For me comic books should be fun. When I look for a book to read I look for something I think I will enjoy reading and come away from entertained. As soon as I caught my first glimpse of the I Hate Fairyland: I Hate Image Special I knew I had stumbled upon just such a book.
The story centers around 10-year-old Gertrude, a young girl who had been somehow transported to Fairyland. Her 40 year quest to get out of Fairyland and return home has turned her into a bloodthirsty sociopathic death machine in pigtails. She has no problem chopping a room full of people up with an axe if she has to (and even if she doesn’t).
Gertrude’s quest to find a mythical key that can return her to the real world leads her through every corner of the Image Universe. It was a who’s who of Image as just about every major character (and even several minor ones) has a cameo. I would list all of the guest appearances, but I’d get carpel tunnel from all that typing. The quest for the key leads Gertrude to “The Partners” who look a lot like the head honchos of Image Comics.
The book was both written and drawn by Skottie Young who didn’t disappoint on either front.
The writing was fast paced, sarcastic, and just downright hilarious. It starts out running at full speed and maintains a long distance sprint of action, chaos, and pure nonsensical madness that just pulls you along until the end.
The art style brought me back to classics like; Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe and the slightly more recent classic Barry Ween: Boy Genius. If you are a fan of books like those than this one will be right up your alley.
A book like this is very visual and that’s where Jean-Francois Beaulieu comes in and adds the colors that really make the world of I Hate Fairyland pop. Without the showers of blood from the non-stop carnage and the tone setting color palettes that reflect each facet of the Image Universe we pass through the book would have lost something important. The cartoon feel of the book in my opinion would translate extremely well to an animated medium.
I’m not going to spoil the ending and tell you if Gertrude gets home or remains forever stranded in Fairyland, so I encourage you to find out for yourself. I assure you it will be worth it and leave you looking for back issues and trades to catch up (at least it did for me).
The book also gives you some great bonus material. The full script with story notes is included. As a writer myself I loved the opportunity to see inside the head of a fellow creator. We are also treated to in-process pages showing how the art side of things came together and evolved.
I Love Fairyland.
Story: 4.5 stars
Art: 4.5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars
Story / Art / Cover / Variant Cover: Skottie Young