[The following editorial appears in Shards #14, Hidden Years #27, New Blood #35, Kahvi #4, Two-Spear #4, Jink #11, and The Rebels #11. --MK]
There's something riding on the wind.
A low and distant rumbling of change.
It's getting closer.
By the time you read this, Elfquest will be turning eighteen. For us five-fingers living on the World of One Moon (in American culture, anyway), reaching the age of eighteen opens many doors. Some of these doors lead to changes in legal status; some of them are personal and individual. When you become eighteen (and of course depending upon where you live, the details may be slightly different), you can vote, you can be called to war, you can enter into contracts. It is the age at which you are most likely to go off to college, thus cutting ties with your previous life-style of living at home. It is the age at which you may enter the work force, having completed a high school education. It is the age at which you may decide to start a family. It's when a lot of people "take the next step" in life.
Janis Ian wrote about what it is like "At Seventeen." Seventeen is foreplay. Eighteen is getting down in the clinch and "doing it."
Elfquest turns eighteen and it's looking to take the next step. I'm writing this editorial to appear in our January 1996 titles and it's not even December 1995 yet. What's even more on my mind is April. Because, you see, by March, all of the current Elfquest stories will have concluded. HIDDEN YEARS, NEW BLOOD, SHARDS, JINK, THE REBELS, KAHVI, TWO-SPEAR. For the first time - literally - all of the threads in the tapestry will be tied up in a neat bow.
For the first time, Elfquest - the world, the stories, the characters, all of it all at once - will arrive at a landing place, having spent the past two or four or eighteen years running pell-mell through all their adventures. They'll all be gathered, waiting, looking forward into - what?
Frankly, I have no idea.
No, that's not true. I have many ideas. But the thought of getting to a place from which one can take a moment to reflect, to gather, to simmer - that's appealing. The temptation is great to say, "Well, that's that for now - let's take some time off."
I won't give in to it, though, for that's a dangerous indulgence. Twice before in Elfquest's history Wendy and I came to a finishing place - once, right after the original quest ended and again, after SIEGE AT BLUE MOUNTAIN was completed - and each time the business of comic books and the market for comic books changed while we were occupied elsewhere. And, in my opinion, not necessarily for the better.
So no, Elfquest won't go away at the end of March, even though this round of tales will conclude. What next? Hey, any artist or writer will tell you that the scariest thing in the entire world is a blank sheet of paper. That's what Warp Graphics has in front of it at this moment. In a few weeks the comics specialty store distributors will be wanting news about their April offerings, but for now...
For now, actually, I'm rather relishing the feeling of being confronted with a tabula rasa. A clean slate. I'm marinating in the many sensations that accompany the prospect of getting away from "the way it's always been done" and opening up to a stream of new possibilities. Letting go the familiar and the comfortable can be scary, but it can be tinglingly exciting at the same time. Never mind "can be." It most assuredly is.
Comic books. Magazines. Books. Monthly. Quarterly. Annual. Big. Little. Color. Black and white. Movies. Television. By Two-Spear's shaft, it's good to have options!
Because at the bottom of it all I do love Elfquest. As a world, as a template for the telling of stories that have personal meaning, there's nothing else like it out there and I'm still its most ardent fan.
So what's in store? Well, you can keep tabs right here in Elfquest comics - any and all of our titles. Or, if you're of a mind to get the jump on the rest of the world, you can visit Elfquest's World Wide Web site at http://www.elfquest.com.
Hmm. Perhaps I should check that one out myself - things have been so hectic around here lately that the answers I'm looking for may already be waiting there.
Hey, EQ - Happy Birthday! Let's party!
Richard A Pini