Magical Mondays: What’s In A Name?

Call me old fashioned, but I love fairy tale tropes. And after reading Luce’s post on the evolution of Sleeping Beauty’s narrative, it got me thinking about a certain trope that’s been a part of many of my favorite stories. When we speak of names, we tend to make only the base association between the word and the object. People think of me when they say my name, and Beyoncé when they think of her name, but neither of us would lose any of our intrinsic value if we happened to be named something different. Even one of the most famous lines concerning names—“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”—seems to deny the importance of names altogether. Yet fairy tales have argued that names are indeed important, and now even modern day fiction has joined in the crusade.

Another thing these kids from fair Verona didn't understand.

Another thing these kids from fair Verona didn’t understand.

Continue reading

An ‘ElfQuest’ Movie? Be Still, My Beating Heart

Earlier this week—Monday to be exact—my secret love for the comic series Elfquest finally became known to the public. However, thanks to the ever-watchful Lady Saika, now I have something more to fangirl over! Despite the idea for an Elfquest movie being continuously shot down by larger studios like Warner Bros., two wonderful independent producers, Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes, have taken it upon themselves to make this long awaited dream a reality.

Their trailer (posted below) not only shows some beautiful costume work and settings, but also that these ladies have a great appreciation for Wendy Pini’s series. Almost every scene they’ve choreographed I can match exactly to a scene from the series meaning that they know what they’re doing. I’m a little disappointed that, while the Elfquest ladies certainly are badass and deserving of all screentime, we don’t get to see what the dudes look like. However, if the interpretations of Leetah and Clearbrook are anything to go by, I have no worries. And that Winnowill is perfect.

Although the public will most likely have to wait several years before this fantasy hits reality, it will be well worth it to finally see them in all their glory on the big screen.

Read the full article here via The Mary Sue.

Manga Mondays: The Pini’s Legacy

As Halloween departs, winter begins to set in, and while this brings forth images of snow and holidays for some, it means one thing for me: being sick until spring. It’s happened for many, many years so I’ve come to expect it by now, but I have a special cure or at least something that makes me feel better. From as long as I can remember, every time I had to stay home from classes I always read my mother’s Elfquest comics, and for some reason that seemed to do the trick. I wouldn’t exactly call Elfquest a manga, but I do believe it was an important step in getting the graphic novel to be the respected medium it is this day and even bringing an early light to Japanese animation and manga.

Reaching all the way back to the late 70’s, Wendy and Richard Pini’s cult classic focuses mostly on one tribe of elves, the Wolfriders, and their tribe leader, Cutter. In their history, it is said that the Wolfriders are born with the blood of wolves coursing through their veins. As such they’re able to tame wolves and adopt them not only as pets, but as family members. After their forest home is destroyed, the Wolfriders head off to seek a new home only to find that the lush lands they had been promised by the trolls that were ‘helping’ them are anything but. Faced with endless desert in front of them, the Wolfriders continue on for days until they run across another tribe of elves, the Sun Folk. Closer to the ways of their ancestors, the High Ones (eight alien-like beings who were the genesis of all elves), these desert dwellers offer not only safe haven, but also conflict to the deep-rooted ways of the forest folk.

Of course, this is only the first two volumes. Later on, they go on to find a couple more tribes of elves—there are only about four or five total in Pini’s verse—travel through time in a way that doesn’t make me cringe, deal with a full out war, romance, drama, the list goes on. However, I’m going to be honest here: I have not read any of the newer stuff. My knowledge of this series goes right up to Bedtime Stories (which is more of an anthology of new, previous, and other stories that have no bearing on the over-reaching plot), but in everything I’ve heard the good things about the later issues have been few and far-between. Certainly looking at the Wikipedia entry leads to a much more confusing universe than what I left on and it’s somewhat uninviting.

Also, some people may find some of Pini’s elven culture a little uncomfortable. While most of it fits under normal fantasy, the issue of romance is completely new. In this verse, the ability to have children is called being ‘recognized’ and to initiate this one must know their partner’s soul name—a name that is barely ever spoken, only known through their hearts. It can be as simple as just telling your partner your soul-name. But it’s not always that simple, and the issues it can cause are shown in the very first story arc. When the Wolfriders arrive in the Sun Folk’s village, their healer, Leetah, immediately realizes Cutter’s soul name. The problem is that Leetah wants nothing to do with him and ignores the feelings that this recognition brings. This causes her to become ill until she finally accepts it. The idea that some outside force thrusts love upon you and that it will always work for the better in the end doesn’t sit well with me. However, the delicacy and respect that other relationships in the series are dealt with really is quite impressive. Never have I seen a polyamorous relationship that was drama-free and quite so touching.

If you feel like taking a dip back in time, the series in its entirety is on the internet for free (legally) on Elfquest’s official site. The art is gorgeous and every colored page really grabs your attention, many of the characters are compelling, and I’m certain that you’ll have a favorite from the headstrong Rayek to the intelligent Savah. Check it out here!