The Complete Elfquest is a mammoth graphic novel collecting the entire original series, as self-published by Wendy and Richard Pini from 1978-1985. Rob Beschizza sums up what's so great about it.

At just $20, it's a 700-page steal: if you're familiar with this amazing (and strange) fantasy epic, you now have the original all in one volume. If you're not, go buy it already.

The best part, for me, was getting to intro it—at short notice. There was no time for essays, but that only helped me get right to the point about why I love this fantastic, otherworldly mirror-place so. The text follows, in lieu of a review.


Elfquest is the longest-running indie fantasy series in America, exquisitely spun from sources western and eastern, spiritual and secular.

Elfquest is a story about cute elves living in the forest.

Elfquest is a story about savage, wolf-riding demons that corrupt God's green land, doing stuff your parents would never guess at by looking at the cover.

It is a story about an inexperienced leader's desperate effort to save his people, his tribe, his family. The failures of every venerated ancestor rest in his heart.

Elfquest is about winning out over ignorance, the awareness of one's own capacity for knowledge.

Elfquest is about life, love and the pursuit not of happiness, but of peace–and power.

Elfquest is about death's final calm, lurking beyond the last comforting shadow of dawn. It's the blood on the leaves, telling you not only that one you love is gone forever, but that all that you are has dwindled yet again, closing inexorably to zero.

It is about infinity, the stars' own time.

Elfquest is about the now, the sharp intake of breath, the fight and the fire.

Elfquest is the strength that drives us to embrace the otherness within ourselves and those we know.

Elfquest is weakness, the unmoderated hopes and dreams that lead us to despair and ruin.

The message of this story is change. Find strength in growth, in the aspirations that leads us to the truth.

Elfquest's unintended admonition: hide. Sing quietly, lest the spirit that guides it come to harm.

Elfquest is paradox, the first dawn and the final sunset.

It's escapist fluff. Just look at those hairstyles!

Elfquest is the rebirth of utopian fantasy, the antitode to way, way too much Tolkien.

Elfquest is a silly girl's book that any self-respecting comic book guy will tell you was, like, ahead of its time back in the 70s, but totally doesn't hold up now.

It's that whisper

the susurration

        maybe just the high wind in the trees

inviting you somewhere dangerous


The Complete Elfquest Volume 1 [Amazon]