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Wendy (1951 – ) and Richard (1950 – ) Pini are the husband and wife team that created the fantasy comic Elfquest. The two met thanks to a four-year correspondence that began when Richard read and responded to a missive Wendy wrote to the letters section of The Silver Surfer (which appeared in issue #5). They married in 1972.

Wendy begin illustrating sci-fi magazines such as Galaxy Science Fiction and Galileo. Richard, a graduate of MIT with a degree in astronomy, lectured at Boston’s Hayden Planetarium as well as wrote scripts and worked as a special effects technician. He later taught high school astronomy and also worked for IBM until Elfquest became a full-time career.

In 1978 the first Elfquest story appeared in Fantasy Quarterly published by Independent Publishers Syndicate. The company folded after publishing the first issue of Elfquest but the Pini’s, undeterred, founded WaRP Graphics and published Elfquest #2.

Ultimately, Elfquest became a cult favorite and is one of the early success stories of underground comics. And though both Marvel and DC would eventually publish Elfquest stories, the early Elfquest comics under WaRP Graphics helped an entirely new market of independent comics emerge. Elfquest itself went on to appear not only in comics but also role playing games, toys, busts, and a board game as well as other merchandise. In 2008, Warner Brothers announced plans to bring Elfquest to the big screen.

The Pini’s and Elfquest have won numerous awards, including 2 Alley Awards, three Small Press Comic Awards for Best Artists, Best Editor, and Best Comic, and the Golden Pen Award, among several others.

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