Prince-S tell the story of Princess Diana, who is sent to a neighboring Kingdom to meet her betrothed, Prince Lupe of Sapphira. Through a series of cultural shocks, Diana eventually discovers the Saphira Kingdom has some different ideas about gender.
The creator, Lívia Santos goes by the pen name Raviolivs. She lives in São Paulo, Brazil and works as a storyboard artist at an animation studio that makes education cartoons for children. Santos says she’s been drawing ever since she was a kid and was always interested in careers in this field. After high school, she pursued her passion and studied visual art at the University of San Paolo.
When she first started writing Prince-S, she wrote it in Portuguese. However, she decided to switch to English hoping to attract a larger audience.
Santos calls Prince-S a very self-indulgent story idea. When I asked her about her inspiration for the story, a few different things came to her mind.
She says she was always a big fan of shojo manga from the 80s and mentioned the Rose of Versailles and The Heart of Thomas by name.
“It’s supposed to be manga for girls, but they treat gender in an unexpected way that I always really liked.”
Santos also mentioned Takarazuka theatre as being something on her mind when she came up with the idea. Takarazuka is a type of Japanese theatre in which all the actors are women who play both male and female roles. If you’ve never heard of it before, I recommend a quick Google search. You won’t be disappointed by the lively images and video clips.
Santos also admitted that she’s a big fan of drag, particularly RuPaul’s Drag Race, a popular American television series.
Santos has a unique art and storytelling style. Unlike most of the comics on the Line Webtoons platform, she tells the story in a series of four-panel comic strips. The drawings are in a grey-scale with a light pink background and her love of shojo manga is obvious in the art style.
As a person who identifies as belonging to the LGBTQ community, Santos said she wanted to create content she herself and other LGBTQ people would enjoy seeing.
“In a way I’m doing it for fun, and it’s a plus that it ends up being a positive thing in tandem. I wanna make jokes that include the people that are like me that want to read comedy that isn’t making the queer person the butt of a joke but it’s just their lives and the culture shocks that the characters experience with their different lives and cultural backgrounds. I guess, it’s one of the things I keep in mind because I think it’s fun to do and important to do. I want to see them portray people like the ones I see in my daily life, like gay people and people of color.”
Feedback for Prince-S has been mainly positive, but she says some readers were a little surprised by the plot twist. To her current and future readers she wanted to say:
“Thank you so much for reading, I hope you keep reading. I’m going to do my best to keep updating constantly because I love reading the comments. Look forward to getting to know a bit more about neighboring kingdom that deal with gender in different ways. I hope to bring more diversity if I can to the characters and the story. I hope you join me in this journey.”