Subject: (sigh) NEW BLOOD #18
So, what's with the shiny cover thing? I like it, actually... <major criticism follows... don't read if you don't have time. >
I'm having troubles accepting some of these costumes in NB. Starting with Yun... I mean, it's sure interesting how that little scrap of cloth always hangs just right, without showing anything. That must mean, of course, that there is no wind in this land. How interesting! NOW Barry Blair is fooling with weather! Also, how could that shirt stay on? According to the laws of pulling force which I have seen, that shirt should just slip around her chest (however crudely drawn) and leave dear Yun bare-chested...
As for Dart, I have no problem with him, I actually like his costume. Sort of. Same complaints about that little loincloth thingy, but otherwise...
GARGH! What have you DONE to Shenshen? To well, ANY of the women! (personal message to Blair here) Please, PLEASE stop drawing Shenshen, Yun, and all the rest of the Elfin women with those ridiculous, oversized, badly-drawn breasts! And the humans too, for one thing. The thing I most respected Wendy for was the fact that at least her women were NATURAL. Like, we do have Nightfall, who has like, a perfect body, but at least it is tempered with someone like Dewshine, who is by no means busty or leggy or what-have-you. Blair has returned to the schlocky Let's-Draw-All-Women-With-Physically-Impossible-Bodies kind of art! GARGH!
And where did the Sun Folk get the kind of lycra or whatever tight, shiny material that Suntop seems to be wearing?
What's wrong with the humans' ears? Not the ones with the insert to look Elfin, the NORMAL ones. Their ears look... mutated or something.
Those wolves remind me of my mother when she comes out of a hair salon, complaining that they GAVE HER HAIR TOO MUCH POOF!
I'm surprised that Dart didn't seem very sad about Geoki's death. (That IS Geoki, right?) Seems to me, even though he hasn't seen Geoki for millennia, he still would be at least a little regretful... ah, well...
Anyhow, about the story, I can't say I like it or dislike it. Sometimes it's interesting, sometimes, I have an almost irresistible urge to put it in a paper-shredder, so let's just say I'm just so-so. About the characters, I'm getting to hate Suntop, Chot seems to only be in there for annoyance, and I think he needs more serious attention, Yun I'm getting to hate, Dart is interesting, but I miss the more emotional side of him I saw back in issue #13 or #14. Kimo, frankly, I can't see any use for. Shenshen (much to my anger) is acting like a butt of a bimbo. Windkin, I like him, but I wish he'd do something other than sit around and sulk. What's that kid's name? Jethel? I can't see much use for him either. Door is strange... he calls Windkin over, only to sit and hover for days. These new humans with the big ears and face-paint are interesting. I like them... those white-painted humans are neat too. About the art, I am very disappointed... back at #12-#14 I thought it was actually good, now, IMO, it's going downhill. The color's pretty drastic too.
So, anyway, I'll keep buying NEW BLOOD, even if I sit around complaining about it all day.
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 94 10:11:34 -0700
Subject: NEW BLOOD #18 comments
I just got back from a few days away and picked up my copy of NEW BLOOD #18. I have a couple of wonderings that I wouldn't mind having explained if you have a minute.
1) Dart and Suntop are both Wolfriders and very able to 'send'. In fact, Suntop is strong enough to receive a sending over great distances and time. Why didn't Dart simply *send* to Suntop from the top of the cliff (or when they were separated)? I would think that it might be a preferred mode of communication in uncertain situations like this....
2) My other wondering concerns the increasing size of the portrayed female breast. Previous artwork showed a more realistic spectrum of breast sizes (i.e., Dewshine and Clearbrook compared to Leetah and Nightfall). NEW BLOOD #18 depicts all of the females with unusually large breasts, especially the top panel on page 22. If these humans have any vague relationship to our humans, then this woman has either just given birth and is nursing or should be carrying significant amounts of lard on her belly, butt, and thighs. I am not opposed to big-breasted women but having all of the women portrayed thus detracts from the three dimensional framework that has been built over the years. Of course, if you believe that your readership is predominantly male, then I understand the indulgence in male fantasy. However, as a female reader of ELFQUEST, I would rather see more variety in the female form. If there is a specific reason that these figures have been drawn in this manner, I would appreciate your comments.
3) BTW, that was a nice bit of character development to give Kimo a fear of heights and Yun a fear of small, enclosed places (although she *did* live in the snow den of the Go-Backs for all of those years). Also, Dart really seems to like to *bop* folks. This seems to be his main mode of showing affection. I understand that a lot of people react in the same way but I find it sad that the only way that he can express his feelings for someone is by inflicting a small discomfort. As I commented on a lack of realism above, I recognize the demonstration of realism in Dart's character.
Any comments on these musings would be appreciated. I look forward to the upcoming issues of all of the EQ books.
If you'll go back and look at all the New Blood issues since #11, when the current storyline started, you'll see that Dart has sent only a very few times. Once (and that was way back in the past, when he was much closer to his Wolfrider roots) during the battle with the Go-Backs; a time or two while scouting the encroaching humans, when silence and deliberation were the order of the day; and once under water when the raft was capsized, when his mouth was full of water. Our feeling about sending as a talent is that it's like whispering. Anyone can do it, but it needs to be done deliberately. If that wasn't the case with sending, then the elves would simply just send all the time and never speak. As storytellers, we don't like to use sending as a panacea. So perhaps Dart was so distracted that he simply didn't think to send.
In the matter of elf anatomy, we definitely do not subscribe to the belief that most of our readers are males. We know that more women than men read ELFQUEST, though the disparity is not at all large. We're aware of all the pitfalls that ELFQUEST faces, just by being what it is--a tale about cute-looking little characters doing adult things. It's a fine line we walk with every issue of every title. It's a source of pride to us that we succeed more often than not.
To Barry Blair: Nice work on the ELFQUEST you've been doing! Your artwork definitely has its own flavor, but still carries the facial features of the original elves by Wendy. I have one bone to pick, though...
Please, please, please a little more restraint on the white airbrush highlights. Since the color white is the closest color to light itself, I keep getting distracted by these roaming vapors and fogs and sudden sparkles on the characters' jewelry, etc. Unless they have lightbulbs implanted in them, jewelry sparkles would be small, subdued sparkles. The sparkles on page 22 of NEW BLOOD #17 are more like distant car headlights! Every time a character's face or figure is obscured by a light "mist" of white (and why?) I am reminded of the technology (i.e., oh yeah, more airbrush) and I am pulled back out of the story. We want to get lost in the story, not be reminded so often of the artistic technique being used!
Sometimes highlights are better defined with a brush, so as to define the shape doing the reflecting. A lot of white highlights on page after page seem added for no reason in particular and they are just vague, round "spray can" shapes.
Hey, yeah! Check out Willowsnap, an obviously shiny creature. Why not highlight jewelry the same way?
Very nice artwork otherwise, which I hate to get distracted from by this maybe petty annoyance of mine.
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I do have a comment about Barry Blair's work on the series. I am familiar with some of his other comic endeavors and his particular style of drawing which is very clear and flowing with no scratched out lines we see so much of in comics today. His character interpretations are generally very childlike and I am pleased to see that some of the current characters he is doing (Windkin, Dart) do not have this look. The elves have always been sensual, passionate beings to me. Mr. Blair's childlike drawings do give them an innocent look when that is needed but it also detracts from sexual scenes like Dart's recent encounter. I find it hard to get excited over children or childlike beings in sexual situations. (This is considered a good thing according to ethical codes world wide and the law.) I am not a prude; I do enjoy the occasional sex scene. I am trying to work with Barry Blair's art and give it a chance but I also felt the need to express my opinion about it.
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Date: 10-Jul-94 17:38 EDT
From: Jamee Mikell [73537,2663]
Subj: NBl 17/Movie/etc.
Only one minor criticism on NEW BLOOD #17 - Mr. Fake Rubber Tree looks more like Mr. Fake Ficus Tree. <VBG>
The art in #17 was very consistent throughout the issue. Keep it up.
And congrats on the movie deal. An EQ movie will probably be enough to make me go to the theatre to see it. (You're dealing with Mr. Rent-it-From-Blockbuster here. <g>)
Ficus? All of us? All right. Clearly I am not cut out for a career in horticulture. Keep those good comments coming in, and see you in 30! -RP