Tuesday, April 01, 2008
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Pini's are publishing all of the ElfQuest saga online for free!
For those of you non-geeks, who think ElfQuest is a euphemism for my search for a bar with a 50 cent Maredsous happy-hour, it is actually one of the longest running and influential independent comic series of all time.
Ectoplasmosis probably sums it up best:
• With Dave Sim’s Cerebus, it was among the first self-published comics to make it big, booting down the door for new talent the nation over. Its success as a graphic novel in mainstream bookstores helped infect the American mainstream with a European-esque appreciation for comics. Women actually read this. Women.
• Wendy Pini’s art is a melting pot of comics, manga and classical illustration. And she’s been at it since before most people had even heard of manga…
• The feral, omnisexual, hallucinogen-guzzling protagonists aren’t Tolkien-derived clichés, but a freakish medley of european lore, native american myth and hippy free love.
• No superheroes, magic wands or other arbitrary magics. It’s consistently plotted to tight rules of engagement and expertly crafted by the same wife-and-husband team thats been doing little else since 1977.
• It’s a neat blend of high fantasy and science fiction: the “elves” are aliens who wanted to impress us by appearing as angels, but got stuck in a genetic disguise by their slaves’ violent rebellion.
• All the fashions in it are either from the 1970s or the 1930s: everyone is either a pimp in furs and leather or something sculpted by Erté. They just don’t make ‘em like this any more.
• Winnowill is the best arch-villainess since Maleficent Cthulhu.
• It’s not over: the story’s final showdown, the creators write, has been written but not yet published.
• 6,000 pages of full-color classic indy brilliance free of charge. Precedent set.
• Issue #17’s Elf Orgy. If nothing else, a great name for a punk band.
Seriously, if you are into comics at all, or even if you aren't (ElfQuest has long been the prefered gateway comic for geeks who want their significant others to grasp the possibilities of the medium) you owe it to yourself to check this out.