Written by: Jeremy Whitley
Published by: Action Lab Comics
If there’s one perfect comic out in the comic book market perfectly tailored for young girls it’s Princeless. From my initial discovery of this charming and fun comic book, I’ve loved it. Not because I’m a little girl myself, obviously, but because I have a little girl of my own who happens to have grown to love comic books almost as much as her father did at her age. But as many older comic nerds can attest to, it’s not always easy for dads to find appropriate material for their little female comic collecting fanatics. Oh, things are getting better when it comes to finding comic books with female protagonists that aren’t just pin-up material masquerading as inspirational super heroine tales…but it’s still the type of thing that has to be sought out for. Unfortunately, finding comics with a central female character isn’t as easy dropping by the corner comic book store and plopping down a couple of bucks…that is, unless you’re just looking for some ladies clad in skin tight hugging spandex.
Fortunately, Action Lab Comics has emerged in the last couple of years with books like Shinobi, Molly Danger, and Princeless to fulfill a need for female centric comics that feature positive and inspiring role models whose adventures young girls can enjoy. While Action Lab’s whole stable of books isn’t quite appropriate for young ladies they are certainly a publisher that seems to be making specific strides in releasing books that are attempting to fulfill a void that has been ignored by most comic publishers for way too long. Comics for girls are here, people, and Action Lab is making some serious strides in making them for the little ladies who want them.
The perfect case in point is Princeless. Priceless features the adventures of a princess that doesn’t need to be rescued; in fact she tends to be the one doing the rescuing herself. It’s a comic that’s always been a fun read and is brimming with charm. And it’s not just this overly cynical fanboy who thinks so. With each collection of Princeless that’s been released I’ve sat down and read them with my daughter and it’s turned into one of her favorite reads. As a matter of fact, when I got the advanced digital copy of this issue for review I made sure to read it with her and by the end of the issue she was begging for more Princeless.
In this chapter of Princeless we are introduced to yet another princess, The Pirate Princess…otherwise known as The Black Arrow. Much like many of the other princesses in Princeless, The Black Arrow has found herself trapped in a tower being held against her own will. Unable to make her own escape, she waits impatiently for an opportunity to secure her freedom or for someone else to secure it for her. Of course, the main protagonist of the series, Princess Adrienne and her stalwart companion Bedilia are the ones to help The Pirate Princess out of her predicament and during the rescue attempt the erstwhile hi-jinks ensue.
Series writer and creator Jeremey Whitley continues to deliver a terrific tale with this chapter of Princeless. All of the fun and humor and charm that have made Princeless the adorable comic that it’s always been are present in the first edition of this latest mini-series. Whitley gives us another terrific female character in The Black Arrow who has a personality that is very much her own and brings an added dimension to the book. While Adrienne and Bedilia have always been spunky, The Pirate Princess ratchets the spunk factor up a bit. She is feisty, adventurous, and, most importantly, funny in her own way. In Whitley’s hands The Pirate Princess becomes a very welcome addition to the cast of Princeless.
The Pirate Princess isn’t the only newest addition to the pages of Princeless, however. Artists Ted Brandt and Rosy Higgins join the team for this mini-series and I have to say I was more than pleasantly pleased with their work. The new art team on Princeless brings a new distinctive style to the book without departing from the visual flair that had been established by those before them. Princeless has always been one of the better looking indie books out there and the new artists are able to keep that tradition going. Princeless is in good hands with the new craftspeople behind the imagery of The Pirate Princess.
Action lab continues to impress with this new mini-series. As a father of a young girl I’m thrilled that comics like these are being published today. While Action Lab seems to have a growing roster of all different kinds of comics I’m glad that part of their focus has been to keep putting out entertaining comics that focus on young female protagonists that can serve as inspirational entertainment for all the little girls who are getting into comics these days. Thanks to Action Lab and Jeremy Whitley for giving me another comic that I can hand to my little one without any trepidation at all. Well done.