I Hate Fairyland #17 (March 2018)

I Hate Fairyland #17

Well, Young certainly doesn’t go any predictable route. He’s into new territory in Fairyland now, seventeen issues in, and–frankly–the book has lost its charm. There’s still charm to the art, but the writing has lost its charm. It’s lost Gert, for one thing. She’s MIA this issue (for the first time ever) and not even the bug gets a follow-up from last issue.

Instead, it’s Duncan the Dragon’s issue. I can’t remember what’s going on with that kid–he was another kid trapped in Fairyland who maybe fought with Gertie, maybe didn’t–but a refresher would’ve been nice.

Instead, Young just powers through. It certainly seems like he’s wrapping up Fairyland. I’m just not sure I care enough anymore to stick it out until the end. The book has no momentum outside the trouble Gert generates, here and there. Take that aspect away and… it’s just… nothing special.

Not even the art is fun (without Gert).

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; editor, Kent Wagenschutz; publisher, Image Comics.

I Hate Fairyland #16 (February 2018)

I Hate Fairyland #16

Uh. So Young opens the issue with Gert talking about how the previous issue’s cliffhanger for Fairyland was manipulative and cheap.

Which is fine. Kind of funny.

But then this entire issue is manipulative and cheap as it undoes that cliffhanger.

The issue’s a dream sequence (basically), not just without anything to move the story forward, but without anything to give Gert good fodder. She gets chased, she gets upset, she gets mean, but there’s no real oomph to the new situation.

And the setting isn’t conducive to Young’s art style. Maybe if it were half the issue (or a third), but an entire issue of boring visualizations. Sure, there’s a little bit of Fairyland, but it’s that happy-go-lucky Fairyland, not the regular bloodbath Gert makes it.

As a series, Young’s worked out how to best play to his (and Fairyland’s) strengths. But now it’s like he’s floundering. And issue #16 isn’t a place to be floundering.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; editor, Kent Wagenschutz; publisher, Image Comics.

I Hate Fairyland #15 (August 2017)

I Hate Fairyland #15

Even though Young doesn’t do arcs in Fairyland anymore, he sort of does. And this issue is the end of the arc–i.e. trade–with setup for the next one.

It moves all right, but it’s nowhere near as funny as usual. Probably because Gert is being a good girl (not a spoiler, the trade’s out and it’s called Good Girl or something). Larry the Bug can’t make it funny on his own.

And the legion of enemies out to get Gert? They’re well-drawn, but they’re not funny.

Young lets the story supplant the humor, which isn’t what I Hate Fairyland is about. Usually.

It’s fine. Can’t wait to see what happens next. But don’t really care about what’s happened here (partially because it doesn’t matter). Young’s spinning his wheels through an issue just to get to the cliffhanger.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; editor, Kent Wagenschutz; publisher, Image Comics.

I Hate Fairyland 14 (July 2017)

I Hate Fairyland #14

I Hate Fairyland just did something rather unexpected. And it’s hard for Young to do anything rather unexpected because, while everything is somewhat unexpected, that chaos is part of the comic. Gert is reliably chaotic. So for Young to pull off a surprise regarding Gert… it’s a neat move. He also has a phenomenal series of Labyrinth references; including, you know, that Labyrinth David Bowie reference. It’s a great issue.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.

I Hate Fairyland 13 (June 2017)

Ihf13

Larry gets his own issue. I mean, there’s brackets, but Larry gets a flashback. An origin story of sorts. Dean Rankine does the art on the flashback, which takes Larry from his inglorious start as a larvae to his greatest achievements. The writing is fantastic, though it’s sort of unclear what Young wants to do with the issue, if anything. Even for a filler issue, Fairyland is kind of heavy on the cotton candy. The issue does set up another big plot moment possibility for the book, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

CREDITS

Writer, Skottie Young; artists, Young and Dean Rankine; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.

I Hate Fairyland 12 (April 2017)

I hate fairyland #12

Gert has turned over a new leaf and she’s going to be a good guy in Fairyland now. Of course, no one better tell Gert how to go about turning over that leaf; she and Larry are ronin on a mission to save a baby. It gives Young a lot of gags outside the norm, plus chances to homage Usagi amongst other samurai classics. It’s kind of slight–there’s a lot of action–but it’s a fun, gross time. Like Fairyland should be.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.

I Hate Fairyland 11 (March 2017)

I Hate Fairyland #11

I Hate Fairyland returns on a high point, with Skottie Young embracing the “done-in-one” narrative while still developing Gert a little. She has to progress towards something now without a question. It’s very interesting to see in comics–the meandering narrative–but Young nails it. The issue itself is fun without getting too gory. Young’s expanding Gert’s snark, which has consequences. It’s great to have it back.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.

I Hate Fairyland 10 (October 2016)

I Hate Fairyland #10

Young wraps up the second arc–which has been loose anyway–with an action-packed finale. There’s a lot of great art as future Gert battles a giant monster and some decent comedic dialogue, but it’s all a little light. Young safely cruises; there’s nothing ambitious here.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.

I Hate Fairyland 9 (September 2016)

I Hate Fairyland #9

I Hate Fairyland continues on its demented way, with Young throwing Gert into her next misadventure. The recap text actually made me think there might be some kind of followup to the previous issue’s events, but no, instead Young’s full steam ahead.

This issue has Gert going into Larry’s magic hat to try to find a captured beast to pay off a gambling debt. She tries to sweet talk her way out of trouble. Doesn’t work, beautifully so. Instead, she’s got to go into Larry’s hat–Larry’s a bug of some sort, in case you don’t read Fairyland, which you should–and fight lice in order to save herself both in miniature form and big form.

Young’s new plotting for the comic–done-in-ones–is going beautifully. There’s just a solid, hilarious, maybe grotesque adventure every issue. It doesn’t get much better. Or, if it could, I can’t imagine how.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Skottie Young; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.

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