This is a work-in-progress for a Fan Friday “competition” on the Facebook page for Elfquest. Wendy Pini, the artist and creator behind the long-running indie comic, is the person who got me into art in the first place, lo those many years ago. I’ve always loved her aesthetic and story behind the characters, even if the overall writing on the series has stagnated a bit over the years.
Anyway, back to the contest. The theme for this Friday’s deadline is Cutter, the main character of the series. I chose this scene from the book (issue 6, I believe), as this is possibly the most pivotal moment in the entire story. Cutter, believing his tribe is finally safe from persecution and harassment from the roaming human tribes after spending 10 years in desert seclusion, is disabused by the arrival of a family of humans from across the waste. As chief, he must decide whether or not to kill the humans that threaten his tribe. His family.
While weighing his decision, the humans tell a tale of other elves scattered throughout the world, and the reason behind the humans’ hate for elvenkind. This revelation inspires Cutter, one of the few of his tribe with an honest imagination, to leave in search of his scattered kin.
As I’ve said, I have issues with the writing in the later series of this book, but for my money, it absolutely doesn’t come better than the first 20 years or so of Elfquest. The story Kings of the Broken Wheel to this day remains one of my very favorite tales, and one I can’t wait to share with my boy once he gets to the proper reading level.
I got my start in art around age 8 or 9 due to my utter love of this story. I wanted to draw these characters so badly I would spend hours and hours slavishly reproducing Wendy’s brilliantly designed panels. The last time I re-read the first eight collections (about 3 years ago), the book had lost none of its lessons on love, hate, tolerance, war, family and all of life’s little pleasures. It’s been almost a decade now since I’ve drawn an Elfquest character, but I hope this in some small way makes up for it.
Updates to come.