They don’t know much about us Americans over there in the Middle East… not really. But one thing they do know: We tend to be unable to conceive, on a gut level, of people being willing to commit suicide, and to take thousands of lives with them, in the name of hate. The terrorists who struck on September 11th took advantage of our naivete in that area.
Personally, I pray we don’t lose that naivete altogether. Our president has said, “We’re at war.” We must avenge this wrong. It will take years to hunt down those responsible and make them pay. During that time, our nation will have to reacquaint itself with an ugly side of life largely forgotten since the Vietnam war. We are going to have to adapt to, get used to, new ways of life and living. Some of the conveniences, some of the instant gratifications that we have gotten used to over the years, are going to be forever changed. I pray what’s yet to come doesn’t turn us permanently nasty, bitter and suspicious. Americans are basically humane. For all our self indulgence and pettiness, we value human life and, above all, freedom.
Don’t worry. This isn’t going to turn into a political screed. I’m getting to things ELFQUEST.
Right now, as we recover from this horrible shock, one of our great concerns is about the health of our economy. We’re being told it’s up to us to keep our country from falling into a recession. Our government wants us to carry on business as usual and spend money without fear. (And while we’re at it, beware the parasites who come out of the woodwork at the first sign of tragedy, to prey on the heartbroken with their cruel scams!) It’s one way to send a clear message to our attackers that their foolish sacrifice was for naught.
So, guess what? In the midst of brewing conflict, here comes something to take our minds off it for a while – something to celebrate. Series 1 of the Elfquest toy line is being shipped as you read this. Isn’t that wild? A few days ago, with Marv Wolfman and Craig Miller, I approved the final proofs of the toys and their packaging and the assembly line in China immediately started rolling.
The following email came from Jeff Ahlholm of EvilGenius Toys in response to our notes:
“…We will ship the first order to Diamond Comics in the the middle of next week… Thanks for all of your help and support. As I mentioned to Richard, I am very grateful to you all for the patience you have shown over the past year. I am hopeful that your patience will be rewarded with a long, successful run of ElfQuest toys – We have finally arrived!”
Hear, hear – and AYOOOOAAAH, Jeff!
The shipment to Diamond means that, at first, the toys will be available in comics shops worldwide (that is, in all shops that placed initial orders). As you read in one of our recent news updates, the Elfquest toys will then be available, in time for the holidays, in a number of outlets. Look for them at Toys ‘R’ Us, Musicland and Electronics Boutique shops. You will also be able, shortly, to purchase them through our own online Wolfrider Shop. (Note from Richard: We’ll announce when and how here and through the Elfquest email newsletter; please don’t email questions, thanks.)
Do buy all four collectible figures so you can get the complete interlocking base on which to display them. It’s awesome. As an added bonus, you can download from us a free, specially designed diorama painted by me, Wendy, to size to taste, print out, and stand as a backdrop behind the figures. (Note: You can either download the diorama in one large file (about 300k in size)from here and diddle with it in Photoshop or other paint application to make it suitable for printing, or you can get it in three sections from the images below. Each file is about 100k in size. Be prepared.)
Now that we know what really goes into the creation of a toy line, Richard and I and all our partners are extremely happy with the results. These incredibly detailed action figures: Cutter & Nightrunner, Leetah & Petalwing, Tyldak and Picknose, bring ELFQUEST home in a powerful, new way. They are poseable and playable and – I daresay – realistic enough to be the stars of some amateur stop-motion animation (hint hint!).
By the way, Series 2, featuring Skywise & Starjumper, Rayek, Madcoil and the Troll King Guttlekraw, is being prepared for next February’s ToyFair (click here for a look at the 2001 edition) and should be available in stores by Spring 2002.
What else is going on in my life that might interest an ELFQUEST fan?
Well, here’s something unusual, but highly topical, considering the times. I’ve been invited by the New York Comic Book Museum to participate in a panel focusing on First Amendment issues as they relate to the comics industry. The panel will take place on October 2nd and is open, with limited seating, to the public. As I understand it, it will be taped and broadcast on PBS later this year. For in-depth information on this panel and its industry participants, please go to their site. While you’re there, check out our friend David Gabriel’s light-hearted report on the Women in Comics panel at this year’s San Diego Con.
What about the ELFQUEST movie? Well, we’re all holding our collective breath, here in Hollywood, to see what happens. There’s no telling how these recent events will affect the production, which is being funded overseas. All of Hollywood is taking a step back, reassessing. The best I can tell you is there’s no news right now. So, keep thinking those good thoughts.
And keep living your life your way, without fear and even more importantly, without hate or prejudice. We thank you all for the many, many kind words you’ve sent our way; keep that energy alive, spiralling ever outward. We thank you for letting us know what ELFQUEST has meant to you, in times past and especially now. And last but not least, we thank you for buying our books and our other wares in the Wolfrider Shop. Thank you, doubly, for supporting us by asking for and buying the toys. With the comic book market so shaky right now, the toys will help keep ELFQUEST in the public eye and help Warp Graphics keep telling you stories of the elves in the many and different, exciting ways we have planned. As the song says, “Let’s spend it, lend it, send it rolling along.”
My Heartfelt Best to All,
Wendy (Elfmom) Pini