Exploding onto the comic scene in 2015, Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland became an instant hit for Image Comics. Volume 1 of I Hate Fairyland collects the Madly Ever After story arc where we meet 10 year old Gertrude who falls into Fairyland and is unable to go home. She ends up wandering Fairyland with her insect guide Larry for 27 years hoping to find some way to escape. There is an issue though… in those 27 years Gertrude has not physically aged but instead has grown into a mentally unstable misanthrope whose violent outburst have sent fear through fairyland.
Queen Cloudia, who herself reigns over Fairyland through fear, sends many villains after Gertrude to take her out of the picture. They all end in failure resulting in Queen Cloudia deciding to kill Gertrude personally; she consults the Fairyland Council and they devise a plan to rid of Gertrude. As the Queen cannot directly harm any guests, Cloudia invites another child, Happy, into Fairyland, to do the deed.
Gertude confronts Happy and shortly tries to kill her, but is easily defeated by Happy. After Gertrude recovers, she visits Queen Cloudia and asks her what is going on. Cloudia tells her she’s too late, and admits she helped Happy on her quest to find the key that will return her home.
An upset and annoyed Gerturde tracks down Darketh Deaddeath and asks him for help to defeat Happy. He agrees to help her, only if she proves herself but surviving his dungeon which Gertrude does and throws in a few insults to celebrate this!
Meanwhile, Happy almost uses the key to exit Fairyland, but then Gertrude stops her in her tracks. After a battle, Gertrude defeats Happy and then kills Cloudia.
Just as Gertrude is about to finally return home with the key Larry informs her that killing the Queen makes her the Queen herself, resulting in her unhappily having to take throne!