Although ElfQuest has been around quite a while now — over 40 years — it had to start somewhere. Wendy, storyteller that she is, carried the seeds of the Wolfriders’ tale around in her imagination for some time before she decided to let it loose in 1977.

Very few creative efforts are ready for their public debut right out of the box. Ideas sprout, they change and grow, sometimes they get tossed aside in favor of newer ones. The point is, don’t be afraid to apply the pruning shears — or even some dynamite, if that’s what it takes — to something you’ve written or drawn. Keep asking “What if I change this or that? What happens then?” Ideas are like a good stew; you add ingredients, let it simmer, taste test, maybe put in more of this or a little less of that, taste again, and let the flavors mingle. When it’s right, you will know it.

What follows are the very first notes and sketches for some of the characters and situations that eventually found their way into the saga. As you can see, some bits made the transition more or less intact, and some evolved in a quite different direction. Leetah started out more barbaric in manner, the twins were originally both boys, and see how differently characters like Lord Voll and Winnowill began life! Compare these concepts to what eventually was published and discover what happened when Wendy asked “What if…?”

Cover page for the very first ever concept presentation of ElfQuest
A first look at Cutter, Blood of Ten Chiefs. Note the original name for the World of Two Moons
Cutter's original family. Quite a bit changed from original idea to printed page
A scene from the very beginning of the saga, that survived largely intact
The original notion for the battle that led to the destuction of (unnamed) Madcoil
Original description - Cutter
Orginal desctiption - Skywise
Original description - Leetah
Original description - Rayek
Early concept - Kahvi
Early concept - Tyldak
Early concept - Lord Voll
Early concept - Winnowill