Basic Information

Here's a hypertext outline for this page...

  1. Basic Ideas and Terms
  2. More About Elfquest
  3. For the Fans
  4. Thoughts in Closing

I. Basic Ideas and Terms

This is the basic vocabulary and list of facts - the absolute necessities to understanding Elfquest, this site, and the fans.

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A. Elfquest

Elfquest is the title of a comic book series. The series fits into the fantasy genre. The basic premise of the series: a quest taken by elves to find out more about themselves.

One will often find Elfquest abbreviated "EQ." Some people capitalize the "Q," but the title should not be spelled as two words.

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B. Comic(s) and Graphic Novels

By "comic," "comics," or "comic books," I mean the same basic thing. Though the terms have different connotations, the differences are subtle at best.

Essentially, comics are stories told through illustrations and dialogue. That may be a simple definition, but that's what comics are - stripped of cultural prejudices, of course.

By "graphic novel," I am referring to an anthology of comic book issues. Most graphic novels can be considered "director's cuts" of comics, for extra elements are often added to justify the price tag.

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C. Creators

Elfquest was created by the wife-husband duo Wendy and Richard Pini. Since the series was launched in 1978, they have had creative control of the comic. The comic is self-published. Their company name, Warp Graphics, derives from the creators' initials.

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D. Internet Resources

The comic is well-represented on the Internet. The following is only a brief sampling of Elfquest-related material...

On the Web, the most important source is Warp Graphics' site: Elfquest dot com. In operation since 1995, the site contains everything that can be considered official. Besides information, pictures, legal statements, and an online shop, has a vast amount of fan-specific resources.

Fan websites are, as one should expect, diverse and varied. None can legally claim to have the official viewpoint on anything Elfquest-related, but there is a wealth of information, humor, pictures, writings, online games, etc. to be found.

On Usenet, the primary EQ resources are EQUEST-L and rec.arts.comics.elfquest. Beyond those, one can find a number of low-traffic or more diverse newsgroups, as well as several MUSHes and MOOs.

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II. More About Elfquest

In this section, I've listed some basic information about the comic itself.

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A. Collections, Series, and Spinoffs

The many issues of Elfquest have been collected into graphic novels. Each graphic novel (or GN) has a name and a number.

News, March 1999: Until recently, every GN was printed in color, even if the original comics were in black-and-white. The most recent edition, published by Wolfrider Books, is being printed in black-and-white, and initially in "softcover" (not hard-bound). The Wolfrider Books edition of GNs also includes a vast number of issues that have not previously printed in graphic novels. For a better explanation and more information, see Warp Graphics' Guide to the most recent releases.

Elfquest, though it can be considered one series (it has never blended with another comic or novel, except in noncanonical stories), has over a dozen separate series. For a better explanation, see Warp Graphics' Decades in Print page. I'll try to illustrate the series outline below...

Original quest (GN 1-4): 1978-84
"Siege at Blue Mountain" (GN 5-6): 1986-8
"Kings of the Broken Wheel" (GN 7-8): 1988-90
"Hidden Years" first story arc (issues 1-15, "Hidden Years," "Rogue's Challenge," "Shards" GNs): 1991-3 "New Blood" first series (issues 1-10): 1992-3
"Hidden Years" second story arc (issues 16-29): 1994-6) "Shards" (issues 1-16): 1994-6 "New Blood" second series (issues 11-35): 1994-6 "The Rebels" and "Jink" (issues 1-12 each): 1994-6) "Blood of Ten Chiefs" (issues 1-20): 1994-6 "Kahvi" and "Two-Spear" (issues 1-6, 1-5): 1995-6
"Metamorphosis" bridging issue (1): 1996
"Elfquest (Volume Two)" compilations (1-present): 1996-present

Since the "Metamorphosis" issue, the EQ comics were monthly anthology titles. Several series and one-shots were in them, including "Fire-Eye," "Wolfrider," "Dreamtime," "Wild Hunt," and a new incarnation of "Wavedancers."

News: March 1999: As the above paragraph suggests, the monthly comic series has ended. In Issue 32, and on Equest-L (around mid-March), Richard Pini explained the reasons for this abrupt change. However, Elfquest is not dead. The artists and writers are continuing their series. Currently, Warp plans to release graphic novel-size anthologies of the most recent material in place of comic issues. No release dates have been set at this time, but along with the re-issue of old GNs and more recent GNs, one would expect to see the 1999 material in a few months. Consult Warp Graphics for official information.

That's all I know at this time. If I left out that little mini-series you love, or if you *know* you have a "Blood of Ten Chiefs" issue from '92, tell me. My e-mail is

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B. Canon

What is part of the official Elfquest story? Simple answer: anything sanctioned by Warp that's not a parody. There are a few exceptions, such as New Blood issues 1-10, and the book "A Gift of Her Own."

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C. Elves, Trolls, Humans, and Preservers

Those familiar with the conventions of fantasy fiction will find that the races and species are a bit different here. Here's some brief explanations...

*Elves* come in many varieties. Some have amounts of wolf blood, shortening their lifespan, but enabling them to communicate with wolves. Purebloods, however, can live for an indefinite amount of time. Like typical elves of modern fantasy, elves generally spurn humans, and often are in conflict with them. They have large, pointed ears, and tend to be slender in build. With the exception of one tribe, they are unconcerned with day-to-day existence. Unlike typical elves, EQ elves can not breed with humans. Also, elves tend to be recluses, completely separated from human society. As such, they are few in number.

*Trolls* are underground-dwelling humanoids. They can not live and prosper in sunlight. Trolls have specialized skills at metal and mechanical things, but few other strengths. They are even fewer in number than the elves. Unlike typical trolls, they can not regenerate damaged body tissues.

*Humans* are... well, humans. In the early EQ books, most are still in the stone age of development. Later stories show the humans' later eras. As stated above, there is a perpetual animosity between elves and humans. A few humans worship elves, or hold them in respect, but many fear - if not hate - elves.

*Presevers* are creatures indigenous to the world of Elfquest. They resemble nothing more than small, hard-bodied, winged fairies. However, preservers have the unique ability to spit a substance called "wrapstuff." In this web-like goo, a creature can be stopped from aging. Also, preservers are asexual.

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III. For the Fans

Interested in Elfquest? Need some place to find it? Start here.

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A. Finding Elfquest

Elfquest issues can be found in many comic book shops. But unless you have access to an extremely good one, you are not likely to find anything but the most recent issues, and a few scattered back issues. That's no way to get introduced to a comic with a twenty-year history. Ask a local comic book dealer to special-order the first graphic novel (Fire and Flight) - the best place to begin with the story.

Some large bookstores carry graphic novels. If not, they may be willing to special order them. Try to encourage dealers to look past the typical "shallow superhero" stereotype of American comics.

If all else fails, Warp Graphics has a phone number for orders, as well as an online store. Get the information and data at the Wolfrider Shop's entrance.

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B. Stores, Catalogs, and Web Shops

Which is best? I realy don't know. I've never ordered any EQ stuff through the mail - and I don't plan to. Go to some fan sites, and ask someone else if the latter two are safe.

Another option is to look through fan sites and Internet auctions. Some good bargains and rare products might be available - but be on your guard. Scams are everywhere.

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IV. Thoughts in Closing

Thanks for wading through this. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or complaints, please reach me at My alternate e-mail is

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This page was last updated, by Alan (John Alan Riggs), on March 31, 1999. Please refer to the Disclaimer page for legal information.

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