Here’s a story we sort of missed in all the excitement: Elfquest’s Wendy Pini turning to the web with a manga/yaoi-esque adaptation of MASUE OF THE RED DEATH for Go! Comi! If we’re not mistaken, Pini hasn’t been very prolific since ELFQUEST wrapped up, so this is very notable, and it’s nice to see a pioneer return.
Manga publisher Go! Comi has announced their first original series, “The Masque of the Red Death,” written and drawn by Wendy Pini. Ms. Pini is the creator of “ElfQuest,” one of the most popular and successful independent comics of all time. The announcement was made at New York Comic Con.
The story of a wealthy prince who hosts a decadent party in his palace while a plague ravages the world outside, “Masque of the Red Death” is a science-fictional retelling of the classic Edgar Allen Poe tale. Pini promises the story will be “a walk on the dark side,” featuring strong Gothic horror, erotica, and the kind of intense romantic relationships between men found in the Japanese manga genre known as yaoi.
Audry Taylor, Go! Comi’s Creative Director, believes that Pini’s work is a natural fit with the company’s Japanese manga lineup. “Wendy has been a manga fan since childhood. Manga has influenced every aspect of her work for over 30 years – not just her art style but the emotional depth of her stories. Now there’s a whole new generation of manga fans yearning for mature, sophisticated fare that is influenced by Japanese manga. It’s the perfect time for her to be stretching the boundaries of comics once again, just as she did 30 years ago.”
In turn, Pini says “I have watched Go! Comi grow from its embryonic stages so rapidly into the hottest new manga publisher on the scene, that it has taken my breath away. David Wise and Audry Taylor are not only my friends, they have demonstrated an understanding of manga and anime superior, in my opinion, to any publisher in the west. I am thrilled to be working with them on many levels, primarily because it’s so much fun, and because Go! Comi reminds me so much of Warp Graphics when Richard and I were just starting out.”
“Masque of the Red Death” will first appear as a web comic, and will then be published as a series of three graphic novels once a sufficient number of chapters has been completed. Go! Comi will host the web comic and publish the book editions.