Wendy Pini is most famous for Elfquest (above), but her artistic career spans fifty years of pop culture history, from weird lowbrow surrealism to yaoi pastiche. Line of Beauty isn't just a stunning art book covering decades in and beyond epic fantasy, but a powerful yet curiously tentative biography, drawing together threads from a childhood in the Californian sticks to the poisoned promises of Hollywood.
That it's so mysterious and unjudgmental (of her, at least) is most remarkable for the fact it was written by her husband, Richard Pini. His book is a crafty invitation to the worlds implied by her work, a mythos that seems misty and intangible even as its details take shape.
Born 1951, Wendy was a talent from early childhood, and we learn of the tensions and inspirations that flowed through her to emerge as a personal Elfame: adoptive parents whose emotional abuses hover on the margins of trauma; childhood obsessions and contrasts; and encounters with what were then rare oddities in rural America—manga, weird cartoons, the deeper magics of European and Japanese folklore—which she consumed voraciously.
Richard's access to private artwork and private fact far exceeds what a researcher might get to, but flags his story right off as both authorized and intimate. But while uncritical, the narrative stops short of hagiography: there's much evidence of unexpected turns and some evidence of friction in its creation. The focus is on Wendy's deep fascination with Hogarthian serpentine structures and sequential art (hence the title), and her artistic motivation and development. Read the rest
In my spare time, when I'm not protecting wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation or guest-blogging for Animal Planet and here at Boing Boing, I'm also the co-host of a podcast called The Elfquest Show, about one of America's longest-running fantasy series, with my fellow uber-geek Ryan Browne.
I was lucky enough to sit down with series' creators Wendy and Richard Pini to record this interview for the show. We talked about the events of the latest Elfquest story arc called The Final Quest, the difference in fan reactions today versus 36 years ago when the series premiered, and a lot of other juicy tidbits.
If you're an existing Elfquest fan, or are just curious about the series, give it a listen.
After it looked like all hopes for a feature based on Richard and Wendy Pini's beloved graphic novel series Elfquest were gone, news has broken that producers Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes have acquired the film rights and are moving forward with development. If those names sound familiar, it's because they are the pair behind the live-action short, Elfquest: A Fan Imagining, which has been making the convention rounds and can be found on YouTube. An Elfquest movie had been in the works for a while, but was seemingly dead when Warner Bros. dropped it, claiming they didn't want to compete with The Hobbit.
And in case you weren't already aware, Boing Boing runs new Elfquest strips every Monday! Here is the most recent installment, "The Palace Disguised." You can also find all the strips in convenient post form here.
(via Spinoff Online)