I just read the launch issue of Princeless: The Pirate Princess, my introduction to the characters of Princess Adrienne, Bedelia and Raven, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. This is not high drama, but instead just pure, straightforward fun. When I saw the cover, it spoke to me of the entertainment I got from watching The Road to El Dorado from DreamWorks Pictures, and it has several similarities. Writer Jeremy Whitley gives us a lighthearted adventure that can be fun for anyone to read. It’s a buddy story about friends coming together to help each other out, and what happens when that help doesn’t go exactly as planned. Whitley does a great job of incorporating the type of buddy humor and banter that makes the “mundane” interactions between the characters every bit as entertaining as the action scenes.
Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt do a stellar job of giving us smooth and flowing art. I especially like how they handled the layout of the pages. The scene where Raven smashes a pirate’s face into a wall was extremely well done. There is no denying the Disney influence on the artists, which adds to the overall feel of the book. It lets you slip right into the type of story they’re giving much more easily; visually, you are already keyed up for the type of story they are giving you.
While the comic can be a good read for kids, it’s not just for them. It’s smart enough to not be insulting to an adult, provided (of course) you like this kind of story. And I’m well past being a kid, as the gray hair in my beard can testify to. I especially recommend this book if you have a daughter who is into comics, or if you want to get your child into comics. To me, comic books are a great medium for getting kids hooked on reading, and this is the exactly the type of book that can do it. You know you’re having fun with a book when you breeze through it, and at the end are like, “Really, that was 32 pages? (Insert frowny face here) It sure didn’t seem like it.”
If I were to offer any complaint, it would be with the coloring of the book. It might just be me, but it came off a bit too bright, too saturated. Which helps add to the animated feel of the book, but also detracts a little from the line art. But that’s all I can find that could be improved, and that’s more of a personal preference than a serious critique of an objective flaw in craftsmanship.
It’s very easy to see this type of book becoming an animated series on one of the networks, and if you jump on board now, you can tell all your friends you were reading about Princess Adrienne, Bedelia and Raven when they were just in comics.