I Hate Fairyland succeeds, in general, because Young is always bringing at least two things to it. He’s bringing the story–the absurdity of a pissed off princess stuck in a fairytale–and he’s bringing the art. Young’s visualizing of Fairyland, which drips with such sticky sugar you’re ready to switch to stevia forever, is a delight. It’s a perversion of the saccharine, Saturday morning cartoon fairytale land. This issue lets Young unleash the literal dragon and lay waste. Both visually and narratively, though the narrative is a lot slighter than the art, which is intense.
This issue ends the series’s first arc; it’s a fitting ending, though one has to wonder if Young’s going to be able to keep it up in the new world order he creates–it’s so nice not to have a cliffhanger. Gertrude wages war on Happy, her replacement princess. All Fairyland learns they shouldn’t have messed with Gertrude; Young delights in having Gertrude recount her tale (narration is very important in Fairyland) and brings another layer to the book. All of a sudden, he’s using video game rhetoric as a narrative device. It’s simple (leveling up, bosses, etc.) and it lets him get through the flashback efficiently.
Young’s narrative devices are maybe Fairyland’s greatest asset. It’s not just his understand of how to do a perversion of a princess in fairytale land story, it’s his understanding of how to tell that tale.
Well, wait. The devices are maybe it’s second greatest asset, because Fairyland is always going to be glorious with Young’s art. Especially an action issue like this one, which has “My Little Pony” versus a dragon at one point. Lots of double page spreads, lots of gross out visual humor. It’s not a deep comic, but it’s masterful nonetheless.
Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.