Knights, dragons, elves, wolves, swords, and sorcery. If you’re like me, you love all that stuff. I remember growing up and reading this picture book about King Arthur so much that the binding fell apart. I would imagine myself as the brave knight riding up to defeat the dragon and save everyone. This fantasy was easy for me to put myself into, because, like the heroes in most of those books, I was a white male. It wasn’t until I got older, and my sphere of friends grew, that I met someone who was just as into those kinds of stories but wasn’t like me. I started to play roleplaying games with friends who were women, who were gay, who were from all manner of different races and backgrounds. I started to learn that it was tough for them, because there were so few heroes like them in the stories.
Then, a year ago, I discovered a book called Princeless. It has a wonderful character in it that suits up in some armor and goes out to save the day. The knight in Princeless gets to fight bad guys, defeat monsters, and help out friends and family in danger. The knight in Princeless is a really cool hero. The knight in Princeless is also a black girl, but . . . you know what . . . it doesn’t matter. Adrienne is still heroic, is still awesome, brave, and driven. She is a hero I can look up to and want to be like.
In Princeless Volume 1, creator Jeremy Whitley introduced us to this wonderful, brave, headstrong Princess who decides she isn’t going to wait for a prince and instead saves herself. In Volume 2, Adrienne has decided she is going to go and rescue her sisters, and this is the book that really gets interesting, because it turns out that her sisters may be just as headstrong as she is. Her sisters may not need saving, they may like the lives they have, and have very different ideas about life, love, beauty, and bravery.
Princeless is a wonderful comic series that subverts our expectations about heroes, family, and gender roles. It is a book that is fun and inspiring but also challenges us to expand our thinking about the heroic journey, and who we look to as role models. Volume 1 of Princeless is available now in a trade paperback collection, and Volume 2 is currently being released in single issues to comic shops, with Issue #3 being released soon. You can also get caught up through Comixology. Go and grab a copy and start your adventure today!