There's no shortage of comics on the market, and thankfully, more readers are finding something they like from publishers other than Marvel and DC. Smaller, creator owned imprints are slowly and steadily working their way up the chain in the comic publishing industry. One publisher that is making a name for itself is Action Lab with its hefty all ages titles, including one of their most prominent, Princeless. The company is relatively young—celebrating five years in business this year—and worked diligently to position themselves as a destination for both comic creators and fans.
Princeless is the story of young Princess Adrienne Ashe who grows tired of waiting for a Prince to come and rescue her from her tower prison. In one of the sassiest intros around, she turns away a suitor and makes a deal with the dragon that is guarding her to secure her escape. The series was created by writer Jeremy Whitley (Unstoppable Wasp, Secret Empire) with art by Mia Goodwin (Tomboy), Emily Martin (Molly Danger), Rosy Higgins, and Ted Brandt. Whitley's run on Princeless was so successful, itskyrocketed him to the pages of Marvel.
Nominated for two Eisner Awards and winner of three Glyph Awards, Princeless might be reaching an even larger audience soon. In a Comic-Con announcement, Deadline confirmed Sony optioned the film rights to this series. The studio will bring in writer Stefani Robinson, who was a staff writer for Atlanta, the animated Deadpool series, and a story editor for Man Seeking Woman. Michael Sugar (Spotlight) and Ashley Zalta are Columbia's producers on the project, with Brittany Morrissey also slated to produce and oversee.
Princeless has been such a hit for Action Lab that it spawned a successful spin-off, Raven: The Pirate Princess. With the original being a story about a prominent Black family set in medieval times, the spinoff is lead by an Asian woman who is also a lesbian. Diversity—in skin tone and race, orientation, and storytelling—has always been at the forefront of the entire Princeless series. It will be interesting to see what Sony does, and how much of the source material they keep.
The underlying stories are not unfamiliar, but Princeless does not subscribe to the damsels in distress trope. After Princess Adrienne frees herself from her tower, she and her new dragon friend set off to free the rest of her sisters who are held under similar conditions. She meets a new partner-in-crime along the way, a mallet wielding, half dwarf, armorer named Bedelia, and they set off across the countryside on an unforgettable adventure.
Princeless does not yet have an anticipated release date.