The Courageous Princess
[Antarctic Press $11.95 US $18.00 CAN]
Written & Illustrated by Rod Espinosa
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The Courageous PrincessRod Espinosa first published The Courageous Princess in novel form. He has since taken on the slightly monumental task of turning the work into a graphic novel format.

The heroine of the story is Princess Mabelrose, daughter of King Teryk and Queen Helena of New Tinsley, a small but peaceful kingdom. New Tinsley is small potatoes in the Land of the Hundred Kingdoms but Princess Mabelrose is loved by her parents and has a fairly idyllic life. She is taught to be kind and good by her parents and is well loved by all of their subjects.

After attending a ball in the much larger and grander kingdom of Warwick, Princess Mabelrose comes face-to-face with how sheltered her life has been. Mabelrose has never been subjected to the petty jealousies and rivalries of a larger court. A sadder but wiser to the ways of the world Princess Mabelrose returns home only to be mysteriously abducted by a very powerful dragon. The story gets exciting when Mabelrose comes to the conclusion that she canít wait around for a handsome prince to rescue her and sets out to take control of her own destiny.

The Courageous Princess has almost everything an all-ages comic should haveóbeautiful artwork (an interesting mix of manga and western styles), a plucky heroine, evil villains and a rousing adventure story. The only thing that might hold it back is the hefty $11.95 price tag. A similar format from any of the bigger publishers would end up costing around $6.95 but I know Antarctic Press canít afford the kind of print runs the major publishers can so it is somewhat justified. Iím not sure what form the next part of the story will be but letís hope itís in a more affordable color format.

If youíre looking for something to share with your kids (or nieces or nephews) give this comic a try. My four year-old son gave it his wholehearted approvalóhe didnít get bored and he laughed at all the right places.

Dying to give this series a try? Write to Antarctic Press, 7272 Wurzbach, Suite #204, San Antonio, TX 78240. You can also visit the Antarctic Press web site at www.antarctic-press.com. For more information about The Courageous Princess visit www.geocities.com/mabelrose2001/.