Elfquest is a comic series created in 1978 by Wendy and Richard Pini, written jointly with art by Wendy. Some other writers and artists have also contributed, and there also have been prose stories by other writers, but the core of the series has always been the Pinis' own stories.
- 1979-1984 - the first ElfQuest series was self-published by the Pinis' company WaRP Graphics
- 1985-1988 - Marvel Comics published a colorized version of the first ElfQuest series.
- 1987-1988 - Apple Comics published the ElfQuest: Siege At Blue Mountain mini-series.
- 2003-2007 - ElfQuest was published by DC Comics.
Many of the most prominent furry artists of the 1990s, such as Terrie Smith, Daphne Lage and Tygger Graf belonged to the Elfquest fandom or can otherwise point to Wendy Pini as a major stylistic influence. Other artists with a noteworthy Elfquest influence include Marci McAdam, Tim Johnson and Steve Carter.
Though Elfquest doesn't feature what would normally be considered furry characters, it shares and is possibly responsible for introducing many ideas popular in furry art and fiction: protagonists who are close to nature and are able to communicate with animals (some of them actually possess wolf blood); an enormous emphasis on empathy and sentimentality; names such as "Petalwing," "Clearbrook," or "Moonshade" that combine two nature- or color-oriented words into one; the use of human beings as antagonistic characters; and a predilection for mystical, nativist imagery.
- Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
The Wolfriders, a group of elves allied with a wolf pack on the Earthlike World of Two Moons, are persecuted by paleolithic humans who burn them out of their forest home, forcing them to seek refuge elsewhere. Over the course of numerous adventures they have various encounters, both friendly and hostile, with humans, trolls and other elf tribes, eventually discovering that they are the descendants of immortal, space-travelling aliens who kept the trolls as servants.
All of the elf tribes in the story possess some affinity with animals. The desert-dwelling Sun Folk domesticate camel-like zwoots as beasts of burden; the decadent Gliders use giant hawks for hunting; and the Go-Back elves of the frozen tundra domesticate reindeer. But the Wolfriders' relationship with their wolves goes much deeper. One of the original alien settlers actually shapeshifted herself into a wolf and mated with the alpha male of a pack; the resultant offspring, half-wolf and half-elf, was the first Wolfrider chief and literal father of his people. Since then all Wolfriders have possessed wolf blood, giving them finite lifespans but greatly-enhanced senses and a close affinity with nature.
- Elfquest wiki list of ElfQuest publications, sorted by year
- Grand Comic Database list of ElfQuest series, sorted by year