[The following editorial appears in Hidden Years #9, New Blood #9, and Blood of Ten Chiefs #2. --MK]
One principle must make the universe a single complex living creature, one from all.
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual-- namely to You.
I could go a lot further with this business of dipping into a book of quotations. It's fun, and in the process one is exposed to all sorts of divergent wisdom. But one of you out there would be bound to ask, yeah, but what's the bleeping point, already?
The point is, ELFQUEST and its World of Two Moons is ready to become (in what we hope is the best sense of the word) a Universe.
Should we have our heads examined?
Probably, because, if you have even the most superficial interest in comics these days, you're bound to notice that "universe creating" is the sport of the hour.
It is, in some ways, an old and venerable thing to do. In 1940, both DC and Marvel Comics took the first steps in building cohesive worlds by allowing characters from one title share adventures from other titles. Thus were crossovers born, and these chance encounters were very exciting events in the life of a comics fan.
In 1961 Marvel planted the seeds of what today's comics fans recognize as "the Marvel Universe" - that interconnected set of cities, worlds, dimensions and whatnot where all good Marvel heroes and villains live. And because it was a universe very much like our own (at least in the sense that it contained a "real" New York City rather than a fictional Metropolis), and because Marvel's cast of characters also seemed much more like "real people," reader identification with that "universe" became even stronger.
Somewhere, something went screwy. At some point, it stopped being sufficient merely to have Captain America, thawed out from his iceberg - tomb in the mid-1960s, very casually connected to his 1940s avatar in a vague but touching sort of way. Somehow, it became not only necessary, but downright obligatory to find - or manufacture - connections between and among every story event in a comics company's entire history of publication. To account for the comings and goings of every single character who had ever donned cape and tights. Timelines had to be constructed and tuned ever finer to account for the logical inconsistencies between a story written in 1942 and one written in 1972. Revisionists had a field day. The Crisis wasn't that there were infinite Earths, but that the need was felt to tie every loose end into a neat and tidy "final solution."
Where's the mystery, then? Where's the romance of imagination?
But comics and attendant financial speculation is, these days, a marketer's dream. So here we are now, awash in a maelstrom of comics universes, freshly minted by comics companies like so many shiny new dimes, tumbling forth with histories and family trees and characters ready-made to fulfill their quotas of obligatory made-to-sell crossovers, at every opportunity, into each other's titles, just about every month.
Why, after we have our heads candled, are we tossing our hats into this snake pit anyway?
Because we know we can do it different. Because ELFQUEST has always done it different, anyway, by focussing on stories that depend on characters instead of costumes or superpowers. Because we know that our average reader buys ELFQUEST to read, and maybe even to pass along to friends so that they get hooked.
Because we think that you're just as interested in stories that mirror the ups and downs of life - including unexpected meetings with odd characters and strange situations - as we are. You want these stories to happen, to be meaningful, not manufactured, and so do we. You want stories that surprise you, and so do we.
And now we have the chance, and the opportunity, to do those stories.
You'll note, elsewhere in this issue, our announcement that Warp Graphics is moving (has moved, by the time you read this) to new digs. We have lots more room, which means we have room for lots more people, lots more ideas, lots more creative energy. We're also embarking on a new editorial path, one that brings ELFQUEST closer to the longer "quest" stories that we used to do. And just as it was great grand fun leading you all on a merry chase back when, when you thought that Rayek was dead and then he showed up out of nowhere, so it will once again be great grand fun to weave together the stories of not only the Wolfriders, but also of the younger NEW BLOOD characters in their jungle setting, and of the Go-Backs and Jink and the Rebels in this world's future, and... and...
It's going to be fun!
Richard A Pini