Sadly Never After (also known as Gert: A Real Muffin Fluffer) is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Skottie Young that was released in five parts throughout 2018 by Image Comics as the fourth volume of the American comic book series I Hate Fairyland, set in the Image Universe. Part 1, Hell of a Trip was released on February 7, 2018, Part 2, There's Magic In That There Cauldron!, was released on March 7, 2018, Part 3, The End!, was released on April 4, 2018, Part 4, Gert In Space!, was released on June 13, 2018, and Part 5, Fuck Fairyland, was released on July 4, 2018.[5]

Sadly Never After
  • February 7, 2018 (Part 1)
  • March 7, 2018 (Part 2)
  • April 4, 2018 (Part 3)
  • June 13, 2018 (Part 4)
  • July 4, 2018 (Part 5)
No. of issues5
Main characters
  • Gertrude "Gert"
  • Larry Wentsworth III
  • Duncan Dragon
PublisherImage Comics
Creative team
WritersSkottie Young[1][2]
ArtistsSkottie Young
LetterersNate Piekos of Blambot
ColouristsJean-Francois Beaulieu[3]
CreatorsSkottie Young
Jason Howard[4]
EditorsRian Hughes
Original publication
Published inI Hate Fairyland
Preceded byGood Girl
Followed byGert's Inferno (story arc)
The Untold Tales of I Hate Fairyland (spin-off)

Following the death of Gertrude "Gert" in the previous volume, the series follows two new storylines, as Gert is condemned by the devil, Bill, to eternally repeat her quest in an identical copy of Fairyland in a pocket dimension within Hell, while in the real Fairyland, Gert's former companions Duncan Dragon and Larry seek to resurrect her in order to save Fairyland from "Dark Cloudia", revived by Horribella. Produced as the final volume of the series, it was followed by the spin-off anthology series The Untold Tales of I Hate Fairyland in 2021,[6] and a revival series, beginning with the story arc Gert's Inferno, in 2022, again written by Young with a new illustration team.[7]

The series has received a universally positive critical reception.[8][9]

Premise edit

Part One: Hell of a Trip edit

Following her death and descent into Hell in Good Girl, Gert finds "Happy" to actually be the devil, Bill assuming her form, who after failing to torment Gert with a twisted version of her childhood home, creates an identical version of Fairyland within Hell, condemning her to an eternity of repeating her quest.[10][11][12][13]

Part Two: There's Magic In That There Cauldron edit

The witch Horribella calls Bill and demands "her" bones as payment for causing Gert's death, which Bill has delivered to her through Duncan Dragon, who has become a postal courier after learning how to fly. Planning to bring about the end of Fairyland, Horribella revives the figure to life as a powerful undead being who kills her and declares "I Hate Fairyland!" before going on a rampage.[14][15]

Part Three: The End! edit

The undead being is revealed as "Dark Cloudia", a corrupted version of the former Fairyland Queen Cloudia. Reasoning that since Cloudia was returned to life, Gert can be brought back to, Duncan recruits Larry to track down and confront the Fairyland Council to resurrect Gert to save Fairyland. The Council initially refuse, citing the rules of Fairyland, but Duncan retorts that the rules, and the council, are directly responsible for the crisis, and that by kidnapping children like him and Gertrude, they have abdicated any moral authority. Conceding that Duncan is correct, the council orders Bill to deliver the pocket dimension containing Gertrude's Hell to the council chamber.[16][17]

Part Four: Gert In Space! edit

In her personal Hell, Gert, having recruited the pocket dimension's generated version of a younger Larry, commandeering the spaceship of an astronaut in an attempt to escape, is surprised when Duncan and Larry enter Hell and inform Gertrude about Dark Cloudia. Agreeing to kill Cloudia again, she exists the pocket dimension and returns to life along with the Hell-generated Larry. On learning her actions would serve the Council's purpose, Gert attempts to renege on the deal, only for the Council to promise to return Gert home if she succeeds in defeating Cloudia, noting that as she is now a force of pure darkness, Gert must become a force of good, combining their powers to forcibly empower her with their combined magic.[18]

The title is a reference to the Muppets skit Pigs in Space.

Part Five: Fuck Fairyland edit

As Dark Cloudia destroys the army of the current Fairyland monarch, King Cone, she is attacked by the empowered Gert, who embarks in a brawl with her across Fairyland with her new magical powers, depowering Cloudia and beating her up. Sick and tired of violence, on Larry's advice, Gert decides against killing Cloudia again, and hands the defeated villain over to King Cone to be imprisoned for her crimes. The Council then appears, angry because Gert didn't kill Cloudia, in spite of having technically fulfilled their request to simply "defeat" her, threatening to exile Gert to a remote place in Fairyland, until Gert reminds them per their own rules that they cannot take back their combined magic from her until acknowledging she had defeated Cloudia and returning her home, and could use it to kill them unless they honored their part of the deal.[8]

Fearful, the Council quickly sends Gert back home, much to Larry's sorrow (who had been unable to say "You're welcome." to Gert's "Thank you." for looking after her and truly having raised her over all her years in Fairyland), who hopes Gert enjoys the life she has fought for all these years. On Earth, Gert, now an adult woman in her thirties, finds herself employed as a clerk in a television station, frustrated by her mundane existence and looking for a way to return, before abandoning her search and cursing Fairyland one last time before getting back to work, determined to face her lot in life.[9]

Development edit

In June 2018, Skottie Young quietly announced that the then-ongoing fourth volume of I Hate Fairyland would be its last, via a variant cover for Gert In Space!. On the release of the final issue in July 2023, Young elaborated on his reasoning for ending the series and the potential for the series to return, stating:

"That's right, I just finished inking the last panel on the last page of I Hate Fairyland #20. What I've known for a while, but you just found out, was that's the last page of the series, at least for now. I know, some of you are probably cursing my name right now while some of you are saying, "It's about time." Either way, I knew it was time for me to bring Gert's story to an end for the time being. I LOVED writing and drawing this series [and] was blown away by the support and love you all had for it [but] as much fun as this was, I started having other ideas [and] knew that I didn't have the time to carry on writing and drawing an ongoing series [and] develop a brand new project [and so] made the choice to bring [I Hate Fairyland] to the ending I always saw for Gert."[19]

Reception edit

Issue # Publication date Critic rating Critic reviews Ref.
1 February 2018 9.5/10 5 [20]
2 March 2018 8.6/10 6 [21]
3 April 2018 7.5/10 7 [22]
4 June 2018 7.8/10 5 [23]
5 July 2018 9.8/10 7 [24]
Overall 8.7/10 30 [25]

Collected editions edit

Title Material collected Published date ISBN
I Hate Fairyland: Sadly Never After I Hate Fairyland (vol. 1) #16–20[26] August 22, 2018[27] ISBN 978-1632158871
I Hate Fairyland Book Two[28] I Hate Fairyland (vol. 1) #11–20
I Hate Image: FCBD Special #1[29]
September 17, 2019 ISBN 978-1534312487
I Hate Fairyland Compendium One I Hate Fairyland (vol. 1) #1–20
I Hate Image: FCBD Special #1
June 25, 2024 ISBN 978-1534397729

Follow-ups edit

In the final issue of Madly Ever After, then-intended as the final chapter of I Hate Fairyland as a whole, Skottie Young expressed interest in one-day returning to the series, stating:

"I'll tease a little of the future. While this is the end of I HATE FAIRYLAND as an ongoning series, that doesn't mean we can't drop into the world from time to time, whether it be a one-shot of a mini-series of "TALES OF"-style stories. Nothing is on the schedule just yet, but talks have been had and ideas have been scribbled down. So for now it's not a GOOD-BYE, but more of a SEE YA LATER."[19]

In August 2021, Young confirmed I Hate Fairyland would return later that year with the spin-off midquel anthology series The Unbelievable, Unfortunately Mostly Unreadable, and Nearly Unpublishable Untold Tales of I Hate Fairyland!, to be written by him along with a revolving team of new artists, and set during the events of the first four volumes, to be published freely to his Substack newsletter ahead of an Image Comics publication, while the main series would be revived in 2022 with a new #1 issue, in what would become Gert's Inferno, with Brett Bean replacing Young as the series' primary artist, following Gert as she is paid to return to Fairyland to rescue a missing child.[30][31]

References edit

  1. ^ Start, Ian; Mitchell, Brian (January 25, 2019). Skottie Young is Gert from "I Hate Fairyland!". Skybound Entertainment. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Piskor, Ed; Ruggart, Jim (July 22, 2019). The Skottie Young Shoot Interview. Cartoonist Kayfabe. Retrieved July 22, 2019 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ Lehoczky, Etelka (May 1, 2016). "No Pink, But Plenty Of Red, In Hack-N-Slash 'Fairyland'". NPR. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Lu, Alexander (June 14, 2016). "Interview: Skottie Young On the "Street Fighter Blood Sports" of I Hate Fairyland's New Arc!". Comics Beat. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Johnston, Rich (August 13, 2018). "The Top 500 Most-Ordered Comics and Graphic Novels in July 2018". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Melton, Ian (October 13, 2019). "Talking with Skottie Young: Leaving Deadpool and Working Hard on Middlewest". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Dar, Taimur (December 22, 2021). "Interview: Skottie Young takes a trip back to the mother-fluffin' world of I Hate Fairyland". Comics Beat. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Drum, Nicole (August 2, 2018). "Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 7/4/2018". Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Santiago, Victor (August 27, 2018). "Review: I Hate Fairyland Vol. 4". Modern Gafa. Retrieved August 27, 2018. The final battle wraps up and Gertrude, after nearly forty years trapped in Fairyland without aging, gets the ending she truly deserves – one that is sadly never after. At least she finally seems to have learned something and gets a brief moment of catharsis before it's all over. It's weird seeing her grow as a character when she's still just a mad sociopath.
  10. ^ Bailey, Benjamin (February 7, 2018). "The Pull List: I Hate Fairyland, VS, X-Men Red, And More". Nerdist. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Griffin, Carrie (February 7, 2018). "I Hate Fairyland #16 Review". Impulse Gamer. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Comic Frontline Staff (February 12, 2018). "Top Panels of The Week! – 02/07/18". Comic Frontline. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  13. ^ Ferreri, Rob (May 26, 2019). "Review: I Hate Fairyland #16: Hell in a Handbasket". Comic Crusaders. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  14. ^ Santiago, Victor (March 5, 2018). "This Week In Comics: 3/7". Modern Gafa. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Wallace, Elizabeth (March 7, 2018). "Review – I Hate Fairyland #17". Pixelated Geek. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  16. ^ D. Ivester (April 3, 2018). "I Hate Fairyland #18 Review". The GWW. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Drum, Nicole (August 2, 2018). "Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 4/4/2018". Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  18. ^ Drum, Nicole (August 2, 2018). "Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 6/13/2018". Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Young, Skottie (July 4, 2018). "I Hate Fairyland #20 Letters Page". Image Comics. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "I Hate Fairyland #16 Reviews". February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  21. ^ "I Hate Fairyland #17 Reviews". March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  22. ^ "I Hate Fairyland #18 Reviews". April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  23. ^ "I Hate Fairyland #19 Reviews". June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  24. ^ "I Hate Fairyland #20 Reviews". July 4, 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  25. ^ "I Hate Fairyland: Sadly Never After Reviews". August 22, 2018. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  26. ^ Johnston, Rich (September 29, 2019). "Image Comics' Twenty-Five Best-Selling Titles, Right Now". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  27. ^ Young, Skottie (August 22, 2018). "I Hate Fairyland Volume 4: Sadly Never After". Previews World. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  28. ^ Johnston, Rich (April 18, 2019). "Paper Girls, Black Science and Skywards End – as Sea Of Stars, Unearth, Reaver and Space Bandits Begin in Image Comics July 2019 Solicits". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  29. ^ Davison, Joshua (October 11, 2017). "I Hate Fairyland Special Edition #1 Review: Gertrude Kills The Image Universe". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  30. ^ Young, Skottie (August 18, 2021). "The Return of I HATE FAIRYLAND!". Substack. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  31. ^ Epps, Justin (November 21, 2022). "I Hate Fairyland Is Back With More Laughs and More Gore (Review)". Screen Rant. Retrieved November 21, 2022.

External links edit