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! for future episodes! (Oh, by the way, it's a hard "G" in Lehrigen's name.)
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 the question that causes artists, when they hear it, to roll their eyes. Some answer jokingly: "I subscribe to the Idea-of-the-Month Club. They deliver a six-pack right to my door." Some say nothing, feeling it to be an inane question. The truth is, ideas abound, in the most ordinary places and things, just begging to inspire. Example: This very morning, the unassuming object pictured here sparked an hour-long discussion about several events and situations upcoming in future issues of "Final Quest." Will we spill any beans about that discussion? Heck no! But when it comes time, we'll connect the dots for you, and you'll see how, indeed, ideas are all around. Until then, ponder away - who knows what ideas you'll come up with?
From Dark Horse: SEATTLE, WA—In 1978, Wendy and Richard Pini first published what would become one of the most revered classic-fantasy epics in comics. Today, ElfQuest continues to capture the imaginations of readers of all ages, as Chief Cutter and his Wolfriders battle savage humans, forge lasting alliances, and discover strange new lands in this ultimate fantasy adventure! Dark Horse proudly presents ElfQuest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition, a one-of-a-kind edition, which collects the first five issues of The Original Quest (“Fire and Flight”) in their gorgeous original glory. Each page is carefully scanned from Wendy Pini’s original art to capture every stroke and detail. At 12 1/8" by 17", it’s as close to holding Pini’s original art as a fan can get. For readers looking to explore ElfQuest for the first time, there’s no better place than The Complete ElfQuest Volume 1: The Original Quest! This edition boasts 720 pages, collecting the entirety of what is now known as The Original Quest in stunning black and white, including an extensive gallery of concept art, pinups, and covers, with commentary from series creators Wendy and Richard Pini. ElfQuest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition is in comic shops October 8 and bookstores October 21. The Complete ElfQuest Volume 1: The Original Quest is on sale August 6. Preorder your copy today!
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). Bring your questions, your observations, and most of all, yourselves to help us close out the show!
Dark Horse posted a gripping preview of issue 2 of Elfquest: The Final Quest, which is out next week and available for pre-order.
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?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX7nukO_KsI One of the best moments of our "Final Quest" #1 autographing (January 24, 2014 at Hypno Comics in Ventura, CA) was when a lovely hearing-impaired couple came up and the fellow wrote a single word on a slip of paper: "Send." He then proceeded to demonstrate his invented hand sign (just before going a little bit Rayek on us). Priceless!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDj5wRbgf8A 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. (Also remember, the cameraman had to swap cartridges every 2 minutes or so!) If you were there, we hope this brings back fond memories. If you've only read about Wendy's stint as Red Sonja, we hope this will provide a taste of the enthusiastic, ardent fun we all had back when. Comics and conventions will not see the like again.
[gallery ids="1097,1098,1099,1100,1101,1102,1103,1104,1105,1106,1107,1108,1109"] There's still 8 days left in 2013 and, by Two-Spear's shaft, we've got the 2014 Elfquest Fan Art Calendar prepped and ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille! Our heartfelt thanks to every one of the baker's dozen of artists who contributed artwork for the "DreamScapes" theme - and special thanks to Maggie Atkinson who wrangled everything into place on time so we can present it to you before the New Year begins. (You can also go to CafePress and find a selection of 2014 Elfquest calendars, including "DreamScapes," ready for hanging on your office, den, or troll cavern wall!)
In the spirit of "A Wolfrider's Reflections," the Elfquest filk song album (still available from Warp) come two new and previously unreleased songs by the awesomely talented Julia Ecklar. "Going Back" and "The Troll King's Dream" - interpreted with "an arsenal of celebrated symphony players and a multiple-Grammy award winning sound engineering crew" - are part of "Horsetamer," the long-awaited sequel to "Divine Intervention," released by Prometheus Music. Find out more, and listen to samples right here.
On September 17, 2000, Nienke Hoek-Kruidenier organized an Elfquest Fan Day in Holland. Nearly six dozen people showed up and, among many other EQ-related activities, contributed notes and drawings on a full size bedsheet (about 80x100 inches) that they then shipped to us. I sure hope we sent a thank-you note but truth to tell, I can't remember. This lovely souvenir has just now resurfaced because, along with so much else, it's going into the Elfquest archive at Columbia University. The photo doesn't do it justice, but we hope it serves as our better-late-than-never thank-you to Nienke and all those wonderful folks!
This may not directly be Elfquest-related; maybe it is. If you know anything of Michael Moorcock's "Stormbringer" stories, you know why this painting is an oh so delicious parting shot. In a way, it's the "Easter egg" that you sit through the closing credits of a movie to see at the very end. Wendy Pini's "Law and Chaos" was an early-1970s college project to bring an adaptation of "Stormbringer" to limited-animation life. The film never got produced but the surviving artwork did eventually see the light of day, first as the 1987 Father Tree Press paper publication, and much more recently, as a Flash-driven sort of e-book (you can read it here). The artwork is gorgeous, but equally as important are Wendy's words - her artistic self-upbringing, her thoughts about the project, her approach to this or that image, her inner conversations. It's a revealing look into the mind of a true storyteller, and that's certainly something you can also bring to an understanding and appreciation of Elfquest.
For some months now, I've been scanning Wendy's original art pages, before delivering them to Columbia University's graphic novel archive collection. Today, I worked on "Hidden Years" #4 and, oh, what a flood of feelings it unleashed. It was in this story that a barely teenaged Ember first pushed back against the protective (she would have said "overprotective") envelope of Cutter's concern. And now, in "Final Quest," Ember is grown up, a chief in her own right, with concerns of her own that... Well, you know I never give away anything that could be considered a spoiler. Let's just say, after finishing up issue #2 and sending it off to Dark Horse earlier today, the juxtaposition of then-Ember and now-Ember is stunning. Wouldn't you just love to know what we know, he said, grinning wolfishly.
Talk about the line of beauty! Wendy has long cited Erté (often called "The Father of Art Deco") as an artistic influence. This really came to the fore inside Blue Mountain. In 1989, a German publisher asked to do a special Elfquest serigraph, and Elfmom came up with this sensuous "Winnowill - an Homage to Erté."
It's been one helluva year for Elfquest (and all that that implies, Mr. Mansley) as creative roller coaster ride, and for us as jes' plain folks. So on this day, as the final pages of the calendar begin to flutter to the floor, we take a moment to give thanks for everything that's happened, from the large and public down to the small and personal. No need to make a list; the memories swirl together like the spices in hot mulled wine and everyone's got his or her own recipe. What matters is what's shared, and that's the energy, the heart, the spirit that spreads ever outward to touch more and more people. Our thanks, then, to each of you and all of you, for everything that you've given us, and for all that you've allowed us to share with you.
"With its beautiful art and compelling story, ElfQuest made an indelible impact on my childhood. But, perhaps most importantly, it taught me that female characters can be as varied and complex as their male counterparts." – Lyra Selene, Searching For Superwomen
Not a week goes by that we don't read a post or private message: "Any news on the Elfquest movie?" Okay, it's been a little while, but that's why you can scroll down through past entries, to catch up on what you might have missed. It was almost two years ago (January 20, 2012) that Warner Bros., after having had Elfquest under option and consideration for four years, said "no." And it was about a month prior to that (December 11, 2011) that Wendy posted on Facebook: "As you know, Richard and I are waiting to hear if Warner Bros., by the end of January, will green light the Elfquest movie. We've been waiting several years for this movie to be developed - as have you. There have been some encouraging signs. But we have no real idea what will happen come Jan. 31st. I just wanted to share that, whatever happens, I'm at peace. I've learned patience and endurance and how to turn both disappointment and success into 'next.' It's all one, kids. There's no ticker tape parade. There's only 'NOW.'" The first movie option on Elfquest was taken in 1981. That means we've been back and forth to the altar for more than thirty years. It's taken a while, but we have made peace with "Schrodinger's movie." It may happen. It may not. Right now, it's in that Matrix-like state of un-existence so well exemplified by the spoon that Neo tries to bend: Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth. Neo: What truth? Spoon boy: There is no spoon. Neo: There is no spoon? Spoon boy: Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. We no longer put ourselves through the emotional wringer trying to bend the spoon that is Hollywood (or Hollywood's notion of what an Elfquest movie can or can't, should or shouldn't be). We've let go - which is nowhere near the same as giving up. Letting go simply means reclaiming the precious time and energy that we used to invest into wondering how this or that meeting went, or who might be talking to whom, or whatever. There are still prospects simmering on back burners, but right now we're deep into the big project that is "Final Quest." Don't worry; if and when we have reliable news, you'll get it. We'll spoon-feed it to you.
Thanks to savvy friends and Elfpop's willingness to be late to an appointment, here is the segment of "Comic Book Men" about Elfquest. Our thanks to all involved! (But really, Walt... Leelah???)
Get your order in now to have the first issue of Final Quest shipped the week of January 22, 2014!
It was bound to happen, and it has. Elfquest - Final Quest is out in the world, and cries of "Don't spoil it for me!" ring through the land. Once again, the conflict erupts between those who just can't wait to talk about new surprises, and those who haven't yet seen the issue. A patchwork of etiquette has grown up around the so-called "spoiler alert" - the notice, in bold capital letters at the start of any discussion in which key plot points or unexpected twists may be revealed. Spoiler alerts exist so that readers who have not yet seen the latest issue (or episode on TV, or movie) can avoid accidentally learning something that they'd really like to experience for themselves in context. See more
Convolution 2013 wraps up today, and it's about as happy an end to this year's convention schedule as we could have wished. We've met many lovely Elfquest fans, new and old, and we've been treated like royalty by the con staff (who, in addition to all else, made up these spiffy badge tags - or whatever they're called - that seem to be all the rage lately). Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made us feel welcome! Now "Final Quest" is hinting, loudly, that playtime's over so it's back to the grindstone for us. AYOOOOnward!
Just discovered: This has the look of something very early in Elfquest's history, but the style of the elves is developed beyond the first few issues of the Original Quest. It's a presentation piece ... but for what? To quote Father Fyodor, "Come on, brain!"
In another dimension, where Hollywood "got it" years ago, and made the Elfquest movie we all dream about, you could walk into the local department store and find swag like this (photo courtesy of Zach Hilgefort). So let your imagination run wild and free. What other EQ goodies might be available in this lovely alternate universe? Fire up Photoshop (or whatever art/photo app you like) and kick it up a notch! Maybe some of the magic will seep over into this world's movie-making strongholds - you never know!
Remember letters pages in Elfquest? We sure do, and Dark Horse wants to bring them back! So they've asked us to send out the call: Did you like the "Final Quest Special"? What did you enjoy most? What did you feel? How did the story touch you? We want to hear from you, and maybe your letter will be printed in "Final Quest" #1, due January 2014. (If this works, we'll keep the letters pages for the entire series, too.) See more
New York Comic-Con is over and done. I feel like the owner of the shawarma restaurant, at the VERY end of "The Avengers" movie, sweeping up after a weekend of loud, crowd, and broken-but-unbowed. We have two more shows for 2013 and then it's serious knuckle-down time. 2014 holds not only six issues of "Final Quest" but, as we just learned, two BIG - in both size and page count - collections of classic Elfquest, in glorious classic black and white. The first will contain all 21 issues of the Original Quest, and the second will combine both Siege at Blue Mountain and Kings of the Broken Wheel. So it's off to the forges for us - it's already a VERY busy next year!