Dark Horse Comics announced at C2E2 this weekend that they’ve reached an agreement with creators Richard and Wendy Pini to bring the long-running cult hit Elfquest back to the printed page. The first release arrives in the fall and will be the prologue to Elfquest: The Final Quest, which is currently being serialized on BoingBoing. Following that, Dark Horse will release The Final Quest alongside all-new editions of previously published material.
“Dark Horse is a company I’ve admired ever since it sprang on the scene in the 1980s. Somehow, as large as they’ve grown, they’ve retained an independent spirit that Richard and I totally identify with. The quality of their offerings is legendary and I’m extremely happy that Elfquest is part of their lineup,” Wendy Pini said in a press release.
Thirty-five years after Elfquest was introduced, helping to usher in the black-and-white comics boom, Wendy and Richard Pini’s epic fantasy adventure will makes it online debut with a new story serialized on Boing Boing.
Called Elfquest: The Final Quest, the new tale begins Monday, with a new page appearing weekly. It marks the popular website’s first foray into comics.
“Wendy and I never set out, thirty-five years ago, to take the indie comics world by storm,” Richard Pini said in a statement. “But there the history is, in the sales and — more importantly — in the fandom that’s stayed with us. Now we get to relive those scary, heady days once again as Elfquest makes its online debut to fans old and new.”
Debuting in 1978, Elfquest follows the Wolfriders, a tribe of feral elves in search of a new refuge and of their cosmic origins. Along the way they come into conflict with humans and trolls, and encounter other elf tribes like the Sun Folk and the Gliders. Over the decades, the series has gained a devoted following, and boasts a large female audience.
“Elfquest‘s World of Two Moons—its landscapes, inhabitants, dangers—is familiar yet always unpredictable territory,” Wendy Pini said. “After five years’ hiatus, I’ve come home to the Holt and to my main characters, Cutter and the Wolfriders, only to wreak storytelling havoc on them as never before. In Elfquest: The Final Quest sturdy, stable characters will react in totally unexpected ways as they face devastating, unavoidable change. I’m scared and exhilarated by what’s going to happen!”
The entire 6,000-page story to date can be read on the Elfquest website.
As the comics community continues to process the news of Joe Kubert’s death, everything else feels very secondary. One way of honoring the legendary artist and teacher is by appreciating his art, and the art of his peers. Steve Niles discovered this series of art jams featuring a Kubert Hawkman alongside Wendy Pini’s Elfquest characters, Neal Adams’ Conan, Dave Cockrum’s Human Torch, and others. The rest of the jams include characters drawn by C.C. Beck, John Romita, John Byrne, George Perez, Gray Morrow, Dave Sim, Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Curt Swan, Jim Aparo, Milton Caniff, Hal Foster, Al Williamson, Chester Gould, and the list goes on and on.
I don’t know the history behind these pieces, but it occurs to me that many of these comics legends are still with us. In addition to saying our good-byes to Mr. Kubert and offering appreciations of his work, another great way to honor his legacy might be to reach out and express similar appreciation to living creators whose work we love.
Now available On Demand, the documentary Comic Book Independents by director Chris Brandt receives wider distribution at an interesting time. In the midst of a migration of comic book creators from work-for-hire to creator-owned projects, and just as a renewed discussion about creator rights gains momentum, this documentary offers fascinating insight on what it means to go it alone in comics.
It’s not your usual comics documentary, and if you’re a creative type yourself, or are interested by those who are, you’ll probably find yourself inspired. Framed by information from cognitive psychologist Dr. James Kaufman, the human process of creativity as it is realized in comics is broken down and explored by some of the art form’s most interesting thinkers and voices.
Legal | The Lithuanian publisher of The Simpsons comic has been fined for breaching laws banning the advertising of alcohol with its depiction of Duff Beer, the fictional brand consumed by Homer and other residents of Springfield.
Although Simpsons creator Matt Groening has never licensed the Duff trademark out of concern that it might encourage children to drink, companies in several countries have released beer using the Duff name (Fox and Groening sued an Australian brewery for doing so in 1995, forcing the product to be pulled from shelves and destroyed). The existence of unlicensed Duff beers apparently was enough for a government watchdog, who handed down the more than $4,000 fine. The publisher said it has stopped publication of The Simpsons while it tries to address the Duff matter — a major issue, considering that Bongo Comics reportedly doesn’t permit content changes to licensed titles. [The Australian]