From: AMANDA GILLIHAN
HIDDEN YEARS #18 is out.
Well, everybody is back to their normal colors, Thank the spirits. Nightfall's hair is a little dark, but she had the same problem in HY15. Both issues had the same person doing the coloring. Without her leathers Nightfall was unrecognizable.
By the end of the issue Steve Blevins seemed to have a handle on most of the characters. I was a little worried at the beginning. While he seemed to have most of the male faces, the female faces were a little too elongated. But the improvement from the first page to the last is outstanding.
Storywise it was pretty good. On your next camping trip take Dreamberry Bug Repellent and bugs will never get near you again. It's kind of ironic that dreamberries ended up making Pike the soberest member of the tribe.
Being a major cat fancier I like the idea of adding a cat to the tribe. It should create some interesting dynamics. Well that's all for now.
From: Jennifer Nolan
- Suntop's poor howl is right! It was nice to see the WRs relaxing -- with the action going on in SHARDS, I kind of miss the laid-back stuff.
- Pike! He's definitely being explored more as a character (and I love it!). Being the storyteller in BOTC and now rescuing the tuftcat kitten from certain death. Whatta guy! I do have to admit, that's not what I thought Pike was going to show her! You can imagine what I thought when he said, "I'm papa" !!! The panel at the bottom of the page with Ember face-to-face with Stubtail was great!
- Skywise & Timmain -- Interesting to see them becoming so much a part of each other. Not only does she use his own words when sending to him ("the stars' own time"), but he gets quite a view of her memories. I'm going to enjoy watching this relationship grow. However, I do think that Skywise ought to be less solitary. Just because he's pure elf doesn't mean that he'll live forever -- the WRs still live a dangerous life in a land they aren't familiar with. Before Cutter's time, WRs rarely lived long enough to see old age (and they still aren't elderly, by any stretch of the imagination). I doubt they're free of danger now...
- Scouter -- Sheesh, what a 'tude! First Skywise (in the previous issues), now Redlance. Guess "Tyldak" hit the nail on the head, didn't he. He "lost" Windkin before and he's not going to let himself slack off concerning this cub. With Tyleet's stubbornness, though, I can see problems in the future...
- Speaking of Tyleet's cub, I wonder how "special" this cub will be... Granted, the apparition's comment could have been a red herring, but somehow I doubt it.
- Poor Dewshine. She's been free of Winnie's sick torture for many years now, only to have the wounds opened again by a bunch of bugs... Scouter must be driving himself crazy...
SAS'ers, rejoice!!! (SAS stands for Strongbow Admiration Society - RP) We have seen the soul name and it is Wyl! Now, how to pronounce it...
- Crescent! Obviously Strongbow's daugh- ter as well (so they did have at least 2 children). wonder when she was killed -- probably before Madcoil but after Cutter was born (Moonshade expects her to know who Cutter is). From what little I've seen, I hope we see a BOTC story with her in it someday. I did, however, think Ember may have taken it a bit too far -- it seemed wrong to be leading Moonshade around by her heart like that (although it would have hurt Moonshade to have her "daughter" leave without saying anything, and she did forget what happened). Whatever the case, I'm glad the two seem to have patched up their differences at the end. I do have a question, though -- isn't "Shade and sweet water" a Sun Village greeting? The WRs were primarily nocturnal -- "shade" doesn't seem like something a nocturnal woods-dweller would think to wish someone. I guess Moonshade was a bit taken back by Crescent's appearance (and the spirits *do* go where they will) to notice.
- I had trouble figuring out what Leetah was laughing at when Pike caught her until I paid more attention to what she said. Looks like ol' squirrel-cheeks really did get mistaken for a squirrel! Heck, I'd laugh too...
All in all, I'm glad I finally got my HY fix! I think the character development was great this issue and I can't wait to see the next. Funny, just last week, the question was posed on a.c.eq that, if you could only buy one EQ title, which would it be? I chose Shards, but now I'm not so sure. HY is beginning to show the same feeling as the original quest and I don't think I could write it off as easily.
From: RavvitEars(via AOL)
The script of course cannot be faulted - not when RP's involved! (Well, thank you but most of the credit does go to Joellyn. - RP)
And the art is very good. Although facial characteristics look a bit harsh, Barry's work with the inks probably helped soften them up? Still, I "knew" these characters. (I admit I did have some problems once everybody went swimming. I suppose clothes do make the elf sometimes, since there were a few panels where I wasn't sure who was who.)
But as I am a story man first and foremost, this is the issue that made my soul sing for the ELFQUEST that was - character development, intriguing plotline possibilities suggested, small bits of business and facial expressions that make this more than just a comic book.
Because of Barry Blair's art, I've been nudging NEW BLOOD ahead in my preference of titles, but HIDDEN YEARS has (at least) tied it because of the scripting, the storyline's situation (which is the most like original EQ) and the characters involved.
Since I've been reading EQ back in '79, my 'favorite character' has kept changing for a variety of reasons. Skywise, Redlance, Two-Edge, One-Eye, and now Pike. Always liked him, but at the same time, always kind of dismissed him for the flashier, more charismatic characters. But with his position as the tribe's teller of tales being enhanced in the anthologies, BOTC, and maybe here soon (?), he's the new # One on my list. I hope we see more; see him grow in his abilities and see more of his personal relationships with this newly redesigned tribe.
Thanks to everyone, keep 'em coming, and see y'all in 45! - RP