Advance Review – I Hate Fairyland (2022) #1 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Skottie Young
Artwork: Brett Bean
Colours: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Lettering: Nate Piekos
Release Date: 16th November 2022

Gert is back, muffin fluffers!

For those of you who missed out on Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland when it ran for 20 issues between 2015 and 2018… well, first off, you really need to remedy that. Taking a gloriously violent, over-the-top look at the candy-coated world of children’s fairytales, the series introduced us to Gertrude, a six-year-old girl who managed to wish her way into a magical realm called Fairyland. There she was given a fairly simple quest to solve which, following all sorts of fun, colourful adventures, would see her earning her way home. So far so simple, right?

Unfortunately, Gert turned out to be truly awful at quests, resulting in her spending almost thirty years trapped in Fairyland, becoming a cynical, violent, alcoholic psychopath trapped in a child’s body. After twenty glorious issues and a lot of mutilated cartoon characters, Gert finally managed to make it home, only to find herself all grown up and trapped in a mundane administrative office job.  And that’s where we open here with this brand new series, with an adult Gert finding herself out of a job and trying to find some sort of direction for her fluffed up life.

Okay, so let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first.  Young isn’t illustrating this new series, which is perhaps a little disappointing given how well his distinctive style worked to deliver the irreverent tone of the story during the previous run.  Fortunately, we have Brett Bean replacing him on art duties here who, after reading this first issue, feels like about as perfect a fit as you could hope for outside of Skottie himself.

Bean does a fantastic job of capturing the madcap artistic style that fans of the original will expect, packed with over-exaggerated facial expressions and shocking cartoon violence. Joining him on the art team is Jean-Francois Beaulieu, who returns to Fairyland to deliver his own distinctive retina-scorching, acid trip colour scheme.  There are some great visual moments throughout the course of this first issue, including a pair of glorious double-page spreads that recap the story so far and hopefully do enough to bring new readers up to speed (or, at the very least, encourage them to go pick up the first four volumes as soon as possible.)

The story itself is admittedly fairly slight for the time being, but we do get a solid re-introduction to Gert and the establishment of her new status quo. Plus, we’re treated to a final page reveal which promises that we’ll be treading some more familiar ground sooner rather than later, hopefully with the return of some of the fan-favourite characters we all know and love (you know who you are, Duncan.)

A solid start for the new series then, but for me, it doesn’t quite capture the same magic of the original – at least not yet. That said, there’s a huge amount of twisted, day-glo fun to be had here, and fans of the original series will be over the fluffing moon about the return to this crazy fairytale world.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
Article Archive: Ceej Says
You can follow Ceej on Twitter

Comment On This Article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: