When I was a kid, and I started getting into comic books, naturally, my first inspirations were the superheroes. AAron and I would pull whatever was on the rack at the local Safeway, stopping for an hour or more on our way home from Kenny Guinn Middle School to sit and read. As Jr. High gave way to high school, I discovered Page after Page comics and my world changed. Lyn, who owned the shop, was the best ambassador of comics anyone could have hoped for. Not only was he incredibly knowledgable, but he would gladly put things into your hands which he knew you would get a kick out of. Not just comics, either. I remember once, he handed me a fantasy novel off the shelf, wish I could remember what it was now, and told me to read it and let him know what I thought.
It was Lyn who introduced me to the idea that comics didn’t necessarily have to be about superheroes or come from Marvel or DC. He put into my hands the first issue of Warrior Magazine from the UK (where I was introduced to the fabulousness of Axel Pressbutton and Laser Eraser as well as the writing of Alan Moore).
It was at Page after Page where I also learned about Elfquest, the independently produced comic magazine by Wendy and Richard Pini featuring characters like Cutter and Skywise and the whole Wolfrider clan. Originally published in 20 black and white large format comics they were repackaged several times, including being collected in trade paperbacks where the original tales had the added bonus of being colored and expanded. After those first 20 complted the story, the world of Elfquest was expanded and more stories were added, telling the tales of the progeny of the original clans.
I’ve long since fallen off the Elfquest wagon, haven’t read them in years, but they still hold a place in my heart and my creative consciousness and now that I have my own progeny, I look forward to sharing them with her. What makes that a lot easier is that now, the whole run (before 2013) is available online at Elfquest Comic Viewer.
So go and enjoy.