[TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: This editorial is done as a four-panel cartoon rather than as straight prose text. What follows is a sort of script adaption of that one-page graphic story. -MK]
[SCENE: Wendy and Richard are sitting on a sofa; Wendy is reading a letter. Cutter, Leetah, and Skywise can be seen sitting on the floor next to the sofa. The elves are present only as curious observers; there is no interaction between them and the two humans.]
NARRATOR: January 29, 1991...
WENDY: [reading letter] "...I was shocked to hear you two had split up but I'm glad you're still doing Elfquest..." Sheesh! How many is that?!
RICHARD: Umm, 582 that we're divorced, 74 that you're dead, and 146 that you're chained to the drawing board...
[The elves are looking over at the humans with interest]
WENDY: Where do they get these goofy ideas?
RICHARD: I dunno... The Brotherhood of Evil Malcontents? The Jealous League of America?
WENDY: You mean... "If you can't say something nice about someone..."
RICHARD: "...start up a nasty rumor." Right!
[Wendy crumples the letter and drops it to the floor]
RICHARD: 'Course, you know what day today is?
WENDY: [Snuggles closer to Richard] Uh huh...
RICHARD: So... You want to celebrate 22 years together? Or plot the next issue?
[The three elves go into a group hug]
Back Issues of EQ:Kings of the Broken Wheel-- we now have a supply of back issues. These are available for $3.00 each ($4.00 outside of North America). See the itty-bitty type at the bottom of the "Matter of Opinion" page on the inside front cover of this issue for more information.
The Elfquest Videotapes-- we still have no information. Some of you have written to us regarding refunds. You must make all such requests to 818-584-4048. Write to us only if you do not receive satisfaction.
EIfquest Graphic Novel Book 7-- Yes! It's here! The first four issues of Kings of the Broken Wheel collected in glorious color! See the ad on the inside back cover of this issue!
And now back to our regularly scheduled letters page...
I have wanted to write this letter for a long, long time but I just don't know where to begin. The warmth, joy, love...wisdom, yes I will call it that... in every issue of ELFQUEST runs far too deep for words. When I got Kings #3 in the mail I took it to bed with me and read it cover to cover even though the time was approaching 1:00 a.m.... and found myself again grieving, rejoicing, questioning, wondering. Well, I'll do my best.
The issue both begins and ends with death and mourning-- yet there is a sense of wholeness and completion. Skywise accepted the Way, but that didn't make losing Starjumper any easier. It's good to know that he didn't do anything foolish, though-- it was the wolf's time to die, and he didn't hold it against Dodia, either. And then Timmain comes in wolf-form... and understands. Skywise has sure been chosen for a unique experience! I knew he wouldn't simply bond with another wolf right away. That's the beginning; at the other end we have One-Eye. Clearbrook has finally, truly accepted her mate's death and immortality. The freeing of the body from the cocoon has removed something unnatural that was coming between them. This is a profoundly healing experience. The fact that Clearbrook has changed her attitude and done what she was not ready to do back in the old ELFQUEST indicates how much she has grown. Both she and Strongbow find wholeness and forgiveness in the Palace. It is fitting that the Howl on page 30 is for both Starjumper and One-Eye. Even though the tribe howled for One-Eye back when he first fell in battle, the mourning is only completed now. As Leetah says, it is "perfect."
155 Eastridge Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032
I was not really one for sagas or following adventures in comics until I found ELFQUEST. NOW I know why... unless I'm into war action, outerspace battles or overbuilt he-men, I'm out of luck! There is very little that is really interesting about comic books these days for the simple reason that they are written for males by males, and even though I walk into comic book stores with a little rush of excitement at all the colors and new titles I see, it almost consistently leads of disappointment. You know why as well as I do! Nothing is based on reality--and although it doesn't have to be to work, I never see anything that dares to include both males and females in equally significant, non-sexually oriented roles! I open up any male-created action/ adventure comic and halfway through it there is the token big-breasted woman, lazing on a bed, waiting to fulfill her obligatory role as the sex-interest, submissive and generally unnecessary to the plot. And if the women are indeed warriors, their costumes usually consist of a helmet and a G-string bikini (some protection!). This is incredibly annoying, as you know, but even more stupefying is the fact that apparently the male comic audience is satisfied with the age-worn character stereotypes because they never change!
You can imagine why I find your stories so rich and full. You want guts? You want romance? You want ever-changing and ever-growing characters? Magic and consequences? It's all there. Very much a soap opera, yet nothing at all shallow about it, or laughable. Unlike the selection of gut-busting, blood-gushing, on to the next battle stories, ELFQUEST gives us time to know everybody, cry for them, miss them, sit around with them, fight with them, be bored with them, be shocked by them, and care about them. And that's not sissy or lame. It's real.
4321 Oceanview Blvd. #5
Montrose CA 91020
All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you! ELFQUEST is back, let us howl for joy! What twists and intrigues lie ahead! I liked issue #4, page one. Why, two elves in your bed-- why, Shenshen, way to be! You little minx you! I must say that I love the way you guys always expand the limits and challenge us fans. The art work is as awesome as ever! Keep up the good work!
Oh, I wanted to thank you for what you and Piers Anthony did for that little girl Jenny who was injured in the drunk driving accident. It's good to see that kind hearted people really do exist. If it is possible please keep us updated on her condition.
As easily done as said. We got a Christmas card/letter/photo from Jenny and she is looking just wonderful. She still has a long and difficult road ahead of her, lots of physical therapy yet, but she is a scrapper, and she is already doing things-- things we take for granted, like bearing our own weight on our legs-- that doctors said she would not be able to do. For those of you who would like to write to her, here's the address-- but be warned. Don't expect a reply, because Jenny still is unable to hold a pen; she can't yet hold the letter up to read it so her parents will read your letters to her. But she, and they, would love to hear from fans of Elfquest or Xanth. Write to her in care of Jenny Elf, P.O. Box 8152, Hampton, Virginia 23666.
I am a Marine going to Saudi. When I was younger I started my collection of ELFQUEST. I brought them on my trip to read over and my buddies got hooked on them just like I did. It took only the first issue and they couldn't put them down.
I've only got issues 1 - 17 and I was wondering how I could get the rest of the quest. We'd be more than grateful if you could send us the rest of ELFQUEST. All we ask is to send us a letter and a price so we can get them as soon as possible. My fellow Marines have named me "Keebler" now that this adventure has started.
PFC Ryan L. Hodson
E 2/11 5 MeB, DET (P)
FPO San Fran. CA 96693
Some issues are on their way to you right now, and we sincerely hope they brighten a few moments for you and your compadres. Tell you what, you get them to drop us a line, and we'll put them on the list to follow the Quest too. And may we see you back here safely just as soon as possible! Ayoooah!
I made an odd realization regarding Rayek's character. Partly because a development has paralleled one in my own life as I say good-bye to friends who've moved away. This let me see my attitude mirrored in Rayek's attitude toward Ekuar. Of course, Ekuar would have a special place in Rayek's heart, being the catalyst of a profound change in Rayek's personality (when Rayek first met Ekuar and how for the first time he felt pity for someone else besides himself). But, watching Rayek blast the Go-Backs for Ekuar's sake, and watching Rayek's attitude toward others (an especially elegant example is taking Timmain in wolf-form by force) made me wonder, does he somehow confuse "having" these people for the feeling of growth he must have felt when dealing with Ekuar? Can he not see that it's not keeping them in his vicinity that helps, but nurturing the changes they bring inside himself, independent of those people? Perhaps he'll learn. He seems so dependent on others to tell him how talented he is.
Lynne Anne Morse
Caan van Necklaan 63
2281 BB Rijswijk
You know, Kings is starting to get just a leetle bit too serious. All this emotion, all this background; why, if this weren't ELFQUEST I'd swear you were actually getting preachy, telling us your message instead of showing us through the story! That's not counting Shenshen (still the innocent), the Picknose family (grouse, whine, complain-- and then there's Trinket), and what Leetah doesn't always do with Cutter (with a healer? the mind boggles!), of course. Overall, the Kings issues have been awfully somber! Has everyone forgotten how to laugh?
Allan D. Burrows
320 Maple Grove Avenue
Mississauga, Ont. L5A 1Y2
I just read with great delight Kings of the Broken Wheel #4, and I think you are finally back in the groove. Siege at Blue Mountain was good, but the goodness seemed forced, and I had the impression that you were unhappy, or at least under a great deal of pressure while you were creating it. The first three issues of Kings seemed a little tentative. But the current issue radiates happiness. It is relaxed, detailed, loving, right in characterization-- I get the feeling that you are enjoying ELFQUEST once more.
For me, the high point of the issue was the interaction between Cutter and the wolf on page 16. It may not have had anything to do with the plot, but it is exactly the kind of free gift from the artist that makes ELFQUEST so wonderful.
Mountain Home TN 37684
I love this comic! But I have a question. Why the **** did you have to kill off One-Eye? He was the most gorgeous Wolfrider, the best smile and bod. I should know, I'm an adolescent with nothing to do but hate New Kids on the Block, talk on the phone, and think about boys. But, whatever you do, make Clearbrook sane, Strongbow halfway decent, Ember pretty and a true Wolfrider, and Suntop an extraordinary magic user. Got it all? Oh, and get rid of Picky's "daughter."
San Jose CA
I am a bit concerned about the future of the story line. I am not a big fan of time travel stories, as the author has to be very careful not to do something that will upset the history of the story, or completely ignore that fact that knowledge of the future can change the future (much as was done in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"). If you do decide to go back in time, please remain faithful to the stories in the Blood of Ten Chiefs books.
Personally, I have faith in you to get the job done in a way that will please you first, and at the same time please the majority of the fans.
Charles W. Lowery
224 Wiegel Drive
Ferguson MO 63135
When not watching the mighty Marvel Universe and all if its alternate realities, I enjoy peering into yours. Though technically you are not a part of our universe, that does not exclude it from my observation. However, I have come across a discrepancy. Two elves of your universe have avoided my view for some time (this is very embarrassing for when I report to my superiors); they are Tyldak and Aroree. I would be very grateful if you would inform me as to their whereabouts.
Uatu, "The Watcher"
Sea of Tranquility, Moon
Check out the back cover of this very issue! (And is it true you coined the phrase "Here's looking at you"?)
The castle must have been some shock to Shenshen. I never saw (or heard) anyone with a hangover scream like that before. Although if she just ate the dreamberries straight, she might have gotten a heavy blood rush that lasted a few seconds. In any case, that's one hell of a way to sober someone up!
Savah's meeting Timmain was really sweet. "My mother too?" Was one of Timmain's elf children Savah's mother? If that's right, it would explain why some of the Sun Folk have light colored hair and eyes, since it would take only a little self-change magic to turn a white elf's skin brown, where and Indian or black elf would have all black-haired kids.
Page 11: Thank god for Savah, huh? Suntop really must have been tortured if not even Leetah could help him sleep.
So Nightfall wasn't pregnant before! Could've fooled me. When I saw those two look at Skywise like that in issue #1, I was, like, "Ahhhh!" I showed that page to my mother and she got it, but my younger brother didn't. And all the letters mentioning it were written by women. So maybe this is a female thing? It's not a mother thing, because I'm 17 and do not plan kids (now).
I like Leetah's earrings on page 14. I have a jewelry-making class next semester. Maybe...
Does she do what every time, man, what???
Elfquest seems to me to be insufficiently diplomatic. I've been uncomfortable with the stories for quite some time, without being quite aware of why. (Mind you, I buy them avidly, the instant they appear, and I read them and re-read them, then discuss them, the re-read them again...) This was most strongly borne out to me in the latest issue, #4. On page 10 Ember mocks Trinket. She mocks her! My God, sir. She mocks her when she's down!
That stung me to a full awareness, at last, of what had been bothering me all along. The trolls like to gloat over enemies they've defeated in honest combat, but the elves tend to gloat over the enemies they've shamed.
Back in the original series, when Leetah came near to curing Winnowill of her rage, I felt something similar. The failure here was Leetah's to leave Winnowill a way to "save face." Curmudgeons like Winnowill (and me) need to be able to pretend that their healing is (partly) their own doing. Good sportsmanship means not only losing well, but winning well. The elves, it seems to me, do not win well.
Jefferson P. Swycaffer
P.O. Box 15373
San Diego CA 92175
O'-si-yo'! That's "hello" in Cherokee! I've been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. My first comic book story was "Solar-Bears," I was nine. Then came "Alessa," my favorite character to draw.
I first heard about ELFQUEST When I was at summer camp. People said my characters reminded them of yours, so I went out and bought an issue. It was very beautiful and I saw parts of me in many characters. I loved it!
I am one of the Wolf clan and it gave me great pleasure to see justice done to the wolves, my spirit kin. Wendy, thank you! May your spirit dance forever. Richard, take care and take care of Skywise. Thank you for saving him when the quest first began. Where would Cutter be without him?
P.O. Box 395
New Hampton NH 03256
See you all next issue, and keep writing!