An acclaimed comic book writer and one of the Internet’s favorite musicians have teamed up to completely reinvent princesses for “a new generation of awesome girls,” with their Kickstarted children’s book, The Princess Who Saved Herself. It’s a story about a kind of princess you’ve never seen before—this Princess plays electric guitar and wants to start a rock band, she tackles every threat to her kingdom head-on by herself, and she can’t help but make friends with everyone she meets. And she’s getting her own book because a bunch of fans asked for it.
The story of how The Princess Who Saved Herself came to be is, like a lot of stories, a little bit of a winding one. Greg Pak is mostly known for writing comic book superheroes—he’s the writer behind the much-loved Planet Hulk arc in the pages of The Incredible Hulk, and more recently kicked off the phenomenal Storm solo series with artist Victor Ibanez in the summer of 2014.
Jonathan Coulton is a singer-songwriter with some of the most meme-able music you’ll ever encounter—his most popular work involves songs like “Still Alive” and “I Want You Gone” from the Portal games—but a lot of his music revolves around a loose set of stories involving the unlikely hero Code Monkey going up against the villains of Skullcrusher Mountain. One day, Pak mused via Twitter that Coulton’s music would make for a great comic book—and so on a lark, they launched a Kickstarter for a graphic novel based on Coulton’s songs called Code Monkey Save World. It was a runaway success, netting 10 times the amount of money Pak and Coulton asked for.
This is where The Princess Who Saved Herself comes in. As one of the Kickstarter’s stretch goals, Pak and Coulton pledged to create a children’s book based off Coulton’s song of the same name if they ever made it past $250,000 in funding (the pair had asked for $39,000; they received $340,270).