(Image Comics #5)
Story and Art by Skottie Young
Colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Lettering by Nake Piekos
I’ve strayed from the path. I was behind on reading I Hate Fairyland. But I’m back now and all is right with the world.
If you’ve never read it, then you’re missing out on something wholly different and completely fun and wonderful…funderful? Yes. In the mode of Skottie Young’s ever-flowery language, funderful.
I Hate Fairyland #5 was out this week, and marks the end of the first part of the story. In awesome fashion, Young’s popularity, both as an artist and a writer, have made this a book that is sure to come back, and will do so in a couple of months, according to the post credit notes.
So. Here were are, in the final moments of Gertrude’s quest through Fairyland, and Happy (the new cute girl) has travelled in days what Gertrude has failed to do in thirty years. Queen Cloudia and all of the creatures of Fairyland have gathered to wish Happy a bon voyage as she places the key in the door and returns home. Gertrude has other ideas, par for the course, and arrives on a demon dragon from hell with all of the powers therein inscribed in her tiny and somewhat ravaged body. What follows is an epic battle between Happy and Gertrude, and the bloody mayhem we’ve come to expect from Young’s perfectly funderful book.
You all know Young’s art style. It’s what made him stand out from the other artists, and his willingness, even his stubbornness, to stay in that style is something that makes him stand out still. Because he draws in such a cartoonish style, it would seem (ten years ago perhaps) that may stream comics would be a closed door, especially when it seems that comics get darker in tone and style as time passes. Not that this isn’t dark. Oh. This is dark. But Young hides that darkness in the icky sticky sweetness of Fairyland. Then he guts a happy sun face with the fiery breath of a hell-spawned dragon, and you really start to get the feeling for where this is going.
Perfect pairing with Young’s art are the brightly bombastic colors of Jean-Francois Beaulieu. His palette must be oozing sweetness and cartoonish glory, because it dripped all over this book.
It’s Young’s style that makes the book stand out. Much like Gabriel Rodriguez’s work on Return to Slumberland, the style is so important that you would find it nearly impossible to enjoy the story without it. Young is totally playing with that style, showing that you can get a really great, adult-ish comic book without having “serious” artwork. And he never crosses the line in the writing, using great little curse words like “muffin-fluffler” to keep it clean. (Drippy, smeared sun-face guts aside.)
I Hate Fairyland #5 was not only the perfect end to a great short run book, but also a perfect opener for the longer tale, which is coming soon. If you’re a fan of Skottie Young’s work, then this is already on your radar, but if not, give it a chance, you’ll find yourself laughing and agreeing and looking for more of this muffin-fluffin’ comic.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, all who put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.
Twitter – brad@comicwasteland