Feb 11, 2015

Elfquest

When I was an undergrad at Augustana College in the early 1980s, the Bookstore Gang was all wild over Elfquest, a comic book series created by Richard and Wendy Pini in 1978, and still going on in various incarnations.  It is popular for cosplay today.

Combining heroic fantasy with science fiction, it was set on an alien planet with two moons, where spacefaring Elves settled thousands of years ago.  They now co-exist, sort of, with tribes of evil Trolls, insect-like Preservers, and humans.











The main character in the beginning was a Wolfrider Elf named Cutter, son of tribal chiefs Bearclaw and Joyleaf, who must lead his people to safety when their home is destroyed.  He also finds a "Partner in Recognition" in Letah of the Sun Folk,   Later other characters took center stage, a cast of thousands in stories extending over tens of thousands of years.  It became very complicated, and I lost track.

All of the Elves were drawn as pretty and androgynous -- you could distinguish the men only by their bare chests, with the muscular pecs of teen idols.  And they had sex a lot -- a tumble on the grass at the drop of a kilt became a mainstay of the series.  But, at least in the comics I read in college, all of the tumbling and romance were strictly heterosexual.



I hear that some later storylines included same-sex romances, and Wendy Pini stated that "all of the Elves are bisexual."  But Augustana, they only contributed to the erasure of gay people from the world.