You know what the biggest problem with Princess Ugg? That every issue cuts on action. Now it’s not really a “problem”, but it does make me curse this book every month. Even when I know I’ve hit the final page I still check for more because the issue ends just when it’s getting going. It’s the best kind of frustration as a comic reader. After the first arc’s conclusion we find Princess Ulga’s journey to be far more difficult than a barbarian attending princess school. Yeah let that sink in. The new arc opens with her roommate late at night sneaking out with the other princess. She discovers that Ulga has come along and is none too thrilled. It seems that Julie and Ulga are still mostly at odds, but now it’s just passive aggressive tongue lashings from Julie directed toward Ulga who seems mostly unaffected by them.
They arrive at a bar and meet up with the Captain of the capital’s guard. If you recall he was also in the first issue of the last arc as well. The ladies sit down with the Captain and his men, but the men seem to be interested in asking Ulga and challenging her to strength tests. Eventually Ulga’s truer nature gets the best of her as she grabs the Captain and kisses him in front of everyone. She learns a hard lesson from that one.
Back at the school she continues learning how to be a princess and seems to be mastering it quite well as her father’s Owl reports to him about her progress and how she won’t rest until she’s accomplished the tasks put before her. By the end of the sequence she’s even wearing a princess dress. Yeah, crazy.
The story in this issue is great because it really feels like it’s moved on from the last arc. The character development is very rich. Without even explaining Julie and Ulga’s relationship you can understand it and may have been in a similar one in your own life. I know I have. It’s just really incredible how the relationship has developed between Ulga and Julie right along with their characters.
As far as action and just overall “things that happen”, this issue is pretty mellow. That doesn’t mean that creator Ted Naifeh doesn’t nail it up and down. It says a lot about the art when a lot of basic events are illustrated so well that it holds your attention and makes you want more. The final pages in particular are really good and the action is only just beginning.
There’s still plenty of twists and turns for the story to take. I learned that with the first arc; where you think Naifeh is taking the story is often times not the case. Hell sometimes he screws with the readers and takes them where they expect, but then he’ll flip everything on its head in the process. The point I’m getting at is that I’m already waiting for the next issues release and if you haven’t been reading Princess Ugg this is a great place to start.
Writer/Artist: Ted Naifeh Colorist: Warren Wuchinich Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/19/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital