@spiritofthewater : I want to thank you for all this gathering of wondeful "oldies", here !
When I think I had the first edition of the Gatherum, with all its incredible art samples by Wendy, from before and at the beginning of the Original Quest... Damn!...
Now, I mustn't complain : I have the "complete" edition, and it was worth buying it too !
Have you tried ebay? I see both the Gatherums for sale all the time, even the first edition of Gatherum vol 1. If you buy from an ebay seller you should take care that the seller put some cardboard around it, and not just put in a paper envelope. Receiving crushed EQ is not very fun, especially if it was in like new condition.
What pleases you all, about Wendy's beginnings ?
I mean... ~ the 1978-1983 period, specifically ?
As for me, it's mainly the overall "naÃ¯vetÃ©".
Even if, as for MOST such artists, Wendy's art was still not "at its best", then, of course...
...it already had HEART.
What I regret, somehow, is how grimmer and grimmer ( though not THAT bad, as a final result ) it has become.
But never mind me : I'm such an old ( and nostalgic ) gloomer !...
I think you have got a point. This is what I like to think:
EQ is very much a product of the 70s, and EQ would be absolutely impossible to make in another time. Wendy's insistence of having a "line of beauty" and trying to draw as stylishly as possible is definitely a product of the 70s. You were normally not emphasizing style in the 80s, 90s and you don't do it today either. There are many reasons behind it. I remember I heard an interview of Elton John where he talked about how innocent they all were, when he made his breakthrough. I guess that made you more creative, certainly more than today's complacency. Artists were not afraid to be different or unique. They were more open. (practically all musical genre in pop music is a product of the 70s: trance, rap, punk, synth pop, disco, metal, jazz rock, fusion, ambient, symphonic rock, power ballads etc). The 70s artist were extravagant and flamboyant. They were idealistic, Utopian. The art was romantic and spiritual. It was summer and sunshine, positivity and creativity, and out of it all grew Elfquest, not afraid to be wild and different. It was born to be strong.
I think Wendy was following the 70s way of thinking up till "Quests End", fortunately able to protect her values from a changing time and a changing mentality. Wendy was living in the 70s up to 1984, then she became more realistic and less idealistic, like everybody else, and I guess she had good reasons. The same kind of sensual stimulation over and over again will only lead to nothingness, (If you rub a finger back and forth on your arm repeatedly you will after 5 min feel very little), so if you are emotional, or bound to sensuality, you will in any case feel change as something good, even if the change may seem inferior from another perspective.
I think this show how different the 70s and 80s thinking really is. In the beginning WP is drawing long continuous curves and lines to make everything as aesthetically pleasing as possible. The reality must be transformed to meet her aesthetic demand. In 1986 her aesthetically demands has been transformed to be able to fit more into reality. If anyone take a closer look at the wolf's right foot they should know what I mean:
The same goes with the images below. The background on the 80/81 drawing look like a cathedral. The background on the 86 drawing is more realistic.
I find Kings of the Broken Wheel more idealistic than Siege at Blue Mountain but more simplified compared to Original Quest. I think that can give a feeling of a more cold expression, but if you compare WP with other artists from her generation I think she has been able to protect her values much more successfully than what's usual. I do not know much about comics, but I know about many musicians or artists, outside comics, who are only a shadow of who they where in the 70s. Wendy is different:
It is certainly drawn very different than OQ, but she is still able to make visual music by playing with the same lines, curves and spaces, the same way she did as when she started, at least sometimes. (That is more you can say about Phil Collins, Ace Frehley and Bonnie Tyler, who actually are born the same year as Wendy).
Wendy is still going strong, and I really think she still has unknown possibilities. When more and more artists start to react against the coldness hoovering everywhere, popular art may go into a new dimension, and Wendy may be a part of it.