Princess of Prowess : Comedy, Medieval Mayhem, and The Fairy Tale

Princess of Prowess was mentioned before ( Preview of Princess of Prowess), but it deserves an in depth review. It is a fun webcomic that is unique in its presentation, yet has the delightful charm of what is familiar. It is the creation of an artist that goes by the screen name of  Lester Yeoman . The setting is in a fantasy world known as Rywerheim. Dolores Dulac is the princess that resides in Pommerland. The webcomic made its debut in 2018 and has been evolving ever since. Princess of Prowess is a mixture of traditional fairly tales, Monty Python, and Disenchantment . Reading it one can notice that there seems to be a Disney trope to it. King Harold Dulac, her father seems to fit the mold of the protective father that appears in Disney animated feature films. The story is divided into books. The story is serial based, so there could be more characters and settings on the way. What will be discussed is what happens so far. Further discussion may occur on the Femuscleblog Reddit page. This webcomic has shown great promise and it can only get better as time goes on. While some may just think of it as just another female muscle fetish comic, it is more than that. It created a wonderful female protagonist, along with a mix of comedy and action. Right at the beginning the author tells you what this world is all about : “I welcome thee, o brave explorer, to my domain: the world of Rywerheim, the kingdom of Pommerland, the home of the Princess of Prowess – the strongest princess there is!” He hopes that the pages bring the reader merriment. The comic has done more than that. Princess of Prowess is a refreshing and different take on the fairy tale and fantasy genre.

          The comedy is one of the first elements a reader notices. A Disney reference is what reader are introduced to when Dolores begins singing. The birds help her get dressed and in comes her stepmother. The only problem is the birds leave their droppings all over the place. Bug eyed, they are not the cute animals common in Disney films.  Yelling at Dolores it reminds readers of the stock Disney villains. However, she is not what she seems. Stepmother( Queen Stephanie)  is a product of witchcraft. These armies of stepmothers  are being controlled by the evil Witch Queen Marzipan. Along with her troll, they seek to take over various kingdoms with these stepmothers. The problem is they make poor assassins. Every attempt at murder the stepmothers fail miserably. Stepmother give Dolores a poison apple. She did not eat it, instead making it into a pie. King Harald was going to eat it, but stepmother takes it from him and eats it herself. She then dies. The next step mother pushes Dolores out the tower hoping the crocodile will get her. All it does is safely put her on land. All while this is happening Dolores is blissfully unaware that these stepmothers are attempting to kill her. These antics become funny to a Warner Brothers cartoon level. When Dolores runs into Sir Rupert more comedy follows  .He was injured from his duel with Sir Waldemar . Losing a finger to him is no problem as he mentions it with nonchalance.

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Princess Dolores Dulac was changed by the magic of the black rose . The magic was protecting her and altered her body making her very strong.
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This a unique character. She has the charm of a Disney princess combined with the strength of He-Man.
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The comic is updated every Tuesday three times a month. The adventures are placed in books. currently the comic is on book one and going into book two.

Start Reading From the Beginning

Tex Avery style slapstick seems to be a part of this comic. A mix of humor and action reminds a reader of watching a Jackie Chan film. After she nurses sir Rupert to health other knights show up bleeding and bruised. Vexed Dolores marches to confront Sir Waldemar. Washing his face off in a near by lake, Dolores scolds him for his duels. “That wasn’t very nice she said. Once more the stepmother attempts to make another assassination attempt an is taken out by Waldemar. Another stepmother tries to kill Dolores while she was sleeping, but was protected by the black rose. Stepmother end ups with the knife in her head.  Queen Marzipan lured Dolores into tarp thinking its from Waldemar. When hit ring Mug-ba’ krai the rose saves Doloes. This time it alters her body as a result. Dolores is now much stronger and proceeds to pulverize the stepmothers.

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The art style only adds to the hilarious nature. It seems to have design similar to John Kricfausi. Exaggerated expressions and Robert Clampett like cartoon physics make it funnier. There is a tendency for some entertainment to take itself too  seriously. It either is strictly action or humor. Princess of  Prowess does a nice blend of both. Losing fingers must be a running gag. Slapstick humor has become more rare. The great thing is that it has never left animation or comics. Seeing as this is set in a fantasy world and Middle Ages era the possibilities are endless.

       The Medieval period refers to a period of European history starting with the fall of the Roman Empire  to the Age of Exploration. Sometimes this period is referred to as the dark age. That becomes problematic, because Africa, Asia, and the Americas did not experience a dark age during the  Middle Ages.  Abbasid and Umayyad caliphates preserved ancient Greek and Roman knowledge. Ghana, Mali, and Songhay became some of the most powerful empires of West Africa. The Mongol Empire was one of the largest land empires in history. The Maya, Inca, and Aztecs built empires along similar lines. Europe would not catch up until the Scientific Revolution. Superstition and religious fanaticism stunted Europe’s progress. A feudal system did not help. Europe was a place of  kings,nobles, peasants, lords,  and knights. The kingdom of  Pommerland seems to be modeled on this. Knights make an appearance with Waldemar being the strongest. European knights have been subject to much lore and fascination. Knighthood was an honorary title  granted by  a head of state, the church, or military for service. Mounted warriors were given this title during the Middle Ages for performance in combat and service to their lord. They adhered to a certain code referred to as chivalry. It was a mix of warrior ways and courtly behavior. Princess of Prowess demonstrates this with Dolores’ conversation with Waldemar. “The soul of the sword is double edged it does good it does evil” Waldemar proclaims. However, he then reveals “sooner or later it will always draw blood.” What he was explaining to Dolores was warrior ethos and the thrill of battle. While she dismisses it at this point, she may be embracing the idea later .

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The mace an iconic Medieval weapon.  Female warriors in fantasy tend to appear scantily clad as seen here in Dolores’ metal bikini.
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Women could not become knights. However, this did not stop them from entering combat. Joan of Arc  was famous for her role in the Hundred Years’ War ( 1337- 1453) .
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Princess of Prowess also has a Tumblr Page: Princess of Prowess Tumblr

The Middle Ages had a huge influence on fairy tales and European folklore. Being a fantasy and fairy tale based webcomic, the historical foundations of fiction cannot be ignored. This world in which Dolores lives maybe more along the lines of fairy tale fantasy with a mixture  of  historical  Medieval society. Princess of Prowess draws upon this historical time periods and the folklore shaped by it .

         Fairy tales are part of a long tradition of folklore with features magic and creatures of the imagination. They are conveyed in the form of short story. The term fairy tale is a recent one only coming in use when serious academic examination of literature shifted in the past centuries. Fairy tales are mostly associated with children’s literature. This can become confusing when trying to distinguish between fables, legends, and myths. These terms are different, but there are some connections between them. Fables are stories that convey a moral lesson, yet also have legendary creatures.  Legends are part of folklore that puts emphasis on human action and grounded its narrative in a certain history. Myths refer to narratives that are important to a culture of society. These stories feature either gods or supernatural beings. Every culture in the world has a creation myth. Princess of Prowess is a clever parody of fairy tales with a twist. Our princess is not a damsel in distress, rather the hero of the story. Witch Queen Marzipan is not a typical fairy tale antagonist. Witches in fairy tales are mostly as elderly women. Marzipan appears to be closer to Dolores’ age. Sir Wadelmar may appear to be a stock character in fairy tales known as the knight in shining armor, but it seems he has more personality. Gubber-Clobb Marzipan’s troll does not seem like the terrifying depiction in European art or fairy tales. He is a comedic character adding his own commentary to events.  Gubber-Clobb is just a troll looking for fun and excitement laughing along the way. The fight with the stepmothers he sits on a tree branch eating snacks watching Dolores pulverize them. This will be unlike any fairy tale that was read to you as a child. Magic also is a large part of this world. The black rose will certainly have importance to the plot. It not only changed Dolores, it has a mysterious origin. The only person that may have information is Master Ragelbite. Magical items appear in multiple fairy tales and Princess of Prowess continues that element of folklore.  As the story progresses, there could numerous magical items and creatures. The comic does an homage to fairy tales with a mix humor and folklore tropes.

        The internet has allowed for webcomics to be viewed by millions of people. Before, an artist would have to seek out a newspaper with the hope it would pick up their strip. Since the 1990s, many comics published on the internet have rapidly expanded. They are not bound by senseless censorship or editorial control. The result is unrestricted creativity. Princess of Prowess is a wonderful combination of the familiar and new. Mixing these elements has created a comic that is very unique. Starting in 2018, readers were introduced to a princess that could bench press 100 knights.  The  webcomic is coming on its third year and looks like it is gaining momentum. Dolores Dulac is going on some crazy adventures and it is something you should not miss. Reading this comic will want you to revisit some old fairy tale literature and fantasy related genre. If a reader and fan of webcomics is looking for something new, this is highly recommended. Fans of female muscle and strong women will truly appreciate the character designs. Even if you are not, the comic is still engaging enough  to keep a reader interested. There are times you wish this was an animated series on Adultswim. Dolores Dulac may end up becoming a popular webcomic character as time goes on. So remember to add Princes of Prowess to your favorites, because Medieval mania  awaits .

Princess of Prowess : Comedy, Medieval Mayhem, and The Fairy Tale

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