When it comes to education, motivation is king. Unless of course, you’re a barbarian being asked to go to a princess finishing school, which is what we have in this new series by Oni Press. It’s a classic fish out of water story only in a fantasy genre. Sounds pretty cool, is it good?
Princess Ugg #1 (Oni Press)
This series is the epitome of everything I want in a comic. First off, a female protagonist that’s strong and secondly a premise that’s original and interesting regarding its base values. The added benefit of good art and funny moments only knocks this puppy out of the park.
The story follows Princess Ugg who’s reached the age where she must go to finishing school and learn how to be a lady and a princess. She’s out for an education of sorts, only she’s not quite the princess type you’d expect to be attending such a school; on the contrary, Princess Ugg is corded with muscle, isn’t accustomed to frivolity and has little care for pomp.
Writer Ted Naifeh opens the book with Ugg speaking to her mother before a battle. Ugg’s mother tells her what’s right for her and why education is important. The comic quickly cuts to a typical Disney princess in her castle being waited and pampered upon. The two’s lives couldn’t be any different from one another, yet they are both princesses. The story cuts between the two until they finally meet in the city where their education will take place and, like most fish out of water stories, there’s a miscommunication which leads to conflict. The following sequence is at once funny, interesting and fun. Naifeh doesn’t spend a lot of time on character and mostly with plot, but we do get to see these characters in their natural habitat which says a lot. Needless to say the set up is extremely good and the payoff by the last page should perk up your interest indeed.
The art by Naifeh has a lot of pop and grace in every panel. Ugg is beautiful and cute, but at the same time so muscular and badass that she pulls off the action girl/damsel out of distress vibe with aplomb. The backgrounds are very vivid and clean, much like most of the lines, and the world is made more clear because of it. His style reminds me of a less detailed Joe Madureira. There’s a lot of action and movement in every character even when they’re standing still.
He’s aided by some exceptional color by Warren Wucinich. I love his use of purple here and there and the city, cast in a bit of a haze due to his colors, works wonders giving the setting a magical nature.
Check out those muscles!
Is It Good?
This book couldn’t come at a better time now that everyone is loving the badass Daenerys on Game of Thrones. By issue’s end if you’re not hooting and hollering like a canned television audience you’re probably dead. Recommended.