By Two-Spear's searing shafts, it's here! The advance copies have arrived, and if anything Volume 2 is even more gorgeous than its predecessor. Pre-order it directly from Dark Horse Comics, for February 4 publication. Here's the link.
It looks beautiful! I can't wait!
(Check to make sure they didn't misprint any pages!)
Already preordered. Will we see the rest of the saga in reprint?
A great present for my birthday!!
My sisters next birthdaypresent :)
On February 4th, that thing is MINE, baby. Mine!
Psssst, hey kid -- how much do you want for that one before the official release date /:) ?
*chuckle*. I've got one on pre-order too. High Ones only know when it'll get here. It'll be worth it, though. My Father Tree Press version of some of those books... not in good condition anymore.
I just picked this up today at lunch- and yeah, I browsed through it in the car before leaving... more later! (it's awesome!)
Ayoooah! Need to get mine!
You know... the coloring styles were so erratic among these graphic novels- it really helps with consistency of quality and style to remove the color completely. The line art is wonderful from beginning to end, and I've never liked the "Kings of the Broken Wheel" storyline so much before.
Reading all four books together, straight through, really changes the nature, feel and pace of the story. Everything seems happen much more quickly. The motivations of the characters, in particular- Rayek, are much more understandable. Don't get me wrong- Rayek is still a jerk- but it's a lot clearer what is going on with him. He's facing some emotionally complex situations he can't handle... some of which are humiliating and disappointing... he's wrestling with his ego- and he's losing. If Rayek were another character, he would react differently... some might say 'normally'... but he's Rayek, so his reaction is over the top.
Overall- having read this all together- I have to say... Rayek reminds me of a friend I grew up with. I met my best friend when I was maybe nine or ten. We were neighbors. I was the first girl who gave him the time of day- so naturally he developed a crush on me. He didn't get over that until we were both adults and he had a child. (It was a little awkward round his girlfriend.) He was the most interesting person I knew- but he was also very socially awkward- and he was rude and abrupt with people. At the same time, he was brilliant. The things he could do as a child were remarkable for an adult. Our parents didn't supervise us much together- we had free run of the neighborhood- and we did get into a lot of trouble. He moreso than I-- because he didn't seem to understand why boundaries existed, why some things were off limits, why some behaviors were dangerous, why you didn't say certain things to certain people. And yes, he was very egotistical- and insecure at the same time. He seemed, sometimes, to lack empathy, honestly. He grew up to be a scientist.
Guess what? The guy had Asperger's. I didn't realize it until about five years ago. I just took him as he came. His dad finally mentioned it.
Rayek seems very similar. He doesn't understand why some things are not okay to do- even if you can. He has trouble navigating complex social situations. He has a hard time seeing from anyone else's point of view. But he's a genius. Right?
For what it's worth- I know not everyone with Aperger's is like this. This is just how my friend was. It just happens to be very similar to this character. I know some people on this forum have a lot more experience and better understanding of the autism spectrum than I do. I know these traits don't apply to everyone who is on that spectrum. I have another friend with Aperger's who is literally the nicest guy you could ever meet- just kind, considerate, and overtly conscientious- also kind of brilliant, incidentally, in his field of interest. Everyone is different.
I guess my point is- I could see Rayek's flaws and strengths much more clearly in this volume- because it was continuous. It all made sense. Everyone else is pretty much reacting to him, with varying degrees of self control vs freak out
Another thing I noticed after reading these four graphic novels as a continuous storyline... Cutter is not the main character. He was the main character of the Original Quest, for certain... and he's definitely acting as a leader here... But he takes a back seat to Rayek, Skywise and Leetah. They are the protagonists. The story arc is mainly about Rayek- with Skywise and Leetah acting as prominent players.
Skywise is the instigator- and he spends most of the storyline (From Siege to Kings) being kicked around to a surprising extent. He's not playing 'damsel in distress' to the extent that Redlance and Strongbow sometimes have... But he is taking a punch in some way, shape or form pretty much every time he shows up (except for that one scene with Aroree). He's like a guy in a boxing match who is definitely losing- and that becomes clearer every round.
Rayek is the main character. He's the one facing the major challenges, taking the most major actions, wrestling with himself and experiencing a true character arc. But he's a tragic hero. His flaw is bringing him down- and his fall is great. In true Shakespearean style, he loses everything, but he brings it on himself. He just can't help it.
In that context, Winnowil is pretty much the villain who inspires his demise. She's the bad advice he didn't have to listen to. Ekuar is Banquo- while Winnowl is the three witches to Rayke's MacBeth. She's Iago, while Ekuar is Cassio to his Othello. Cutter, meanwhile, is playing Duncan or Desdemona. He's the innocent victim... who pretty much has no control and just has to roll with it.
Leetah? Leetah is the straight up hero all the way through. She rescues everyone from Winnowil in Siege, then again, fights off Rayek and Winnowil and saves Shuna in Kings. When she is knocked out, Venka steps up to plate. She's not the main character- but she does save the day pretty much every time. Skywise couldn't stop Rayek- but Leetah did, simply by refusing to go along with his plans regarding Winnowil. She is the most powerful character. And she fully puts him in his place... until Venka becomes his moral voice.
So anyway- that's my impression. Rayek is the tragic hero. Skywise is the secondary character who gets beat up and kicked around. Leetah is the hero who periodically saves everyone. Cutter is the general victim- the good king whom everyone loves.
And the whole thing moves along at a fairly fast pace. It's just bam-bam- bam with the plot- so when everyone is reacting irrationally and emotionally by the end of the story... you can understand why. Too much has happened- and everyone is at the end of his/her rope.
Out damned spot, already!
@lunakat that is totally fascinating perspective, I have chills just thinking about it. You need to share this on Facebook where Wendy and Richard--and importanly, Dark Horse--can see it.
Your comments about black and white are spot on. Color is great but seeing the art as it was originally published is a revelation. And a big part if why DH is doing it this way.
I know you want me to make my comments on Facebook. I did make a couple of posts- and I would happily make more comments, except... A lot of the people that I'm "friends" with on Facebook aren't really friends- so much as they are old work buddies and contacts. A lot of my friends (true friends) also double as professional contacts. I don't want to make too many intense comments about a comic book, honestly, that would show up on their newsfeeds. That's not how I use Facebook. For me, it's mainly a 'keeping in touch' tool.
For what it's worth, I also have some very strong political views and opinions about society that I also don't share on Facebook. Some people I know do- and I respect that... but I try to hold back because of who I am connected with. If you have a conversation with me, however, and you ask my opinion of these things, I'm more than willing to share. I also have involved myself, over the years, in organizations that impact the world in ways I like.
For me, the forum is where I go all geeky nuts on Elfquest. The whole point of this place is to overshare your thoughts on Elfquest with people you know have the same interests you do, and who actually enjoy hearing what you or I or anyone has to say.
I have, actually, emailed Dark Horse directly, though- as you suggested.
lunakat said: I know you want me to make my comments on Facebook. I did make a couple of posts- and I would happily make more comments, except... A lot of the people that I'm "friends" with on Facebook aren't really friends- so much as they are old work buddies and contacts. A lot of my friends (true friends) also double as professional contacts. I don't want to make too many intense comments about a comic book, honestly, that would show up on their newsfeeds. That's not how I use Facebook. For me, it's mainly a 'keeping in touch' tool.