Free Comic Book Day Review – I Hate Image
Free Comic Book Day is my favorite holiday of the year. It always falls on the first Saturday in May, which is THIS WEEK on May 6th. Local comic shops around the world will be handing out free comic books and hosting special guests and fun activities, so find your local shop today and don’t miss this amazing event! This year, there are so many titles to choose from, but some books are definitely comics you don’t want to miss. Image Comics is offering I Hate Image, with story and art from I Hate Fairyland‘s Scottie Young. In the vein of silly gore akin to the infamous Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, our sweet little homicidal maniac, Gert, takes a joke-filled journey and meets some of our favorite Image characters. This cartoon adventure through the world of Image is worth much more than it’s Free Comic Book Day price (which is nothing).
With Scottie Young at the helm, I probably don’t need to tell you that this book is hilarious. Gert, from I Hate Fairyland, is undeniably one of my favorite characters in comics history. I waited a long time for this book after it was announced at Image Expo, and not a single issue since has disappointed. This Free Comic Book Day special takes Gert out of Fairyland, but it can’t take the Fairyland out of Gert. She is the same wacky, violent, not-so-little girl in this raucous romp through Image’s greatest hits. Young really manages to capture the essence of all the Image characters he brings into this issue, even if they only show up for a page or a panel. The amount of references included in this book could easily be overwhelming, but the stories flow into each other seamlessly and there are laughs on every page. Young truly understands what fans have loved about Image through the years, and what makes individual characters work within their own stories. I Hate Image is possibly the funniest book I have read so far this year, and fans of any Image series are sure to love it.
The trademark cartoon art of Scottie Young is difficult to dislike. In this book, however, he is challenged with using his personal style to convey the different tones and universes of many Image books. Seeing Scottie Young art with just a tinge of Fiona Staples, Jason Latour, or Cliff Chiang is a testament to his artistic skill. The colorist on this issue, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, had to keep up with Young’s constant artistic changes as well. From the cotton-candy colored Fairyland, through the black and white den of Walking Dead zombies, and the violently red-toned corner of Southern Bastards, Beaulieu doesn’t mis a beat. Every radical change in art and coloring style perfectly conveys the setting of the book the issue is focusing on. Nate Piekos, of Blambot, faces challenges most letterers won’t encounter often: Image has bene around for a long time, and has hired some of the most talented lettering teams in comics. With the changing art styles, the letters have to change, to0. His shining moment is when Gert finally meets the “Master”- just wait! It’s really cool, I promise.
Many Free Comic Book Day specials in recent years have been reprints, prequels, flashback titles, or just 50% advertisements. I Hate Image is something different. This one issue could have easily stretched into an ongoing event (and I hope someday it does)! I would shell out the $5.99 it costs for a similar event one-shot from the big 2, but thanks to the great people at Image, this one is completely free! All you have to do is visit your local comic book shop- wow, what a terrible sacrifice (not).
Wherever you end up on this comic book holiday, make sure to pick up I Hate Image! But remember, like I Hate Fairyland, this book is adorable but also rated M for Mature. You know, because of things like big bad words, bullying, death, dismemberment, probable cannibalism, zombie hordes, apathy, images of comic book executives, and more. So, let your kids wait a few years and enjoy this one for yourself! If you’re inspired by some the hilarious and gory lands Gert visits in I Hate Image, I cannot recommend enough that you check out some of the excellent featured series like Papergirls, Saga, Southern Bastards, Plutona, and more! Discovering more great Image titles will only make this one-shot more and more hilarious.