Project Description

RICHARD PINI

Richard Pini was born in New Haven, Connecticut. In high school, he demonstrated a decided leaning toward science, and astronomy in particular. A graduate of M.I.T., he parlayed his degree in astrophysics into a career as a lecturer, photographer, scriptwriter, and special effects technician for the Boston Hayden Planetarium. He later became director (and sole employee) of a high school planetarium, and doubled as the school’s only astronomy teacher. By then he and Wendy, his wife, had already begun their foray into independent comics, when she suggested to him that they might try their own hand at publishing an idea she’d had for a while. So in 1977, he and Wendy formed their own company, Warp Graphics (an acronym from Wendy and Richard Pini), for the purpose of launching a small press comic book called Elfquest.

While Elfquest was still in its early stages, he became a systems programmer for IBM. While the job was a very well-paying and secure one, Elfquest was beginning to demonstrate the success in the burgeoning comics direct market that would ultimately require full-time management, as well as his already part-time creative contributions. Even though Elfquest was conceived as a fantasy saga, both Wendy and Richard realized that grounding it within plausible real-world parameters could lend it a much more realistic feeling; it became Richard’s job to provide that scientific underpinning.

In 1981, Richard made the decision to leave IBM and devote his full time to the co-plotting, editing, publishing, and marketing of the Elfquest comics and

WENDY PINI

Wendy Pini was born Wendy Fletcher in San Francisco. Growing up on an isolated ranch in Gilroy, California, Wendy’s imagination was fueled by all forms of fantasy and mythology. At an early age she began spinning her own tales of elves, monkey-gods, aliens and sorcerers. While her artistic talents were influenced by of turn-of-the-century illustrators, film and TV animation, her storytelling abilities evolved from a love of Shakespeare, Japanese history and legend, modern fantasy and the epic poetry of the Ramayana.

Largely self-educated Wendy began exhibiting her artwork in fanzines and at science fiction conventions in the mid 1960s, garnering awards and recognition. In 1972 she married Richard Pini and in 1974 she began her professional career as an illustrator for science fiction magazines such as “Galaxy,” “Galileo,”and “Worlds of If.”

In 1977, a deeply personal project called ELFQUEST was born. As the first continuing fantasy/adventure graphic novel series in America to be co-created, written and illustrated by a woman, ELFQUEST became a phenomenon in the comics industry. Appealing to comics and sci-fi/fantasy fans alike, it attracted a unique and unprecedented audience, an equal mix of male and female readers. Over three million copies of the collected graphic novel volumes have been sold to date.

For Wendy, ELFQUEST has been an ongoing labor of love for over two decades. With husband/editor/facilitator Richard, she has scripted, drawn and painted many ELFQUEST graphic novels, co-written and illustrated prose novelizations, produced calendars, portfolios and art prints and provided cover art for the ELFQUEST related anthology series “Blood of Ten Chiefs.”

In the late 1980s Wendy wrote and illustrated two critically praised graphic novels based on the cult hit TV series “Beauty and the Beast.” In addition, she supplied the text and illustrations for “Law and Chaos,” an art book inspired by the writings of Michael Moorcock. Wendy has also done work for Marvel Comics, First Comics, Comico, “Frazetta Fantasy Illustrated” magazine, and DC Comics.

Since the mid 1990s Wendy has co-written the screenplay for a full-length animated feature based on ELFQUEST. She has also created pre-production art and character model charts. 

Most recently, Wendy spent four years on a massive project that could be considered the shadow-side of Elfquest: a dark, dystopic, futuristic remaining of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death.” Running to nearly 400 pages, this graphic novel has won critical acclaim and is now being developed into a theatrical stage production.

graphic novels. By the mid-1980s, Elfquest had grown as a property to include novelizations, prose anthologies, figurines and games; solely through the direct market, the comic was outselling some of Marvel and DC’s own superhero titles. As Elfquest continued to grow, Richard realized that it might support more than a single bimonthly title, and began seeking other creative minds to join the Warp “family.” Known as one of the comics industry’s toughest editors, Richard lent a guiding hand to over a dozen writers and artists who, during the 1990s and early 2000s, contributed to the Elfquest universe. At its peak in the late 1990s, Warp Graphics offered from 8-10 monthly titles, all within the Elfquest line.

In 1994, he became involved with the creation of the first web site dedicated to a single comic book title or company, www.elfquest.com. (Previously, comics publishers used gateways such as AOL to showcase their titles.) Just as he had self-learned the art and science of publishing from the ground up, so he also taught himself the various coding languages and techniques to add webmaster to his job description. In 2008, he began a year-long project to deliver every Elfquest comic book story – nearly 7000 pages – digitally online to readers for free, an unheard of gesture then as now. Today, he still helps in the creation and development of new Elfquest stories, while overseeing the various licenses and projects in what has grown into a full-fledged franchise.

Richard Pini was born in New Haven, Connecticut. In high school, he demonstrated a decided leaning toward science, and astronomy in particular. A graduate of M.I.T., he parlayed his degree in astrophysics into a career as a lecturer, photographer, scriptwriter, and special effects technician for the Boston Hayden Planetarium. He later became director (and sole employee) of a high school planetarium, and doubled as the school’s only astronomy teacher. By then he and Wendy, his wife, had already begun their foray into independent comics, when she suggested to him that they might try their own hand at publishing an idea she’d had for a while. So in 1977, he and Wendy formed their own company, Warp Graphics (an acronym from Wendy and Richard Pini), for the purpose of launching a small press comic book called Elfquest.

While Elfquest was still in its early stages, he became a systems programmer for IBM. While the job was a very well-paying and secure one, Elfquest was beginning to demonstrate the success in the burgeoning comics direct market that would ultimately require full-time management, as well as his already part-time creative contributions. Even though Elfquest was conceived as a fantasy saga, both Wendy and Richard realized that grounding it within plausible real-world parameters could lend it a much more realistic feeling; it became Richard’s job to provide that scientific underpinning.

In 1981, Richard made the decision to leave IBM and devote his full time to the co-plotting, editing, publishing, and marketing of the Elfquest comics and

Wendy Pini was born Wendy Fletcher in San Francisco. Growing up on an isolated ranch in Gilroy, California, Wendy’s imagination was fueled by all forms of fantasy and mythology. At an early age she began spinning her own tales of elves, monkey-gods, aliens and sorcerers. While her artistic talents were influenced by of turn-of-the-century illustrators, film and TV animation, her storytelling abilities evolved from a love of Shakespeare, Japanese history and legend, modern fantasy and the epic poetry of the Ramayana.

Largely self-educated Wendy began exhibiting her artwork in fanzines and at science fiction conventions in the mid 1960s, garnering awards and recognition. In 1972 she married Richard Pini and in 1974 she began her professional career as an illustrator for science fiction magazines such as “Galaxy,” “Galileo,”and “Worlds of If.”

In 1977, a deeply personal project called ELFQUEST was born. As the first continuing fantasy/adventure graphic novel series in America to be co-created, written and illustrated by a woman, ELFQUEST became a phenomenon in the comics industry. Appealing to comics and sci-fi/fantasy fans alike, it attracted a unique and unprecedented audience, an equal mix of male and female readers. Over three million copies of the collected graphic novel volumes have been sold to date.

For Wendy, ELFQUEST has been an ongoing labor of love for over two decades. With husband/editor/facilitator Richard, she has scripted, drawn and painted many ELFQUEST graphic novels, co-written and illustrated prose novelizations, produced calendars, portfolios and art prints and provided cover art for the ELFQUEST related anthology series “Blood of Ten Chiefs.”

In the late 1980s Wendy wrote and illustrated two critically praised graphic novels based on the cult hit TV series “Beauty and the Beast.” In addition, she supplied the text and illustrations for “Law and Chaos,” an art book inspired by the writings of Michael Moorcock. Wendy has also done work for Marvel Comics, First Comics, Comico, “Frazetta Fantasy Illustrated” magazine, and DC Comics.

Since the mid 1990s Wendy has co-written the screenplay for a full-length animated feature based on ELFQUEST. She has also created pre-production art and character model charts. 

Most recently, Wendy spent four years on a massive project that could be considered the shadow-side of Elfquest: a dark, dystopic, futuristic remaining of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death.” Running to nearly 400 pages, this graphic novel has won critical acclaim and is now being developed into a theatrical stage production.

graphic novels. By the mid-1980s, Elfquest had grown as a property to include novelizations, prose anthologies, figurines and games; solely through the direct market, the comic was outselling some of Marvel and DC’s own superhero titles. As Elfquest continued to grow, Richard realized that it might support more than a single bimonthly title, and began seeking other creative minds to join the Warp “family.” Known as one of the comics industry’s toughest editors, Richard lent a guiding hand to over a dozen writers and artists who, during the 1990s and early 2000s, contributed to the Elfquest universe. At its peak in the late 1990s, Warp Graphics offered from 8-10 monthly titles, all within the Elfquest line.

In 1994, he became involved with the creation of the first web site dedicated to a single comic book title or company, www.elfquest.com. (Previously, comics publishers used gateways such as AOL to showcase their titles.) Just as he had self-learned the art and science of publishing from the ground up, so he also taught himself the various coding languages and techniques to add webmaster to his job description. In 2008, he began a year-long project to deliver every Elfquest comic book story – nearly 7000 pages – digitally online to readers for free, an unheard of gesture then as now. Today, he still helps in the creation and development of new Elfquest stories, while overseeing the various licenses and projects in what has grown into a full-fledged franchise.