I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
Okay, I had hoped that I could return to this with some sort of dignity. No. Not only does the whole story itself still not completely make sense, but I'd say that this part is even worse than the first one I read.
I read the second volume first, now I've returned back to the beginning. Though I still don't know how A and B met, where they got the dreadful pink dragon, or why the hell they're going around to various towers to rescue the Princesses held in them.
After reading reviews on this comic while I was reviewing the second one I also kept coming across the thought that the comic was pretty heavy handed with it's feminist or gender equality messages, however, I find the comic much more heavy handed with it's racist and sexist stereotyping than anything to the contrary.
1. The fact that a girl says, "Don't you know? Girls kick butt!" does not mean it's okay to kick people and step on their faces. That's bullying in either gender.
2. I get that we're trying to have a message of just because something is pink, that doesn't mean it can't be tough, etc. but that message would be better served with something other than a cutesified pink dragon that acts like Scooby-Dum.
3. The whole Angoisse section. For one, what a total slap in the face to Death (from the Endless) for two, give me a break, when is letting a dude walk all over you empowering?
4. In the Runaway Prince a prince is rescued by a girl, and says, (here's where Whitley was trying to show off his degree in Womyn studies I think) "Shake hands with a woman? I suppose it's not any more humiliating than being rescued by a girl." And then he's rescued by the 'girl' and in the space of a few panels she goes from sweet to furious to weeping. Great, the ol' emotional roller coaster stereotype. Thanks Whitley.
5. The most beautiful sister decides that in order to help the "poor and ugly" she'll design some clothes, which of course she's miserable at, and the moral is that she doesn't give up but reads up instead, but still it's like, of course she wants to learn fashion design, that's women's work and suitable for her. We wouldn't want her to even take a peep out of that box she's trapped in.
6. The stereotypical beaten woman with drunken husband. Check.
7. The girl who respects herself and won't give a kiss away to some random hot Prince she's just met. Check. Good self-respect "girl," because kissing someone somehow damages you, but it's okay for dudes?
8. The use of "you go girl" terminology, check and check. (As a woman I hate that crap, I am a person, not a girl, I have a name and my gender is not the same as my identity.)
9. In almost all cases the women have lighter skin than the men. Sigh.
10. Of course the Pirate King and his daughter are Chinese, of course. Sigh.
The only comic in the entire thing worth reading was The Girl with the Giveaway Ears (the girl in this comic bears no resemblance to her representation as a hysterical woman in the first Runaway Prince comic). This comic is actually funny, has the best art of any I've seen in this series both the first and second volume and even if it's a bit dread I say it, "Pretty Woman" it's still by far the most amusing and most like an actual comic you'd want to read, of anything thus far.
But, really, don't bother with this crap!