Skottie Young has been on a roll as of late, including wrapping up the exceptional 18-issue run on Middlewest as well as completing the haunting The Me You Love in the Dark. Now, he’s turning his attention back to his rich bibliography by kicking off a new mini-monthly comics that explore his old fave I Hate Fairyland in a new ways.
Zany and appropriately titled, The Unbelievable, Unfortunately Mostly Unreadable and Nearly Unpublishable Untold Tales of I Hate Fairyland follows the 20-issue run of I Hate Fairyland at Image Comics from 2015 to circa 2018. This latest endeavor will feature new writers and artists telling untold tales from the same universe. Kicking things off this week (December 9) is a six-issue story by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá called “I hate Gert!” The free story can be read on Young’s Substack Stupid Fresh Mess right now.
These new tales will then lead to a relaunch of I Hate Fairyland proper at (again with Image) in July, with story by Young and art from Brett Parson. In the meantime, however, we caught up with Young to talk about this latest chapter, including the story, his creative approach, his take on Substack, and whether the digital platform allows for even dirtier and edgier comics.
AIPT: To start, why is now the right time to launch new I Hate Fairyland stories?
Skottie Young: Who knows if it is — ha ha ha. I don’t think about that kind of thing too much. I’m kind of a go-with-your-gut kind of person. I just know I really miss Gert and the gang in Fairyland and felt an urge to dive back in.
AIPT: I can’t imagine a better duo to join you on this bonkers, adult fairy tale ride than Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, how did they get involved with the project?
SY: Right? How lucky am I? I’ve been friends with Fabio and Gabriel for many years. They’re one of the main reasons I love going to SDCC. Each day when the work of the con is over, we meet up at the bar for Caipirinhas and chat about life and comics and all the things that happened in the year since we saw each other last.
When I was working on the original I Hate Fairyland series, I talked to them about doing a fill-in issue of I Hate Fairyland and they were excited. But before we got to that point, I had started to feel a little burnt out and decided to put the series on pause for a bit. Writing and drawing a monthly book is a ton of work and I just needed a little breather. I told them when I brought it back, I would reach out and we picked up where we left off.
I thought that break would be a year. It ended up being three years. Oops. Anyway, they were the first on my list when I started reaching out to cartoonists to work on some short stories for Untold Tales Of I Hate Fairyland. And just like before, they were all over it. And wow, did they deliver the goods!!
AIPT: With four or so months posting to Substack, what are your thoughts on the platform and how is it working for your needs?
SY: It’s been great. The subscribers have been amazing! My crew at Stupid Fresh Mess has really helped add to our community with the tools this platform provides. We’re adding things to the subscribers’ experience more and more as we go. The next few months are going to get really fun and exciting.
AIPT: With I Hate Fairyland stories dropping on Substack, might we expect it to go more vulgar, or harder in that sense?
SY: There’s some pretty raw stuff. Haha. I’m letting everyone involved go as wacky as they want. So, you’ll just have to wait and see.
AIPT: Taking a look back, was there anything you had to scale back for the original Image Comics release that you might bring back (as far as gore or nudity)?
SY: Not really. Honestly, the balance of pushing things just short of going over the line makes it much funnier. I like having to work a little harder to make you laugh than just going for the jugular by going full explicit. There’s an art to going just far enough.
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