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Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 has DROPPED!

Leaves on the Wind

Leaves on the Wind

My fellow Browncoats, most if not all of you will know about this already. But for those of you who didn’t, be advised that Dark Horse Comics loves us and wants us to be happy.

Because behold: the first issue of the new Serenity: Leaves on the Wind series is out!

It should surprise exactly ZERO persons reading this that I bought the hell out of that as soon as I saw the link show up in my email. And when I got home tonight, I happily slurped the issue itself down onto my iPad. Picoreview: gorram hell it’s deeply, deeply shiny to see these characters again. 😀

The art’s acceptable, by which I mean everyone is recognizable. The overall style is nicely gritty without being blatant and distracting me from the actual story. And the story–well! It’s kicking in not long after the events of the movie, and we’re seeing straight out of the gate that the revelation of what happened on Miranda is NOT going over well to the general public. The Alliance is now looking very, VERY hard for the crew of our favorite Firefly-class freighter. And so is the ragtag brand new resistance group forming, who’ve gotten it into their heads that Malcolm Reynolds should be their leader. I can hear Mal facepalming from here, you guys.

Which is all I’m going to say about it, at least in this main post. I call open season on spoilers in the comments, though–so if you’ve read it and you want to squee, COME RIGHT IN and let your Browncoat flags fly!


For the first time in YEARS: New Elfquest!

Elfquest Special: The Final Quest

Elfquest Special: The Final Quest

Wow, it feels pretty damned awesome to be able to use the words “new Elfquest” again for the first time in years.

Fellow Elfquest fans, if you haven’t grabbed the new release, you should do so pronto. It’s not just the bit of prologue that the Pinis ran via Boing Boing a while back; it’s the whole version of that story, including the part that ran on Boing Boing but also proceeding past that as well to give us the full prologue for the story to come.

We see quite the span of time covered as well. A newer character born not terribly long ago (in terms of the last few bits of stories released) grows up and earns her tribe name. A brand new character is born and we see her grow up a bit too. We get followup with a LOT of characters, elfin AND human. And some Shit Goes Down that ends things on a truly poignant note, and there are some lovely and tragic panels in particular towards the end of the story. And we see one of the most stalwart and unchanging couples in Cutter’s tribe get shaken up, in an unexpected and real interesting way.

I also note one particular REAL interesting development that, now that this has been established as canon, would have made roleplay on Two Moons a LOT more amusing. It absolutely reminds me of a thing that userinfostickmaker did with a character of his, way back in the day even before I started MUSHing and was running an EQ game in Kentucky. Rod, if you’re reading this, you may well remember the thing I mean; just recall the fate of Ash. 😀

The new release is available digitally from Dark Horse, and I scarfed it right off their web site here. The print copy may be already available in comic stores near you, but you can also order it here.

Read the story yet, tribesmates? Talk to me in the comments! (If you HAVEN’T read it yet, beware the spoilers!)


I’d just like to take this opportunity to say SQUEE

I squeed about this on the social networks yesterday, but for those of you who may have missed it, Richard and Wendy Pini released the news that Dark Horse is going to be picking up publishing Elfquest! They linked up to this story on Comics Beat that has pertinent details!

Dark Horse is going to re-publish older material as well as start putting out the new stuff as well–the prologue bit that was recently serialized on Boing Boing, AND the new actual main story, “The Final Quest”, once it starts in earnest! And there will be print and digital releases!

This news fills with me HAPPY. And soon my iPad will be filled with ELFQUEST.

Because yeah, I have all the previously released print material, but I’ll adore having it in digital form as well. I know it’s been available to read for free for ages on (which is AWESOME), but that depends upon having a live Internet connection. And I do love the idea of having omics to read right on my iPad!

Plus: DARK HORSE! Who’ve been the main place I’ve been buying comics from at all, what with their excellent Buffy season 8 and season 9 series, as well as the stories they’ve done for the Firefly universe. They should be an excellent home for Elfquest and I am looking very much forward to giving them more of my money. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my own treatment of elf characters can trace the majority of its lineage right back to the Wolfriders and the Sun Folk, and I am over the moon that Elfquest is coming back to us again. 😀

About Me

My first Emerald City Comicon!

This past weekend, my household converged on Emerald City Comicon, along with a houseguest–a friend of mine who’d come all the way from Norway to visit us, and to attend the convention as well! (My poor friend came down with strep throat during his visit, but happily we got him treated beforehand, and liberal doses of antibiotics got him up to speed to be able to attend the convention. Otherwise there would have been SADNESS.)

Since this was my first Comicon of any kind, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m not a huge comics reader and never have been, with the gigantic exception of Elfquest. I don’t do superhero comics for the most part, though I have a history of dabbling in X-Men from way back in middle school. These days, I am actually doing a little bit of digital comics reading, but I’ve been focusing that on the Buffy season 8 and season 9 releases from Dark Horse, as well as their Firefly and Serenity stuff. And, I’ve been amusing myself with a Star Trek run of stories adapting TOS-era plotlines to use in the continuity of the new movies. There ARE a small number of webcomics I follow as well–xkcd, Kevin and Kell, and a lovely little thing called Fox Sister.

Mostly, though… I don’t follow the big storylines from Marvel or DC. Which makes me a bit sad. I love me some superheros, but I’m hugely alienated by the ongoing sexism of the art and the storylines. So I relate a lot better to superheros as they’re depicted in excellent animation like the wonderful years-long continuity that included the Batman, Superman, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited cartoons. I’ve been consistently entertained by the Marvel movie adaptations, for the most part. And as y’all know, I adored the Avengers.

So when I went through the exhibition floor at the con and saw an endless stream of female characters depicted with enormous breasts and spines twisted in angles that NOBODY WOULD EVER POSE IN EVER, all for the sake of showing off their breasts and their bottoms… all I could think was ‘yeah, mostly? This is not art intended for me‘. I was particularly sad to see one big-breasted depiction of Phoenix from the X-Men, and another of Wonder Woman with a thong so tiny she was practically nude. In both cases, the characters were depicted with dewy-eyed ‘can has sexytimes now pls?’ expressions.

Definitely not art for me.

Happily, though, there were shining exceptions to this. One was, of course, Wendy and Richard Pini’s presence at the con. Elfquest is hands down one of the most formative influence on me as a writer ever. When I had Kiri Moth do the Faerie Blood cover, in fact, I pointed her at images of Leetah and Rayek from Elfquest and told her, “Kendis looks like the child these two characters never had.” But even aside from what my brain always insists elves should look like, the values of tolerance upheld by the lead elf characters all throughout the history of the series peal through my heart. And some of the strongest female characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about have come straight out of the pages of this series.

(If you’re new to Elfquest, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s ALL available to be read for free on GO! Go look at the pretty!)

Wendy and Richard did an excellent panel about the history of the series and what we can expect from it in the future, and I happily leapt on the opportunity to not only let my friend Yngvar buy me an Elfquest shirt at the con, but to also order two more from the site now selling them. I also ordered from the Pinis a special hardback edition of one of Wendy’s non-Elfquest works, her SF adaptation of Masque of the Red Death. This, hands down, was the highlight of the con for me.

Here’s the shirt that Yngvar got me! This is a reworked version of a design I used to have on a pale orange shirt, which had the caption “To Hunt, to Howl, to Live Free”, as I recall. Here it’s been redone to be a Comicon exclusive, and I do admit to a bit of fangirly squee to see that Wolfrider with the Space Needle in the background!

To Hunt, to Howl, to Live Free (in Seattle)

To Hunt, to Howl, to Live Free (in Seattle)

That said, though, I did also find one other set of graphic novels I want to read–a three-part series called Anne Steelyard, authored by the well-respected Barbara Hambly! This thing’s supposed to be set in an Indiana-Jones-esque timeframe, only the lead character is in fact a woman. Looking forward to diving into this, too.

And we bought pretty prints of art inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, and Doctor Who. And we saw lots of awfully nifty costumes–especially my and Dara’s friend Torrey, a master-class costumer now who’s won awards at Worldcon. We found her wandering the con in her Prince Zuko costume, again from Avatar: The Last Airbender. 😀

I bought two other shirts as well–both of which were Han-Solo-themed. Just to show that there was merch at this thing Relevant to My Interests. ‘Cause seriously, this shirt? How could I NOT get this shirt?

The Most Scoundrelicious Shirt in the Universe

The Most Scoundrelicious Shirt in the Universe

All in all I think I still found more to relate to at ECCC than I have to date at PAX–and I’d consider doing a one-day jaunt to future cons. People who are more in comics than I am should definitely go.

ETA: Oh, right, duh, I totally forgot to mention the other actual panel I attended–the Q&A with Jhonen Vasquez, best known for being the mind behind Invader Zim, another longstanding favorite of my household. Vasquez turned out to be younger than I expected, but also hysterical–a bit of an asshole, but in a funny kind of way. He winged it through most of his panel, given that a lot of what he wanted to talk about he could not in fact do so until a later panel that should have come first, due to scheduling mixups.

Vasquez is apparently a bit weary of mostly everybody knowing him for Zim and nothing else, and isn’t shy about letting people know that. It was, however, fun to hear him talk passionately about the console games he likes, as well as discussing some of his other work.