Just the FAQs, ma'am, just the FAQs
(Updated 4/18/08) This is a Frequently Asked Questions list about Warp Graphics and Elfquest, as well as about the Elfquest.com site. We'll cover questions about these topics, as well as general questions about the Elfquest story itself. If you don't find your question here, try the search engine on Elfquest.com's home page.
Suggestions for new questions may be sent via email to elfquest @ elfquest.com. Be sure to put "FAQ question" in the subject line of the email header so we don't overlook it. (We can't guarantee a personal reply to questions sent in.)
The top 5 most-asked questions
Question #5 - I just saw the Elfquest video for auction on eBay - is this legitimate? (See below for more on the EQ video.)
Answer - It's possible, though more and more unlikely with every passing day. Here's why: When this "video comic book" was made, an unknown but small number of VHS copies were made and released. Over the years, those copies have come into the possession of fans who collect Elfquest curiosities. Since the advent of eBay, copies have been selling at (sometimes) high prices - which, given the ease with which bootleg copies can be made, makes us wonder about the legitimacy of the copies being auctioned. How do you tell if the eBay copy is legal? It's not always easy, but here's one hint that we feel confident offering: The original video comes in a printed cardboard sleeve, not in a plastic case into which photocopied art can be placed. If the copy on eBay is in such a case, we would be suspicious. Also, given the ease with which VHS tapes can be copied to DVD, unless you purchased a DVD directly from the Elfquest Wolfrider Shop, it's probably a bootleg.
Question #4 - Where can I find the out-of-print color volumes? (Also, where can I find out of print comics?)
Answer - Once upon a time, we had a huge warehouse full of back-issue comics and books. Over time, we have sold them, and now out stock is much less than it was. Whatever we still have available can be seen at the Wolfrider Shop, along with ordering instructions. You can also check out any auctions we may hold on eBay or search out used bookstores or back-issue comics shops both on and off the internet.
Question #3 - What is this "Masque of the Red Death" thing that Wendy is doing now?
Answer - Remember when Star Trek was new, and Leonard Nimoy was very concerned with being type-cast as a logical alien for the rest of his acting career? After 30 years of pointed ears, Wendy wanted to take a little break and explore new storytelling and artistic ground. In particular, she's long been fascinated by Edgar Allen Poe's very short tone piece (it's not even really a story), and wanted to give it a twenty-first century (and beyond) spin. Creating the new story as a weekly web-comic gives her the opportunity to stretch her artistic muscles for an audience that may or may not know about her Elfquest work. Take a look - you'll be surprised.
Question #2 - Then, has Wendy stopped doing Elfquest? When will you make new Elfquest stories again?
Answer - Don't worry. We have a large backlog of stories yet to tell, some we've never even hinted at. One that will get told, however that may be accomplished, is the ever-mysterious "Final Quest" that people have been speculating about. Back in 2003, Warp Graphics signed a licensing agreement with DC Comics both to reprint existing material (the beautiful Archive editions) and to publish new tales ("The Searcher and the Sword" and "The Discovery"). Had the relationship been more fulfilling than it was, Warp might still be creating new stories and art for DC, but it was not to be. We are once again looking for the right partner with the resources not only to produce books that are worthy of Wendy's artwork, but also who knows how to market the dreamberries out of such books - and, hopefully, Elfquest merchandise and media as well.
And THE single most-asked question...
Question #1 - What's going on with the Elfquest movie?
Answer - The EQ movie has traveled a very long, up and down path. Along the way, announcements have been made, that have had to be retracted. Here on Elfquest.com we try always to give you the most current information that we know. You may have seen different or conflicting information on other sites; those sites are not current. This one is, as best we can make it. We've had a "MovieQuest" page for a long time, but there's been nothing to add for a couple of years. In April 2005, we added a semi-editorial piece here that we hope provides a bit more insight as to where we were at that time.
Warp Graphics isn't a collectibles grading or valuation service. We've always felt that while collecting for investment is a valid hobby, it's our aim always to make sure that readers can find the stories to enjoy at an affordable price, rather than try to get top dollar for first or early editions of the comics or books. (In fact, Warp was one of the very first publishers to go against the "back issue market" in the late 1970s and to reprint Elfquest comics continuously.)
Also, we feel that what a particular comic or other item is worth, is best determined between the seller and the buyer. There are comic book price guides, both in print and online, that may be of use. Also, auction web sites such as eBay.com, or any of the dozens of online comics retailers, can provide you with an idea of current prices and trends. In our own experience, we've seen too wide a range of values for the same item to want to give advice on such a variable market.
The state of the comics market in the US has changed dramatically over the past few years, and not necessarily for the better. Years ago there were (by some estimates) close to 10,000 comics shops nationwide; these days there are fewer than a third that number.
Rather than try hunt down those shops that carry Elfquest publications, you might have better luck using an industry-wide Comic Shop Finder that's maintained by the largest distributor of comics to shops. In the USA you can call toll-free 888-266-4226, or on the web go to the Comic Shop Locator Service.
All previous series of color, hardback or paperback graphic novels/collections are out of print, and there are no plans to reprint them at this time. We reissued this material and more - both reprint and new - in a new, less expensive format: the Elfquest Reader's Collection. These were softcover, black and white volumes that retailed for about half the cost of the previous editions. However, since licensing Elfquest publication to DC Comics in 2003, we've let these go out of print as well. Whatever inventory of books and comics we have left - or whatever we find in dusty corners of the Warp warehouse - is available in the online Wolfrider Shop.
Same answer as above; the Elfquest Role Playing Game (published by Chaosium) and Board Game (published by Mayfair Games) went out of print years ago. Your best bet is an online search; these items do turn up from time to time.
Alas, no. The production of calendars runs very far in advance of when they're sold. For example, a (hypothetical) calendar for 2008 needed to be ready for shipping to distributors no later than May 2007. Printing (usually done overseas) thus needed to be done by March, pre-press in February, and the artwork finished and ready to go in January, almost a year ago. The twelve new plates plus new cover would have to have been started somewhere way back two years ahead of time! Given Wendy's full-time involvement with new publishing projects - both Elfquest and non-Elfquest - there simply isn't enough time for new calendar art.
However, you'll want to take a look at the wonderful work that fan artists do each year as they put together their own edition of an EQ calendar. This year's offering can be found here and you can find links to previous years on the same page.
The original spelling of the company name was indeed "WaRP", a shortened form of "Wendy and Richard Pini." However, some time ago, the company legally changed its name, and is now "Warp Graphics, Inc." with a capital W and lower-case arp and that is how we prefer the name to be spelled when Warp needs to be referenced.
Indeed you can. The email addresses, and most of the other ways to contact Warp, are detailed on the Warp Graphics Contact Information web page. Here's a quick summary, though:
Please keep in mind however that while we love to receive email and do read every letter, we can't promise individual replies, as there's only so much time in the day. We also get a lot of spam email that we have to filter, and sometimes a legitimate fan letter accidentally gets dumped. To avoid this, put the word "yggdrasil" in the subject line - it's a little trick we use, and you can too.
Well, try the obvious places first: Your local comic shops and bookstores. Encourage your local dealers to carry Elfquest, and be sure to support them when they do.
You may also look for Elfquest merchandise via the Wolfrider Shop here on Elfquest.com.
If you can't find what you're looking for in local stores, or in our online store, your quest becomes a little harder. There are plenty of places online one might look for older Elfquest merchandise, but one that usually has a good assortment of stuff is the online auction house eBay. Also, if you're looking particularly for books, try Bibliofind. Doing a web search on the keyword "Elfquest" may also turn up unexpected finds.
Back when we were doing the publishing, Warp Graphics was always on the lookout for new, professional-quality talent to add the magic of the world of Elfquest. As of 2003 we licensed Elfquest publication to DC Comics, and for the time they are concentrating on building up a library of EQ art done by Wendy's hand. We used to keep a link to our submission guidelines but for the time we're not actively looking for submissions. However, we still enjoy seeing pro-quality interpretations of the characters and their world; email a link to your online artwork here and we'll be happy to take a look.
The very short answer is: See the #1 most frequently asked question, up at the start of this FAQ page.
Please don't email us asking for news on the movie. A large fraction of the email we receive is from folks begging for information on the status of the movie -- information that either already exists here on Elfquest.com, or that we simply don't yet have. Be patient, we promise to let everyone know when we have something to report.
Don't ask. Just, don't ask. Much as we feel about Highlander 2 or Aliens 3, we'd all just prefer to pretend that it didn't exist.
Oh, all right, since you asked... Many years ago, we granted a license to a producer to make an "animated" retelling of "Fire and Flight," the first book in the Elfquest series. It turned out badly; the animation was no more than crude movement of still figures across backgrounds (with a few video effects added in) and the voice acting left a lot to be desired. It was necessary for us to take the producer to court to put a halt to all that was going wrong. Many people pre-ordered the video; only a few copies were made and sent out but the majority of people got bilked.
However, since so many people have been curious about this video, we've transferred the VHS tape to DVD and copies are available for sale on the online Wolfrider Shop here on Elfquest.com.
There is a collection of Elfquest-inspired music, sung folk (or 'filk') style, available on CD or cassette. There are a total of 22 tracks, and overall reactions to the collection seem to be very good. We offer authorized reprintings of the CD via the Wolfrider Shop. Enjoy!
We'd love there to be. We're currently talking with some very talented songwriters/performers about it, who would like to participate. The only stumbling block, once again, is time. These fine folks also have full plates -- jobs, other projects, performance schedules -- so we have to wait our turn.
Indeed there are. There are mailing lists, newsgroups, a couple of on-line Role Playing Games, chat rooms, and more! In fact, right here on Elfquest.com there's a great forum and meeting place called The Scroll of Colors where dozens of discussions are going on right now.
As of April 2008, Elfquest also has a nicely active MySpace page. and we're working on other similar venues.
More information about the things that we know about here at Elfquest dot Com is available in the Fan-Faire section of the site (pay attention to the "Internet Resources" and "Fan Site Links" areas, in particular.)
Sometimes. Even much of the time. But there are some rules.
Be sure to read both the Legal Information via the link that shows up on the bottom of each page,and also the "making a fan site" information in the Fan-Faire section. As a general rule, Warp does not and cannot give blanket permission to use its art on other pages.
There are two important points we must make.
First, you may not grab graphics off of Elfquest.com itself. You'll need to find your own source for any artwork that you are given permission to use.
Second, you must put the following text on your web pages along with the Elfquest images:
"Elfquest art copyright Warp Graphics, Inc. Elfquest, its logos, characters, situations, all related indicia, and their distinctive likenesses are trademarks of Warp Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved."
With reference to the "Warp/Wolf" logo that you see on this site, that's a registered trademark of Warp Graphics. In essence, it's our company identity. As much as people would like to use it as a link icon, we have to be very careful about letting it be used outside of Elfquest.com, so we have to say "no" to the use of that image. Apparently, the image has already found its way onto any number of "free graphics" sites and it's a major pain simply trying to track down and halt these infringments. If you should come across a site offering the logo, please email and let us know.
Sorry, no can do.
While we can grant certain permissions for certain uses of Elfquest art (see the other questions here about using art, as well as on our making your own holt/site page), we are not - and can not be - a source of images.
The short answer is "yes."
If you're now asking yourself, "But isn't that a copyright violation too?" the short answer to that is "yes" as well. However, in a practical sense it's not like you're going to copy and sell patches of your skin to profit from the Elfquest connection, now, is it? So in this one instance, we can be flexible.
We can't design Elfquest skin art for you, but published images from the comics or books are all right to use. If you'd like to send a photo of your new skin art, we'd like to see how it turned out.
(Elfquest images as tattoo "flash" is a no-no, however, as that's a form of publication/exploitation. If you see any instances of that, please let us know, and thanks.)
(As answered by Jay "Whip" Grizzard, Elfquest.com creator and guru of many years)
Well, lets see. For graphics manipulation, Adobe Photoshop is the tool of the day. Photoshop good.
For HTML editing, the HTML editor of choice isn't even an HTML editor, it's a text editor -- emacs, which is one of the more popular Unix text editors. (Actually, to be specific, we use xemacs 20.3 with the HTML major mode enabled). To be honest, the visual "HTML Editors" tend to put out such garbage that they're not worth using on a commercial site. (In your webmaster's opinion, at any rate (but then again, your webmaster is an HTML pedant))
The webserver we use is Stronghold, a commercially-supported version of the very popular Apache web server. We didn't really need the commercial support, but we needed the Stronghold support for secure (SSL) transactions. Though there is a patch for Apache to enable secure transactions, it isn't legal to use that patch in the United States (because of patent issues), and we here at Elfquest.com believe in respecting other people's hard work, and using our software legally.
We also use an add-on to Apache/Stronghold called PHP (previously PHP/FI). PHP is a server-side scripting language that allows us to manipulate web pages in all sorts of ways before they're sent from the web server. This is what we use to generate the dynamic content on the pages, to make the Wolfrider Shop function, and various other things.
Oh, and our mathematical computation tool of choice is the sliderule.
(As answered by Richard Pini, webmaster de facto-- as if he didn't already have enough to do!)
I've inherited the site from Whip, which means I have access to the server and the code, which allows me to make the changes you've seen since about October 2000. As he does, I use Photoshop for image tweaking; version 7 is old but still a godsend, with its ImageReady tool. For the HTML editing, I use an embarrassingly simple text editor to brute-force go in and work the code by hand. I don't know enough about page-creation software yet to want to mess with it, and when Jay says "Learn how to code, you'll understand a lot better what you're doing" I believe it.
Addendum as of December 2001. Inheritance of Elfquest.com turned out to be a two-step process, although I didn't know it a year or more ago when I wrote the paragraph above. Since then, Jay made the decision to move on and get out of the web hosting business, and Elfquest.com has moved to a new server. I'm still coding by hand -- somehow it just doesn't seem as real when using Dreamweaver or any of the other automated tools -- and still using the foundations that Jay set up. It's a good framework; it ain't broke, so I ain't gonna try to fix it.
Addendum as of 2003 or so.Tim Georgi (a.k.a. Skyfall) is webmaster now, and he's been keeping things shipshape since then. He's got his own magic bag of tricks and one of these days we'll persuade him to share some of them here with you.
Addendum as of April 2008. Richard Pini again here. We've just been through three hosting companies in a little over a year. I don't recommend that, but who knew we'd hook up with a lemon of a company? As a result, I've been force-fed an education on web site security as well as php and Unix code. A year ago I would never have guessed I'd be doing some of the wrangling I'm doing. But there you are. Grow or die, as the elves say.
With all the projects on her plate, the answer must be no - sorry.