Home Comics Digital Comics The online library: The Complete ELFQUEST

The online library: The Complete ELFQUEST


Speaking of fantasy, one of the pillars of the fantasy comics genres is now available in its entirety to read online. ELFQUEST, Wendy and Richard Pini’s saga of homeless elves and their passions and battles, first published in 1978, was one of the foundational hits of the emerging indie comics scene, and after many publishers, movie options and assorted dramas, it’s still a good story. Very few indie comics have spawned such a devoted cult or influenced so many spin-offs and imitators. Wendy Pini really hit the right notes at the right time with a style equal parts Kelly Freas, manga, and Walt Disney. It wasn’t for everyone, but for those whose wheelhouse it hit, it was THE thing, with spin-off RPGs, novels and filk songs. ELFQUEST is also one of the first American comics to really nail the urgency and drama of manga storytelling.

The story itself concerns tribe of earthy, feisty elves who have to find a new home in a dangerous world of trolls and monsters. If that sounds like your cup of tea, some 6500 pages of it are now online. And yeah it’s in one of those icky Flash readers, but it’s free and legal so what are you waiting for.

Via Johanna.

  1. Very cool, although it should be mentioned, the online library has been available there for over 2 years.

    I wonder what the effect has been on the sales of Elfquest books, merchandise, etc. And what kind of traffic they’ve gotten over the years. It could be an interesting case study of how making the work free online has impacted other commercial possibilities.

  2. Since this is on Wendy’s page, I would presume that she regards it as definitive work,Rob.
    Wendy was extolling the virtues of the online version at SDCC a couple years ago.

  3. The complaints about ELFQUEST might indicate why comics have trouble finding mass audiences: Put a series online, for free, and there are still complaints about the format. Prose doesn’t have those problems. Even if someone disliked the font, he could load the text into a word processor and change it. The prose writer doesn’t have technical problems; he just has to get readers into the story.


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