pointedly reminds one unfortunate princeling and actually gets on rather well with Sparky, her dragon jailer.

Adrienne is a veritable force of nature as a character and drives Princeless forward with relentless charm and verve. Whitley has created in her a wonderful vehicle with which to explore his magic realm while poking fun at the fairy tale’s outdated notions of gender roles, chivalry, and family (in particular, the appropriate and humane treatment of children). Whitley keeps the vibe lighthearted and the humor razor-sharp. His understanding of and love for fairy tales shines through his gentle ribbing of its conventions with brilliance and craft. Even as he’s revealing a bit of the tarnish beneath the shine of the tried-and-true fairy tale, Whitley gives it a good polish, rejuvenating its gleam for a new generation of readers.

Artists M. Goodwin and D.E. Belton match up extremely well stylistically, not only with the tone and feel of Whitley’s fantasy world but with each other. While Goodwin provides kinetic, emotive panels for the main feature, Belton picks up the baton in a delightfully wicked back-up story, remaining consistent with his partner’s work in the full-length tale.

A funny, exuberant all-ages debut from Whitley, Goodwin, and Belton, Princeless is priceless and an excellent way for kids and parents to while away a rainy summer afternoon.

Princeless will availble to order in the August issue of Previews.

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