Mechner, Jordan, A.B. Sina, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puvilland. Prince of Persia. 2010.

I’m a fan of the Prince of Persia game series (I love all things ancient Middle-Eastern and Byzantine thanks to my childhood obsession with Aladdin), so I was excited for this graphic. There are many different incarnations of the Prince, and this graphic is no different. It’s the story of two different Princes in different points in time and how their stories relate.

That’s pretty much all I can tell you. Other than that, I was sooo confused. It of course doesn’t resolve itself until the very end but I felt after finishing I had to go back and start over again to get everything straight. I didn’t, ‘cuz I was so frustrated with it. Who has time for that anyway?

The art is kind of cool, it’s really angular and there are lots of supernatural elements in it. There is no distinction between past and present, fantasy and reality, which kind of keeps you on your toes but that was probably why I was so freaking confused reading it. There are some bits that are shown in a more stylized manner, with pretty borders around the panels like the borders of Persian rugs. That was really the only part I liked.

There’s an afterward by Jordan Mechner, the author of the novel and the guy who wrote the original Prince of Persia computer game. He talks about how the Prince isn’t really a character, per say, but an idea. That’s why all the ports of the original game all looked different, and why there is such an overabundance of ambiguity in this graphic novel. I like ambiguity. I like things that make me think. But this one makes you work way too hard. Skip this graphic in favor of the games. Trust me. The games, challenging as they are, won’t give you nearly as big a headache.

– Kathleen