“Elfquest Turns 20”

As Eric Cartman might say, “Sweet!”

That’s how the party, held February 28 to celebrate Elfquest’s actual to-the-day twentieth anniversary, felt.

(Now, before you bemoan the fact that you didn’t know where it was, or weren’t invited, bear in mind that it was a private party for friends in the comics and media. The big everyone-in-the-world-is-welcome bash will be later this year, at the International Comic Con in San Diego, in August. Be there, or be elfless.)

The actual party space wasn’t all that large, but Wendy and I packed it with several dozen folks who, over the years, have come to mean a lot to us. There was much food and drink, not a lot of music (but no one noticed because the conversations were intense and nonstop) and if I ever get tired of publishing comic books, I seem to have an innate talent for microwaving little pizzas and collecting empty soda cans in the midst of chaos. Wendy had been preparing for weeks, and did a splendid job of turning the place into Elf World. We spent the two days prior debating the merits of party platters versus do-it-yourself deli, and other such arcane matters.

The bash itself began Saturday afternoon, and didn’t let up until the wee hours of Sunday morning, and while I can’t prove it, I suspect that each of the guests spoke at least some to each of the other guests; the mathematics boggle the mind. What networking was accomplished, what business got instigated, we’re still finding out.

One of the highlights of the evening was a “Top Ten” list, courtesy of Marv Wolfman, writer and wiseass extraordinaire:

The Top Ten Reasons Elfquest Has Survived 20 Years

10. In the tradition of Pamela and Tommy Lee’s video, we’re waiting to see the secret honeymoon photos of Richard and Wendy dressed up as Picknose and Oddbit.

9. We have to keep Cutter from quitting Elfquest to take on his dream job as a moyel.

8. Because readers are sealed in Preserver webs until we promise to buy every issue.

7. They’re in the right 10% of Sturgeon’s Law.

6. All the male readers want Leetah to “heal us,” if you get my meaning.

5. Winnowill’s secret midnight “meetings” with comic shop owners who even consider lowering their orders.

4. Cutter’s abs, abs, and more abs.

3. Ember and Suntop are just soooooo darn cute.

2. Comics fans proved they actually wanted comics they can read, understand, and enjoy for a change.

And the number one reason why Elfquest has survived 20 years…

1. Wendy can only draw four-fingered elves because by succeeding with Elfquest she and Richard have given mainstream publishers the other finger.


Sunday, we called in a fleet of U-Hauls to take the trash away, and then fell to the floor in a stupor.

Later in the week, we were told by one who should know, that the anniversary party was an “A-list” event. In Hollywood, you do not receive a higher compliment.

One of the attendees was Andreas Knigge, our editor from Carlsen Comics, the German publisher of Elfquest. He was there to interview us for the special 20th anniversary magazine that a number of European publishers are collaborating on. Readers of this editorial column (both of you, you know who you are) will remember that I expressed, in issue #22, some thoughts about whether or not this ol’ U.S. of A. was ready for a new, somewhat mature Elfquest story that Wendy had written and drawn for the magazine. Since that editorial appeared, lots of you have written in to say “Please don’t let the prudes win.”

They won’t. Look for the issue in comic shops and in the online Warp*Store in May.

Shade and Sweet Water!

Richard Pini