Wendy and Richard Pini at 7:55 am Mon, Nov 26, 2012
Page 12 of The Final Quest: Prologue is published online-first for the first time here at Boing Boing. First time reader? You're a few issues behind.
Conceived in the heat of creativity early 1977. Born in the throes of Ypsilantean adversity on February 28, 1978. Entering that long golden afternoon even now.
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I love this. Dewshine grew so much from the start of this series – from carefree young wolf-pup teenager to mother to wise tribe elder. Nice call-out to Windkin, haven’t thought about him in awhile.
Clearly, neither has Dewshine! ;-) I actually like that the effects that living in the Now has on Wolfrider memory are being so highlighted. It’s something that was explored mostly in the Blood of Ten Chiefs anthologies, but we never really saw it clearly in the comics until the Wolfrider story.
Love the panel layouts in this one, specifically the juxtaposition of Teir’s eyes as Dewshine references them, and Ember’s shadow in the background as Dewshine points out the similarities between the chieftess and Teir.
Dewshine has long been a favorite of mine from the first time I saw her. She defied comic stereotypes by being both gracefully slender and brave and later by being a wonderful mother who would do anything for her cub. As Cutter’s cousin, there when Ember was very young, she would know Ember very well and the wise way she approached the subject with Teir, to give him needed insight, is as much “her” as those spirited leaps. And David is spot on about those panels! Gorgeous!!
Teir and Ember are in the low-elf-esteem club together. They should make out.
HAven’t they been doing more than that for a bit?
Ok, I hate to be critical of EQ (and WaRP), which I absolutely love and has meant the world to me since I first encountered it in the 6th grade, but it’s because I love it so much that I feel this needs to be said: the use of digital blurring and resizing is detracting from the unbelievable quality of Wendy’s pencils. In panels 1, 5, and 6 of this page, the background has been blurred. I’m not sure what Wendy’s intent was, maybe depth, maybe saving some time to meet a page-a-week schedule, but it gives the page an amateur, airbrushed look. In panel 4 Teir’s eyes have been blurred as well, maybe for depth, but it’s equally jarring.
Resizing / resampling effects are equally problematic. On this page Ember’s shadow has clearly been pasted and re-sized in the final 2 panels, which is not so bad (resizing Dewshine’s head is a bit much), but on panels like the last one on http://boingboing.net/2012/11/12/eq-2.html, the varying line weights and detail on each character make it obvious they were pasted in, as if the panel was assembled from pieces of other drawings.
Wendy’s pencils are amazing. Each stroke packs more emotive volume and individual character than almost any other comics artist I’ve encountered. However, I really feel like these digital effects are detracting from Wendy’s genius. Compare these pages with the work of Kazu Kibuishi (e.g. http://www.boltcity.com/copper/copper_030_goodlife.htm who, IMO, has yet to achieve Wendy’s level of character linework (in any of his stuff, all of which I like), but has a thorough mastery of using digital hue and value effects to create mood and atmospheric perspective.
I am SO psyched to read more Elfquest, particularly anything drawn by Wendy, but I would love to see it reach its full visual potential, as it did in Wendy’s work on Hidden Years and Dreamtime. These are just my subjective opinions of course, and I hope they’re taken as honest critique and not invective. Much love to WaRP and many thanks for bringing some of my favorite characters back to life.
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