The Weird of Wendy Pini
October 3, 2018 8:49 PM   Subscribe

A biographical sketch of Wendy Pini The life and work of Wendy Pini, co-creator and illustrator of ElfQuest and occasional Red Sonja Actress(!) - from the pre-elf days to the recent completion of the quest. content warning: some references to abuse and death
posted by Sparx (7 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, great article.

I spent a lot of time reading Elfquest in the '80s and still have a dogeared copy of issue 20 somewhere in my parents attic. I never went to any cons, never got to see or meet Wendy and Richard, although it seems that they were very accessible. To see all the suffering she went through with her family life, her estranged brother that she finally reconnects with really hits home to me. I wish the both of them the utmost success, and I'd like to thank them for giving this kid a chance to enter their world.
posted by Sphinx at 9:36 PM on October 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've been wanting to put together an ElfQuest post ever since the Final Quest series wrapped up this summer, but I've always failed because nothing I could write could possibly encompass everything that is ElfQuest.

But I present Wendy Pini talking with Cutter and Skywise, from the late 90's. (Six pages, click the triangle on the right to continue.)
posted by one for the books at 12:42 AM on October 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Man, what an incredible article. Thanks!
posted by selfnoise at 6:41 AM on October 4, 2018

I discovered Elfquest in the early 80s, when I was in elementary school, and my parents used to take me to Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis and just let me wander around for a few hours to pick out piles of used books to buy.

I was really into it for years, collecting the new black and white issues, as well as the colored collection until partly through high school, when I got to be too "punk rock" and "cool" for goofy elf shit. (See my recent comment elsewhere about being sooo Gen X.)

Later, as a freshman in college, I got back into comics through the Hernandez Bro's Love and Rockets.

I really did love Elfquest so very much for so many years.

Paul Levitz, longtime president of DC Comics, admitted in 2014 that Wendy’s Sonja cosplay still colored the business’s perception of her success, even after she had sold millions of books.

“It limited the level of respect you received by peers”, he told her.

“That was well over 30 years ago!” Wendy replied, stunned.

Jesus. Can't win for losing with these fuckos. I had a "scripted for TV" moment with an Elfquest comic. I was in junior high, or early high school and had stopped into our neighborhood elementary school to walk my little sister home. I was reading the newest issue of Elfquest and waiting in the coat cubby room for her class (MN!) to get out when a little boy approached me and asked what I was reading. I showed him and as I was going to say a little about it, he interrupted me to sneer, "Girls don't read comics!!"

I have been a burning little feminist since I was 4 years old and I'm so happy I had works of art like Elfquest to nourish me and keep me company though my life journey. I'm happy to hear she had successful surgery to help with her pain and that she's still creating.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:38 AM on October 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

Unemployed and hungry, I had to sell my ElfQuest issues recently. Broke my heart. I would consume ElfQuest, Tin Tin, and Ajax at the local library back in the 80's. The poor and lonely little boy I was thanks you, libraries!
posted by Brocktoon at 12:56 PM on October 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh wow I'm going to need to read this again a few times. There have been a few anniversary / ending posts floating around but this really gets into it.
posted by xiw at 12:59 PM on October 4, 2018

Great article. I remember finding an ElfQuest collection at the bookstore when I was a kid in the 90s. Graphic novels weren't really my thing at the time, but something about it piqued my interest and I bought a copy. I never read any more than the one, but I enjoyed it, and the way it treated gender equality and healthy eroticism I think was formative for my pre-teen developing feminism. It's really nice to learn more about the woman behind it.
posted by biogeo at 6:36 PM on October 4, 2018

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