If you have yet to experience to glory that is the art of Skottie Young, you’re really missing out. Young has been involved in a number of projects over the years, including Marvel’s Oz series, Rocket Raccoon, Lil’ Marvel, and most recently Rocket Raccoon and Groot. He also illustrated Neil Gaiman’s delightful children’s story, Fortunately, the Milk. There is a “madcap frenzy” sort of style to Young’s artwork that feels like Calvin & Hobbes on steroids. It’s always memorable, no matter what the subject may happen to be.
Perhaps the boldest entry in Young’s bibliography is the Image Comics title I Hate Fairyland. It follows the story of Gertrude, a little girl that wishes to be whisked away to a magical land. Her wish is granted and she is sent on a quest to recover a key that will return her home.
This is standard fantasy fare. I’ve been devouring this sort of nonsense since I was a little kid. Some of my favorite movies – The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story pop to mind more quickly than anything else – involved something like this. Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz are perhaps the best examples of this. In that sense, I Hate Fairyland is as cookie-cutter as it gets.
The artwork and writing make it seem more cartoonish than frightful, despite the multitude of bloody, visceral deaths at the hand of this middle-aged woman still stuck in a child’s body. No one is safe from her rampage. Her efforts to find the key to return home were only intended to last the length of a day, but instead she keeps making wrong turns and mutilating bodies along the way.
There’s no denying that Young’s artwork makes the violence more comical than horrifying, but by the end of the first volume, there is a trail of corpses left in this little girl’s wake. And it is impossible not to laugh at it all.
In many ways, this tale ended up reminding me more of Grizzlyshark than any other fantasy quest story. It’s an over-the-top story of being stuck in a place with bright, shiny colors for way too damn long.
Look for I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1: Madly Ever After on Amazon or at your local bookstore. The story doesn’t end there, however. I Hate Fairyland #6 hits newsstands in mid-June.
Vaya con Dios!
All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!