Writer and Artist: Skottie Young
Colors: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Lettering: Nate Pieko
I Hate Fairyland is a very special kind of book. While it takes place in a fairly unoriginal setting, it’s unconventional characters and adult content make for a reading experience unlike any other. It follows the adventures of Gertrude, a girl with the mind of a 30-year-old and the body of a 4-year-old. What started out as a magical journey to a land of fairy-tails and wonder, is now an insanity-inducing life sentence. Gertrude has never been able to find the key that would send her back to her home, and possibly even allow her to reclaim her childhood.
Our protagonist, the gruesomely violent and foul-mouthed Gertrude, is accompanied by Larry, a sarcastic and equally violent fly that was assigned to guide her in the search for the magical key. The dialogue between the two characters is often hilarious. However, instead of using actual curse words, out heroes use their Fairyland equivalents. For example, you will often see Gertrude call her adversaries “Mother-fluffer” and “dip-head.” This was an entertaining element in the first couple of issues, but by issue four the joke has gotten tired. In fact, its become pretty annoying. You will find yourself wishing they would just use the actual words, because the cutesy version is far more frustrating than funny.
This issue introduced an incredibly fun element to the story in the form of a new arrival to Fairyland. Her name is Happy and she is every bit as cute and innocent as Gertrude was when she first arrived in this strange kingdom. The initial antagonist, Queen Cloudia, seems to be taking a bit of a backseat here. So, the introduction of Happy is a very welcome surprise. The idea of this innocent young girl meeting her psychotic counterpoint is exciting. Seeing how easily she is handling this quest, is sure to enrage Gertrude, who has spent 27 years of her life searching for the same key.
The art in this book is infectious. Young’s drawings give the world a sense of character and really speak to his writing style. Seeing the adorable caricatures brutally murdered by our protagonist can be both horrifically disturbing as well as hysterical. The bright child-like pallet clashes with the blood red spattered across the page, resulting in a magically terrifying image.
Gertrude was a very entertaining character in the beginning, but here she begins to feel a bit stale. She has had absolutely no character growth since the first issue. It is becoming boring, and Gertrude now feels a bit like a one-trick pony. It’s still fun to watch her crack wise and murder her way through Fairyland, but she is the protagonist. We are getting to a point where we need an actual reason as to root for her. Now, it’s not as if she should be having long dramatic monologues as she breaks down into tears, but a little pathos here would be welcome.
In all, I Hate Fairyland is an absolute blast and this issue proves that Young has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. If he can continue expanding this world, then there will still be plenty of fun to have in Fairyland.