I appreciate that Skottie Young owned up to all of his readership at the end of the first arc of this series that he had only planned a 48-page story. The second arc was really more of a "monster of the week" vibe that echoed Samurai Jack, if it had been written by someone with severe emotional problems who seemed to hate the innocence of childhood as much as Tim Burton. (I'm not saying this in a bad way, mind you.) Since the end of the first trade collection, it's been a bit disjointed, but the latest issues seem to address that concern while still engaging in an episodic nature. The last issue saw Gert fully wanting to turn a new leaf in her behavior, and though we know that this will lead to the ruin of all, it's a fun experiment to witness this first outing on the "good" path.
I think what has always brought me joy in this series is how Young has taken the myriad adventures in myth and kiddie fairy tales and broken them utterly. Just like the Earth One or Injustice runs that annihilate some fundamental aspect of their progenitors, I Hate Fairyland kind of brutalizes the saccharine tales we often tell kids nowadays. Now, just letting children see the actual Grimm's tales is ruthless enough, but this world seems intent on making it go down with a dark humor that makes it all better. (Better? Yes...not sociopathic at all.) It seems, at least from Issue #12's standpoint, that Skottie's going to be mixing in some other fun genres whilst picking their bones for the most painful funnies he can. As per usual, the dialogue is quick and cutthroat and moves with a phenomenal voice. It's not often that I encounter such a good patter written in a rhythm that works as well as this. The language flows in lovely ways while tickling the insides with delightful mania.
I've never met anyone who doesn't feel something about Skottie Young's artwork; either you love it or think it's too "kiddie." (Most of those who feel the latter love Witchblade, Red Sonja, and many other examples of titular art.) I have always found his work to be on par with Dr. Seuss, though in a much less kid-friendly way. He takes concepts of expected views and blows the proportions off while making things just slightly unhinged. Never have I seen any other artist who engenders the feeling of "looking the wrong way through a kaleidoscope" as much as the good doctor did, and it lends a wonderful dichotomy into this work of skewed reality. Your mind wants to make the images wholesome because of the exaggerations he uses, but the fine details always belie the true reality of the grit underneath. This is a forest whose trees tell a different story, and the uniqueness of that imagery has always really fascinated me.
Jean-Francois continues to astound with his coloring of this sugary world, imbuing the whole thing with a Saturday morning cartoon (Is that still a thing with the internet now? Do kids watch cartoons then?) palette that drives home the basic disconnect that drives the heart of this thing.
I think that the series is picking up again, and, hopefully, the fun will only continue to go up. I know I'm back on board. If you dug it before, now's a good time to jump back in.
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