TITLE: ElfQuest New Blood Summer Special Issue 1
YEAR: August 1992
COMPANY: WaRP Graphics
Written by Richard Pini, John Byrne, Terry Beatty, Wendi Lee, Lea Hernandez, Barry Blair, Nat Gertler, Terry Collins
Art by Wendy Pini, John Byrne, Gary Kato, Lea Hernandez, Barry Blair, Ken and Beth Mitchroney, Bill Neville, Tara Blomquist, Dave DeVries, Tom Taggart
In 1978, Wendy and Richard Pini created “ElfQuest”, the longest running indie/alternative comic fantasy series in the United States.
For many years, the publication was published through their company WaRP Graphics, but also through Marvel Comics, Apple Comics, DC Comics (ala manga style digest reprints from 2003-2007) and Dark Horse Comics.
Back in the day, WaRP Graphics (which is an acronym for Wendy and Richard Pini) also published other titles such as “MythAdventures” by Rob Asprin and “Thunder Bunny” by Martin Greim but also was the original publisher of Colleen Doran’s “A Distant Soil” (which got messy, which I will discuss in a later post).
In 1992, WaRP began to invite other writers and artists to participate in “ElfQuest” storylines and related titles through 2002 before the company downsized back to the original creators.
“ElfQuest” has continued to become a popular cult classic and the Pini’s licensed the media rights to Warner Bros. back in 2008 and it is to be seen if an “ElfQuest” movie will eventually be made.
“ElfQuest” is set in the World of Two Moons and while similar to Earth, there are various inhabitants who live on the planet. The primitive human race and three extraterrestrial groups which crashed landed on the planet which include the Trolls, the High Ones and the Pixies (known as “The Preservers”) and how each would split up living on the planet. The High Ones (elves) split into groups, one group known as the Gliders who lived in the mountains and were hunters and tamed the giant hawks. The neighboring humans benefited from the technological advancement and worshiped them as “Bird Spirits”. The Savah lived beyond the desert and are peaceful farmers and enjoy their seclusion and the third group known as the wolfriders lived in the forests that lived with wolves and sparred with other primitive tribes. A few splintered from the group and are known as the Go-Back elves who want to return to the Palace of the High Ones. There is also another group but those who live in the sea and they have fins, gills and are known as Waveriders.
But from the first issue, we see a castle-like structure landing on the land where primitive humans (cavemen) live and when the High Ones came out of their structure to greet the primitives, they were instantly murdered by the savage beasts. And generations later, the humans still want to kill the elves. And this sets up one of the many stories featured in “ElfQuest”.
There have been many”ElfQuest” stories…so hopefully this helps:
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest – Issues 1-21 (1978-1985) – The original comic book series
Marvel Comics – ElfQuest – Issues 1-32 (1985-1987) – These are reprints but featured new pages to meet the longer issue run.
Apple Comics – ElfQuest: Siege at Blue Mountain – Issues 1-9 (1987-1988) – Continuing the story of the Wolfriders led by Cutter relocating to a new home but situations force both the Gliders and Wolfriders into conflict.
Father Tree Press – The Complete ElfQuest – (1988-2017) Collecting ElfQuest in book format.
WarP Graphics – ElfQuest: Kings of the Broken Wheel – Issues 1-9 (1990-1992) – A storyline featuring Rayek and Cutter.
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest NewBlood – Issues 1- 35 (1992-1996) Focuses on Windkin who flies across the world and discovers something new.
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest: Hidden Years – Issues 1-29 (+Issue 9.5) (1992-1996) For those who want to know more about the origin of the High Ones and learn more about the Wolfriders.
WarP Graphics – ElfQuest: Blood of Ten Chiefs – Issues 1-20 (1993-1995) A storyline when Timmain was the chief of the original High Ones.
WarP Graphics – ElfQuest: Bedtime Stories – 1 issue (1994)
WarP Graphics – ElfQuest: Wave Dancers – Issues 1-6 + Special (1994, 1996)
WarP Graphics – ElfQuest: Jink – Issues 1-12 (1994-1996) A story about Jink, the last of perhaps only two remaining elves on the world of Two Moons.
WarP Graphics – ElfQuest: Shards – Issues 1-16 (1994-1996) – The storyline is a continuance of “ElfQuest: Hidden Years” issue 9.5 and on.
Warp Graphics – ElfQuest: The Rebels Issues 1-12 (1994-1996)
WarP Graphics – The Essential ElfQuest – Issue 1 (1995) – A new reader’s introduction to the World of Two Moons.
WarP Graphics – ElfQuest: Kahvi – Issues 1-6 (1995-1996) Focusing on the Go-Backs Chieftain, Kahvi.
Warp Graphics – ElfQuest Two-Spear – Issues 1-5 (1995-1996) A story of the Wolfriders heritage between the fifth and sixth chiefs before Cutter’s time.
WaRP Graphics – Vol. 2 – Issues 1-33 – (1996-1999) – The next generation of ElfQuest.
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest: Metamorphosis – Issue 1 (1996) A sampling of each of the “ElfQuest” stories and an introduction to ElfQuest in celebration of the 20th anniversary. But also Richard Pini giving people an idea why the black and white issues cost more and why the Pini’s are not as involved in the comic books in the ’90s as opposed to how things were in the past. A pretty entertaining issue.
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest: Worldpool – Issue 1 (1997)
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest: Kings Cross – Issues 1-2 (1997)
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest: The First 20 Years – A 20th Anniversary magazine containing never-before published material and a brand-new ElfQuest story written and drawn by Wendy Pini
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest Reader’s Collection (2000-2017) – Collecting the more essential ElfQuest storylines in books.
WaRP Graphics – ElfQuest: Summer Special 2001 – Issues 1-2
DC Comics – ElfQuest: The 25th Anniversary Issue – Issue 1 (2003)
DC Comics – ElfQuest: Wolfrider – two volumes (2003) Collecting important Wolfrider stories in TPB.
DC Comics – ElfQuest Archives – two volumes (2005) Collecting issues #1-5 and the other #6-10. Featuring new coloring and lettering but also short stories not seen since Epic Illustrated. Vol. 1 also features a short story by Wendy Pini never before collected. Plus introductions.
DC Comics – ElfQuest: The Searcher and the Sword – 1 issue (2005) – A story of the Wolfriders and their adopted daughter Shuna.
DC Comics – ElfQuest: The Discovery – Issues 1-4 (2006) – A story that bridges the Wolfriders and the Wavedancer worlds.
Dark Horse Comics – The Complete ElfQuest (as of June 2017, there are three volumes) (2014-2016) – Collecting the ElfQuest series in omnibus format.
Dark Horse Comics – ElfQuest: The Final Quest Issues 1-19 (2014-2017) – An ongoing series and continues the story of Chief Cutter and his Wolfriders.
With the first issue of “ElfQuest: New Blood”, which is a summer special but also the first issue, it is like an anthology of stories. Some short, some long. Some looking realistic, some looking like Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
But my favorite stories in this first issue are “Price of a Soul” by John Byrne. About halfling (elf and troll) named Two-Edge who has captured his cold mother, Winnowill.
The next story “Out of the Woods” by Terri Beatty and Wendi Lee with artwork by Gary Kato features Cutter and Skywise, when they were younger, breaking the rules by going to places they are not supposed to go and trying to find out why there is no meat in the area.
“Darkness Rising” by Barry Blair is a story about an elf, curious about humans and observing them and their cruelty to each other.
There are numerous stories in this first issue including an art portfolio by Dave DeVries and Tom Taggart.
But while “ElfQuest: New Blood” is the longest running of all the “ElfQuest” series, it was unusual in the fact that other talents had the chance to work on the book. So, artwork was not consistent until issue #12 where it focused on the work of the Pini’s and Barry Blair.
If you thought “Love and Rockets” timeline was confusing, the “Elfquest” timeline is also very confusing.
The problem with “ElfQuest” is that so much was produced (especially during the ’90s alone and if you weren’t reading the other lines, some storylines you feel that you are left out of the story and were missing something) and while one would best stick to the Pini stories at first, the safest bet for those wanting to jump in and read is to get the Dark Horse omnibus collections. These are the collections of the original “ElfQuest” release not the Marvel with the added pages.