[The following editorial appears in Shards #2, Hidden Years #17, New Blood #21, and Blood of Ten Chiefs #10. --MK]
I feel a little like Perry White, sitting at his editorial desk, receiving reports from the front. Just a few days ago, in the course of our regular back-and-forth, Wendy said, "Check your e-mail; there's something there I want to share with everyone." So I logged on and downloaded the following letter to you all from her, dateline LaLaLand...
It's really happening. I'm still pinching myself... but I'm really here -- in H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D !!!!! -- working on the ELFQUEST movie! For nearly three months, now, I've been on the west coast taking meetings, doing lunch and learning how to navigate in LA traffic. Oh, and working! Working very hard on the storyboards and screenplay. Yes, that's right. Ed Pressman, producer of the eerie, superb and faithful "The Crow," probably the most creator-friendly producer in the industry, considers Richard's and my input on the film crucial.
So far, this has been the most amazing and gratifying part of this adventure -- the respect that has been accorded our creative concerns. They get it, folks! They really get what ELFQUEST is about! It all started with Ed and Annie Pressman's six year old son, Sammy. He got it. Annie, reading it to him (Sammy reads it to her now), got it. Then everyone involved got it. It's a family thing. I won't tell you the director's name, yet, because that deal is still being closed. You have certainly seen his fanciful, myth-exploring work (his best is yet to come!). But, boy, does he get it! Because he, like everyone else on the team Ed has put together, has actually bothered to read Books 1 through 8! What a concept! Reading!
So how the hell are we doing this, you ask? How are we condensing, altering, squeezing, and mutilating eight books worth of material into one 90 minute feature? Breathe easy. We're not. As we said in our announcement of the movie deal's closure, the screenplay will contain elements from Book 1, "Fire and Flight," as well as a healthy dollop of the "Kings of the Broken Wheel" story line. What we're focusing on (this time, since there's already been talk of a sequel) is the love triangle between Leetah, Cutter and Rayek and the theme of a family's tragic separation and triumphant reunion.
You will recognize almost every incident in the movie as inspired by (or in some cases literally adapted) from the books. But the order of events has been shuffled in surprising ways. We've even included "what ifs" such as, what if Picknose went with the elves on their desert journey to Sorrow's End? Indeed, there will be plenty of humor, songs and fun, but the overall tone will be dark, intense and probably PG-13. Just how it's going to be animated we'll tell you later. You ain't seen nuthin' yet! What's most important for you to know is that I'm out here to be this film's passionate advocate. It's going to look like ELFQUEST and feel like ELFQUEST because my hand is in it -- up to the elbow!
Which brings me to Warp and what's been going on back east since I left on Hollywood Quest. Apart from the fact that I miss everyone in the office very much (when I write about painful separation in the screenplay, it's from the heart. 'Nuff said.), I continue to be amazed by and proud of the quality of work that's being produced on a monthly basis by all our new, young artists and writers. If Richard had not made the move to expand Warp and oversee the creation of an entire line of ELFQUEST comics when he did, the elves would've all but vanished from public awareness for the two or more years I'd be working on the film. These days you've got to have a presence on the stands every month or you don't exist. Now wouldn't that be ironic? Spend multi-millions of dollars to produce an epic animated feature based on -- what? "Duh, what's an ELF QUEST? I never see it in the comics shops!" So even though I've kept my hand in as the writer of "SHARDS," no one appreciates more than I that high quality ELFQUEST comics are coming out regularly, every month, without me as Warp's one and only "pen." If you appreciate this too, please continue to send your encouragement to our hard-working editorial and creative staff. They care very much.
To which I can only add, hear hear! - RP
[Illustration: sketch of Winnowill by Wendy Pini. Winnie is wearing sunglasses as she sits on a stool and smokes a cigarette in a holder. --MK]