Review: Princeless – Tales of the Family Ashe (One-Shot)

The remarkable thing about the Princeless series is that it manages to produce a variety of material that tie’s into the main series and that’s rare for a small publisher. It’s also the only series I’ve seen in recent years to expand upon its world in such a way; with one-shots and even other mini-series that sidebar the main story line. This one-shot is written by creator Jeremy Whitely and he’s accompanied by three illustrators for each of the three stories. The first tale, “The Princess’ New Clothes” is illustrated by Adriana Blake and actually picks up just after the story in the second volume of the series. It recaps the events quickly and then picks up with Angelica afterwards. She’s decided to help people and not just with her beauty. She decides to make a dress for one of the women that help her and finds it to be far more difficult than she imagined. The story is told in an interview mockumentary style and is very different and clever.

Princeless - Family Ashe (One-Shot) CoverThe second story was definitely my favorite artistically. It’s called “The Merry Adventures of Prince Ashe” and is illustrated by Jessi Sheron. Young Ashe has come across a woman who has a piece of wood stabbed into her leg. He helps her and they escape the forest together. The story alludes to who the woman is in the future and it could develop more into the next book.

The third story really helps set up the next volume of the series and is called “Nightlight” and illustrated by Isabelle Melancon. It follows Angoisse as she’s pouting in her castle waiting for a prince to arrive. I don’t want to say too much because it will feed heavily into the next volume and there’s definitely some mystery behind it.

All three stories are told with very different writing styles/devices and I think this once again is a credit to Whitely’s writing talent. Usually when I see a one-shot like this with so many varying styles I think that there’s three different writers (and usually there are), but it’s just Whitely flexing his writing muscles and still delivering an entertaining story that has relevancy to the overall series.

Each of the art styles is very effective for their individual tales and while I have my personal favorite, all three are very good. What’s even better is that all three are women and that’s a great thing to see in the comic industry. There’s also some pin-ups in-between the chapters that are well-drawn as well.

If you’re a Princeless fan then you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one-shot, but if you’re new to the franchise you can actually jump on here and get a great introduction to the world. This is a series that any fan of fantasy should check out and if you have kids then you should definitely get the series for them to enjoy.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Jeremy Whitely

Artists: Adriana Blake, Jessi Sheron and Isabelle Melancon

Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 7/10/13