Starting in 1978, Richard Pini held on to all of Wendy’s original ElfQuest artwork, as well as her sketches and script ideas. He also kept all related correspondence, business papers, and anything else that might be of interest. Their one ever-present concern was, what would happen if disaster struck, and the office in which all this irreplaceable material was stored should flood or burn down?
The answer came in 2012 when Karen Green, Curator for Comics and Cartoons at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library, approached Wendy and Richard. Would they, she asked, consider donating their archive to Columbia for preservation and study? The answer was an immediate and greatly relieved “yes!”
Columbia University Libraries Acquires Elfquest Comic Archives (2013)
“This acquisition is the latest development in Columbia University Libraries’ support for the research and teaching of comics and graphic novels. Since 2005, a circulating collection of such materials, developed by librarian Karen Green, has inspired scholarly inquiry, as well as academic writing and coursework, including The American Graphic Novel, a course co-taught by Columbia University Professor Jeremy Dauber and former DC Comics president Paul Levitz.”
Wendy and Richard Pini papers, 1962-2020
“Professional papers and original artworks of ElfQuest and other works by Wendy and Richard Pini as a team. The papers contain both published and unpublished artworks and materials from Wendy Pini’s childhood days through her work in college, to the success of ElfQuest with Richard Pini.
“The Wendy and Richard Pini papers contain documentation of the publishing history and the visual creation of the ElfQuest comics and graphic novels, as well as the unpublished works of the Pinis and their creative contribution to the comic arts industry.”
Planning your visit
“You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you’ve submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.”