Book Review: I Hate Fairyland – Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young

Image Description: The book-cover of I Hate Fairyland – Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young. The cover background features a range of characters, magical creatures and magical mushrooms with faces, all of them with some form of injury or scared expression on their faces. In the center of the cover is a large red and white toadstool mushroom. On top of the toadstool mushroom is Gertrude, holding a bloody axe in one hand and smoke-bomb in the other. Her hair is bright-green ringlets in pigtails with a yellow ribbon and her dress is bright pink with yellow sash across the middle. Next to her is a fly in a worn and damaged suit and top-hat smoking a cigar.

Title: I Hate Fairyland – Volume 1: Madly Ever After (Book #1 of The I Hate Fairyland Series)
Creators: Skottie Young (Writer and Artist), Jean-François Beaulieu (Colourist), and Nate Piekos (Letterer)
Social Media: Goodreads
Publisher: Image Comcs Inc.
Format and Price: Paperback from my local library
Rating: 4 out of 5

About The Writer:
Skottie Young has been an illustrator and cartoonist for over ten years working for entertainment and publishing companies such Marvel, Warner Bros., Image, Upper Deck, Mattel, and many more. He is currently illustrating the New York Times Best Selling and Eisner Award Nominated adaptions of L. Frank Baum’s Oz novels with writer Eric Shanower. The series has gained acclaim from both fans and critics. Skottie currently lives in Illinois with his family, Casey, Baxter and their Saint Bernard, Emma.

About The Book:
From superstar writer and artist Skottie Young (Rocket Raccoon, Wizard of OZ, Fortunately, The Milk), comes the first volume of an all-new series of adventure and mayhem.

An Adventure Time/Alice in a Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness. Follow Gert, a forty-year-old woman stuck in a six-year-old’s body who has been trapped in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years. Join her and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood-soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND.

General Observations:
~Grotesque Graphic Violence: While the graphic novel makes it clear from the beginning that this is a parody of Fairytale-style narrative-journeys, I suspect that the main appeal of this graphic novel is the violent content. There’s just something disturbingly funny about a six-year-old child wielding a bloody axe against a legion of Zombie Fauns (actual thing that happens). The colour scheme of bright saccharine colours in contrast to the brutal gore can be confronting. Although the artwork design does also come across as trying to shove in as much as possible. It gives me a feeling reminiscent of Invader Zim.

~Black Comedy: Let’s be honest here, this is not a graphic novel for people under the age of fifteen, and while Gertrude is the protagonist of the series, she’s definitely not heroic. Gertrude does some nasty violent things, and she’s rarely held accountable for what she does (although there are a couple of exceptions where she’s called out on her actions), however, the problem is that “the fair folk” aren’t that much better. In fact, one could almost argue that they’re worse than Gertrude, after all, she came to Fairyland as a six-year-old child, whereas they’re adults who should’ve known better. Given Gertrude’s circumstances, her spiralling mental health could almost be considered understandable.

~Predictability: Because this is a parody of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and fairytales in general, I found it easy to predict where the narrative was going, however, I still found the plot and characters enjoyable despite the predictability of the ending.

All in all, while I enjoyed this comic and plan on reading the rest of the books in the series, the grotesque style may not be suitable for some readers, reader discretion is advised.

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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