If just hearing the word “princess” inspires an epic eye roll from your kids, Boom! Studios has just the book for them–and you! This November, pick up Mega Princess to meet Princess Maxine, a princess unlike any you’ve read about in a story before.
Written by Kelly Thompson (A-Force, Jem & the Holograms, Power Rangers: Pink) and illustrated by Brianne Drouhard, Mega Princess is a five-issue limited series aimed at all ages of readers. In the first issue we meet Max, who is turning 10 years old as the story opens. She may be royalty, but she’s not what you would expect from a pretty princess.
“Max is very smart, creative, funny, and a little bit dark,” says Thompson. “She’s got a well honed sense of humor and a loud mouth full of a lot of opinions… And when we meet Max her world is just about to change a whole lot.”
In standard princess fashion, Max is about to meet her fairy godmother–but after that, nothing is typical about this fairy tale.
The glamorous fairy godmother grants Max the powers of every princess who has ever graced a fairy tale. But Max isn’t interested–she just wants to concentrate on her detective work.
“Max is far more interested in doing science experiments, inventing things, building things, and most of all, in being a detective,” says Thompson. “But she IS a princess and as a princess she has the responsibilities that come with it (and the privileges).”
Supporting Max in both her royal duties and her pursuit of honing her detective skills are her parents. Yes, both her parents.
In a refreshing change from most princess tales, Max’s parents are alive and well.
“I think [removing the parents] is a pretty natural and easy way to immediately create obstacles to overcome and to make characters sympathetic, and certainly it’s a convenient way to get the parents out of the narrative so that the story can focus on the YA protagonist,” says Thompson. “But there’s definitely some overuse of the trope. Max is unlike a lot of princesses in that she sort of ‘has it all’ but isn’t so sure she wants it.”
The art draws inspiration from animation, where Drouhard works for her day job as a character and storyboard artist. “The style for Mega Princess is fairly close to how I normally draw for myself,” she says. “I’ve also been inspired by various types of animation my whole life.”
Drouhard was most excited for the opportunity to create illustrations with a fantasy theme. “I’ve been drawing my own webcomic the past couple years as an outlet and had been wanting to work with a writer to branch out,” she says. “Kelly’s Mega Princess is just a really good fit for what I already enjoy creating, with a new twist!”
The series won’t be launched as a trade paperback, but as five single issues to encourage kids to look forward to a trip to the comic book store. “I feel really strongly that hooking kids early on monthly books is our best chance for them to become lifelong lovers of comics in all forms,” Thompson says. “Mega Princess was the first idea I came up with (with my boyfriend Adam Greene who is a co-creator) that really fit that all-ages mold and felt like something I could really run with.”
Drouhard agrees. “Like Kelly, I want to see more variety and choice for kids,” she says, “and the only way we’re going to get there is by working together. When Kelly contacted me about helping with the art for her story, it really fit with that personal goal.”
Max and her adventures will be a treat for kids and grownups alike, and Thompson hopes readers of all ages find humor and inspiration in the series. “Like most all-ages appropriate comics we have lessons about figuring out who you are, about accepting that and embracing it, about being proud of who you are and what you can do while also knowing that you have a lot to learn.
“I suppose at the core of Mega Princess is learning–that there is always something to learn no matter how much you think you know. Life is an adventure and every adventure is an opportunity to become a more complete person.”
Mega Princess #1 from Boom! Studios hits comic book store shelves this November.
All images: Boom! Studios, art by Brianne Drouhard