Elfquest homages


There’s an ancient bit of wisdom floating around the entertainment “biz” – you know you’ve arrived when people poke fun at you, or find ways to give you a tip of the hat in unexpected ways and places. Judging from the samples presented here for your enjoyment, it looks like the elves have, indeed, arrived. (Now all we need do is figure out exactly where!)

(Click on each image for the complete version. All images and/or text are protected by copyright held by the original authors, artists, and/or publishers.)



First, a selection of prose works whose authors have woven Elfquest into their own worlds in different manners.

cover01
"Scare Care"
edited by Graham Masterton
ISBN 0-812510-97-6.
cover02
"Children of the Night"
by Jess Mowry
ISBN 0-870675-75-3.
cover03
"Sea Fighter"
by James H. Cobb
ISBN 0-515129-82-8.
cover04
"Dreamseeker’s Road"
by Tom Dietz
ISBN 0-688141-55-2.
cover03
"Sparrow’s Flight"
by Richard Posner
ISBN 0-871315-44-0.
mything
"Mything Persons"
by Robert Asprin
ISBN 0-898653-79-7.

Next, a potpourri of nods from various comic books.

(In no particular order, with more to come as we find them.)

Dark Horse Comics’ Boris the Bear was created to demolish other companies’ characters in humorous fashion. Naturally we wanted the feisty bear to take on the Wolfriders! But Boris (and his creators) respected the elves too much so he teamed up with them instead in this issue.
We knew Marty Greim, creator of Thunderbunny, for years through comics fandom, so it was only natural that he give Richard some comeuppance of Charlton Bullseye, a tryout comic from one of the smaller mainstream companies in the 1970s and ’80s.
You know you’ve arrived when your characters become balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Never mind that the Doom Patrol is wreaking havoc all around – marvel at a green-haired Skywise!
Eclipse Comics took their shot in the form of a double parody: the story very loosely resembles something you might read in Elfquest, and the cover is a tip-o-the-hat to Jack Kirby’s cover for Hulk #1, way back from the 1960s.
“Beam me up, Rayek”? “He’s an elf, Jim”? Fascinating! This slapstick crossover between the crew of the Enterprise and the Wolfriders took two issues to perpetrate… er, tell.
In several EQ homage comics, one or more of the regular cast of characters is shown reading Elfquest. Here’s an example from Elven #0 in which the young girl clearly owns a copy of New Blood #12.
In a special holiday issue of Elvira, the mistress of the dark contemplates the potential benefits of a career change.
Joe Staton (who inked Warp’s own Siege at Blue Mountain series, created E-Man for Charlton Comics before bringing the character to First Comics for a long, wild run. One of his targets was – you guessed it – as he created a race of beings looking suspiciously like Wolfriders cross-pollinated with green Smurfs!
Mark Evanier (co-creator of Groo the Wanderer, among many other titles) chronicled the misadventures of hapless geek Finster in Fanboy, a title in which literally anything might happen – as when the hero had to rescue his imagined girlfriend in very un-elfin fashion.
Okay, so maybe we don’t get a balloon in the Macy’s parade. There’s still a chance that on some stage, far off Broadway, someone’s rehearsing a revival of “Phantom of the Sun Village.” A very slim chance…except in the pages of The Fantastic Four by king hat-tipper John Byrne.
One of the hazards of working in the comics is that friends who write and/or draw comics might not simply swipe your work, but your very own selves! Tony Isabella, scripter for Ghost Rider decided to insert Wendy and Richard as (somewhat) themselves into several issues of that title…renting a spare room to the title character!
Sometimes if you blink, you might miss some of these nudge-nudge-wink-winks. Looks like Cutter ran into more than he bargained for in this issue of Hackmasters of Everknight – who aren’t necessarily wrong!
Not every Elfquest mention is made with obvious respect – but Evan Dorkin’s recounting of fanboy excesses is so savagely hysterical that we can’t help laughing anyway.
On the other hand, some “homages” are less than amusing. This one turned out to be a several-page pout that Wendy was no longer writing and drawing every bit of Elfquest.
Sometimes, we even get to be responsible for our own little jabs! This issue of Marvel Age, a newsmagazine/comic from Marvel Comics, carried an article on that company’s reprinting of the EQ saga in 1985. Wendy provided the corner slug of Cutter sticking it to the company mascot, Irving Forbush.
New Mutants, a spinoff title from Marvel’s very successful X-Men franchise, featured a whole new group of kids with special powers – including at least one with some knowledge of fine fantasy comic book reading.
Before he worked on Warp’s adaptation of Myth-Adventures Jim Valentino created his own parody-inducing character, Normalman. Naturally, one of the many worlds visited was strangely – though twistedly – familiar. (And what is it with green elves?!
Smax, a strange title by Alan Moore, threw little hat-tips every which way. Suburban Cutter and Leetah, anyone, complete with beer-gut and muu-muu?
Spank, the Monkey (he has a brother named Shock, for you Peter Gabriel fans) was the mascot for a chain of comics shops. This one-shot comic was a broadside against the wave of mediocre, violent, prurient independent comics that began in the early 1990s. Elfquest gets props for being an example of what good comics could be like.
Richard got his from Thunderbunny, so Wendy – on the very next page – gets crisped for her “sins” by Brother Blood, thanks to Teen Titans scripter Marv Wolfman. What are friends in the business for, if they can’t rake you across the coals now and then?
In “Kitty Pride’s Fairy Tale,” the X-Men heroine displays excellent taste in t-shirts!
In that same issue, there was a strangely familiar little bug-like flitterer…
…that prompted an indignant letter to the editor which appeared a number of issues later!
The crossover that couldn’t possibly happen – and, well, actually sort of didn’t! If ever there was a case of “when worlds collide,” this issue’s “ElfGuest” was it.
Looks like even Gemworld princesses enjoy other fantasy worlds (look close at the bottom of the middle image). An ironic homage, as it turned out.

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