Elfquest Left DC Over Merchandise, Film

At the end of May came word that Wendy and Richard Pini ended their deal for DC to publish Elfquest, their long-running fantasy series. PW found out why:

“We wanted to get into DC’s camp because this would put Warner Brothers and all their movie contacts and licensing ability behind us… While they were putting out superb book product, they were not putting any effort to license toy products and statues and certainly no move at all toward TV and film,” [Wendy Pini] said.

Combined with the news that Tokyopop signed with William Morris “for film, television, digital, merchandising, and game development”, it all makes me wonder… doesn’t anyone just want to do comics any more? I guess not, since Wendy now states, “We have gone just about as far as we possibly can with Elfquest in the comics medium.”

I’m afraid to think of what kids given Elfquest toys might do, given some of the romance storylines I remember, but no one really plays with the toys these days anyway. At least the Pinis now appear to be getting more of what they wanted, with Dark Horse doing Elfquest statues. Has there been word on how they plan on keeping the books in print?

In the comments thread for my previous post on this subject, Layla Lawlor notes

I just keep being amazed at the Pinis’ marketing savvy and chutzpah. How many successful self-publishers would have had the guts to do what they did — turn their baby over to DC? And apparently, they managed to do so with generous enough terms that now they’re getting the rights back.

Which is true and should be noted. They control their property, and they see a big company good only for making large-scale deals with resources and connections they don’t have. Too bad DC fell down on that end of it… assuming they knew that that was expected.

6 Responses to “Elfquest Left DC Over Merchandise, Film”

  1. Jeff Says:

    While I absolutely, positively agree with your “doesn’t anyone just want to do comics anymore?” comment, I think it’s worth noting that the Pinis have been doing Elfquest for*ever*. Elfquest isn’t like one of those graphic novels that’s a thinly disguised movie pitch; it was the real deal. I kinda can’t blame them for wanting to get a big paycheck out of their intellectual property.

    And in a world where the Lord of the Rings trilogy grossed over a billion dollars, I’m kinda surprised they haven’t gotten one yet…

  2. Carla Speed McNeil Says:

    They WERE the real deal. Back when rocks were soft and Sting was innovative. I can still see the kid I was when I loved that book if I stand someplace high and peer… but there are many, many things I loved at that age (and younger) that I still love. They stopped watering that plant a hell of a long time ago.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Jeff, true, true, I can’t blame anyone for trying to cash out after decades. Your last point also makes me wonder why DC couldn’t more effectively capitalize on Books of Magic.

  4. James Schee Says:

    In regards to BOM, I remember reading a Gaimon interview recently discussing it and HP. (which he says is not a ripoff)

    It seems that they had planned to have a cover with Tim and an owl on the cover. Yet it got killed because TW was just releasing one of the HP movies. And someone upstairs thought it would cause an embarrasing conflict in the company.

  5. Bongop Says:

    Very bad to me… I’m from Portugal and i’m buying Elfquest Archives, and probabily that edition will stop whith this developements…
    So sorry

  6. Read All of Elfquest Online for Free » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] 1996, when the publications collapsed into one anthology. Much of the material was reprinted by DC Comics from 2003-2007. Nothing has been in print since; it’s now all online. […]




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