Action Lab’s writer Jeremy Whitley has had a busy 2017. Between writing The Unstoppable Wasp for Marvel, and forging the next chapters for his wildly popular Princeless and Princeless: Raven, The Pirate Princess, this Eisner Award nominee graciously found some time in his busy schedule to answer some of our most burning questions.
FM: It’s been a little bit since we’ve last checked in with Raven and her group of pirates! What do we have to look forward to with this new story?
Whitley: Well, for the first time since the big fight in volume 2 everybody is finally healthy and back together. While both Raven and Ximena have admitted their feelings for one another, they haven’t admitted them TO one another. However, there is one person that does know and care about how they feel—Sunshine—who is also desperately in love with Raven. And when she feels like she can see where things are going, she might be easily convinced to do something to pull them back apart.
And, of course, there’s still the part where Raven is on a quest for revenge against her brothers to get her fleet back, but nothing bad could possibly happen with that, right?
FM: Raven has a new artist this go around, with Xenia Pamfil. What do you think she’s brought to Year Two?
Whitley: I think Xenia brings a different tone and a beautiful color sense to the art. This is a very pretty book. Xenia has a great sense for mood and movement, two things that are absolutely essential to great comics.
FM: And you’re bringing Raven’s “big sister” title back in November as well for a sixth volume! Can you give us any spoilers on what Adrienne has been up to?
Whitley: Well, volume 5 was the first half of what has been our biggest story to date. Make Yourself is a pivotal chapter in Adrienne’s journey and it’s about to get pretty epic. The whole cast and crew is back and this time we get a little bit of a different pairing than usual. While Adrienne is off saving her sisters with our dwarf warrior Benna, Bedelia and Sparky have taken a little trip to see their respective moms, who happen to live on a monster farm. And that doesn’t even address Devin and his party who are about to have the adventure of their lives on the other side of the Black Forest.
FM: You’ve talked about the Princeless series having been inspired by wanting to share your love of comics with your daughter. Flash forward to now when we have Princeless, Raven, and even Nadia Pym (The Unstoppable Wasp). You’ve contributed several awesome ladies to comics (not to mention Princeless picking up some Eisner nominations along the way), how do you see this shift in representation growing in comics?
Whitley: The shift has been really amazing. When I started Princeless books like Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Lumberjanes, and Superhero Girls didn’t exist. Now we’re in a world where a 10-year-old girl could make a 20 comic monthly pull list and still not pick up all the great stuff that’s coming out. It’s a really special time in comics for a wider audience.
FM: Princeless has also developed a loyal following among queer comic readers, especially with queer women. This level of inclusion seems like a natural extension of representation that Princeless has built her foundation on. How has the feedback been from this audience?
Whitley: Absolutely amazing. I am eternally grateful to the queer female community that has developed around this book and not just read it, but talked it up, discussed it with one another online, recommended it to their favorite reviewers and publications, and shown up at my table at conventions dragging best friends, girlfriends, wives, and everything in between so they could force copies into their hands. I am more determined than ever to continue to get things right and justify the faith they have put in me.
FM: Sony Pictures optioned the movie rights for Princeless this past summer, with Stefani Robinson being set to write the script. How exciting was that?
Whitley: Very. It is very exciting. I think Stefani is an outstanding writer who is on the edge of really blowing up and we were lucky to get her on board. I can’t wait to see what she does with the story.
FM: I don’t suppose you could give us any hints on what to expect?
Whitley: Well…this volume of Raven is called “Love and Revenge” and we intend to deliver on both of those things. We’ve had to have some discussions about what’s the appropriate amount of steamy for a kiss to be in a YA book.
As for Princeless, this volume will be full of action. We start off with an escape from an avalanche and only go bigger from there.
Princeless: Raven, The Pirate Princess Year 2 #1 will go on sale on October 19th. Princeless Volume 6 Make Yourself Part Two will release on November 8th.