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Timeless Fantasy And Indie Innovation: Wendy & Richard Pini On 36 Years Of ‘Elfquest’ [Interview]

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When Wendy and Richard Pini released the first issue of Elfquest in 1978, the landscape of the comic industry was wildly different. The "direct market" model of retailing was still in its infancy, with a loose network of regional companies distributing titles to comic shops around the country, and there was a sharp divide (in both content and style) between the mainstream superhero titles of Marvel and DC, and the adult-themed "comix" from underground publishers. Star Wars was a pop culture sensation, and the public was hungry for more adventure, seeking out all manner of sci-fi and fantasy in theaters and bookstores.

It was the perfect moment for Elfquest to appear, and almost immediately, the Pinis had a best-selling comic on their hands. Within a few years, they sparked a second revolution, collecting Elfquest in a series of full-color paperbacks that pioneered the influx of comics into mainstream bookstores, and effectively laid the groundwork for the graphic novel market.

Now, 36 years later, they're still working on their signature creations, and have partnered with Dark Horse to publish a new series, Elfquest: The Final Quest, as well as new collections of the original series and a special "Gallery Edition," shot from the original artwork. ComicsAlliance got the chance to catch up with them at the Dark Horse booth at San Diego Comic-Con, and discuss how Elfquest has impacted the world of comics, both creatively and business-wise.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Guardians of the Galaxy

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Guardians of the Galaxy #1 hits stores today, a new series by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven that hopes to boost the profile of Marvel's space-faring super-team ahead of next summer's movie release, so that when your non-comics friends ask you, "Who are these Guardians of the Galaxy?", you don't answer, "the who-dians of the what-now?"

But... who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? They're actually talking owls from a series of fantasy novels about... no, sorry, my editor is telling me that is not correct. Let's see... the series tells the story of Jack Frost, Santa Claus, the Sandman and... no, I'm getting another note here, hang on... A talking raccoon and a tree? That can't be right.

If you're feeling a little confused, don't panic! ComicsAlliance is here to tell you everything you need to know about the Gladiators of the Gridiron! And then some.

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