One on One with comics legend Wendy Pini

Reproduced with permission from Giant Fire Breathing Robot, as published June 1, 2010

The first day of Fanime 2010 held many wondrous things – Cosplay, Gaming, Dweeb as Kule, Comics, Cthulhu themed tshirts and a million-and-one references to Fooly Cooly. But the most wondrous thing was yet to come! While wandering Artist Alley, we moseyed up to a booth with banners for Elfquest and Masque of the Red Death, as well as a lovely woman sitting in front of them. Well, hell, I like the idea of a graphic version of Poe’s short story. And a beautiful woman to boot?!? I’m not passing THAT combo up! I mean, really?!?

So, we approach the woman and it turned out that she was Wendy Pini, the creator and artist herself. We got to talking to Ms. Pini and she offered to do an interview with us. No?!? Really?! Epic Freakin’ Score! EPIC!!

Anyway, we had to gather hardware and questions and stuff so we came back on Saturday for our EXCLUSIVE podcast interview with Wendy Pini! So AWESOME! I’m. Totally. NOT. Spazzing out. Totally. Not.

Wendy was warm, and welcoming, and open, and genuine, and beautiful, and she still looks just like Red Sonja should! [Don’t know what Red Sonja has to do with Wendy Pini? Listen to our podcast to find out. – Ed.] We had a great time talking with her about Elfquest and Masque and her brother and Yaoi, and female empowerment and…well…just everything. It was awesome!

One of the biggest bits of info she shared with us was about Elfquest the MOVIE! I know, right?! A movie! OK, so the scoop is that the script was JUST handed to Warner Brothers a few days ago. Rawson Marshall Thurber is on board as the screenwriter and director. You might know him as the writer/director of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (which totally rocked) AND he is a lifelong Elfquest fan, which really really rocks since big fans tend to be more truthful to the original work (e.g. Jackson + Lord of the Rings).

I spoke with Ms. Pini further via email regarding the movie format, (live action? animated?) and she advised:

“We’ve been given the strong impression that, now that Avatar has proved such a success, the Elfquest movie will be approached in a similar fashion.”

OMG! Hope! Hope! Hope!!

As far as the current thoughts on casting:

“Casting will be up to Rawson, but he is open to Richard’s and my suggestions. Leonardo DiCaprio has been suggested for Cutter because Leo still has a light, boyish voice even though he’s older. (Interesting side note: Leonardo’s dad was a comic book distributor in Elfquest’s early days and he handled our books.) But back to casting: so far nothing has been decided. It’s much too early.”

Leo? Really? Ok. I’m open to it. I mean, did you see him in Shutter Island? He was great! Really!

Ms. Pini also shared her concerns about large press comic book companies and the female dollar – which is something that does or should concern most female nerds. In my opinion nearly all female characters are either extensions of their male counterparts/partners or are prototypical Freudian expressions of the Mother/Whore. Just don’t get me started. Really. But some smaller presses seem to get it more. Maybe because they are more open to female artists and female executive staff. I dunno – and neither does Ms. Pini. But it is good to hear some of the same trepidation that I have in someone so knowledgeable.

I sent Ms. Pini a thank you letter after our interview and it looked something like this:

Dear Ms. Pini:
You are my hero and I wanna be you when I grow up. Would you be my best friend?
I think she will say yes.

© 2009 Giant Fire Breathing Robot. All Rights Reserved.

About Masque

On a futuristic earth-type world, in the vast, technologically overrun megalopolis of SIVARSI 9, citizens live what seems to be a utopian existence. But Anton “Prince” Prosper, last scion of a fabulously wealthy, morally bankrupt dynasty, lusts for more. A scientific genius secluded from the world on his own, private island, Prosper dedicates his gifted […]