Comic Reading Review: I Hate Fairyland #20

I Hate Fairyland #20

  • Writer and Artist: Skottie Young
  • Published by: Image Comics
  • Publish Date: July 19, 2018
  • Notes: Monthly series, now at its end..

Synopsis:

“The fourth arc of Gert’s fantasy feats ends as Dark Cloudia’s reign of terror begins—and with it, an air of impermanence and uncertainty looms over Fairyland.”

Personal Thoughts (spoilers):

The end?!! Say it ain’t fluffin so!!!

But here we are, as all great stories must eventually end. I Hate Fairyland will be a missed presence on the Image shelf, showing a diverse, darkly comic side rich with satire, comedy on the low and high ends of the brow spectrum, with explosions of vibrant color and unhinged art detail with a story to match. All, brilliant told through the writing and art of Skottie Young.

That being said, the finale does what it needs to do. Wrap up the story, to a point where resolutions emerge. Dark Cloudia is on her apocalyptic rampage, and the good people of need not the hero of the story, but the anti-heroine, Gert, risen from the hell to whoop her ass.

And that conflict resolves in a satisfying epic fashion, though I expected a bit more of some brilliant twist or strange turn. But, no…not really.

What we got instead, was an interesting development on our main character. A somewhat caring, champion of the people and a hint of a moral code. Gert fights, and does her thing. But in the end, she still wants to go home. There is a still a selfishness within, as she tires from this world and wants a normal life to herself. Perhaps she is growing up after all, because responsibility and feeling affection for others does that. It’s the full journey for her character, after the tradition of many lost little girls stuck in lands of make-believe.

But here attitude and rebellious streak carries on, as one of her best traits.

And she dares challenges those who made the rules, angry at a sudden loophole in the grand design of things. And she is sent back, and here comes another moment that really touched me. A friendship, to her little companion friend, keeping company and being there. It was sad, feeling the two must split. But, she gives a heartfelt respect to her one great friend in Fairyland. Some feels develop:

And, that leads to an end, reminiscent of so many tales of a lost little girl coming back to the real world. Gert wakes up to her boring life and finding a parallel similarity. It seemed for a moment in her subconscious, she wanted to go back. Then accepted her new fate with some departing words….Fuck Fairyland.

And, I think it suits the insatiable nature of Gert for any age. It’s Gert’s own unhappiness through life, no matter what happens. It’s not the happy ending others would want, but it’s her own to control and that’s enough.

Thanks to Skottie Young and Image Comics for this great and fun little adventure.

Comic Reading Review: I Hate Fairyland #14

I Hate Fairyland #14

  • Writer and Artist: Skottie Young
  • Published by: Image Comics Publish Date: July 19, 2017
  • Notes: Monthly series with occasional breaks

Synopsis:

““LOVE’S LABYRINTH” Gert meets a mysterious (aka super creepy) man who offers her the redemption she’s looking for if she can solve his treacherous maze. You don’t want to know what will happen if she fails! Wait…scratch that. You do want to know. Buy the book to find out.”

Personal Thoughts (spoilers):

This strange, wonderful little series remains a personal favorite on the current comics shelves, not just for the twisted nature of the premise, backed up by Scottie Young’s unique artistic talent, but also for the escape of it all. Issue #14 brings us readers back to this the present after a filler flashback of Gert’s tiny floating companion. The journey continues, with Gert somewhat feeling troubled on her progress. Which brings about the question…has anything been gained for her on this journey through these strange lands. Has she really learned much at all, as a person that has trouble growing physically?

No, not really. Gert is back on another quest of sorts on her fluffed-up journey. And just when you thought every fantasy parody has been poked and stirred, there comes a ….labyrinth.

And wow, here we go. we meet a host to a large maze that shall be the next challenge for Gert.  And, he is an obvious parody of David Bowie’s character from the movie Labyrinth; but exposing himself in a much more disturbing way. He also has an obsession with balls and marriage. Neither goes well for Gert.

What follows is the usual fairyland silliness. Such is fun if you allow it, and there are smiling bits through various parts. Once again Scottie Young lets his style hang loose with all sorts of wacky, bizarre characters; and keeping Fairyland consistent as a colorful, sugar coated hellhole .

Overall, another solid issue with a curious end that presents more than the usual filler for the next chapter. I’m a bit more anxious to see where this is going…

On a side note put pondered, I think an I Hate Fairyland tabletop board game would be awesome. Skottie young, make it happen!

Comic Reading Review: I Hate Fairyland #12

I Hate Fairyland #12

  • Writer and Artist: Skottie Young
  • Published by: Image Comics Publish Date: April 19, 2017
  • Notes: Monthly series with occasional breaks

Synopsis:

“LONE GERT AND GRUB Gert’s tired of being a complete piece of sh!# and decides to be a helpful member of the Fairyland society, starting off with rescuing a kidnapped baby and returning it to its loving family. Gert. A baby. Probably some poop. Buy this.”

Personal Thoughts (spoilers):

A return to a favorite guilty pleasure in comics, and it’s still and dirty and fun.

So here we are at the 12th issue, where Gert enters into another aspect of Fairyland, being some sort of medieval Japan driven tropefest, complete with kimonos, katanas, and castles. There is a battle for an age, that Gert finds herself winning, or does she?

Such is another great little standalone story, a rest stop on her grand adventure. Not many changes for her, other than her slow acceptance of her place in Fairyland and a forward goodness about her. In this case, she chooses to save a baby and bring her to its mother, or so she thinks. The end is a lesson learned, towards her misunderstanding of culture, which is sort of hinted at through the book in her playfulness of the fantasy. It’s all cute and fun, and a continual reward for the loyal readers. New fans on board may enjoy this too but should back up a few issues at least, to see Gert’s slow and steady development as a character and the overall multi-dimensional nature of Fairyland.

The art of Skottie Young is as supreme as his storytelling. But this issue, he plays a bit with the panels, trying for a bit of an anime style showdown with unnecessary banter and speed lines. The touch of snowfall and quick action also adds to the drama, giving a bit of the tense momentum felt from classic Japanese cinema fanfare. The design of the Shiitake mushroom warriors are also badass; more bold additions to the overall bizarre dreamlike fantasy.

Another great issue in this wonderful series. Much like Gert, I can not pull away from this grand adventure anytime soon.

Comics Reading Review: I Hate Fairyland #2

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I Hate Fairlyand (#2)

  • Writer: Scottie Young
  • Artist: Scottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu
  • Published by: Image
  • Pages: 30, Publish Date: November 18, 2015, Price: $2.99
  • Notes: Monthly series

Synopsis:

“Does Gert die by the axe of her assassin, Bruud The Brutal? Spoiler: Probably not..”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

If you read I Hate Fairyland hard enough, you can break a tooth.

Which is the one reason there is no review for I Hate Fairyland #1 on the Stranger Worlds site. I read it as a fan of the great Scottie Young artistry seen on Marvel various covers and those magnificent OZ books from the same company. I wasn’t much familiar with his writing, so I dove in holding my breath with the début issue of I Hate Fairyland. I came out gasping for air, runny snot, nearly drowning on the sheer madness of that disturbing mix of shrooms, cannibalism, and murdering of questionable things.

I recall the words of Lord Humongous in Mad Max: the Road Warrior, “Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror.” So I did, filing away the first issue, and deciding to not ponder over its colorfully deranged pages again.

But recently, came the second issue of I Hate Fairyland. I glanced over the cover. More of the same? Can this continue? What else is there? We know Gertrude is a crazy psycho robbed of her adulthood and will continue to recklessly murder strange cartoonish caricatures. So, what else could there possibly be? I peeked upon the opening pages, and there something odd that drove me but couldn’t put my finger on…

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Nor could I put it down, so I decided upon to buy it, and venture again in the disturbing psychedelic world of Fairyland with Gertrude. The second round was a bit of the same with much horrific violence toward the unrealistic. I would not recommend this to children, with this imagery. Yet, we have the child trapped within us as readers reading out about a deranged adult trapped within. I feel I am a bit of both, as I read on. This book is a paradox to my pseudo-intellectual senses.

And with all worthwhile reads, we have some character development. Poor Gertrude lives her own fairy tale, complete with selfish desires. Now, she has a wish, to grow up and perhaps be normal with an adult body. Also, to leave Fairyland and join us in the real world.. That’s a real hero’s journey there. Except she rejects all companionship except for a talking fly-like creature whose life could end at any panel. This leads to a continued quest in issue #2, with new challenges and adversaries. Some of them are laughable done away with, others are preludes to future issues. She continues to deny all that is sweet and wonderful, to the point of violent resistance.

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She adds to it with drunk and senseless emotion, leading me to question what will become of her. I am pretty damn curious, which is what I think drove me back into this book. Also, because a reader could identify with Gertrude as a person trapped in her own narrative. Some may face the same dilemma on different levels with a dead-end job, stale relationships, constant bills and over-consuming technology. Can our time be slowly wasted with no real chance to grow, set-up by a world forcing us to follow set paths guiding us; or do we resist the conformity and go against the tides? A battle-axe and a sense of murder is not the answer; but I feel it’s enough to pick and a pencil, keyboard, whatever and unleash some creativity.

There’s a weird kind of visual bountifulness that Scottie Young brings in the art and writing. I Hate Fairyland is sequential and traditional in form, and cartoonish and stylish with fantastic coloring. The details are magnificent, especially with the gore and emotional presentation of characters taking the panel stages. It all comes together, in a darkly funny setting. Also, the lettering is at times quite magnificent, with playful additives thrown in to express what is said beyond mere words.

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I Hate Fairyland is all that is presents and more. It’s not for those who accept the universe as an orderly, wonderful place favoring the pure. It alienates the perfect and wonderful order of things in any universe, while swinging a battle-axe against conformity. It also goes for those not willing to take the world or its possible realms and forced tropes seriously. To take part in the anarchy is wonderful, and if you agree..than perhaps I Hate Fairyland is for you.

Or not..

– Orion T