Skottie Young opens up about coming back to I HATE FAIRYLAND
In 2015, after making a name for himself with his iconic and humorous art style, comic book creator Young Skottie spear I hate the land of the fairies, her first creator-owned book published by Image Comics. An irreverent and hilarious take on the fairytale genre, the series tells the story of Gert, a young girl whose dream comes true when she finds herself transported to the magical world of Fairyland. But as the saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for,” and after thirty years trapped in Fairyland and stuck as a child with the mind of an adult, Gert ends up becoming violent and jaded.
For more than three years, readers were delighted with the (often brutal) adventures of Gert and his reluctant guide Larry the Fly until 2018, when Gert finally found his way home to lead a social life and miserable as an adult. However, fans rejoiced when Young announced in the first post of his official Substack newsletter that I hate the land of the fairies would be back, Young relinquishing artistic duties to Brett Parson so that he can concentrate on writing. Additionally, Young has opened up the borders of his fantastical, whimsical universe for guest writers and artists to wreak havoc in a new monthly series called The incredible, unfortunately mostly unreadable and almost unpublishable of the untold tales of I Hate Fairyland, available in his newsletter Stupid Fresh Mess Substack. Untold Tales of I Hate FairylandThe second part of “I Hate Gert!”, A six-page descent into madness by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, the acclaimed brother artists behind The Umbrella Academy and the creative team of day tripper and Two brothers.
Rhythm caught up with Young via email to discuss what inspired him to return to his first creator-owned series, hiring Parson to take over the art, and so much more!
Taimur Dar: As readers know, you apparently closed the book over 3 years ago in the last issue of I hate the land of the fairies # 20 with Gert returning to Earth and resigned to living his miserable adult life working for a TV station. How did you want to return to the world of I hate the land of the fairies?
Skottie Young: I always knew I would come back. Honestly, I thought I was back sooner. I had planned a one year break, but my schedule and the state of the world had other plans for me, which went well because these three years off I hate the land of the fairies Even more excited to come back and play.
Dar: It’s not uncommon for joint comic book writers / artists to take a break from drawing and focus on the written side of things and bring in other artists like Mike Mignola and his Hellboy books for example. How did you connect with Brett Parson to get into the art? Were you already friends before this collaboration?
Young: I had met Brett at a Drink and Draw con years ago. I was a big fan. When I was finishing the original series, I ended up chatting with him and Eric powell on how Brett was racing on the thug. I was jealous as hell and instinctively replied, “I want you to run a race I hate the land of the fairies! ”He was like,“ Damn yeah, that would be cool, man. ”But I was finishing the book a bit, so it wasn’t really in the cards. So when I decided to bring him back and team up with an artist for the new race i reached out and he was still interested and said yes!
Dar: How is the collaboration process going between you and Parson?
Young: Perfect. He’s a pro from start to finish. It sends out these layouts that look like almost finished art. He’s so talented and makes it feel like it’s effortless. He and I have similar influences too, so there’s really a short hand that we fall into. I can’t wait for you all to see the art!
Dar: Years ago I covered a MoCCA Fest Panel with Mike Mignola and I was both surprised and amused to hear him admit that he found writing alone a nightmare for the first time. He joked that the writing is still a mystery to him. How do you think you grew up since your first comic book script?
Young: I was also pretty scared when I started years ago. But like everything, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Very similar to the drawing. My first job was tough. It was the best I could do at the time with my experience and talent, but still ROUGH. Over time, you can’t help but learn, grow, and improve. Growth through repetition.
Dar: I’ve read Terry Gilliam’s memoir and I’m really fascinated by how he was able, after Monty Python, to embark on projects that you wouldn’t expect from his work and animation on Monty Python, but you can actually see some of the early seeds. Obviously you’ve cultivated a fun comedic style with your art and writing through your various projects at Marvel, so I don’t think fans back then would have expected you to try your hand at other genres like a love / horror story with The me you love in the dark. Was it easy for you to escape the leaderboard?
Young: This is an interesting question. I guess I never thought of being labeled. I mean, I can’t predict what everyone else is thinking. I watch all kinds of movies and read all kinds of books in all genres. I knew that at some point I would take the plunge to the safety of strictly humorous books, I just needed the right time and the right idea. Fortunately, I have a great partner in Jorge [Corona] and I found the time and the idea! I like that everyone seems to understand what we’re doing and saying and enjoyed the book.
Dar: The comic conventions are coming back little by little. I know that, like others, you still have no plans to attend conventions, which I fully understand. Working as a comic book creator can be quite lonely, so attending a con is a great way to break out of your routine and actually interact with your fans in person. Missing the convention experience and hoping the in-person interactions of the gatherings will make a comeback?
Young: I look forward to picking up on the downsides so that I can once again connect with readers and art fans in person. Because I am not yet scheduled to return, we have tried to add as much con experience as possible here at my company, Stupid Fresh Mess. We offer all kinds of goods in the store of SKOTTIEYOUNG.COM. From original art, stickers, signed comics and graphic novels, to limited edition silkscreens, mystery boxes, CGC exclusives, and more.
Dar: I know Untold Tales of I Hate Fairyland will reveal how Gert got his iconic ax. Do you have any other stories or teases about what fans can expect you to reveal?
Young: Well you can go read a new story by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá on my Substack right now. We just launched it last week! It’s a short film that sees one of Gert’s biggest fans return for revenge! And for premium subscribers, there are some bonus features!
The first two installments of The incredible, unfortunately mostly unreadable and almost unpublishable of the untold tales of I Hate Fairyland are available to read, along with much more, on Skottie Young’s Substack now.