Thoughts on Final Quest #18

Have begun work on “Elfquest – the Final Quest” issue 18, which turns out to be another long one…24 pages. But then, why not? Since it wraps up the 6 issues that comprise “Final Quest Volume 3,” it better be a doozy! 🙂 Very much have that same feeling as back in the early 80s when I embarked on Book 4 of the Classic Quest. Terror? Indeed! For, as well planned out as this thing is, the story must be brought home as the total catharsis we’ve always envisioned.

The Halfway Mark

I was 28 years old when Elfquest began. Now I’m going on 65. That’s 37 years of living, working and observing the star-reaching grandeur and repetitive idiocy of the human condition—the smaller truth within the larger. Richard and I did not know that all our musings during drives to nowhere and our long story talks about Final Quest (which coalesced in the form of a written treatment in the mid 1990s) would lead us to the halfway mark of an ambitious 24 issue, bi-monthly, color comic series in 2015.

Elfquest’s in the Now

Very shortly I’ll be in New York, embarking with Richard on our whirlwind adventure of New York Comic Con. It’s going to be very exciting, what with “Elfquest – the Final Quest Special” premiering and our publisher Dark Horse Comics making a pretty big deal out of it. Plus our lecture at Columbia University. We’re going to treat it all as a celebration. Over and over again, on our convention tour this year, we’ve heard the phrase, “Elfquest was such a big part of my childhood.”

Hey Elfquesters! Today I finished digitally inking issue one of the brand new “Elfquest – the Final Quest” bi-monthly comic series premiering from Dark Horse Comics Jan. 2014. My fabulous colorist, Sonny Strait notes that this is very “old school” style Elfquest inking with dense blacks. His rich colors complement them beautifully. We both think y’all are going to be very pleased.

Closing in on finishing the first issue of “Elfquest – The Final Quest” bi-monthly comic series premiering from Dark Horse Comics in January 2014. Also, so excited to soon (just a couple weeks!) hold in my hands a copy of “Elfquest – the Final Quest Special” premiering at New York Comic Con this October. Richard and I don’t have a booth or table at NYCC, but we’ll be there to do signings at the Dark Horse booth and appear on the Dark Horse Fantasy in Comics panel.

Wish it was OK for me to post teasers of the finished, colored art for “Elfquest – the Final Quest” issue one coming out from Dark Horse Comics January 2014. So rich…so beautiful!

Rings, Things and Faerie Wings

Dear Elf-friends, I just read Richard’s thoughtful Matter of oPINIon and realized this WendyWords, which I’ve been writing off and on for a while, is also long, long overdue. Elfquest is never far from Richard’s heart or mine (though he’s the main keeper of the digital flame for the nonce), so I’ve created a break in my Masque of the Red Death webcomic schedule to check in and share, or rather sum up, some thoughts about the ebbing year.

The Zwoot’s Out of the Bag!

Hello elf-friends! What is there to say but: AYOOOOOAAAAAH! You can’t imagine how hard it was to sit on this news. The deal memo had been done for a week and a half, but Richard and I were told by our agents to stay mum until Warner Bros. gave us the go-ahead. Apparently the Hollywood Reporter magazine checked with WB before breaking the story online last night, then many other news entities picked it up and ran with it. So now we can all howl with relief and joy because the word is out and there’s no stopping the freight train that is the Elfquest movie.

Masques, Mentors and Meetings

Hello elf-friends! Just had to come back and check in with you for a bit. A few weeks ago I completed the 160-page graphic novel Masque of the Red Death Volume One. Honest to Citadel Mound, I don’t know where all this totally-oppositefrom-Elfquest stuff is coming from.

An Anime-ted Report

Dear Elf friends, My gosh, it’s been months and months since my last WendyWords! Well, blame it on Masque of the Red Death. (It’s so convenient to blame stuff on that bad pretty boy these days *wink*). The web comic – which Gocomi.com will soon be describing differently because it’s so much more than that – launched in July and has been steadily gaining momentum. (450,000 hits in November! Clocked!) None of us at Go!Comi knew Masque would turn into such a cinematic viewing experience.

Masque is Go!(Comi)

Dear Elf-friends, Wow! Guess there’s no turning back now! The new and improved Go!Comi web site went up sometime last night and Week One of my newest venture, “Masque of the Red Death,” is now available for viewing.

Another Howl for Skot

Dear Elf-friends, I’ll bet you didn’t know that one of our elves is named after a human being – really and truly! This human being was a very quiet, very private person. Comics were not his thing. He never read Elfquest or talked to me about the characters or story. But he was always interested in how Richard and I were doing…always solicitous about our ups and downs…always rooting for the movie. He really enjoyed movies, particularly film noir. He also happened to be gay, but not “way out there” gay.

News Flash! Flash!

Dear Elf-friends, Well, I’m baaaaaack! Boy, that went by fast! Honest to goodness, I can remember writing my summer vacation post in “Ask Elfmom” as if it were yesterday. Summer and fall are an absolute blur of sand and sun and heat and ocean waves and travel, travel, travel and every hue of autumn leaf and haunted hayrides and Renfaires and powwows and the everpresent glow of my computer monitor – which, on more than one occasion, has been in danger of being tossed into the street.

Of Gargoyles and Gatherings

Dear Elf-friends, Y’know, there are times when I really must defer to Elfpop in the area of descriptive talent. Between his photos and his personal impressions of San Diego Comic Con 2006, you’re getting an excellent (and unnerving) idea of what it’s like to navigate your way through a giant, buzzing beehive. I’ve never seen the like of this particular convention…and I’m not so sure I like what I’ve never seen the like of! There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

Turning Tides

In many ways it’s a strange and moving thing to paint the last pixels on the last page of a series you’ve been laboring on for more than half a year. Elfquest – The Discovery issue #4 is now completed, finishing a tale that, because of tight deadlines, seemed to us to whoosh by like the WaveDancers caught in Surge’s raging vortex. Strangest of all is the feeling of swimming up from the depths of an iridescent, light-and-shadow-spattered dream, for The Discovery has been a most mystical creative experience for me.

Discoveries

Dear Elf Friends, Well, ElfQuest the Discovery Part 1, the comic book, is officially at your local comics shop (small kazoo fanfare). As a package, by today’s definition, it is a comic book in every sense. The production values are slick, the color reproduction is, as usual, the best. (And I gave DC Comics some pretty tricky PhotoShop FX to duplicate!) But, as some of you have noticed and commented on, it does contain ads… some would say highly incongruous ones.

Reactor Reactions

Dear Elf Friends, As I write, I’m on a jet heading back to Los Angeles from Reactor, an animeconvention in cold, drizzly Chicago. As many of you know, Richard and I are bicoastal; I’m eager to get back to my west coast studio and pick up where I left off on ElfQuest: The Discovery. Yet my mind lingers on many pleasant memories of this trip…

As the Dust Clears from San Diego 2005

Dear Elf Friends, WHEEEEOOOO!!! San Diego Con 2005 has come and gone, but our ears are still ringing and our little bods are still vibrating from all the chaos and commotion. (Click on each picture to get a larger image.)  Time was, in the not-so-distant past, Warp graphics had its own booth and running it ate up most of our energy and much of our sanity. After signing with DC Comics, we thought, “Aaahhh… no more booth manning! We can walk around in comfy shoes and enjoy this gi-normous event at a leisurely pace!”

Deeper into the woods than ever…

Following upon Richard’s “Matrix” musings, I’ve just seen Disney’s fabulous restoration of “Bambi” out now on DVD. Rush to snap it up, gang…this one’s a treasure for the ages. Digitally enhanced yet faithful to the soft guache colors of yesteryear, it’s a more magnificent work of art than you remember. And don’t forget to stock up on Kleenex big time – you’ll need it! While the movie itself is a treasure, I want to call your attention to a section on Disc One called “Inside Walt’s Story Sessions.”

Brain Gears Going GRUNDGE!

Richard and I were hanging out at the fabulous comic shop Golden Apple on Melrose a few weeks back (do visit if you get the chance – they have just about everything anyone could want in stock, plus a lovely Elfquest display). Anyhoo, we chatted with various staff and customers and I got into a conversation with a young woman who was a pretty intense, longtime EQ fan. Now, mind you, we were standing directly in front of the fully-stocked Elfquest shelves in the store, which means “Searcher and the Sword” was right there on display.

Can “Back When” come back?

TCM ran “Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Collectors’ Edition” this afternoon. I was listening to it as I finished formatting the last page of EQ Grand Quest Volume 8. ‘Course I had to stop what I was doing and come out to see the last fifteen minutes…possibly the most visionary and spiritually uplifting climax to any movie ever filmed. It never fails to bring tears of gratitude. You “under thirties” out there…you just cannot begin to imagine what “Close Encounters” did for – and to – my generation in the mid seventies.

Finding Elfland

A good friend asked me the other day if I thought about Elfquest all the time. She wanted to know if the world of Two Moons was sort of “overlayed” on ordinary reality, so that I always saw two worlds at once. What a great question. When you build a detailed fantasy universe and carry it around in your head for years and years, it’s easy for others to suppose that you prefer to live in that universe all the time.

Blog Detour

Hi Gang! Earlier today I started a blog which evolved into a fairly weighty WendyWords. It’s off to Richard and Tim, now, so look for it any day on the home page. Meantime, the earthshaking news is Angel went into the duck pond again (my fault – I looked away). Phew! STINK-ER-ROO! Off to the groomers! I think they may have used a touch too much fabric softener and ran her too long in the fluff cycle. Now she looks like one of those spherical fiberoptic lamps.

You Sure You Want a Career in Comics?

10% inspiration and 90% perspiration… As anyone in the business will tell you, it’s more like 99.5% perspiration. When we’re kids we dream…we envision worlds…we invent characters – or find those we love and identify with – and imagine stories about them. The lucky few who are gifted with the ability to write and/or draw are able to set those imaginings down for others to share – but usually, only to a point. Because when an amateur (which means, literally, someone who does something for the love of it) makes the first mighty attempt at a graphic novel, he or she gets a bittersweet taste of exactly how much hard work it is and how much of one’s personal life must be sacrificed to realize a vision from beginning to end.

SDCC 2004 Art Auction

Why is this woman grimacing? Here I am, facing every artist’s worst nightmare – a blank sheet of paper! You see, every year, I, along with many other artists, contribute a painting – done right on the spot in front of an audience – to be auctioned to benefit one of the many charities the Comic Con International contributes to. This year, the proceeds went to Handicap Services, which provided all the wheelchairs for disabled attendees, as well as interpreters for the deaf at all the panel discussions.

“Hip hip” hooray!

Dear Elf Friends, Some of you who have been with us for a long, long time may remember editorials or interviews in which Richard and I explained that I was born with congenital hip dysplasia and that we were going to be doing things to correct it, bit by bit, over time. My first surgery in 1984 was a big ‘un that interrupted the publication of EQ magazine for quite a few months while I recovered. Other surgeries followed, culminating in the replacement of my left hip in 1991.

The ‘F’ Word Wins

Dear Elf Friends, Over the years, Richard and I have had many deep conversations about how the media, and the public in general, look askance at works of fantasy. With its magical, mystical, even spiritual qualities, high fantasy in films tends to be shunned by adult audiences afraid of appearing uncool. It’s a peculiar prejudice – one that Star Wars, for example, avoids by having all of its fantastic elements coated with a high-tech science fiction sheen (sci-fi, y’see, is cool at any age and always will be).

Catching a quick breath…

Dear Elf Friends, It seems I have only a bit of time to write you between projects, these days. Including the special EQ 25th Anniversary issue, which came out this July, that’s four books completed for and published by DC in 2003! Whew! And the year’s not even over yet!

San Diego Con, DC Comics, and color everywhere!

Dear Elf Friends, This week represents another milestone of sorts, for Richard and me and we’d like to share our sense of accomplishment with you. After four months of solid, concentrated effort, we’ve both completed our parts in DC’s Elfquest Archives Volume One slated to be released later this fall. It’s been a huge, labor-intensive task that compelled us to learn entirely new ways to color and format each and every page. But I’m delighted to say, from the mock-ups we’ve already seen, the results are beyond anything we hoped.

On Collaborating with My Younger Self

In its long and checkered existence, Elfquest has broken ground in many ways. A bit of history the elves made, of which Richard and I are particularly proud, is that back in the early 1980s Elfquest was the first full color continuing graphic novel series to be published and released in big chain book stores in America. It caused a minor sensation and created a niche for all similar publications to follow. It’s no exaggeration to say that Elfquest is the reason that, today, you can find an entire graphic novel section inBarnes & Noble and Borders stores, as well as in your local comics shop.

“Happy New Year, New Birthday, New Elfquest!”

Dear Elf Friends, Anybody out there think Rayek’s been messing with time travel again? Well, if not him, then some unknown mischief-maker’s gone and speeded up the Cosmic Clock, ’cause here’s 2002, laughin’ and scratchin’ at us, when we haven’t even begun to process the ups and downs of 2001 yet! In any case, with flutes of bubbly a-clink and eyes a-blear, welcome to another New Year’s installment of WendyWords.

“Life Goes On 2 – A Month Later”

Dear Elf Friends, 10/11. One month to the day. How strange. In New York they’re still cleaning up the rubble – and will be for some time. It could take up to a year. As many of you know, Richard and I were in the city last week (October 2) to videotape an edition of the “Speaking Freely” show for PBS, at the First Amendment Center uptown at Madison Avenue and 56th Street. Before the taping we felt compelled, as thousands of others have been moved, to visit the site of the disaster and… and what?

“Life Goes On”

Dear Elf-friends, 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.

Reflections Upon a Year…

November. And so another month is upon us. A new moon graces the night sky and new energies are being released. Even though it’s the very tail end of harvest time, it’s also a great time for new beginnings. With that in mind, after a long hiatus, I bid you all a delighted “Hi there!”

Wendy and Wendy on elfin vanity…

Well, we all made it, fairly blipless, to the year 2000! And here in “Jollywood” things are chugging along pretty much as they do every spring. Warp Graphics, Wolfmill Entertainment, Sceneries Entertainment and our European partners on “Elfquest – The Movie” are revving up for the American Film Market, first of several annual industry events held here and abroad, where distributors and press congregate to size up the upcoming feature films. In many ways the AFM resembles a comic book convention, except the booths are individual hotel suites and everybody goes around in dark suits.

Putting Your Spiritual Fairy-tale Together

An editorial column wherein the “WP” in WaRP shares her distinctive perspective on topics from “Art” to “Zen.”   That wasn’t so hard! Are you beginning to get the idea? Are you starting to see that events in your life do fit into the structure of a classic fairy-tale? Pretty cool, huh? Certain of the archetypes’ questions were easier to answer than others. That’s the idea. If you haven’t already picked the one you identify with most, please review and see which of the questions you answered most easily and readily.

When is Cutter coming back?

This question was most sweetly and earnestly asked of me by a young woman during Richard’s and my autographing session at the San Diego comic convention last month. I don’t remember my exact response – something tantalizing about “The Final Quest” perhaps. But as I spoke, I really felt like asking her, “Which Cutter?” Because there are two versions of him coexisting in my mind right now — the mature chieftain born of twenty-one years of intricately woven, serialized plot, and the Cutter of 1999 — the movie Cutter.

YOU ARE THE HERO – DISCOVERING THE SPIRITUAL FAIRYTALE THAT IS YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE

Hello, Elf-friends, Well, there’s much excitement here in La La Land as I and my writing partners, Marv Wolfman and Craig Miller, hurry to meet the deadline for the first draft of the new screenplay for “Elfquest – The Movie.” (see announcement elsewhere on this web site). The previous script, which I completed three years ago, was aimed for commercial reasons at a younger audience. This new version, however, is quite a bit more faithful to the adult content of the original quest.