I had no idea that Elfquest‘s Wendy Pini once set out on a different quest – to bring the great Michael Moorcock (I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy) to the screen with an adaptation of Stormbringer. Apparently (according to Tavie, via BoingBoing) there was a book detailing the attempt, loaded with some of Wendy’s gorgeous artwork, but it is long out of print – now thanks to the magic of the interwebnetic magicks Richard Pini has posted it up on Wendy’s site for all to enjoy. As well as the artwork I was perusing the text and was especially struck by this segment:
“A cartoonist always walks between two realities – the world of the senses and what can be called theatre-of-the-mind movie. Cartooning is motion captured on paper – a moment, a sequence plucked out of time and human experience to be held, looked at, nodded over, shared. Communion is the goal and the cartoonist achieves it by translating everyday events, tragic or comic, into readily understood symbols. The viewer and the unruly ink lines are guided by the artist’s vision to a point of mutual recognition, to the release of laughter, and sometimes of tears.”
(top: cover work, above, a page from Law & Chaos by and (c) Wendy Pini, based on the work of the immortal Michael Moorcock)
Wendy really wanted to bring Stormbringer to the screen and the book, along with some glorious fantasy concept art, details her obsession and drive; sadly it was never made and now it joins that cinema of the Purely Imaginary alongside other never completed movies we’d love to have seen like Gilliam’s Don Quixote or Alejandro Jodorowsky wonderfully bonkers take on Frank Herbert’s Dune (With Salvador Dali, no less). At least we have the art to enjoy and our imagination.
(one of the fantasy genre’s most famous characters, Michael Moorcock’s Elric, art by Wendy Pini, who, I suspect, is one of us who read Neil Gaiman’s short story One Life Furnished in Early Moorcock and nodded in total understanding)