Black (Comic) History Month: Princeless, a Comic You Should be Reading
We unofficially kicked off our Black History Month yesterday with our latest episode of Graphic Policy Radio which featured Ronald Wimberly. The coverage to expect for the next 25 days will feature a mix of interviews, profiles, reviews, and spotlights on characters and series.
When it came to the first comic series to cover, one immediately jumped out in my mind. Princeless, a series from Action Lab Entertainment and created by Jeremy Whitley, not only features a black main character, but a kick-ass woman too. It fits both Black History Month and Women’s History Month which follows in March. When something has so many positive aspects, it’s kind of hard not to be excited to run to the top of a mountain and yell about it to as many people as possible.
The series which sees its third volume out next week focuses on Princess Adrienne who decides to free herself from her tower and do the same for her sisters. She’s an empowered black woman who’s independent, strong, smart, and knows she can save herself.
In an industry that struggles to feature minorities as characters, let along lead characters, Adrienne is both black and a woman (and we can go into how she’s not drawn in an exploitative way).
The series’ previous volumes are all entertaining, perfect for both adults and kids alike. In fact, it’s the first series I recommend when asked for a comic to put into the hands of a kid interested in comics. The humor works on so many levels, taking jabs at society, the comics industry, and our preconceptions. Princeless might be a fairytale, but it has a modern sensibility about it.
Princeless’ Adrienne is a character we should all be rooting for, and one we should want our kids to look up to. She shows an empowerment, and positive face that’s a rarity on the comic page. She’s exactly what comics needs more of.
The latest volume, Princeless: The Pirate Princess #1, hits shelves next week.