It’s funny how something that has been around forever can still get a blog boost — as we reported yesterday, some 6500 pages of ELFQUEST comics are online, to read, for FREE — but they have been up for more than two years. Our post got Boing Boinged, and Richard Pini, WARP Graphics co-everything, wrote in to answer some questions in that thread, especially complaints about the Flash interface (one wag posted a link to the complete Elfquest on a bit torrent site.)

First, thanks for putting this “old news” back in the news.

Second, please don’t ascribe to any sense of planning (or malice, or a desire to make your lives difficult) what can be laid at the doorstep of the simple wish to have a comics reader experience available at all. Keep in mind that the Elfquest comics went online early in 2009, when for most of the world, Flash was What There Was. The entire Apple vs. Flash hooraw didn’t surface until over a year later.

Third, we are looking into making all that lovely content available to the iPad/iPod/iPhone audience even as I type these words.

Fourth, while I know there’s not a goddam thing I can do about it (in response to the crowing about a torrent being made available in “less than two minutes”), I’m still old-school enough to resent someone coming into our house and taking our stuff without so much as a by-your-leave. You’re talking about the work of over half of two lifetimes as if it was a post-it note.

For the record, I am not the RIAA-mindset, insisting that anyone should go through impossible hoops to access our work. If that was the case, I wouldn’t have put the stuff online in the first place. For free. (Or for a donation, thanks for the suggestion.) But geez, just a little respect, huh? Or is that unacceptably old-school?

Anyway, I wanted to weigh in from the source before this thread went spinning out into the IMOsphere. Thanks for reading.

To be honest, if someone makes a comic available for free on the web in a shitty format, I might just download a readable bootleg version of it, because the net result is the same. But a legit version would be even better! ELFQUEST is not currently in print — its last publisher was DC, which put out a series of archives starting in 2003.


  1. It’s sort of amazing that all the stuff is actually OOP. Perhaps they’re waiting to sign a better deal than they would get now whenever the movie gets made.

  2. It went out of print because they kept it in print in two formats that virtually no one wanted: black & white manga-sized digests (ugh!) and super-high-end $50 hardcovers.

    If they had kept it as the $15-ish laminated color hardcovers, like the Donning/Starblaze editions, we’d be talking about ELFQUEST as a perennial just like WATCHMEN, SANDMAN, or WALKING DEAD.

    (Having said that v3 and v4 of the Archives are, in fact, still in print, and your local comics shop can order them for you — AUG050246 and AUG070295 respectively)


  3. The many, many different editions ElfQuest have been out in have definitely hurt, as the George-Lucasing of the classic material (reformatting for the digests, Photoshop colors, later stories added in between the pages of the original).

    What I’d really like to see is a publisher like Dark Horse or IDW putting out a definitive edition in the original black and white. Imagine an ElfQuest version of the Finder Library. With a page count like that you could put the entire original Quest in one volume–the perfect complete story you could hand off to anyone.