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.
Princeless vol. one! Finally has arrived! Oh joy! Finally I can know how this all started, and how it will all make sense!
Or, not. We start out in a typical children's bedtime scene. Mom (of course it's mom indoctrinating her daughter in the ways of womanhood) reads a fairytale to her daughter, a skinny blonde princess awaits her blonde knight to slay the evil dragon and rescue her from the tower and they live happily ever after the end.
Young Adrienne a POC (Princess of Color) yells "Hogwash!" And I don't blame her for that. Her questions are very valid. How did the Princess get down? How did that skinny white boy kill the dragon so easily? Why did the dragon hang out there, what's in it for him/her? There's no treasure hoard, that's for sure. Why limit itself to just one princess? Why not just eat her?
However, on the next page we see Princess Adrienne locked in a tower. She bitterly complains about it, yet...what do I see? She's alone. No one is forcing her to wear a pink and purple gown. No one is forcing her to straighten her hair. No one is forcing her to wear that precious little crown. Yet, look around her room. Everything nice and neat and of course, pink.
She's without supervision. Her room, her body, could be as she wanted it to be. Yet, she apparently chooses to make her bed, straighten her hair, dress and make herself up like a stereotypical princess. Sure, she was raised to be what she is, but...wait didn't she question even as a child? I did too, and once I was able to dress myself, out went the dresses. Luckily my mum never drugged me to get her way, but we did have some pretty tough fights about my idea of properly dressed versus hers. Despite all the schooling, despite the Disney Princess indoctrination I managed to stay true to myself, to no makeup, no dresses, no pink. Why didn't Adrienne?
When the knight appears to save her, shouting for his fair lady she replies, "Do I look FAIR to you?" indicating the color of her skin. So we're saying that the word "fair" cannot be applied to people of color? Sure, it means, "pale," but it also means "Beautiful, of a pleasing appearance, with a pure and fresh quality" and "unblemished" both of which could be applied to anyone. Feel like I'm being beaten over the head with The Message.
And just because a dragon is pink, shouldn't mean that it is the most useless, helpless and stupid dragon that could be found. Why is the girl with traits of willfulness, strength and independence ranked at the bottom of desirability, enough to warrant being housed guarded by the most ridiculous dragon? What Message is that sending? Also, despite the good traits of strength, independence, Adrienne is actually not that likeable. She's selfish, self-absorbed and impulsive.
She might have thought about the knights position (or the fact that he's a person too, and may not have wanted to be eaten by a dragon). She's very casual with the thought that many dudes who've been raised in the exact same system she has been are dying to fulfill the requirements placed upon them.
The whole "Woman Warrior" section of the story. Ugh. No. Wrong.
For all the complaining about princesses with stick arms, how the heck does Bedelia lift that huge hammer with those twigs? Also, are all Dwarven men drunkards and wife beaters and blacksmiths, come on fairy tale stereotyping, I thought we were better than this.
And Bedelia, stop calling everyone "Sweetie" what are you a old waitress at a '50's style diner?
Only positive, the art seemed a bit better for the most part in this book as compared to the others.