Review – Hey Princess

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Hey PrincessHey Princess by Mats Jonsson is a coming of age tale we can all relate to.  A small town boy moving to a bigger city and having to figure out how to fit in.  The story is raw, honest, and brutal to most everyone.  The story is a whirlwind of music, pop culture and a lot of European references I don’t get.  It was originally published in Sweden, so that’s understandable.

Hey Princess is a story about moving to the big city and being young, insecure and desperate to feel as hip as everyone else.

Originally published in Sweden, Hey Princess received praise from both critics and readers for its incisive and entertaining account of indie pop-listening young people in the mid-1990s.

Hey Princess takes its place in the proud tradition of self-deprecating, confessional, sex-obsessed and guilt-ridden autobiographical comics, but stakes out a unique identity by virtue of its Nordic setting and biting social criticism. … This seminal book in the thriving Swedish indie comics scene is a graphic novel packaged in the style of a traditional pulp novel. — A 472-Page Graphic Novel packaged in the style of a traditional pulp novel, 4.25″ x 7″, Diamond: FEB10-1094

It’s great to see a writer be so open, even portraying himself warts and all.  It’s a story of a man trying to find love, often times unsuccessfully.  From horrible sex experiences, to horrible relationship experiences, this is the Swedish High Fidelity outside of the record shop.

It’s impressive that throughout all the aggravation, you still come out in the end thinking love is worth it.  There’s humorous moments, and points you’ll get angry at the characters.  This is the humorous side of those sad pathetic moments of life we all experience.

An autobiographical tale that you can relate to and just might make you feel better about your life.

Plot: Jonsson is a hell of a writer.  This is a relate-able graphic novel that looks at all of those awkward moments we experience as we search for love.  From horrible relationships, to those sexual fumbles we want to forget, it’s here, warts and all.  Jonsson has written a brutal truth that we can all relate to.  Rating: 9

Art: The art here is very indie pop.  Jonsson does double duty and art isn’t his primary focus.  The characters are pretty unique, though there are a couple of the women that look similar.  That might be on purpose though, still I got mixed up at times.  I wasn’t the biggest of fan of the art, but that’s not the drawing power.  Rating: 7

Overall: The story is relate-able and honest.  Jonsson could have easily washed over the ugly moments and made himself look much better, but him doing so would of been obvious and the whole thing wouldn’t of worked.  My biggest gripe, and it’s not a huge one, that since it’s a European graphic novel there’s so many references I just didn’t get.  There’s a handy guide in the back, but for those who know more about Europe will probably enjoy it even more.  That’s not a huge issue and in fact helps emphasize that some personal pains are universal no matter where you live.  Overall rating: 8.5

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 472 pages    Price: $14.95    Release Date: Out Now

Top Shelf provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.