ELFQUEST
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Kathleen2point0

Mr. Pini, your story is often unofficially marketed to people as a progressive story. When people talk about how they're tired of the tall, all white, ethereal, snobby elves in common fantasy, Elfquest is usually brought up as an alternative, THE alternative. When people complain about how fantasy doesn't show POC, or women, or gay people, someone has your book in their metaphorical back pocket. No one is telling you how to write. What is being said here is that what you write has an affect on the people who read your works, and that that affect is not always simply down to "how people read it" but what is actually said and written. You and Mrs. Pini created a wonderful world of fully realized people, interracial couples, mixed race children who had to make decisions about who they were and how they wanted to identify, gay people, children with abusive parents who decided to make things better for the next generation. You explored the affect that abuse has on not only the victim, but the abuser. Disabled people played a main part in your stories, not just as hapless victims or angels, but as fully realized individuals. You made it clear that everyone had a story, a reason for their actions, but that they were also responsible for how those actions impacted the people around them. Yet, within this world, your main male POC character for decades was an antagonist, at best, and an outright villain at worst. People who were clearly intended to be seen as Indigenous Americans were split evenly down the middle as either worshipful innocents, or brute savages, with a minimal, short-lived middle ground. And now I open a book to find that apparently the true, magical home of the elves is altering the only elfin POC nation in the entire saga, so that they more resemble the tall, white elves that we opened the first pages on, the "idealized elves" of Tolkein, etc. If this were any other book, any other form of media, those of us who find the line distasteful probably wouldn't care about it. We'd put it down, never pick it up again, never give it a second glance. But you were part of the process that made us into people who asked better, of OURSELVES, as well as everyone else. How can you be surprised when we act as the just, conscious individuals you helped make us into? Wasn't that your intention from the start? There's a book in the back pocket of my mind, worn to pieces with reading, alive, colourful and vibrant with childhood magic. Tell me, the next time someone complains about a lack of diversity in fantasy, I can take it out, and show it to them, make that wonderful, crazy world come alive again with them.