O’Neill, Katie. Princess Princess Ever After. Portland, OR: Oni Press, 2016.
In this adorable graphic novel, princess Amira rescues princess Sadie from a tower where she has been imprisoned by her jealous sister. The two go on an adventure together, rescue and befriend a prince fleeing from his princely duties, teach an ogre to dance so he stops ruining cities with his giant feet, and dethrone the wicked sister. At the end, they get married to great fanfare.
There is so much to like about this lovely story. First of all, the art is fantastic. O’Neill draws her characters lovingly, with bright colors, bold lines, and interesting backgrounds. I especially like how the protagonists are depicted: Amira is dapper and lithe with brown skin and a really kickass undercut; Sadie is femme and plump with blushing pink skin and long blonde hair. The writing is excellent, too. Amira and Sadie are really different characters, showing that there’s more than one way to be a girl. The prince also chafes under gendered expectations; he left home to avoid being a prince entirely.
In just 53 pages, this delightful comic has some great social messages: Sadie’s sister taunts her for being fat, but Sadie eventually fights back and says that being fat is not a bad thing; girls are heroes and boys are allowed to be soft; and interracial same-sex relationships are celebrated.
Princess Princess Ever After was awarded best book/graphic novel and shortlisted for best overall comic in the first annual Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards. It’s written for older elementary schoolers and middle schoolers, but adults will love it too.