It’s just over two weeks to New York Comic Con, so prick up your pointy ears!
(1) Elfmom and I will be there, as we’ve announced.
(2) We do not have a booth or table, so to find us you must
(3) pay attention to the Dark Horse Comics autograph schedule. That hasn’t yet been nailed down, so check here often.
(4) We DO have a panel appearance on Friday at 1:30 so come see us there!
As the countdown continues to the release (October 9, in comics shops everywhere) of the latest Elfquest story, here’s a peek back to the very beginning, even before 1978’s Fantasy Quarterly #1. This is Wendy’s cover to the presentation we showed to Marvel and DC a year earlier, in an effort to get one of them interested in our newfangled fantasy tale.
We’ve heard two pieces of good news recently. One, Warner Bros. has renewed their option in the Elfquest property. This means that they’re still committed to further development to whip this four-tribe howling saga into a movie. Two, they’ve also signed on a producer to the project – again, another sign of WB’s ongoing interest and desire to, as the phrase goes, “get ‘er done.” The producer is Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who’s got a great reputation in Hollywood as someone who makes movies happen.
Click here (and scroll to the bottom of the page) for a treat for everyone who’s curious about what the storyboard for an Elfquest movie might look like. This is Act One of the imagined film as it was pitched to the Edward Pressman Film company back in 1994. Wendy spent months breaking down the elements of the story as it was presented in the graphic novels, and rearranging them in a way that would make sense for the dynamics of a movie.
Email from director/screenwriter Rawson Thurber, which contains but a single word: “Finished.”
Now that the draft of the screenplay is in, comes the hard work of trimming approximately 1/3 of it. Some big guns – and big pens – may be called in.
Forgive the melodramatic title. It’s a movie reference. It appeals to my bent sense of humor.
It’s a very dark, very cold evening. Winter’s here with a vengeance, at least temperature- and wind-wise. Thank the High Ones there’s no snow yet. Shortly I’ll be going out for the evening to catch a spot of dinner, methinks.
I’m in that quiet space between the busy-ness of the day and the small chaos of a pre-Thanksgiving evening. (Even though it’s a Sunday, I’m certain stores are already open late, getting a jump on what used to be the the post-Thanksgiving retail season.)
Nearly a year after it happened, I’m finally able to post the full video of the Elfquest panel that ran at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International Expo. The entire 49-minute video is now on YouTube. Since they don’t allow anything longer than 10 minutes, it’s been split into five segments. Each is titled “Elfquest movie panel part 1 (through 5).” It’s a lot of fun and gives you the entire show, including the Elfquest slide presentation leading up to the question-and-answer segment.
No news of substance since the last entry. Yes, we have had several back and forth messages with Rawson Thurber, the director and screenwriter on the project. He is diligently working on the first draft of the screenplay; when he finishes, it will go to the higher-ups at Warner Bros. for their take on it. We’re hoping they will like it enough to then green-light the project. That’s when it will (keep fingers crossed) go from “development hell” into pre-production. And then we’ll all know a lot more.
(This will make sense by its end.)
Because the local Circuit City store was going out of business, I was able to purchase a GPS for my van at a deep discount. This is one of those devices that, if you don’t have one, you can’t imagine ever needing one, but once you get one, you can’t imagine how you lived without it.
(I felt the same about a fax machine, and then about a cell phone. I am not an early adopter of technology.)
“So tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for youuuuu…”
I know the Kinks wrote that song from the point of view of a frustrated guy whining to a disinterested girl, but right about now I’m wondering if they might also have had a movie contract in the works as they were penning the lyrics.
It was almost a month ago that I wrote the previous blog, upon finally receiving a draft of the Elfquest licensing agreement from Warner Bros. Took me just a couple of days to read it top to toe, hack my way through the denser legal foliage, and get it back to the lawyer and agent critters.
It’s Friday evening. It’s been a gorgeous, gorgeous day. I drove around, I walked around, I had a delicious lunch. I’m home now, and I’m reading the nearly fifty pages of the draft agreement between Warner Bros. and Warp Graphics regarding the option and (oh we do so hope) production of an Elfquest movie.
At the moment, it’s me and Mr. Gumby, big time. “My brain hurts!”
Several people have gone over this document, prior to my getting it. This is not a first draft.
A timeline of sorts…
A week or so before July 9, 2008: Got the news from Elfquest’s agents that two or three major studios were in contention and negotiation for the rights to make an EQ film. Very exciting to think about, but we can’t say anything because the various players are still indeed in negotiation.
July 8, 2008: Email from the agent-in-charge. Warner Bros. has come in with the best offer. Huzzahs all around, but in a sense it’s not quite real yet.
Where to begin?
Maybe with this – there’s a slideshow here that gives a tip-of-the-iceberg taste of what this year’s show was like. The news reports said attendance over the four (five, if you count the preview on Wednesday night) days was 130,000. I’d heard the con committee was capping attendance at 125,000 – and for the first time every ticket was sold out a week in advance of the con.
Where to begin? This is a show that can no longer be described except in fleeing impressions.
It’s still too early in the morning to be creative – or even coherent much. There will be much more to say in a bit. For now, go here to read the news, which started to fliter in around 4 am east coast time. Ayoooah!
This is the latest major news that we had. We received word early in the morning that Warner Brothers finalized a deal to license the property to develop and produce an Elfquest movie. The first (of many) industry announcement appeared in Hollywood Reporter. You can read the text here, although the actual page has been archived by HR. Other reports appeared within hours; a few of them are here and here and here and here. If you Google the words “Elfquest” and “movie” together, you’ll get a long list of other announcements from that time.
Sometimes an LCD monitor provides a glimpse into something more than the contents of a web page. This evening, sitting here, prepping scans to upload into the Digital Elfquest online comics project, I suddenly realized that EQ’s MySpace friends list is approaching a thousand names. Granted, there are plenty of folks, groups, bands here that have much larger networks. But this one belongs to the denizens of the World of Two Moons, and that makes it rather astounding, at least to this self-professed late-adopter.
It’s after midnight, thus officially Tax Day, and a weird juxtaposition of agonies – one ending and the other ongoing. Taxes never end, you see…
Elfquest.com is finally back online and, Data-like, fully functional. The migration to yet a newer server was not as smooth nor as simple as I might have liked, but neither was it as horrible as the past month with The Hosting Company That Shall Not Be Named. (Except that they’ve managed to garner several blog sites dedicated to their malpractice.)
I spoke too soon. Within a very brief time after going back online, Elfquest.com is back down, this time because of bad (spam/phishing) code hidden somewhere in the site. The host has shut things down until they are satisfied the problem is corrected. Apparently there are infections we didn’t find the first couple of times. Also, there are solutions I was not aware of. These solutions may be a bit dire in the short run, but should allow the site to be restarted until more robust measures can be taken.
Challenges and opportunities.
The past several days have been a trial, with respect to the Elfquest.com web site. If you’ve been reading here, or have subscribed to the Elfquest Yahoo news group, or are a member of the Scroll of Colors forum, you know that the site was down for three solid days over the past weekend. Every few hours, I would contact tech support at the current soon-to-be-ex) hosting company, only to be told that the problem was being worked on.
Saturday morning. I should be enjoying the day, but instead I am trying to cope with a server that is being very balky. If you’ve been following the continuing adventures of the relaunched Elfquest.com (since about mid-March) you’ve been treated to a litany of small woes. Outdated code, hackers… and now by sheer luck, the machine that Elfquest.com lives on, is having troubles. I just spent an hour on the phone waiting in the queue for tech support only to be told there’s nothing for me to do, I just have to wait until they fix it.
Elfquest.com has been on the web in one form or another since 1994, but it feels as if it’s all been completely restarted as of only two weeks ago. That still astounds me to say out loud. “Only two weeks ago.” Three million hits to the web site, over 500 new friends on the MySpace page. Something’s happening that has never happened before in the thirty-year history of Elfquest.
No, I take that back. It did happen once before.
When Elfquest got started, word of mouth – the interest shown by you, the readers – catapulted this little tale of elves, wolves, trolls and humans into an indy comics phenomenon that, at its peak, was on a sales par with many of Marvel’s and DC’s top titles.
Elfquest2008 hasn’t been up a full two days but the response has been amazing. Startling, even. So many friends wanting to be added. So many heartfelt messages. The same thing is happening over at Elfquest.com. The new server went on-line March 14, the same day as the launch of the Digital Elfquest Comics project. The site’s received well over two million hits in under ten days as a result. Now, this may not compare to, say, the number of downloads of a spectacular new movie trailer as soon as it’s released, but for EQ it’s mind-blowing!
If this were Gaia Online, I’d say “Jeebus!
If this were a deli, I’d say “Oy vey!
But since this is the World of Two Moons, the proper phrase is “By the High Ones!
This page hasn’t been up the best part of a day yet but I can’t even take a leg-lift break without new friend requests, messages and comments coming in. Many of you may be used to this sort of activity but for us denizens of the Holt, it’s head-spinning.
All right, so the humor of this headline might be a tad strained and obscure. It will, I hope, be clear by the time you’ve read this editorial installment. I offer these words not so much as observation, but more as optimistic prediction. (Or, as the fortune teller replied when several of her guests complained that she was practicing her craft instead of having fun at her big birthday get-together: “It’s my party and I’ll scrye if I want to.”)
WHAM! Whoa, did anyone get the license on that truck? I can still feel the tread marks running up my back. Four massively jammed days. Is there a point past which “big” is “too big”? I’m not sure, but when veterans with lots and lots of experience start to grumble that the annual San Diego Comic-Con book mass media culture smackdown festival expo and cookout has stopped being enjoyable, is something going on? At any rate, here’s one tired person’s overview of the fun and games.
The final volume in the Grand Quest series of Elfquest manga has been out for a little while. It reprints – dramatically reformatted – the Rayek stories from early issues of Hidden Years, and it provides a backdrop for some thoughts on fight scenes in comics. (Some, being less charitable than I, might say “obligatory fight scenes,” as too many comic book issues seem to contain ten pages of story padded out to twenty-two with a dozen pages of extreme – and extremely boring – fisticuffs.)
Occurs to me I’ve left a couple of previous entries hanging unfinished, so I’ll attend that right now.
One. Back in May I had some things to say about the (then) upcomingStar Wars movie, “Revenge of the Sixth.” I gyrated through various explorations and rants, came to the conclusion that the film’s storytelling merits or demerits were merely incidental to how I felt about it, and allowed as how I might then take in a matinee to get an eyeful of what was supposed to be a gorgeous visual experience.
The last several days, there’ve been a whole slew of people looking over my shoulder. I wrote a while back (in the Warp blog, which is where the less-Elfquesty thoughts go; check it out) about the travails of relocating the Warp Graphics office from its soon-to-be former location in town to the finallyrenovated basement of what we like to call “the cabin.” (For those of you keeping track, this was back in April. My foot is mostly healed, though I suspect it’s going to remind me noodgingly for months to come of what I did to it.)
Remember to look for the kim chee at the mega Chinese-Sushi-Mongolian stir-fry buffet during the dinner phase of the meal, before I go into dessert mode. I like kim chee, but I must have overlooked it while I was grazing the other offerings, so didn’t notice it until I was scanning the desserts. Kim chee does not play well with banana cream icebox cake.
Note to self, part two. If I forget the wisdom of part one, be sure to have a large, preferably open, but at least well-ventilated space to walk around in after dinner.
I’m not the world’s most politically active person. That’s no secret. I have my beliefs, and I act upon them from time to time, as the opportunity arises, but generally I’m not out with a picket sign. I prefer quieter action.
This evening, just about 15 minutes ago, the doorbell rang. I wasn’t aware of anyone coming to visit, or any appointments I’d made, and there’s a “no soliciting” sign by the bell – so my curiosity was piqued. If it was someone I knew, that’d be a pleasant surprise.
My introduction to the wonder that was Marvel Comics in the mid-1960s was via the Fantastic Four. I’d read comics before then, sure, but it was with FF #37 that the budding imagineer within me was hooked and hauled in big time. That issue – unlike any of the DC Comics titles I’d read when I was younger, unlike any of the Marvel anthology monster-spook titles I’d seen previously – caught me and wrapped me up with a ribbon because, at the end of the story… it wasn’t finished!
I wish I could recall who it was in the movie business who said the following (or words to the effect): “If, in the course of a film, you see a meatloaf flying by in the background, pay attention – it is certain to be important later.” I’m wondering if I’ve just got served a bit of meatloaf.
I almost never try to predict what’s going to happen in a film that’s not even yet been released, but I just read an article in the local USA Weekend magazine yesterday that prompts me to go out on a limb.
When Star Wars Episode 1 (or Episode minus-2, if you’re an unrepentant purist curmudgeon as I am), “The Phantom Menace” was in theatrical release, I did not go see it. Neither did I take in “Attack of the Clones” when it opened at the local multiplex. I have, since, seen enough bits and pieces of both films on cable TV to know what they’re about, and also to feel content in my choice to put the price of the cinema tickets to other use.
The mailbox at Warp Graphics (the snailmail one, not the email one – that’s a whole ‘nuther story) sees some interesting stuff. I’m not talking about the submissions of story and art that come in “over the transom,” or about the various offers that marketers out there in hype-land think a company with a name like “Warp” would be interested in.
No. This is about the really off the wall items that people, who have an interest in Elfquest, put together when they have a lot of time.
This will be short. Once you’ve finished, you can click here to go back to the main movie page, and then browse the history of the many paths the EQ movie project has taken.
Almost from Elfquest’s beginning as a comic book/graphic novel, people were interested in turning it into an animated film. Studios large and small optioned the story, to try to develop it into a suitable screenplay (or television series). One thing or another would get in the way – and as often as not, it was our strong desire to see the movie done “right” (whatever we thought that was at the time).
For years, we’ve posted announcements, news, updates and editorials about the ever-evolving state of the Elfquest movie hither and yon across the Elfquest web site: on the Scroll of Colors forum, in the news section, in the editorials section. And for an uncomfortably long time, I’ve been aware that the links and cross-links and cross-cross-links have grown to resemble a mess of strangleweed, the likes of which even Winnowill couldn’t imagine!
At long last, I’m pulling all the chapters into one place.
Even though it’s a near-gorgeous day outside, this Saturday after Tax Day, I’m schlumpfing about the house because earlier in the week I decided it would be efficient to descend the back steps all at once in one foot-wrenching drop off the side of the landing. I discovered that feet do not bend the way hands do, but when pressed into the attempt, they do bruise the loveliest shades of purple. (And then there’s having to endure the joke about why a foot injury is the best form of male birth control.
Every once in a while you hear or read something that just makes your jaw drop. The April 2005 issue of National Geographic magazine cover features a story that was reported late last year, about newly discovered fossil remnants of what may be a new branch on the human family tree. These “little people” were discovered on an Indonesian island – far off the African “beaten path” of hominin fossil discoveries – and (what originally got my attention) they were only about three feet tall.