I’m a big fan of going into comic shops and browsing for something new that I’ve never heard of before. I can go through boxes and boxes of issues from all different publishers and not find anything that quite satisfies my ‘something new and exciting’ comic needs.
It’s a lot like treasure hunting: you can lug your metal detector through miles of countryside turning up interesting bits and pieces, but it’s not the Viking treasure trove you were looking for. Recently though I discovered something called ‘Princeless’ – princesses who don’t need a prince to get out there, have adventures and kick butt alongside their gal pals. As you can see, it’s got a 10/10 for appeal already. The copy I picked up was called ‘Raven: the Pirate Princess.’
It turns out there are three previous volumes of ‘Princeless’, but this one can be read without having read those three, since this arc is about Raven’s personal quest for vengeance against her brothers who stole her ship and persuaded her father (the Pirate King, FYI) to lock her in a tower to be rescued by a prince. Because, apparently, that’s what all the Kings are doing these days. Sheesh.
Anyway, Raven has escaped her tower and the first issue opens with her cursing the bug-infested ship she’s ended up with. Her main problem at the moment is that she doesn’t have a crew. Any crew. At all. It’s pretty difficult to get your pirate-game on with no one to hoist the sails and what not.
She’s also pretty hungry. So she heads into town to grab some food and bumps straight into a cute redhead with a mysterious accent, who robs her and runs off with her money. A fantastic chase ensues, interspersed with kickass fighting moves from both girls – and they team up against a group of no good thugs set on robbing both of them (something makes me think these two are going be best friends).
The chase ends in a local tavern. The redhead, Sunshine as it turns out, knows the owner, and so – to everyone’s surprise – does Raven. Jay the barkeep was a member of her father’s pirate crew, so they are old, old friends. Their reunion is short lived however, because Sunshine bashes her over the head with a wine bottle.
Honestly, the whole thing just left me wanting more. When I was little, I wanted to be a pirate. But not just any pirate. I wanted to be a pirate Queen, with my own ship and a loyal but mischievous crew, having all sorts of adventures on the high seas.
Essentially, Raven is who the young me wanted to be (okay, maybe the current me too – bookseller by day, pirate queen by night!). Not only is the story thrilling and full of potential, but the art is beautiful and features a very inclusive cast. Raven Xingtao is Asian, her new frenemy is (as I said) a redhead and are those pointy ears I spy? And Jay the ex-pirate barkeep is a fat, elderly man of colour.
Also also also, when Sunshine was playing her ‘grateful damsel in distress’ confidence trick on Raven, she kissed her. Full on the mouth. Do I spy a potential queer romance? I really hope I do! *crosses fingers*
If any of that doesn’t make you want to grab this comic in both hands and devour it, I don’t know what will. Well, other than the fact that I’ve read the next issue and I can tell you than it just gets better. Promise, on my honour as a Geek Girl.
Does anyone else have pirate fantasies? Or any other cherished childhood day dreams. Let me know!