These Weren't the Elves I was Looking For

Elfquest: The Final Quest Volume 1 - Wendy Pini, Wendy Pini, Richard Pini

Here I go again – I read an awesome graphic novel so I go and grab another one and it turns out to be rubbish. Actually, I didn't read it because I had just had a great experience with a graphic novel, rather I read it because I had bought it while visiting one of the three comic book stores in Adelaide and wanted to finish it before New Years Eve so I can dump it on a friend rather than have it cluttering up my house (and what he does with it I really don't care – I'm sure he'll know somebody who will read it). Mind you, I'm probably being a little harsh on the book because I did discover that I jumped into a well established story (despite the fact that it was labelled volume 1 – which was the reason that I bought it), but I suspect that I probably wouldn't be all that thrilled with any of the earlier editions either.


Okay, I'm can't really pinpoint exactly what I didn't like about it – the art work seemed a bit too cartoonish for my taste, and the elves were more like fairies, but then again ever since I roleplayed with a friend who absolutely detested elves, I haven't been a big fan of them either. Mind you, I prefer the arrogant isolationist elves who consider themselves to be vastly superior to pretty much everybody else, where as these elves were a bunch of nature loving hippies that could do nothing wrong.


This brings up one of the interesting things about the comic because it took almost half of it for the actual story to start up. The first half seemed to just be the elves doing what elves do, and simply did not add anything to the plot – and then a bunch of humans rock up, attack their village, and then chase them up the mountain to slaughter the lot of them, referring to them as demons that are evil and must be killed. When it got to this part of the novel it reminded me of one of the basic traits of humanity – we fear and loathe that which is different to us, to the point that we must destroy it. Many people claim that white Anglo-Saxon Protestants are quite racist, but to be honest with you you will find that where-ever you go. When I was in Hong Kong I discovered that a lot of the Chinese there really didn't like us white people, and I have learnt that the Thai are very much the same. We also have a go at Muslims in the Middle East for being intolerant towards non-Muslims, when we are very much the same here. Then there are the French – we have a go at the French for getting annoyed when people go to France and don't speak French when we have the exact same attitude towards people who can't speak English that come to Australia.


The thing that struck me the most though was the European's attitude (in particular the British) towards the native inhabitants of the lands that they had colonised. If the inhabitants weren't Christian then we would consider them heathen, and chase them out, and those who converted to Christianity we would expect them to not just take on our belief's but our culture as well – you weren't a real Christian unless you ate your meals with a knife and a fork. In a way the humans' attitudes towards the elves – referring to them as demons because they were different (and also used magic) - is quite reflective of our attitude towards people who did not live in houses with fences and had a civilisation similar to ours. Well, the Chinese (and the Aztecs) had a pretty sophisticated civilisation, but we still attempted to conquer and dominate them because, well, they weren't European.