Archive for Princess Ugg

Warrior Princess


Princess Ugg, Volume 1

Princess Ulga hails from the backwater mountain kingdom of Grimmeria, and she’d be perfectly content to spend her time as she always has — fighting rampaging giants. But she’s made a promise to her mother to travel to the far-off kingdom of Atraesca to attend Princess School — she is to learn arts like diplomacy and anything else she can pick up to help her people in their daily lives.

But while Ulga is amazingly competent in matters of war, weapons, animal handling, acrobatics, and athletics, she definitely stands out from her more prim and proper classmates. And when she gets the A-list alpha-bitch Princess Julifer for a roommate, things don’t get much better. She has trouble doing all the princessy things she’s being taught, like caligraphy, fashion, tea parties, lute playing, and her rough and tumble manner makes her the laughing stock of the school as they cruelly nickname her “Princess Ugg.” She has some teachers on her side, and some teachers opposing her — and even her own people believe she’s betrayed them in their fight against the giants.

Can Ulga learn the arts of princessing? Can she gain the acceptance of her classmates? Can she handle the trials of Julifer and her obstinate pet unicorn? Will she get any education? Will she give up? And what’s her secret mission in Atraesca?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Ted Naifeh is best known for comics like “Gloomcookie” and “Courtney Crumrin,” and this comic has gotten a lot less attention than it really deserves. It’s a fun comic, and I think it’s worth reading.

It’s definitely in the “Empowered Princess” sub-genre of all-ages comics, and Ulga is definitely one of the more unusual girl-power heroines to make it into the comics — a genuine barbarian warrior trying — and mostly failing — to fit in with more traditional princesses. She’s the ultimate tomboy, up against the sneers and snubs of the ultimate junior-high cheerleading squad. If that ain’t a tale for the ages, I don’t know what is.

Believe it or not, even though I do consider this an all-ages book, there’s probably gotta be a slight warning for nudity. Ya don’t see anyone’s goodies, but there are multiple shower scenes — the first time to contrast the low-glamour edge of Ulga’s typical morning with the typical morning of a princess like Julifer — and later to contrast the princesses’ slimmer bodies with Ulga’s muscular one. One could argue it’s a matter of body-positivity — but I don’t think I’m comfortable with that — the princesses are thin, and Ulga is athletic, if not outright musclebound. The only people who are heavier than normal are teachers at the school, and they’re not really the focal characters. To make things a little shorter (too late!), parents, thar be veiled nudity ahoy, so if that ain’t what you want your kids reading, don’t get it for ’em.

Having said that — it’s a great story with great art, and I had a blast reading it. If you or your kids want to read a fun comic with a rough-around-the-edges heroine who kicks serious ass, you’re probably going to want to pick this one up.

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