Way back, I reviewed the first issue of I Hate Fairyland. Back then, I thought I wouldn’t bother reviewing any more issues in this series. That’s not because I didn’t enjoy it (I thoroughly did), but because after a while it would all be the same kind of humour. After a while, those reviews would get repetitive. That remains true, but I figured it’s time I at least gave this series a second review, because it deserves more attention.
Written and usually drawn by Scottie Young, I Hate Fairyland is a comedic series about Gertrude, a woman who’s been trapped in Fairyland for decades now. She’s stuck in her 8-year-old body, but that’s just one reason why she hates fairyland. She started off the series by going on a killing spree, and she ended the first arc ruining her best chance of finally escaping. Since then, the series has gone in a couple of different directions, whether it be Gertrude trying to find another way out of Fairyland, or just trying to find something to live for. In the previous issue, she went to a fan convention of some sort, one of the few things she actually likes in Fairyland. Without spoiling the fun, she ended the issue deciding that she would try to be good from now on. The recap page goes into more detail, and it’s also funnier. Anyway, that’s where this issue begins.
The story in this comic is simple – Gertrude, along with her guide, Larry, are trying to rescue a baby from a mushroom clan. The whole comic carries a bit of a samurai feel, just with a fairyland twist. Like with the rest of the series, there’s great use of fairyland swearing like “If you don’t stop fluffing with me” and “son of a lich”. The mushrooms cannot understand subtle threats, which leads to what is easily the best part of this comic (more on that when I talk about the art). In typical fashion for these comics, there’s also some sort of amusing twist at the end that would feel much darker in a more serious story.
Young also draws this comic, and the art style perfectly fits the mood. The buildings in the background are a neat mix of mushrooms and Japanese architecture. The moon glows in the background, with a slightly angry face that seems to be looking straight at Gertrude. Gertrude herself looks cleaner than usual, which fits the Samurai theme quite well, but her exaggerated facial expressions still perfectly convey her insanity. The mushrooms would almost look intimidating in a more serious comic. And now for the best part of the comic – the spread in the very middle. It’s a spread of four panels split vertically that feel like they’re straight out of a Japanese made fighting game from the 90’s. The backgrounds are lines of one colour, alternating between pink in the mushroom leader’s panels and blue in Gertrude’s. There’s a closeup on their faces as they argue. Gertrude is threatening the clan with phrases like “take this long sword and do really nasty things to you”, and the mushrooms are taking it the wrong way completely. It keeps getting more and more ridiculous. That moment alone makes this my favourite comic of the week. Anyway, Jean-Francois Beaulieu’s colouring is fantastic. Everything is bright and colourful, and you would expect no less from fairyland.
Every single issue of I Hate Fairyland is a pure joy to read. It’s violent and bloody at times, which makes it so not for kids, no matter how cute the art looks. One thing that makes this series brilliant is that it could be a very dark, tragic story if not for the comedic tone. Those who have read and enjoyed Scottie Young’s comics in the past should be reading this creator-owned series. Those who haven’t read his stuff, but find the idea behind this series interesting, should at least check it out. It’ll probably be a while before I review this series again, if I ever do, because reviewing a good comedy series gets repetitive after a while.