Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
Header by Rory Midhani
For a long, long time I’ve loved Disney Princess movies. I’ve imagined myself being Belle or Ariel or Jasmine. But in my imagination it’s always a She-Beast, Princess Erica or a street rat named Aliyah who I marry in the end. While I’m not holding my breath for Disney to have an actual lesbian princess movie, I never let that dream completely die and I’m always on the look out for a good princess story that has characters who I can relate to. Well, my dreams came true when I read Princess Princess, the wonderful webcomic by tumblr user strangelykatie. What starts off as a lesbian twist on a Rapunzel-like story soon turns into an adventure about standing up to bullies and forging your own path in life. Plus, it features two princesses who are super cute in their own distinct ways.
As the story starts, we see the all-too familiar scene of a princess shouting for help after she has been trapped in a tower. A rider approaches, saying that they have come to rescue the fair maiden. Our princess is not impressed. She’s tired of fitting into the boring tropes that come with being a princess in a fairy tale. She says that none of the dozens of princes that have come and tried so far to rescue her have succeeded, so what makes this one different? That’s when the rescuer steps off of their beautiful unicorn steed and announces in classic Éowyn style, “I am no prince!” Also, she has a grappling hook. This is our introduction to the very dapper Princess Amira.
Once Amira gets into the tower, she meets the fat and femme Princess Sadie and her dragon buddy Oliver. The two princesses escape from the tower and go off looking for adventure. And they’re able to find it with hilariously little effort. Soon their group grows to include Prince Vladric, who doesn’t seem to fit many stereotypes of a fairy tale prince. They also meet the Big Bad of the story. As the comic progresses, we get to see short backstories for each of the princesses and we learn that the villain who locked Sadie in the tower is someone from her past. Even though it was Amira who originally rescued Sadie, they both work together to creatively solve their problems, defeat their enemies and become the kind of princesses that they want to be. None of our heroes fit the normal fairy tale roles. Our brave rescuer is a princess and doesn’t defeat every challenge by fighting it. Our princess who was rescued isn’t helpless and actually stands up for herself when she needs to. The prince who is there has no desire to fit the daring, violent adventurer role that his father imagined for him. It’s all very refreshing and makes the story so much more enjoyable to read.
The story is fun and full of little jokes that help to move the story along and develop the characters. Each of the people we meet has their own distinct voice and personality. The writing is clever and fast paced and even when things are sad or intense, it keeps it’s fairy tale feel. And the art only enhances the experience. The lines are soft and round and the color palette is made up of light pinks and reds (although there are some pages done in full color). This gives the entire comic a whimsical, delicate feel that is reminiscent of Bee & PuppyCat by Natasha Allegri or the Marceline and The Scream Queens comics.
Just about everything about this little comic is great. The two princesses are both different as can be, but they compliment each other so well. Amira is a cool Princess of Color who wears a military uniform, has an awesome alternative lifestyle haircut and loves questing and kicking butt. Sadie on the other hand is chubby, wears a cute dress, loves cookies and would rather talk things out than start a fight. The comic works wonderfully to show us how their different personalities and styles are each perfectly valid and good and that even though they’re both princesses, they do not want to be the same kind of princess. Even though Princess Princess is full of messages about being yourself and not being ashamed of your body and creating your own fate, it manages to stay uplifting and entertaining instead of becoming cheesy or heavy-handed.
A lot of queer women (including me) grew up dreaming of being princesses. As we grew up and started seeing sexism and racism and the ugly face of the patriarchy permeating throughout pop culture a lot of those dreams disappeared. We simply weren’t able to find the kind of princess stories that we wanted any more. Sure, I still love fairy tales and I can sing all the words to a ton of Disney songs, but I also can’t help but cringe when I see all the problematic aspects in my favorite princess stories. Princess Princess manages to avoid those problems without sacrificing quality or entertainment.
The comic first appeared on her personal tumblr and a special Princess Princess tumblr back in December of 2012 and after weekly updates, the story ended this spring. She recently started selling the Princess Princess Pack at her gumroad store for only $2.50. This digital pack includes the entire original comic, 7 new epilogue pages, and a folder of high-resolution images including some that aren’t found anywhere else, and I have to say that It’s definitely worth buying.
If you have or know of a comic that you would to be featured on Drawn to Comics you can email me at email@example.com.
Oh my gosh, I am SO EXCITED about this new Drawn to Comics thing! Just like zines, underground comics are a part of our queer history. I’m presenting at the National Women’s Studies Conference on queer comics this year, specifically about Skim, the graphic novel! Can’t wait to read more. :)
I read this a few months ago and fell in love with it so hard. She’s an awesome artist and her other comics are excellent too.
aaaah! Princess Princess has been one of my favourite comics since I first came across it. :))
And I’m super pumped for this new thing! Can’t wait to see what else you’ll showcase. Will you also be taking suggestions?
One of these comics showed up on my tumblr dashboard not to long ago.
They are fantastic!!
I remember when I first stumbled upon Princess Princess! It was the most magically happy day of my life.
This is really cool! It’s a fully fleshed out comic of what I dreamed of when I saw this: http://godohelp.deviantart.com/gallery/45764264
This is awesome
This is relevant to my interests! :”)
Thank you, your highnesses!
This makes all my Revolutionary Girl Utena feelings feel.
thanks so much for posting this! i completely forgot about this comic and how much i loved it until i saw this article– time to go back and reread <3
I read it recently and its adorable and awesome <3
I just read it and died from cute.
I read this a couple months ago and have it bookmarked and maybe read it like every other week because it’s just so adorable. I love princesses and princesses kissing other princesses. And Celeste. Celeste is perfect.
I love this webcomic so much! It’s wonderful!!
I’ve seen several strips from Princess Princess on tumblr but never got around to reading it. It sounds even more awesome than I thought, plus the art is adorable!
I need to read this. It sounds like what I always wanted princess stories to be.
Omg I just read this and it is the most adorable/awesome thing. Thanks for telling me about it!
OK, I read this a couple of months ago and have been in desperate need of somewhere to vent my feelings about Sadie. Sadie is exactly what I needed and never had growing up.
When I was little my cousins and I read, watched and acted out Famous Five scenes constantly, and even then I felt anxious and conflicted about the differences between George and Anne. I adored George, I completely hero-worshipped her and in retrospect she may have been my first crush. But I always knew I wasn’t George. I always knew I was Anne. And being Anne sucks. Anne is left behind when the others go on adventures, she is constantly dismissed and she just accepts this. I knew I was Anne because I was girly and I liked cooking and making things pretty and I was often pretty cautious, but what I internalised from Famous Five was that if you were Anne you opinion was irrelevant and you didn’t have a real role to play. So sometimes I pretended to be George, just to be heard, just to get things done.
And then here comes Sadie, who is girly and cautious (and a little bit fat, which helps), but who still has total agency in her own life. Her choices are valid even when they are completely different from Amira’s. She also kicks butt and it’s not seen as a problem that she doesn’t pick up a sword to do it. She isn’t a delicate little flower but she never has to be something she isn’t to get things done. She is everything I needed in a fairy tale princess.
speaking of ladyloving fairy tales, anyone here into Mercenary and Sorceress? I’ve been shipping it since it was in previews ;)
Thanks for mention Mercenary and Sorceress, Petra! I just started reading it and it’s wonderful.
Aww this is so sweet! It’s been a long time coming that’s for sure.
AAAHHH this comic is everything I have everything I have ever
needed/wanted. It’s like all of my childhood dreams come true. <3 <3 <3
Aaaaaah I love this so much! Thanks Mey!