Into the Woods (and the next twenty-five years)

, elf friends! And WHEW! If you’ve read “Kings of the Broken Wheel” you know my take on waiting: It’s a bitch! Talk about carving notches in trees!

As Richard indicated, having to keep our lips zipped for so many months about negotiations with DC Comics (part of AOL/Time-Warner) has been sheer torture, so you can imagine our relief and jubilation at today’s announcements (which appear to be spreading across the Internet like wildfire! Whoo-hoo!).

Questions out there? I guess among your first would be, “So what does this mean for the elves? Are they going to be racing against The Flash? Will Tyldak be Batman’s next sidekick? Will the Wavedancers meet Aquaman? Sheesh!”

Let me hasten to say no such conversations have, as yet, taken place. With regard to new material, our goal and that of DC’s Team Elfquest is to continue in the same vein as always, picking up where we left off in Full Circle. The first new, four-part Elfquest storyline to debut under the DC banner later this year is called “The Searcher and the Sword.” In it you’ll find not one quest but two, intricately interwoven, leading to (we think) a smashing climax.

The “searcher” of the story is Shuna, the teenaged human girl adopted by Cutter and Leetah. Unlike the boy, Little Patch, who had to leave the Holt, Shuna is determined to stay and find her place among the Wolfrider tribe. But to do that she must first find out all about herself, breaking the shackles of limiting beliefs and testing the limits of her own courage. Helping her through her trials are Cutter, Skywise, Leetah and most of the original Wolfriders, all of whom play crucial roles throughout the tale.

Now, the sword refers to… hey! Why should we just hand it to you? All I’ll say for the present is that clues abound in Warp Graphics’ Reader’s Collection Volume 8a, Dreamtime. There the seeds were planted, so to speak, and you’ll see in “The Searcher and the Sword” how a surprising new role (at no small risk to life and limb) evolves for one of our oldest and best-loved characters.

Current plans (subject to change) are that “The Searcher and the Sword” will appear late this year – and through part of 2004 – in comic shops and book stores, in black-and-white manga format, in four manga-thick chapters (great for reading in the bath tub!). Each EQ manga will have a new color cover by Elfmom (me) plus additional goodies. The storyline is pure Elfquest, a tight balance of high adventure, humor and romance (Sigh! I’m especially keen on that romance part. Hey, whadaya want? It’s spring!).

Since I know you’ve checked out the press releases and interview(s) announced elsewhere on this site, I’m sure you’ve gathered that Richard and I are pretty happy about all this. Actually, you’ll never know how happy. Snagged as we’ve been in administrivia and the sturm und drang of Hollywood, we’ve missed the storytelling very much. Now DC has come along, picked us up, dusted us off and said, “Go play in elfland. We’ll take care of the grownup details.” Happy? We’re positively howling for joy.

More soon.

Love to All,
Wendy (Elfmom) Pini