Illustrator, art educator, and feminist Maggie Lynn Negrete needs your help to get her badass coloring book off the ground. Yes, I did just throw badass and coloring book together, and I mean it. Maggie is the creator of the Adventuring Princesses series, a coloring/comic book that features two young princesses the way they should be featured -- doing awesome ass-kicking things.
An excerpt from the Kickstarter campaign:
"Adventuring Princesses relates the stories of Princess Dara of Robles and Princess Alva of the Dark Crescent and their destinies to save the kingdom from magical tyranny. Yes, Adventuring Princesses gives agency to its female characters in hopes to provide more positive female role models while still enjoying the genres of fairytale and epic literature. The compilation “Adventuring Princesses Volume 0” will chronicle the princesses' individual childhoods up to the day they meet and begin their adventures. This publication will differ from the individual zine releases because of larger format, additional illustrations and hand-drawn drop caps in order to emulate a Renaissance manuscript style."
Can we all just take this moment to “!!!!!!!!!!!”? But hold up, it gets better. Negrete says that she is giving back agency to both princesses and villains-- neither will be an “object of desire, emotional foil and/or vehicle to express male prowess.” In separating the narrative of her female protagonists from others that are available for young girls, Negrete strives to not exclude boys; the male characters featured in her coloring book stories are “as dynamic as women.” Good god, is this what real representation looks like? She also says that the characters in her books will have minimalistic features, so that the book becomes a creative fantasy, allowing girls of all ethnicities to project themselves onto the characters, combating exclusive racial representation.
"By limiting my illustrations to black, white, and striped panels, I offer the reader the chance to introduce their own color schemes. While my characters have rough 'ethnic” identities based, in part, on real and historical cultures, I hope that my readers attribute any race to the characters that they read, and I encourage them to color the booklets to more accurately represent their own world view.
Discreet facial features are simplistic in order to allow the reader to interface with the character and project themselves into the action and emotion. Additionally, I hope to limit opportunities where the varying beauty/ugliness of a character may cause unrealistic judgment of that character's personality and role in the storyline, especially in the case of ugly relating to evil and beauty to goodness."
How does this make me feel? This about sums it up:
In order for this project to ever see the light of day, Negrete is calling on the feminists of the internet to help out in whatever way they can (we're looking at you BUST readers!!). Adventuring Princesses is currently up on Kickstarter, and only has 56-ish hours left to get to its $3000 goal ($2,666 already raised!). To see a video of her project and if you’re interested in helping out, click HERE!!!