ElfQuest: My Earliest Obsession.

I was an Army brat. Consequently my Momma spent a chunk of time off doing Army stuff, and every time she came home she brought me a souvenir from whatever exotic place she happened to be at. An Eskimo doll from Alaska, a pretty parasol from Korea, candy from Germany. Well, this one time she didn’t go anywhere really fun, but she did find a neat comic book store in that small town she went to. (My Momma was big into comics, this story takes place not long before I got into them too, and in fact this incident is what made me start reading more than just Richie Rich.) Momma came home with something she thought would appeal to her daughter, her unicorn and mythology loving daughter. It was called “ElfQuest” from Warp Graphics. “ElfQuest” is the brain/love child of Wendy and Richard Pini.

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I started reading EQ in 1979. I was hooked within the first pages of the first issue I read. I can’t remember the exact issue number, but it was 4 or 5 I think, still pretty early on in the quest. Everything about the comic appealed to me. I loved the art, still love it. I loved the elves big ears, the ruggedness of the Wolfriders, and strength in the lines of the Trolls. I was horrified by the brutality of the early humans who forced the Wolfriders to flee. I even sort of grew to sympathize with them, because like the Wolfriders I was forced to leave a forest (well, kinda, we lived in an area that had trees) and go to the desert (Arizona.)

I could go on a great length about my relationship with “ElfQuest.” In fact I could write pages and pages about it. Thanks to EQ I created Brightstarr Swordworthy, oft known as “Brightsy” (which is my most oft chosen user name.) Brightsy and I have had many adventures over the years. She has evolved quite a bit. Really she melded my love of EQ and comics into one persona. She started off as the rugged Chieftess of the Foxriders (yes, I know) and became a rock star in a fantasy-future world, to a demi-goddess running a time and dimension hopping bar (that’s bigger on the inside no less).  I digress.

Here then, more about “ElfQuest.” EQ’s first run was from 1978-1984. It was magazine sized, and printed in black and white.  This is referred to as the “original quest” or “OQ.” There were 20 issues, with a special 21st issue. The original quest followed the story of the Wolfriders as they travelled across the world of two moons and found other groups of elves in a quest to discover their origins.

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In the beautifully drawn pages of the comic we meet Cutter, the chief of the Wolfriders as he leads his people from forest to desert where we meet the Sunfolk, a tribe of desert elves. There we meet Leetah, who is fated to be the mate of the Wolfrider chieftain. We go from desert to mountain and finally to arctic tundra. Along the way the elves meet with trolls, a race of small pixie like creatures called Preservers’ to the slender elves from under Blue Mountain, to the tribe of elves in the ice covered lands close to where the elves true “home” lies. The series is filled with love, mystery, intrigue and action.

From 1981-1984 the original quest was released in four collections, in color. They came in soft back and hardback. (The hardback being limited release.) Eventually DC comics released EQ but still used the Warp Graphics logo.

After the OQ there came “ElfQuest: Siege at Blue Mountain.” This was an eight comic book mini-series that dealt with a rather delightfully nasty character named Winnowill. (Winnowill is introduced in the OQ, she’s not a nice elf at all.) Then came “ElfQuest: Kings of the Broken Wheel.” This was nine issues long and features time travel! Since then there’s also been “ElfQuest: Hidden Years” dealing with individual stories from various characters pasts and adventures. Other spin-offs and series include “ElfQuest: Shards” and “ElfQuest: New Blood” (what-if stories written by different artists and writers). Eventually there was also a 20 issue release on the history of the Chiefs of the Wolfriders, “ElfQuest: Blood of Ten Chiefs.”

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ElfQuest” even took on the far future with “the Rebels” and “Jink.” These take place hundreds of years after the OQ in a time when the elves have become myth again.

With more series looking into characters from the past (“ElfQuest: Kahvi” and “ElfQuest: Two-Spear) and even a spin-off about elves from the water (“ElfQuest: Waver Dancers”) it becomes apparent that the World of Two Moons is a big one. The Pinis have given us a lot of material over the years. The people who love EQ are many and varied and as passionate about this world as any fandom is.

There is a lot coming down the pike for ElfQuest fans. New stories and art. There’s always been talk of a movie but that keeps getting shot down… alas. Maybe someday.

In the meantime, if you go here http://www.elfquest.com/gallery.html you can check things out for yourself. The Pinis have, for your digital viewing pleasure, created a gallery and on-line viewing of the entire comic book saga through 2008. If you’ve never read EQ, give it a shot, and if you’re like me, an old fan, renew your friendship.

AYOOOOOOAH!


 

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2 Responses to “ElfQuest: My Earliest Obsession.

  • I learned about ElfQuest via my hubby. He has quite the collection of the older large print comics. After a quick peek I was hooked, sadly we have run out of books to peruse.

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