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Elfquest: Forty Years of Pointed Ears!

Elfquest: Forty Years of Pointed Ears
08/02/2018

“Book borrowing is the biggest form of true love. It’s like, ‘Here’s a piece of my soul I think you would enjoy.’” - Tumblr user coffee-and-rainsticks

 

I would argue that book recommendations carry a similar heft of personal investment. They generally fall under three categories: "I read this and it was terrible, don't bother," "I read this and it was pretty good; you should give it a go," and the slightly more emotional, "OH MY GOD THIS WAS AMAZING YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!" reaction that generally brings to mind fans of Harry Potter or Twilight. I'll try to temper this one somewhere on the spectrum between the second and the third.

 

I first discovered Elfquest working as a shelver for the Halifax Public Library nearly 20 years ago. I had been eyeing the glossy, library-bound cover of a title called "Fire and Flight" for some time. Before then, my sole knowledge of comics stemmed from Archie or Superman; in comparison, the intense eyes, the playful lines of hair and dress, and the sheer beauty of the characters was like nothing I’d ever seen before.

 

Elfquest was created 40 years ago by husband-and-wife team illustrator Wendy and writer Richard Pini. Initially published under the name WaRP Graphics, Elfquest began as a 20-comic black-and-white series chronicling the story of the Wolfriders, a band of elves who live on the World of Two Moons. They are led by Cutter, the eleventh chief born since the Elves’ arrival to a planet that was not their own. They live in a forest too close to human settlements for comfort; their mutual history has been a bloody one.

 

After superstitious humans set fire to the Wolfriders’ forest, the elves seek refuge in caves occupied by Trolls, with whom they have a tenuous peace. Tricked by the Trolls, they find themselves on the edge of a vast desert with no way out but through - and unexpectedly find another elven settlement they never knew existed.

 

Thus begins a millennias-long quest to reunite the many tribes of Elves scattered throughout the World of Two Moons, discover the truth about their arrival, and determine if they can ever make peace with the humans.

 

2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the first publication of Elfquest; next month is also the release of the last issue of the Final Quest, bringing events of the Elves’ story full circle. As a 30th anniversary gift to their fans, Wendy and Richard made the entire series up to 2007 available for free (yes, FREE) to read on their website. In the meantime, the OPL is, in my opinion, vastly improving its collection by acquiring the newest EQ titles and other recent works by the Pinis, including a gorgeous introspective of Wendy’s art over the decades, and (hopefully!) an in-depth look at some pivotal moments in the EQ timeline.

 

Shade and sweet water,

Nadine_OPL

Elfquestby Nadine_OPL

Elfquest, lovingly crafted by husband-and-wife team Wendy and Richard Pini over nearly four decades, recounts the epic journey of tribes of scattered elves, trying to reconnect across a world filled with humans who have learned to hate and fear them.