By Zachary Krishef
I Hate Fairyland has been chugging away for nearly three years now, but Skottie Young is far from running out of steam. When the second volume ended, I had to admit, I didn’t know what else could be done with the series. Gert had seemingly ended her quest to leave Fairyland, though not at all as she planned, thus fulfilling the comic’s main purpose. As it turns out, Gert is not the only one who hates Fairyland; a deadly foe has taken over her murderous legacy.
Back when I first began the series, I didn’t think I would be so emotionally invested in the denizens of Fairyland. My enjoyment of the series came from the incongruity of seeing adorably magical creatures terrorized by a disillusioned main character and the unraveling of several balls of yarn worth of magic clichés. As the series went on, I felt more and more sorry for the background cast, empathizing with their plight. Various panels in this issue reminded me of just how adept Skottie and Jean-Francois Beaulieu are at creating this new world. From living snow, to Muppety concoctions, to living broccoli, I don’t want to see the end of Fairyland.
I don’t know if the literal decay of Fairyland means that this volume might be the end of the series, but given the comic’s liberal meta-textual references, it could be a red herring. Then again, Skottie is slated to begin writing a Deadpool relaunch near the beginning of the summer, so I can’t say for sure. Hey, if this really is going to be the end of the line for the colorful cast, then they’re going out on an excellent note. Nate Piekos is an underrated letterer, giving select characters special fonts to better help the reader imagine what they sound like.
Gert doesn’t make an appearance in the issue, but that doesn’t hurt the quality of the story. Rather, it adds some valuable focus on Duncan and Larry. I’ve always liked the put-upon sidekick character and Larry works as the Kif to Gert’s Zapp Brannigan. He could have been so much more but must deal with Gert’s shenanigans all day. Seeing him play off Duncan’s peppy energy without any of Gert’s grousing leads to a refreshing new dynamic. Every so often, it can’t hurt to switch up the plot, or risk becoming formulaic.
Overall, I Hate Fairyland #18 is a tense, engaging read. I have made no secret of the fact that I love this series. I’m honestly surprised that no one has snapped up the comic for a cartoon by now. With such a distinctive art style and unique premise, it’s almost begging for someone to make a pitch. The nature of the comic makes it apt for a streaming service looking for a unique program, although constant mock swear words do remind me of NBC’s The Good Place.
I Hate Fairyland #18 is written and drawn by Skottie Young, colored by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, lettered by Blambot®’s Nate Piekos, and edited by Kent Wagenschutz.
By Zachary Krishef