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‘Damsels in Excess’ delivers Reality TV drama in a fairy tale comic book

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A generation ago the land of the Five Realms was visited by a Deathbringer, a queen who was betrayed by her only true love. She brought death in a haze of gray mist killing all men in the five kingdoms. Years later the five princesses, daughters of the kings who died, have gathered for an important event The Opening of the Declaration. This event may bring greater change to the Five Realms than even the Deathbringer wrought.

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The story of the five princesses takes place in Aspen Comics’ latest series “Damsels in Excess” from writer Vince Hernandez and artist Mirka Andolfo. The first issue of the five part series is available now. The series merges the world of comic books and fairy tales with the drama of “Reality TV.”

In this fairy tale world, Hernandez introduces five diva princesses who if they miss men it is only for their hard labor not for their ruling or companionship. The princesses have put themselves on such a high pedestal soaking in the adoration of the masses that follow them they will never give up their thrones. They are akin to the spoiled women of the “Real Housewives” series. Their attitudes towards each other range from sarcastic to antagonistic.

Will the revelation of The Opening of the Declaration change the women? Will it unify them to save their kingdom? Will it serve to further tear apart their relationships? It is a great place for Hernandez to start by opening various story possibilities and allowing the princesses to incite the drama of the story.

Each design by Andolfo says much about the princess and her role in the series that gives some insight into how they think and how they will interpret the news of the declaration. From beautiful to practical the clothes do make the women: the glamorous Ilina, the fiery but short of stature Barra, the warrior Kaleena, the gracious Kimberlein, and the alternative Bethany.

Andolfo’s page layouts further accentuate the Reality TV vibe that Hernandez is going for with each princess making an aside talking directly to the reader as the events unfold on the pages. It is a nice touch that further highlights the drama in the drama queens.

As with all Reality TV there are the princesses you root for and the princesses you despise and Hernandez and Andolfo have made that true in the pages of “Damsels in Excess” #1. The fairy tale setting and the absence of men give a great backdrop to get in the heads of these princesses and really bring out their true natures for better or for worse. Hernandez and Andolfo deliver a lot of story and great art well worth the cover price of $3.99 to get in on the ground floor of this new series.

“Damsels in Excess” #1 is making its debut in time for San Diego Comic-Con 2014 and the publisher has two exclusive covers available at their SDCC Booth #2320.

If you are not at Comic-Con you can still find the comic everywhere by visiting your local comic book retailer or getting the book digitally.

The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach is hosting a launch party for the new book with writer Vince Hernandez and Siya Oum July 30 from 5 pm to 8 pm as part of the “Damsels in Excess”/”Lola XOXO” Aspen Double Feature, for more details check out the event page.

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