ELFQUEST
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lunakat

@Richard- I studied literature in college for a while. One of the points we often talked about was the the issue of author's intent vs how a work is interpreted. I think Walter Benjamin gave the best analysis of this. He described the author as a producer... who may or may not be aware that what he/she produces is a product of his/her own perspective, which is, in turn, a product of his/her position in society. This can't be escaped- only faced and acknowledged with a certain amount of honesty and integrity. Benjamin pointed out that middle class author is writing from a middle class perspective, even if he/she is writing about poverty or wealth. It's not a great leap to go from that understanding to acknowledging that any given author is writing from their own perspective on race, sexual orientation, culture and gender. It's not really possible to escape that. You can imagine outside of it- but you will never really know for sure what it feels like to be in a different situation than your own. Benjamin also, in a separate essay, spoke about the gap between what the author produces and what the reader consumes. As soon as you create a work of art or literature- as soon as you release it into the world- it becomes it's own animal. And the reader, operating from their own pov, rewrites in the process of interpreting it. I sort of agree with that. I think that having intentions and communicating what you intend are not always the same thing. I think that Elfquest is a great story for bucking gender norms. I have no idea why or how, since Tavie has a point and almost all of the romantic relationships in the comic have been male-female, but Elfquest opened my mind to the notion that same sex relationships were just as valid and good as opposite sex relationships. It caused me to have a different opinion than my family about this by the time I turned twelve. I think that, when it was first published, Elfquest was a pretty revolutionary comic. You went against the grain in a lot of ways- from showing interracial relationships, to reversing gender stereotypes. But times change. And we are now in a different era. And I think Tavie has a point, in that, even though you say the elves are omnisexual and don't discriminate- that hasn't been shown. There is the vague impression of it, but nothing to demonstrate it in the storyline. You and Wendy started producing this in the 1970s, when same sex relationships were not something you could really put into a kid-friendly comic. At least not overtly. A lot of us younger folk don't realize that homosexuality was considered a mental illness until 1973- it was considered deviant. But the time when that sort of thing had to fly under the radar to avoid angering parents and other authority figures is well past. So it does makes sense, now, for Elfquest to start showing equivalent relationships in that regard. Now, that said, I am going to go on the defense and point out that the elves are probably all messing around now and then with each other, if they are close at all- but that, thanks to recognition, the only elves who really form life-long bonds are going to be opposite sex couples... unless they pull another Cutter-Skywise.