As (we hope) you know, Dark Horse Comics has published two gorgeous volumes in their “Complete Elfquest” series. These books contain, in the first collection, the entire original 20-issue quest; and in the second, all 17 issues of “Siege at Blue Mountain” and “Kings of the Broken Wheel.”
Those were the easy collections! Each book contains totally linear story. But now, as Warp and Dark Horse contemplate further volumes, the question becomes “In what order should the later tales be read to make the most sense?”
It occurred to me that everyone is doing this everywhere else, so why not here as well? Every Thursday (assuming I don’t miss it for reasons beyond knowing) I will post something from the EQ archives that I’d bet few have seen and fewer remember. To start things off, a little something from close to 20 years ago – the advertisement for the first issue of the (then) brand-new “Frank Frazetta Fantasy Illustrated” magazine. Wendy’s in good company, but methinks the publishers knew who would best light a fire under potential readers.
“The human warlord Angrif Djun, more furious than ever, prepares a massive assault upon every elf living on the World of Two Moons. Master archer Strongbow faces an unexpected betrayal. And within the Wolfrider tribes, Chief Cutter and Chieftess Ember wrestle with a dire choice that will define—or destroy—their worlds.”
Enjoy several pages of artwork from the issue and then join the ongoing discussion right here!
Three weeks and counting! Here are the details:
Butler Library at Columbia University
116th St and Broadway, New York, New York 10027
Tuesday, October 7 at 6:00 pm
You’re invited to the grand opening reception of this exhibition, which features materials from Columbia’s comics archives. A brief discussion in 523 Butler will kick off the evening, then all may adjourn for a reception and exhibition viewing in our Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Join us–and many of our archival donors, such as Chris Claremont, Wendy and Richard Pini, Al Jaffee, Paul Levitz, Alexander Rothman, Sophia Wiedeman, and more…
If you’re traveling to New York for New York Comic Con, think about coming a little early and helping us celebrate!
This is a toughie, because the examples from which I want to choose range wide and deep, yet I want to kick this thread off with a single instance. I hope everyone who reads this will then add to it. I want also to avoid any whiff of cronyism – which might, to an outside observer, seem impossible. Nevertheless, I’m not here because of a 40+ year personal and professional relationship with Wendy Pini. I’m here because of the intensifying (even to me) realization that Wendy has been and continues to be, in so many ways, a pioneer.
We’re just learning this ourselves now, so here goes!
Friday through Sunday – Find us at our table (#2011, 2013), to get stuff signed, show us your EQ tattoo, or just say hi!
Friday, June 6, 11 am – Wendy and Richard Pini signing in the Dark Horse Comics booth (#535)
Saturday, June 7, 12 noon – “Elfquest – the Final Quest” panel. Concentrated essence of Elfquest as Wendy and Richard riff, and anything goes!
Sunday, June 8, 12 noon – “30 Years and Counting: Comics Classics in the Modern Age” panel.
Wendy posted this on Facebook, and it certainly bears repeating here.
I have something important to say – please bear with it because it actually has a lot to do with the most recent issue of “Final Quest” (and all of “Final Quest” for that matter). In the news and social media, right now, vigorous dialogue about sexism and misogyny has been aroused by the recent Isla Vista shooting spree. Unfortunately, I’m seeing a lot of hate and blame being directed not at specific offenders, but at men in general and young white males in particular.
Walking to and from my morning coffee fix gives me precious quiet time to think on things. This morning’s question was, “Why do I like the new X-Men movie so much?” (I know full well that liking is its own reason. But I felt there was more.)
“Days of Future Past” is to the X-Men franchise what “The Avengers” is to the rest of the Marvel universe. Both movies take the best of all previous bits and pieces – some of which are, to be sure, kind of clunky – and, under a masterful guiding hand, wrap them up into a neat and most pleasing package.
The Great Elfquest Archiving Project is beginning to feel like it’s been infiltrated by HYDRA. “Scan a drawing and two more shall take its place!” There’s no longer enough space in the office (where the scanner lives); the art is spilling upward and outward into the living area. And even this is but the tip of the iceberg.
Here at Warp we don’t let anything go to waste. We recycle! As a publisher, Elfpop is famous (or notorious) for repurposing the EQ saga in different ways for different markets. As a storyteller, Elfmom often does the same – only with names or characters. Years before Elfquest, Wendy created a kickass female character called Veiya, Daughter of Stone. In the archives, we’ve unearthed plot treatments and art layouts that show just how deep Elfquest’s roots go. Veiya (in name and spirit) became Vaya, Kahvi’s warrior daughter.
For your reading pleasure, a complimentary – and surprisingly even-handed – look at the two independent comics that propelled the nascent genre in the late 1970s: Elfquest and Cerebus. The writer’s assessment of Wendy’s adaptation of manga/anime styles into her artwork is particularly observant. Read it here.
Elfpop here: Never have I read words that so well capture the source of my frustration, disgust, and sometimes even rage, at mainstream comics, Hollywood and – guilty by association – fandom, for embracing this inhuman model of “storytelling” and thus perpetuating it. Discuss. Read the article here.
Drum roll… Hats off to supreme Questers Ryan Browne and David Mizejewski, who have created the very first podcast devoted exclusively to Elfquest! The first episode features David and Ryan discussing Final Quest #2, and their plan is to do one episode for each issue of Final Quest. They’re also talking about doing special episodes in between that focus on specific topics like Wendy’s art or specific story themes. Listen to episode 1 right here, and be sure to comment and make suggestions to The Elfquest Show!
It is done, it is finished, it is on its way to Dark Horse via upload even as I type these words. What happens in this issue? What doesn’t?! July may seem like a long way off, but we promise it will get here before … August. (In the meantime, feel free to speculate. We admit or deny nothing.)
It’s fitting that the final panel gathering of the 2014 Emerald City Comicon be about “Final Quest.” Elfmom and Elfpop talk about the series and field questions from the audience, and you can see video of the entire show right here on FlipOn.tv.
Meaning, Elfquest at Emerald City Comicon. In less than a week (March 28-30) we will be up to our pointed ears at ECCC 2014 in Seattle, and there are three events you won’t want to miss. Saturday at 5:40 pm there’s “Self-Publish or Perish: All-Star Edition” in which we swap Tales from the Script about indy publishing. Then Sunday, 1:00 pm, we’ll be signing (especially copies of the just-released “Final Quest” #2) at the Dark Horse booth. Saving the best for last, Sunday at 4:00 pm there’s the “Elfquest: The Final Quest” panel, where literally anything can happen (and probably will).
It certainly has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? And whether or not you agree, there’s no denying that Wendy Pini is one multi-faceted lady. A cosplay pioneer before the word was coined, co-creator and artistic force behind “the first American manga” Elfquest, imaginatrix to the re-envisioning of “Masque of the Red Death” into a futuristic musical thriller-to-be. Good reviews are always appreciated. Good and respectful reviews, now those are rare treats! Read one here.
If you’re attending the Emerald City ComiCon – or simply going to be in Seattle Friday, March 27, join us in celebrating 30 years of Usagi Yojimbo at the Big ECCC Party. You can get all the details right here! Big fun, worthy cause, what more reason could anyone need?
The second issue of Final Quest is still a month away from release (March 26) but the fine folks at Dark Horse are already lining up #3 for you to pre-order right here! It’ll be out on May 28. (Bundle it with #2, why don’t’cha?)
Elfpop here: Wow. Just, wow. Even I, Mr. Archive, missed this one until I discovered “Ladies” by Boris and Doris Vallejo in a used book shop just a few days ago. Back in the late 1970s when Wendy’s involvement as Red Sonja was giving way to her commitment to Elfquest, we knew the Vallejos. We’d visit them now and again, break bread, talk art and comics. Then life happened, they moved, and we fell out of touch. Boris creates spectacular photo-realistic fantasy art, and it’s no secret he uses human models in the process.
Nearly 35 years later (being uploaded late 2012) the only surviving record of the legendary “Red Sonja and the Wizard” show is finally available for viewing. This was the final – and best – performance, given by Wendy Pini and Frank Thorne (with Richard Pini on sound and special effects) at the San Diego Comic Con in 1978. Someone in the audience had a Super-8 film camera and caught as much of the show as possible under difficult conditions, thus the variable quality of both sound and picture.