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The thunder of “canon” fire

Otto von Bismarck, the chancellor of Germany during the 19th century, famously said “There are two things you don’t want to see being made—sausage and legislation.” To this we would add “…and big sprawling creation myths.” Over the course of nearly forty years – longer than some of you have been alive! – we’ve been weaving Elfquest’s complex tapestry. At times, because in our enthusiasm we wanted to explore more of the World of Two Moons that ever possible for two people to manage, we invited other writers and artists to play in our creative sandbox. Many of them did really nice work, too. But the truth we discovered during this grand experiment was that no matter how much someone else loves Elfquest, there’s a rock-bottom, DNA-level understanding of the way things work that no one but the original creators can grasp. Which is how you, gentle readers, come up with the questions about canon versus non-canon, this author’s story versus that author’s story, that you ask. Are there vagaries in the collected mass of Elfquest comics and prose that have appeared over 36-plus years? Yes. Does that bother us? Not really; we feel we’re in some pretty good company. Star Trek. Star Wars. Most of the big names of the Marvel and DC Comics universes. What do you like better? Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s X-Men comics of the 1960s? Or Bryan Singer’s cinematic version from a few weeks ago? Or don’t restrict yourself. It’s all right to enjoy both. Or neither. When it comes right down to it, Wendy and I like most that which we’ve built ourselves. Which is why we made the decision to bring Elfquest back to its creative roots, just the two of us, crafting a finale to a grand “hero’s journey.” When we’re done, perhaps in time for Elfquest’s 40th anniversary, we will have answered every crucial question we raised about these lovely, scrappy characters starting in Fantasy Quarterly #1. Sometimes that will involve retelling events you read years ago, from a different point of view – because the way those things got expressed back in the day simply can’t carry the same weight as the vision we have evolved for Final Quest. When all is done, will we have answered every one of your questions? That depends on you, now, doesn’t it…

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