When good people have too much spare time

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. For example, there’s a fellow up in Canada who, for the past several years, has regularly sent to us bricklike packages of pages of a comic format story that, as far as I can tell, has to do with the Wolfriders and their adventures with trolls and… well… other creatures that never inhabited the World of Two Moons as we know it. Each roughly 5-by-7 inch page contains a single panel; I guess it might work as a flip book. The only problem is, the entire thing’s in French – and while I took a few years of that language in high school, what remains of those lessons today is barely enough to inform me not to order escargots from the menu. In the meantime, I’ve got many hundreds of pages of really intense but incomprehensible Elfquest comic fanfic – and it keeps on coming.

In a different direction, we recently received a two-hour-long DVD of highlights from the fifth annual Elfquest mini-convention arranged by a group of German fans. It seems that every year these folks and several dozen of their friends and co-conspirators rent a castle – yes, a real, live castle – somewhere in the countryside and, for four or five days, live as (mostly) Elfquest elves. There are all sorts of activities, from the singing of songs to the brewing of Dreamberry Wine (from the looks of the list of ingredients – which is in German, which I know less of than I know of French – this could be lethal stuff, but you’d die happy) to the Live Role Playing of an honest-to-High-Ones quest. There’s drama and action and special effects… and you just haven’t lived until you’ve seen fans become Preservers. I am not making this up.

Just today, in the mailbox, there appeared a CD that, on first glance, appeared to be a bootleg of the “Wolfrider’s Reflections” album that we released some years ago, and which – for the time, anyway – has gone out of print. Now, it’s well known that I look askance upon copyright infringement, so I wondered why on earth someone would be sending me as blatant a rip as I thought I was holding… until I read the note that came with it. This particular clever fellow had not rerecorded the CD… exactly. Every song on the album had been reversed! And listening to the music thus becomes a very weird experience. If you lived during and survived the 1960s, you probably remember all about taking vinyl LPs and spinning them backward by hand on the turntable in order to try to extract the “hidden demonic” messages. I don’t know about that, but listening to Catatonia County Rag backward brings to mind a Mexican “Cinco de Mayo” celebration as it might take place in a village in Transylvania! If you want to hear it, the MP3 file is here. It’s about 1.5 megabytes in size, so might take a while to download, depending on your internet connection, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t share.

And then there’s the Flash animation of Terry Collins and Bill Neville’s “Tiny Toons” Elfquest story “Berries for the Brave” that one intrepid soul is working on… but I’ll save that for another entry.