The Book That Made Me: James Mayhew 17/07/19
Volume 1: Save Yourself
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Very much despite her wishes, the princess Adrienne has been locked in a tower, just like all those pathetic blonde-haired, pipe-cleaner-armed princesses in books. Her parents want her to be saved by a handsome prince, but Adrienne’s having none of it – in fact, when they do come and try to climb up the unnecessarily high tower, she heckles them.
Instead, with the help of her grandmotherly pet dragon Sparky, Adrienne decides to escape the tower and rescue all six of her princess sisters from theirs.
Comprehensively dismantling all the features of the fairytale princess theme, from blondeness to passivity, Princeless is a fast-moving, brilliant adventure featuring a black princess who is, furthermore, one of seven black princesses in the fairytale kingdom. Though she can’t see herself in the books her mother reads her, Adrienne refuses to believe that she can’t rewrite the role of the princess and be the (properly attired) warrior she was born to be – no chainmail bikinis for Adrienne!
There’s also a thoughtful look at the role of boys as princes, and how Adrienne’s brother Devin has to be the king’s heir, despite the fact that he doesn’t like sword-fighting and would much rather do drama. Excellent stuff.