The Princess Who Saved Herself

We talk about a lot of comics each week on the Worst. Comic. Podcast. EVER! Quite honestly, most of them are just simply comics — a fun way to pass the time. But every now and then, one of us encounters something big, something important, and we do our best to tell you that you should be reading a particular book.

Guess what? WE FOUND SOMETHING YOU SHOULD BE READING — AND SUPPORTING!

The creative team that brought us Code Monkey Save World in 2013 are back with a new book, The Princess Who Saved Herself. Adapted from a song by Jonathan Coulton, the book is written by Greg Pak and drawn by Takeshi Miyazawa, with colors by Jessica Kholinne and letters by Simon Bowland. This book is currently being solicited on Kickstarter.

Earlier this week, John from WCPE reached out to Greg Pak and Jonathan Coulton to discuss the Kickstarter project.

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WCPE: First of all, I just wanted to say that I am a big fan of both of your work. Jonathan, Skullcrusher Mountain is my personal favorite song of yours. I aspire to evil geniushood so it speaks to me personally. Greg, Action Comics has been fantastic (from a life-long Superman fan) and I have to add that Planet Hulk was one of my favorite Hulk stories of all time. Thanks to both of you for taking some time to answer these questions.

GREG PAK: Thank you so much! Really appreciate it!

WCPE: Jonathan, what sparked the original inspiration for the song The Princess Who Saved Herself?

JONATHAN COULTON: I was inspired by my own kids. Everyone thinks their kids are great of course, and I’m no exception. But there’s something about the way kids approach the world before they’ve learned to be afraid of it, before they really have any sense that they should doubt themselves. As adults, we’re all keenly aware of our limitations, so it’s really exciting to watch kids meet challenges as if they don’t have any. And in particular, my daughter was very interested in princesses and pink things, but also kind of a bruiser. So I wrote this princess character who doesn’t need any help at all, because she’s able to shrug off all her problems in that guileless, fearless kid way. 

WCPE: All three of us that created the show are Dad’s with daughters and the idea of shaking up the ‘Princess’ genre is very appealing. What tropes did you want to avoid (or just tackle head-on) that we often see with Princess stories?

JONATHAN: Obviously the princess genre is fraught, as anyone who has seen their toddler daughter start modeling themselves after Snow White will attest. I didn’t really think much about gender stereotypes in stories until I noticed my own kids absorbing them. But once you see that happen, it feels a lot more important to leave the Prince out of it, to have the dragon get a lesson in manners, and to have the witch be tamed with an offer of friendship.

WCPE: Your previous collaboration Code Monkey Saves World was extremely successful. How did that success lead into The Princess Who Saved Herself being created?

GREG: The Code Monkey Save World Kickstarter was so successful we were able to fund the creation of the digital version of The Princess Who Saved Herself as a stretch goal. So all credit goes to our backers for making that possible!

Now we’re running the current PWSH Kickstarter in order to make physical hardcovers of the book.

WCPE: A concern sometimes with Kickstarter projects is the fear that of backing something that doesn’t get finished (it has happened to me). Where is this project in terms of being completed and when should backers expect to receive their books?

GREG: The beautiful thing is that the book has been written, drawn, colored and lettered. It’s good to go! We just need to send it to the printer. So we’re estimating backers will get their books in June.

WCPE: How did the collaboration between you two come together?

GREG: Jonathan and I were friends in college. And then we re-friended each other after bumping into each other in New York many years later. And somewhere along the line I realized the characters from Jonathan’s songs could make for a pretty awesome supervillain comic book team up. And a couple years later, here we are making a princess book, too!

WCPE: The artwork for the this book is gorgeous and is different than some of the work I’ve seen from Takeshi Miyazawa. What made him the perfect artist for this book?

GREG: I’ve worked with Tak on tons of stuff over the years and I just love what he does. I knew he’d nail all the different degrees of cute and tough and fun and just a little bit scary in the story. And he’d bring out all the great character beats like nobody’s business. I’ve also worked with Tak long enough to know he’s always going to surprise me with some awesome details. The whole concept of a hipster witch is all Tak, and it’s amazing.

Our colorist Jessica Kholinne and letterer Simon Bowland also deserve huge credit here for making just the right aesthetic choices to complement the accessible, hand-made feel of the art and bring it all together.

WCPE: Greg’s story Planet Hulk was made into an animated film for DVD. Would you ever like to see this new book made into a full length animated special or film?

GREG: Yes. Hollywood, please ping me via Twitter. Or just Paypal me money; that would be cool, too.

WCPE: Do you have another project planned together in the future?

GREG: Mmmmaybe? We’re always talking. TIME WILL TELL!

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The good news is that this Kickstarter project is FULLY FUNDED! This book will be printed, but to get your hands on a copy, you should go ahead and donate. Two new stretch goals were added just yesterday:

Last two stretch goals! If we hit $85,000, we’ll create a digital SPANISH LANGUAGE VERSION OF THE PRINCESS WHO SAVED HERSELF that every backer at the $12 level and above will receive as a PDF! And if we hit $100,000, we will SUPER-SIZE THE STICKERS that all backers who picked a physical reward will receive! (Originally we planned a sticker strip about 3×7 inches. We’re still talking to vendors, so we don’t have exact dimensions yet, but if we hit the stretch, we’ll go at least twice that size!)

For more details on The Princess Who Saved Herself, visit the Kickstarter page!



Categories: Worst Comic Podcast Ever

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