The first issue of Princess Ugg impressed me, but it left me and possible other readers with a bigger question… where would the series go from here? The thing about the first issue is that it’s used to explain the setting of the world and Ulga’s back story while it introduces us to the premise of the series. The premise being that Ulga a princess from the mountains has come down to the lowlanders society to attend a school for princesses. The issue begins with her roommate complaining about, well her roommate who is Ulga. The head of the school tells her that the accommodations will not be changed and that if she wants a more comfortable room to go home. So far everything has been coming up Ulga, but she’s basically considered to be a barbarian to these girls. She doesn’t dress like them, she barely speaks the language and most importantly… she’s a warrior princess.
As you can imagine she begins feeling like an outcast instantly as they begin basic princess things like balancing a book on her head, learning to hold and drink tea properly, and practically anything else that you would imagine would go against Ulga’s nature. In fact when they learn archery she even struggles at that because of her raw strength. It doesn’t take long before she feels isolated and the other princesses move from making fun of her behind her back to her face.
The first issue made it seem like Ulga was in control. That she was going to lay waste to these princesses and that nothing they did or said would make a difference to her. Boy was I wrong. Ted Naifeh instead captures adolescence perfectly. You don’t need to be a girl to understand what Ulga is going through, hell I could relate because of moving cities as a kid. Let me tell you, if you’ve ever had to start over at a new school then you’ll relate to this book. It’s actually pretty depressing it’s that’s accurate.
Naifeh didn’t just write this issue to depress the reader. He wrote it because Ulga was flying high in the first issue and that doesn’t leave anywhere for the character to go. Ulga can’t grow or mature unless she’s shown to be human. Here Ulga is humbled and relatable, but mostly Naifeh shows that she’s just a young girl.
Having read the advanced release for the first this was my first fully colored issue to check out. The fully colored issue is way better let me tell you. Warren Wucinich is the perfect complement to Naifeh’s artwork which of course shines in this issue as well. For the most part there’s no action or epic scenes like there was in the first issue, there’s a few, but nothing comparable. What Naifeh does though is capture isolation which is impressive given the fact that we’re seeing multiple characters on the page at all times, but Naifeh just nails the “alone in a crowded room” feeling.
This series is really good. I wasn’t expecting this exact direction so soon in the series, but Naifeh is full of surprises. With just two issues this series has jumped way up on my list and I will be paying close attention to it in future issues. I’m not going to be as bold to say if you’re looking for a book for your daughter to read or anything like that because again this book is relatable for anyone that’s really ever felt alone at some point in their life. More than worth the money so check it out.
Writer/Artist: Ted Naifeh Colorist/Letterer: Warren Wucinich Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/25/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital