We first caught wind of an anthology of stories revolving around the world of Princeless when writer (and Princeless creator) Jeremy Whitley joined us on Graphic Policy Radio. We’ve seen some teasing as to what we can expect out of what sounded like a who’s who of comic creators.
Whitley was kind of enough to take some time out of his schedule to spill the beans about the graphic novel, who’s participating, and the charities it’ll benefit.
Graphic Policy: So tell us about this anthology you’ve put together for Princeless.
Jeremy Whitley: It’s something I’ve been working on for about a year and a half now. It started out as me trying to find a way that Princeless could be of real concrete help to some of the people that I hope it inspires in a less concrete way. I wanted the book to be able to give back to people who supported it.
GP: How’d the idea come about?
JW: Ever since Princeless started out, there have been some amazing top tier writers and artists who have been great supporters. They’ve said great things about the books both to me and in public. I’ve been so grateful for their support.
So, first I asked a couple people that I thought might say yes. And they did. So I asked some more people and, frankly, I was astonished at who said yes. Everybody has time constraints, so we decided to make them all short stories and I gave people the options of using our characters, creating their own within the Princeless world, or writing something completely of their own creation that fit thematically with Princeless.
GP: You mentioned it when you were on our podcast a bit ago, how long has this been in the works?
JW: We had started it up about a year and a half ago and due to some tragic circumstances, it sorta fell apart. The idea hung around in my mind for a while, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it.
Then Action Lab started this year by celebrating its fifth anniversary and I realized that Princeless’s fifth anniversary would be later this year. It seemed like the perfect time to revive the anthology and make something really amazing.
GP: You’ve teased what sounds like an amazing group of individuals to participate. Who’s involved in the project?
JW: Ahem, so here’s who we have set to participate. Things may change a little bit before the release, but this is more or less our final list:
Kelly Sue Deconnick and Kit Cox are co-writing a story to be illustrated by the Pirate Princess art team of Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt.
Gail Simone, who is recreating classic kick-ass female characters over at Dynamite, is writing a story to be drawn by Princeless artists Emily Martin and Brett Grunig.
Bri Rudd is writing a story to be illustrated by Kyle Latino.
DeWayne Feenstra and Axur Eneas, of Action Lab’s Aero-Girl are teaming up to bring their style to Princeless.
Ivy Noelle Weir and Christina “Steenz” Stewart of Archival Quality are cooking up an awesome story for Princeless fans that you can’t miss.
The amazing Emily Willis and Ann Uland of Arbitrary Muse Comics are bringing us a great tale of Raven the Pirate Princess.
David Pinckney, creator of Action Lab’s Fight Like a Girl is teaming up with Maggie Venable to bring a fresh and exciting story to the world of Princeless.
Katie Cook (from everything) is writing and drawing her own beautiful short story.
Newcomer Alicia Whitley is teaming up with the artist of House of Montresor and Order of Dagonet Jason Strutz.
Writer and horror podcaster Wes Knipe is teaming up with the talented artist Sorah Suhng.
Kelly Thompson of too many awesome comics to name is working with Tara O’Conner who did Roots, In Your Wake, On the Morrow, and Puddles.
The multitalented Joe Illidge will be working with Marcus Williams who currently is in the process of getting his red-hot Kickstarter project Tuskegee Heirs funded.
Greg Pak, who is currently writing Totally Awesome Hulk for Marvel (among other things), is teaming up with Jules Rivera who has done some Princeless covers.
Bryan Q Miller, whose career spans comics and television, will be spinning up a story with Brenda Hickey who has been handling some of the art duties for various IDW My Little Pony series.
Tini Howard will be bringing her talents and writing a story with writer/artist Tony Fleecs.
Whit Taylor who is a Glyph award winner and Ignatz nominee, will be working with Jenn Blake whose fantastic work you can check out yourself.
Writer and feminist activist, Mikki Kendall will be putting together a story with Ted Naifeh who is the person behind his own kick-ass Pricess series, Princess Ugg.
Tristan J Tarwater who writes The Valley of Ten Crescents series, will be contributing with G Pike.
Jamal Igle, who is no stranger to kick-ass women with his own series Molly Danger, will be contributing a story as writer and artist.
Susan Beneville and Brian Hess, the team behind the series Awake, will be participating.
Kimya Dawson will be working with the amazing Janet Lee.
Gemma Bedeau, the co-creator of the Glyph Award nominated Afroella will be working Telênia Albuquerque, the creator of Amazonomachy.
GP: That’s a hell of a lineup. With all of those individuals, is this an oversized single issue? Multiple issues? That’s a lot of talent to fill in one comic!
JW: Definitely an oversized volume. We’ll be looking at something in the trade paperback vicinity.
GP: What Princeless characters can we expect to see in the comic? Is this in “continuity”?
JW: Both the trio of Adrienne, Bedelia and Sparky and the crew of Raven’s pirate ship will feature prominently. You’ll also get to see a few of the supporting cast from previous volumes.
Even more exciting is that we’ll get to see a number of original creations from some of the great creators on this. My only requirement for stories was that they stay thematically in line with Princeless. They’ve made some amazing stuff.
GP: You’re all doing this for charity. What charity is this project benefiting?
JW: We are working together to benefit Girls Leadership Institute and Girls Rock NC here in my home state of North Carolina.
GP: How’d you learn about them and why’d you choose them?
JW: Girls Leadership Institute I learned about via Kelly Sue Deconnick and Matt Fraction who had worked with the group in the past. They’re an amazing group that does great things for girls.
Girls Rock NC was a group I was made aware of because a friend of mine had worked with them. They put together some great camps and teach skills in much the same vein as Girls Leadership, but with rock music here in NC.
GP: What was the reaction from the creators when you approached them about doing a comic for charity?
JW: It was overwhelmingly positive. People have been incredibly giving with their time and even the handful of creators that had to turn me down only did so for scheduling reasons. Everybody seems really excited about making this book as amazing as it can be.
GP: When can we expect this to come out?
JW: We are aiming for a release date in late 2016 (about the time of year the first Princeless volume released). We’re still not 100% on dates as we are working around and in between a lot of schedules, but we are definitely aiming for this year.