ihatefairyland_vol1-1Gertrude, a little girl with bright green hair, a pink dress and a yellow bow, gets her wish when she is sucked into the magical world of Fairyland. Ruled by Queen Cloudia, Fairyland is bubbly, colorful and populated by magical creatures, everything a little girl could ask for. Gertrude and her guide Larrigon Wentsworth III —a talking fly with a top hat and matching bow tie—are tasked with a short quest that, once completed, will allow Gertrude to return home safe and sound. However, instead of taking a day as Queen Cloudia tells her, twenty-seven years pass. Now a jaded, slightly mad, blood-thirsty middle-aged woman trapped inside her little girl body, Gertrude will do whatever it takes to get out of the magical world she now hates.

The time-skip takes place within the first few pages and is announced by the moon. Afterwards, several character narrators introduce each issue and then meet a comically bloody demise by Gertrude. As the story goes on, it becomes clear that the happy world of Fairyland, a dream for a young child, has become a nightmare for an adult. Gertrude’s presence is also no longer welcome by Queen Cloudia. Bound by her own rule that she cannot harm Gertrude while she is a guest, Queen Cloudia devises multiple plans to get her killed, but the creatures she hires to assassinate Gertrude always end up on the wrong side of Gertrude’s battle axe. As a last attempt, Queen Cloudia brings in another human, one who is young physically and mentally, to win the quest and make Gertrude a permanent resident of Fairyland. The volume ends with Gertrude killing Queen Cloudia with a sadistic grin, but instead of using the opportunity to escape back to the real world, Gertrude is now officially trapped and the new Queen of Fairyland.

The dialogue, coupled with Gertrude’s insane facial expressions, is hysterical. Especially funny and unique is Gertrude’s fake cursing, such as “Fluff that guy” and “We should be at the candy’s muffin huggin’ rock by now.” Gertrude was only a child when she became trapped in Fairyland and never learned how to actually curse, but as an adult who is sick of the goodie-goodie world around her, she knows that she’s entitled to be angry and curse, even if she has to use cute language to do so. I Hate Fairyland effectively blends dark humor, gorey violence, and bright, bubblegum colors for an utterly enjoyable read. While the comic is rated Mature, mainly for gore and violence, it is not realistic. Recommend for fans of Invader Zim and Jhonen Vasquez’ other works, I Hate Fairyland is perfect for older teens, new adults, and adults looking for a dark twist on fairy tales and who do not mind a bit of gore in their humor.

I Hate Fairyland: Madly Ever After
by Skottie Young
ISBN: 9781632156853
Image, 2016
Publisher Age Rating: M

  • Marissa Lieberman

    Past Reviewer

    Marissa graduated with her MLS from Queens College, NY in 2011 and is a children’s librarian at the East Orange Public Library, NJ where she gets to share her passion of anime and manga by running the tween anime club, ordering manga and graphic novels, and planning Tosho-con. She organized Tosho-con, the first library anime convention in Nassau County, NY back in 2010 and continues to run this successful convention at her current library. Marissa has written articles and presented about graphic novels, manga and library conventions for School Library Journal, New York Comic Con, and library conferences. She also reviews for School Library Journal and Voices of Youth Advocates.

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