Independently Well Done highlights completed and/or noteworthy story-arcs published by indie and small press creators.
Written By: Skottie Young
Art By: Skottie Young
Published: April 20th, 2016 by Image Comics
There are certain artists and writers within the industry that just knock it out of the park for me. No matter what they do, it just seems to resonate with me. One such creator that sits within my top five creators, regardless of what they’re working on, is Skottie Young. Seriously, you can call me a fanboy, or whatever term you need to use, but I love the guy’s art style, writing, character design, and his Baby Marvel covers are on a standing pull for me at my comic shop. So you can imagine my excitement when he announced his own creator owned series: I Hate Fairyland. I knew I would love it, but what surprised me was just how great it really was, even beyond my fandom.
If you haven’t read IHFL (I Hate Fairyland) then you might wonder what makes it so good. Yet, as you just read, I’m in no way possible unbiased when it comes to Young’s work. So why would you listen to anything I have to say? How could you take my word that this series is worth picking up? Well, I’m going to let the premise of IHFL answer that for you, because this story is so hilarious, and so well done that I’d be willing to bet that within the first few pages, you’re hooked.
This entire story revolves around a very young girl, Gert, who gets sucked into a world of whimsy and wonder known as Fairyland. This magical land is a mixture of our world and fairy-tale worlds. Basically it’s kind of like Earth on Candy Land steroids. Heck, there’s even a place in Fairyland called Las Fungus, with all the glitter and bright lights a gambler could ever want. Get it? Las Fungus…Las Vegas…oh man, so great.
As I was saying, Gert is sucked into this cavity inducing, diabetes rampant world where everything is made of happiness, sunshine, and sugar covered puppies and rainbows, and everyone loves everything. It sounds great, and could be a little child’s dreamland…that is until you’ve been trapped there for over forty years, but you never age. So, imagine being forty, maybe forty-five, but you’re stuck looking like you’re eight, in a world that won’t help you get home. Suddenly all that happiness and sunshine becomes nails on a chalk board, and our young Gert has lost ALL her patience.
Sure, our girl Gert could’ve acclimated to the world, and accepted it as her home. Heck, she could’ve even carved out a life for herself and found happiness. Fortunately for us, that’s not Gert’s style. So, instead of adapting to he situation, she turns into a raging psychopath and begins murdering her way through the land of smiles and pixies. She wants out, and since she can’t figure out how to escape, so slaughtering the inhabitants of this world suddenly becomes the next best option.
The ruler of Fairyland, Queen Cloudia, initially loved Gert upon her arrival to her world. She was even the one who gave Gert this quest to find the key that would send her back home. Oh how time changes things, because now that Gert has gone all murdery, Cloudia wants Gert gone…in life. Yup, the super happy, all smiles Queen of Fairyland has had her fill of Gert’s nonsense, and begins to seek out some of the darker entities within Fairyland. Thus we arrive at our primary conflict throughout the first five issues. At some point in the story, SPOILERS another little girl gets sucked into Fairyland and things get even more crazy SPOILERS END, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
As always I try to leave major spoilers out of these and repeatedly give warnings when I do. So instead of dishing out spoilers I’ll simply say that the ending of this book has such a wild twist that I sat laughing for a good five minutes. Heck, the amount of twists and turns in issue five alone, which is the final issue in this arc, are unbelievable. Whatever you’re expecting at the end of this story-arc, forget it. What Skottie Young manages to develop in five wonderful issues is truly a testament to his skill as both an artist and writer. This story is packed with adventure, hilarity, and super fun characters…who may or may not get murdered, but maybe don’t focus on that, or do…I don’t judge.
This has been one of my favorite comics to hit the shelves this year, and based on its sales, I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed it. This book did so well that even though it was initially only supposed to a five issue story, the sales and fan support motivated him to keep it going. So, not only is there a trade to pick up, allowing anyone to grab the entire story in one shot, but for fans, issue six hit the shelves a few weeks ago. As for a quick note on issue six, it took this great comic to another level. This comic is muffin fluffin phenomenal, and anyone who says otherwise needs to shut the hug up. If that last sentence was strange to you, read the book, it’ll make everything better…your day, your life, and your comic reading experience.