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Comix “remakes” – Maggie Siegel-Berele on Wendy Pini

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elfQuest-Bereleelfquest-OriginalWendy and Richard Pini’s Elfquest is my ultimate fantasy escape, reading it scratches an itch. Elfquest  is everything I want in a story, and I chose one of my favorite pages determined to do it justice. It seems profound, attempting to reinvent something that doesn’t need it: redoing your hero’s work is terrifying and exhilarating.   I went into this project hoping to continue the Pini’s story, without disrupting it’s moment.

For this project I ended up perusing my fascination with ‘backwards s’ layouts. I try to lead the readers eye against the typical left to right pattern every few projects:   my motive for the ‘backwards s’ layout, in this case, was to force myself to take on a completely different approach than the original page.  I discovered that this specific page is the way it is for a reason and the more I studied it I worried that the cover would end up mimicking Wendy’s page too closely.

I unfortunately became too wrapped up in enforcing the ‘backwards s’ that I let the word balloons wander, which undid the master layout I almost pulled off. I have a newfound respect for Wendy and her skill at fitting the amount of dialogue she does on a page, while making it look effortless.  It was crushing to learn where I’d gone wrong, too late to save the page I had thoroughly enjoyed working on.  I don’t have the heart to redo the same page for a fourth time; even though the page doesn’t read right, it’s not a complete failure, it’s a living lesson.

Maggie Siegel-Berele


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