This is not goodbye, even though this is the last issue of Elfquest -- for a while, anyway. Here's why...
When Warp Graphics first published this story from 1977 to 1984, we produced some 650 pages of material, and that was it. Even with the addition of new pages for the EPIC series, all the original artwork has now been used up. The title isn't being cancelled because of poor sales or anything like that; it's simply that the story has come to an end.
Except that this is not good bye, and nothing ever really ends. Because the saga of the Wolfriders and their various friends and enemies does go on from here, starting in the first issue of Elfquest: Siege at Blue Mountain, a new black-and-white mini-series by Wendy and myself. Those issues are on sale right now at your comics shop, so if you want to know what happens after Quest's End, what are you waiting for?
Will Elfquest: Siege ever appear in color? You bet it will, starting in the second half of 1988. Watch for it first in book form at comics shops and bookstores everywhere.
In case you didn't already know, 1988 is a very special year for Elfquest, for it's Cutter and Crew's 10th Anniversary -- and have we got a year planned for Elfquest fans everywhere! Here's just a partial list of what you can look forward to: Blood of Ten Chiefs Volume 2, the Elfquest Gatherum Volume 2, Elfquest Color Book 5, new portfolios and posters, and who knows what else by the time we get rolling!
You know, we've been swamped here with requests for information about the Elfquest Fan Club ever since it was mentioned some issues back. In case you missed it, and because this is the last chance we'll have to chat for a while, here's the whole scoop, and such a deal it is! Far the one time fee of $10.00 ($20.00 outside North America) you get a membership packet of goodies and a lifetime subscription to The Lodestone, the Fan Club newsletter. And all you do is send your check or money order to "Elfquest Fan Club, 5 Reno Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603." You'll join thousands of fans like yourself and always get the latest Elfquest news -- including our 10th Anniversary plans!
So this is not goodbye. Now, how about some letters...
I recently purchased the long sought-after Blood of Ten Chiefs and read it most thoroughly. It was wonderfully written and most informative, but I was disappointed that the content failed to delve into the lineage of the other Wolfriders.
I doubt that even you believe that all your readers find the noble chief Cutter their most favorite character, for he is certainly not mine. My preference is Strongbow, who was portrayed in the book as a self-styled Rambo constantly undermining his chieftain's authority. I wish you had told me more of this silent, brooding archer. Is there a reason he has chosen to send and is there an explanation as to why his ability surpasses the others'? Moonshade commented to him in Issue #22, "I think you envied Cutter his father when you lost your own." What happened? What does it take to be an elder -- great longevity or is it a committee dedicated to preserving "the way?"
Nova Scotia, CANADA
And the questions just keep on coming! You've raised an interesting one about Strongbow and his parents, one which might bear examination in a future volume of Ten Chiefs -- hmmm, maybe we could do some of the other Wolfriders as well, hmmmmm. Pardon me, the sound you hear is my mental gears whirring, working on all sorts of ideas here... Elfquest finished? Hah! --RP
I have a question and a comment. First the comment -- I love Elfquest! It's my favorite comic book -- I like it even better than Boris the Bear (and I love to see Boris destroy things!). Now the question: If Two-Edge is Winnowill's son, then who's the father? Or am I jumping the gun? If this is to be revealed later, please ignore the question.
What question? --RP
I first started collecting comics last year, but gave them up because I found no title that I liked. Then this year I picked up Elfquest #19 and from that moment on, I loved it! I've read most all of Tolkien's works and of all his creatures I love elves best. He portrays elves (as you do) as powerful warriors -- if there's one thing I hate, it's wimpy little flower-sniffing elves as big as Smurfs living at the bottom of the garden. That's why I love Elfquest.
How come, out of a community of about 40,000 people, only one bookstore sells Elfquest, and has only one copy which I reserve? And believe me, I've looked all over! One of my friends and my dad's friend's wife read it too, and they have to read mine! They'd like to get their own copies, but the bookshop people seem unobliging. What should they do?
P.S. The sheep send their love.
Napier, NEW ZEALAND
The sheep send...?! Reminds me of the punchline about using a feather versus using the whole chicken.
The problem you experienced with your bookstore is one that, unfortunately, exists all over. The best thing that you and your friends can do is to keep asking the proprietor to order what you want; if he or she hears it enough times, the point will be made and the store will carry Elfquest books. You have to be persistent. And if that doesn't work, you can always try ordering books and comics from the States -- many comics carry the names and addresses of supliers and shops who will be happy to help you out. --RP
Wow, this is the best comic since the X-Men. Issue #24 had the best battle so far! Keep up the good work.
Elfquest is my favorite comic book, and I don't mean to complain, but I was disappointed with all the blood in Issue #24. Anyway, everything about the comic is superb!
Elfquest as Rorschach Test, that's what I like about this business. No two people look at the same thing and see the same thing -- I hope that will always be the case, that Elfquest will cause people to react, to feel and to think about what they've read-- and let us know. --RP
I love Elfquest. I know what you're thinking, that this is just a sweet little letter, but stick with me. I'm 13 years old and live between the capital of Florida and a small town called Crawfordville. I love the woods. But this is the 1980s, right? And I'm not a hillbilly. If I could, I'd live in the woods, but that's not possible. So Elfquest is my escape. It's a superb combination of art and writing. When I read it I feel like I'm a part of the story, not just a reader. I have all the issues but in all my reading I can't find the answer to one question: Do parents know their cubs' soul names? In Issue #25 when Cutter is almost dead, Bearclaw calls him by his soul name. Does he know it because he's dead or is Cutter imagining him saying it in a fever dream, or did Bearclaw know it when he was alive too?
Soul names are not some ultra-secret thing that each elf guards jealously. They're really like a special "room" in an elf's mind that contains the essence of that elf's being and soul. There's a door to the room that is usually closed, so that when two elves are sending to each other, they don't accidently stumble into each other's room. However, any elf can freely allow another into the room by giving the key, which is the soul name. Friends can do this, as Cutter and Skywise did. Parents and cubs can also; Bearclaw knew Cutter's soul name before he was killed by Madcoil. Sometimes a powerful elf with evil intent, like Winnowill, can force the lock on that door to the soul room and take someone's soul name, as she has done with Dewshine. Luckily, that kind of evil is very rare. --RP
I guess this is the place where we say "farewell for now." Wendy and I and all the folks at Epic hope you'll keep writing in with your comments; after all, even if we don't have a place to print them we still want to know what you think of this Elfquest story now that it's wrapped up! And remember that somewhere, somehow, Elfquest stories will always be told-- all you have to do is look for them and join in. As I said at the top of this letter column, this is not "goodbye," but only "until next time." And until then, Shade and Sweet Water. --Richard Pini