Publishers WeeklyThis near-definitive edition collects the Pinis' classic tale of elves struggling to survive in a hostile world. Exploding off the page in lurid, Technicolor splendor, the art should enthrall a new generation of pixie lovers. Originally published in the 1970s, ElfQuest chronicles the adventures of a forest-dwelling tribe of elves forced from their homes by evil humans. After encountering some duplicitous trolls, the band of refugees makes its way across the wilderness and finds another, previously unknown tribe of elves. The perils of the trip and the integration of the two tribes make for all sorts of dramatic tableaux. The woodland elves, who are hunters, ride wolves and court danger, while the desert elves are civilized townsfolk with elaborate social customs. The conflict is embodied in Cutter (a wolf rider) and Leetah (a desert healer); it isn't surprising that the two are destined to be together. Perhaps more unexpected is the irrepressible sexuality of these elves. Every elf female has the figure of a petite Playboy playmate, while the elfin males resemble diminutive body builders. With such fabulous looks, it's no shocker that they enjoy scampering into each other's beds at every opportunity, although this is hardly the tale's central point. Rather, the Pinis focus on how their elven archetypes-the dreamer, the hero, the earth mother-interact and change as their world faces upheaval. Subtle it ain't, but it's fun, and the series has captured a loyal following in its 25-year history. Some new readers may even decide this confection of swirling color and masterful brushwork merits the hefty price tag. (Dec. 2003) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalFirst published in 1978, this wonderful, compelling, mythical fantasy was a pioneering work: one of the first manga-influenced American comics and the first GN series to find success in mainstream bookstores. For years, the classic, early Elfquest books have been available only in black-and-white paperback editions, but now DC is reprinting them in the "Archives" series, with the lettering and coloring completely redone (and much improved) by Pini. This book reprints the series' original first volume, Fire and Flight, along with a story from 1998. The saga stars the Wolfriders, a tribe of elves who are driven from their home in the forest by humans and forced to make a dangerous trek through the desert, where they find, for the first time in their history, other elves like themselves. The only complaint is that the artwork has been reduced. DC is also publishing these stories in black and white in a series of manga-sized books beginning with The Grand Quest: Vol. 1, but this impressive color hardcover is the way to go for all but the most cash-strapped libraries. Essential for every GN collection. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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