Comics Roundup #16: Bored by Riverdale and Fairyland

Here are two comic books I thought I’d love: Archie and I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After. Both are popular and have been mentioned by bloggers and booktubers so often that I thought I’d be an immediate fan. But instead, I was bored.

I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young (illus.) with colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu



Goodreads summary:

An Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness. Follow Gert, a forty year old woman stuck in a six year old’s body who has been trapped in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years. Join her and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood-soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

My opinion on this is an unpopular one. Just about everyone who has read this comic loved it and it’s easy to see why, but it just didn’t work for me. At first, I thought it was my mood that was the problem, but recently when I tried to reread it, I hopped around instead. I simply wasn’t interested.

I don’t want to dissuade anyone from reading it, though. I do like that Young puts a spin on fairytale lands by making it a place that’s so sweet that eventually one would get tired of it and want to return to their own world. Though, if Gert should ever return home, I don’t think she would like it there. She has too much fun and freedom in fairyland to like the normal world much.

Despite my disinterest in much of the story, I was pulled in toward the end when Gert got a bit of competition. That livened the story some for me, though it’s riddled with action because things blow up wherever Gert goes. I also like how this volume ends.

Art style:

This is partly why I didn’t like this comic much, I think. Reading this made me realize that I don’t much like the cartoony style coupled with bright, nearly overpowering colors. However, I do like the gruesome, violent, bloody scenes because of how comically exaggerated they are.

My feelings aside, the art style is good, the panels are easy to follow, and the colors are VERY eye-catching. There are also some small details I like such as “Slug Life” tattooed across the belly of the Slug Lord, who also rocks a thick gold chain, and the heavy-lidded eyes of Gert’s guide who always seem hungover.

Overall: ★★★☆☆

I was bored but that’s because the art style coupled with story didn’t work for me, though I do believe this is the best way to present this story idea. Mine is a very unpopular opinion because many who’ve read this really like it.

I gave it 3 stars because it’s good though it didn’t work for me.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

Chances are you’ll enjoy it. However, if you’re not a fan of very cartoony illustrations, then I suggest you borrow it.

(click the pics for a larger image)

Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid, illus. by Fiona Staples (issues #1-3), Annie Wu (issue #4), and Veronica Fish (issues #5-6) with colors by Andre Szymanowicz and Jen Vaughn



Goodreads summary:

America’s Favorite Teenager, Archie Andrews, is reborn in the pages of this must-have graphic novel collecting the first six issues of the comic book series that everyone is talking about. Meet Riverdale High teen Archie, his oddball, food-loving best friend Jughead, girl-next-door Betty and well-to-do snob Veronica Lodge as they embark on a modern reimagining of the beloved Archie world. It’s all here: the love triangle, friendship, humor, charm and lots of fun – but with a decidedly modern twist. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Of the two comics, I was more bored by this one. I became mildly interested in I Hate Fairyland toward its end, but not once was I interested Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale.

The Goodreads summary doesn’t say much, so here’s what this volume is about. Basically, it introduces us to the characters: Archie and Betty, who were dating but seem to have broken up over a “Lipstick Incident”; Veronica, who’s new to town; and Jughead, who tries to give his friends what they need. Much of the comic book alludes to the “Lipstick Incident,” but we don’t find out about it until issue #4 and it’s quite underwhelming when we do learn what happened. Archie narrates the story and is supposed to provide humor from his clumsiness, but that fell flat for me.

I was disappointed.

I enjoyed reading the Archie comics as a kid and was excited to see it rebooted with the first couple issues illustrated by Fiona Staples, whose illustrations I love (she does Saga). Though this Archie story is updated to fit modern times in how characters talk, what they wear, and the electronics they use, the plot felt dated to me. It’s something I’d see in the Archie comics I read as a kid. I appreciated that the team that worked on this wanted to maintain the spirit of the old Archie comics, but I think the story needed to pump up some to be exciting and really grab the modern reader’s interest.

I believe I read this after bingeing on the first season of the TV adaptation, Riverdale, which airs on the CW. In contrast to Archie, Vol. 1, the TV show Riverdale was so damn interesting! The show takes inspiration from the Archie comics characters, but that’s all. The plot is a murder mystery that’s surprisingly intriguing. Now, I’m looking forward to watching the second season (I wonder if it has started yet).

Art style:

Of course, I love the illustrations in issues #1-3 because of Fiona Staples. I gave the comic book an extra half star because of her. I just really like how she draws people. They are realistic yet attractive and I like the clothes she draws for them too, like Veronica’s cream dress on her first day at Riverdale High.

Annie Wu and Veronica Fish’s illustrations were okay, but I wasn’t a fan. I don’t favor thick lines, which the both use. The colors were okay as well.

Overall: ★★☆☆☆ 1/2

I didn’t like the story much and was bored by it. I thought it was dated. But the art was okay and I always love Fiona Staples’s work.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

Unless you really love Archie comics, or really admire one of the illustrators, in which case I’d say buy. And if you do love the Archie comics, then you’ll want to buy this to see the cover gallery in the back, which is pretty awesome.

This is actually the cover of the first volume.

Jughead, #1 by Chip Zdarsky, illus. by Erica Henderson



Quick summary:

Betty is protesting Lodge Industries destroying Riverdale’s green spaces. Jughead thinks it’s pointless to protest filthy rich Mr. Lodge, who probably doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the protest, but then Jughead finds something to fight for — food.

My thoughts:

The first issue of Jughead was included at the end of the Archie comic and unlike Archie, I was actually interested in this.

I didn’t like Jughead much in the Archie comics I read as a kid (Betty was my favorite), but he’s pretty cool in this. I like his laid-back attitude (similar to the old comics) and how he undermined the principal.

There was a Game-of-Thrones-inspired part, but it was meh. I preferred the main plotline.

Art style:

Meh. I liked the line work, but didn’t like how people were drawn and didn’t care much for the colors.

Overall: ★★★☆☆

The story was interesting and I liked Jughead’s character, but I’m not into the illustrations.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

I’m actually interested in this and am considering to get the first volume.


6 thoughts on “Comics Roundup #16: Bored by Riverdale and Fairyland

  1. I’m wanting to check out the Archie/Riverdale comics, but I would prefer if it was closer to the show than it seems. I used to read some of them when I was younger, so it may be nice to pick up some of the new ones to try. Nice reviews!


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