If the illuminating fantasy realm of Elfquest is a shining shard of your comics life, the name Wendy Pini should strike a major chord of recognition as the versatile manga-inspired artist has been the heart of the property since its inception 40 years ago.
Elfquest is considered by many to be America's first manga and was created by Pini and her husband, Richard, and debuted in February 1978 in Fantasy Quarterly before continuing as a self-published comic for 25 years. Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse Comics have all carried the Elfquest titles in various incarnations over the past 15 years.
In the most recent issue, Eflquest: The Final Quest, released this past February, Cutter's heroic journey has ended and to mark that occasion, Pini sketches the iconic epic fantasy character for us. One of his most distinctive features is the Chief's Lock, designating him as a descendant of chiefs and the leader of the tribe. Being a character of action, Pini enjoys placing dynamic shapes around the charismatic Wolfrider to provide a sensation of movement.
SYFY WIRE had the pleasure of watching the veteran artist draw Cutter and heard what her inspirations were as the character evolved over the decades, what she learned from Jack "King" Kirby, learning Japanese "manga speak," developing a distinctive signature, and the many rewards of her long career as a cartoonist.
Additional material by Jeff Spry.