Princess Ugg

Princess Ugg 8 (March 2015)

Princess Ugg #8Well, Naifeh sure does wrap up Ugg nicely. Oh, he hurries it a little to be sure. There’s no reason he couldn’t have stretched this issue out to two and it would’ve done a lot better for the other princesses’ arcs and the diplomatic stuff, but it’s impossible to hold it against him or Ugg.

The conclusion is unexpected, sort of obvious, rather intelligence, rather empathetic. The only thing it’s missing is an appearance from Ülga’s professor, who’d be proud of her. Naifeh is rushing, no doubt. He cuts scenes short in the epilogue too, I just realized.

But again, it really doesn’t matter. Because Ugg brings a tear to one’s eye and Naifeh gets there sincerely. Somehow, Naifeh’s able to bring surprise after surprise and for it all to come across naturally. Like he’d been laying the groundwork for it all along.

Naifeh brings Ugg and Ülga home well.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; colorists, Warren Wucinich and Naifeh; letterer, Wucinich; editors, Robin Herrera and Jill Beaton; publisher, Oni Press.

Princess Ugg 7 (January 2015)

Princess Ugg #7Naifeh seems like he’s forecasting quite a bit of what’s to come in Princess Ugg, which is fine. The comic has seemed somewhat listless and wandering, but this issue has Naifeh not just giving readers an idea of the situation beyond Ülga’s school, he also gives her a real supporting cast.

Her fellow princesses finally stick up for Ülga against the evil princess, who’s revealed not just to be an evil in a Mean Girls way, but actually evil. Naifeh gets in all the information he hasn’t been giving the previous issues in a few sentences here. Combined with a transcendent surprise sequence, it’s probably the best issue of the comic, if not the most entertaining.

The characters are getting far more complex, with Naifeh still able to fit in crowd-pleasing moments. Ugg has had its bumps, but Naifeh’s more successful turns more than make up for rough patches.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; colorists, Warren Wucinich and Naifeh; letterer, Wucinich; editors, Robin Herrera and Jill Beaton; publisher, Oni Press.

Princess Ugg 6 (December 2014)

Princess Ugg #6Naifeh unleashes Ülga in battle, which leads to some decent pages, but he doesn’t let her do much fighting. The story keeps getting in the way. There are a lot of plot twists for just one issue–the worst being how her nemesis is nasty to Ülga even when she’s saving the day–and the ending is a little too light.

It’s an amusing issue and has a decent presence, but as the conclusion winds down… it’s clear Naifeh didn’t really have much story to tell. To tell the issue right, he would’ve needed twice the space, maybe three times. There are a lot of little battles and all those plot twists.

He doesn’t seem to like drawing the battle scenes, which is problematic since he’s showing how perfect Ülga is for them. And he gets downright lazy with the art on some of the bad guys.

Ugg’s got problems.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; colorists, Warren Wucinich and Naifeh; letterer, Wucinich; editors, Robin Herrera and Jill Beaton; publisher, Oni Press.

Princess Ugg 5 (November 2014)

Princess Ugg #5Even though Naifeh has sort of reduced the supporting princesses to caricatures–there’s the nice one, the mean one, et cetera–this issue does have a lot going on. Ülga has been included in activities, though not in the other princesses’ good graces, and so Naifeh gets to showcase the contrasts between the cultures.

Of course, she’s also getting better at being a proper princess, which doesn’t offer much narrative weight but does move the story along. And may eventually provide a good humor moment.

Because Ugg needs good humor moments. When Ülga goes up against bandits in the last scene, even though Naifeh doesn’t make the comparison, she’s actually against honest villains. Her other villains are dishonest–the princesses, the condescending school teachers–and there’s little refuge for the character.

All in all, it’s an outstanding issue of the comic, but Naifeh still doesn’t seem to have Ugg’s footing.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; colorists, Warren Wucinich and Naifeh; letterer, Wucinich; editors, Robin Herrera and Jill Beaton; publisher, Oni Press.

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