A while back I reviewed the first issue of I Hate Fairyland, and thoroughly enjoyed it. At that point I thought I wouldn’t review any more issues because while it’s a great comedy series, after a while, reviewing a comedy series would get repetitive. Each issue is good in pretty much the same way. I decided to review the previous issue anyway though, because it was about time to give I Hate Fairyland a bit more spotlight. So why am I reviewing issue 13 as well? Because it’s actually quite a bit different from the rest of the series. That’s not to say it isn’t still hilarious.
I Hate Fairyland, written and often drawn by Scottie Young, is a comedic fairy tale series of sorts, starring Gertrude. Gertrude is a woman trapped in her 7-year-old body, and seems to be forever stuck in fairyland. At first she went on a murderous rampage throughout the land, but recently she decided that she wants to try and be good. But her guide fly, Larry, is usually a supporting character. This issue explores Larry’s mindset on a much deeper level than before.
The story is framed in Larry’s mind, combined with memories of his childhood and how he imagines his life would have gone if he never met Gertrude. The “flashback” starts with Larrigon being born among hundreds of other fly children, and from the very start he shows himself as much more intelligent than his brothers and sisters. While the others are playing violently enough to kill each other with fly swatters and throw footballs clean through each other’s eyes, Larry spends his time figuring out puzzles, teaching himself math and learning in general. The images in the background fully embrace the insanity going on with the fly children. It’s hilarious how the parents seem to be taking it all in stride while all the siblings are dropping like flies. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
The comic takes a surprisingly dark turn once Larry’s imagination takes over. It feels like a classic genius/celebrity’s life going downhill just because of one public mistake, heavily exaggerated. The writing keeps going back and forth between drama and humour, but even the exaggerated drama is funnier than it is sad. I’m pretty sure that’s the intention. What’s great is all the fairytale swearing, like “after this puff up”, “sass-hole” and “gob bammed”. Yet at the same time, take a wild guess at the acronym for Fairyland University.
Art duties are shared by writer Young and guest artist Dean Rankine, and it’s all great. I’m pretty sure Young handles the “modern” scenes with both Larry and Gertrude, while Rankine draws the imagined flashback. Either way, they’re both delightfully cartoonish, matching the comic’s tone perfectly. The larva all have these goofy looks when they’re first introduced, and as soon as you see them all lined up in their various beds, you can tell which one is Larry when he seems to smile and wave while all the others are crying. The delighted grins the children have when they’re killing each other is hilariously dark. There’s always some sort of visual gag on every page, whether it’s the first time the “FU” acronym shows up, a college bug injecting something into his arm that says “bug off” on the side, or a random bearded carrot standing with a bunch of rabbits. Jean-Francois Beaulieu’s colouring is also great. Everything is bright and colourful, as fairyland should be.
This is my favourite comic of the week. This series is usually full of dark humour, but this particular issue goes a lot more personal with it. In doing so, it kind of explains why Larry still puts up with Gertrude after all these years of her ignoring a lot of his advice and being kind of mean. Their friendship is bizarre, but it’s a little thing in this series that’s been there from the start. I’m pretty sure that going forward, this issue will have made that friendship more interesting. This series as a whole is delightful. Anyone who enjoyed Scottie Young’s earlier work for Marvel fans should check this series out if they haven’t already. It’s a creator-owned series where he truly unleashes himself, and it’s one of the comics I look forward to every month.