Do you know why Princeless is the best all-ages series? It gives you tons of opportunities to jump on board and enter the amazing world of Princeless. What other series produces one-shots and side mini-series along with producing their main story in easy to digest volumes? It reminds me a lot of Mouse Guard in that way, but with a tighter production schedule because the work load is shared. Usually a one-shot like this is a shameless tie-in and if it were any other company I would agree. With Princeless they actually take all of the one-off characters that have been introduced and continue to use them. As the world grows in this manner it doesn’t rely on our main characters for the burden of discovery. I don’t know why Elves are hated so much in the world of Princeless, but they are. I like it, but I don’t understand it. Perhaps I didn’t pay close enough attention previously, but in this story it's mentioned that they’re a scourge of the lands. The first story “The Girl with the Giveaway Ears” is illustrated by Tara Abbamondi and follows the elf and prince that escaped the King’s dungeon. The elf and prince have stopped in a tailor to get her some clothes so that she doesn’t stand out as much. The prince has some fashion advice, but the elf loves what she has on. The problem is that they don’t have money to pay for it so the prince causes a scene while she sneaks out. Now that she’s clothed and they’ve skipped out on the bill they decide to steal food. Too bad the elf is exposed during this and a chase ensues! It’s actually a very cute story and if Whitley were to spin-off a series about them I would read it in a heartbeat as long as Abbamondi was illustrating it. Her art adds a ton of personality to the characters and I loved their designs. Also the action/chase scene was easy to follow and was very entertaining.
The next story is called “Waiting” and is illustrated by Jen Vaughn. It’s about waiting tables as the name alludes to. Two of the knights the king has hired to find the “knight” that killed his daughter are hanging out in a tavern when Adrienne and Bedelia walk in wearing cloaks. The waitress Aisha recognizes Adrienne from the wanted poster, but mistakes her for a man. Aisha then goes through an elaborate set-up in order to trap Adrienne and Bedelia so that she can collect the reward money. Everything kind of goes to plan… just not Aisha’s plan. The art was pretty good on this story. The backgrounds are empty which gives the world a desolate look that the series normally doesn’t have. The characters could have used some more detail in the faces as well, but it does a good job of conveying the story with the visuals especially during the flashback scene.
The last story “Kira’s First Hunt” is illustrated wonderfully by Angi Shearstone. It has a painted look to it and I’m not sure what type of paint was used. It looks like oil paints to me, but I’m not 100% sure. It’s about a pack of young girl wolves going out on their first hunt (the wolves are shape changers by the by). Kira is the pack leader’s daughter so she’s given special instruction to be better than her best. The other girls give one of her friends a hard time so much so that when they have to cross a tree to get to the hunting ground, her friend panics and falls off the side. Kira goes after her and ends up saving her from danger, but at what cost? The art work is stunning and does a fantastic job of carrying the story. I loved the ending and I hope we see more of Kira in the future.
Overall this is a very well written issue with a great group of talent. What’s even better is that it’s a story about girls who rock, drawn by women that do in fact rock. How Action Lab and Whitley are about to find so many talented women creators for their series is beyond me when so many other companies struggle, but I really hope to see more of them in the future. I’m especially sold on Tara Abbamondi’s artwork so give her some more work pronto. If you’ve yet to check out Princeless this is a great issue to jump on as it introduces you to the world and characters. I think it’s wonderful that Whitley continues to build upon the main story and has added so many side/supporting characters that they can no longer be contained by the main story. It’s the perfect all-ages series so check it out.
Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Artists: Tara Abbamondi, Jen Vaughn and Angi Shearstone
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Release Date: 8/7/13