I’ve been an Elfquest fan for a long time. I don’t go back to the original comics, but I started following the series by chance during the Marvel reprint in the mid-1980s. At one point I had all the original comics, all the Marvel reprints, the novel, the first anthology, the Donning graphic novels, several books published for fans, the bumper sticker, and belonged to several fan clubs (met some wonderful people). The first published writing I have is an Elfquest fan fiction story.
Interests and priorities change. I don’t have any of the comics or books anymore, and have sadly lost touch with the club members I met. The creators kept making stories, but I only know what is now called The Original Quest (everything published before 2014 is available free online). However, I’ve followed the creators’ goal of making a movie. That may never happen, but they did produce an audio movie — also free! So far, it covers only the first quarter of the original quest, though it makes for a complete story. The novelization is the same portion. Audio movie is an odd term, since we already have talkie, and there no “moving picture” here, but I suppose radio play doesn’t work for the podcast world.
I listened to the audio movie during a recent road trip. In the interest of full disclosure, I note that I made a modest contribution to the project, and in exchange for that received a free and “uncut” version of the movie.
radio play, audio movie, several hours long, is a great way to occupy oneself while driving through Quebec. Voice actors, sound effects, and good use of stereo give you everything except the images, but I had no trouble visualizing everything. I’m not sure if that’s a testament to the high quality of the production, or my ability to recall the images in the books not read for many years. I was surprised at how well I recalled the story after more than a decade.
Not every voice was as I imagined, but on the whole the voices seemed right. One character has been made a narrator, a necessary move to provide information presented as text in the comic. In earlier chapters she was too present (and patronizing) for my taste, but her role diminished later (and her patronizing tone eventually makes sense). There were a couple of small scenes that worked as a series of images, but seemed awkward as dialogue. On the other hand, some scenes are much more effective with sound and sound effects.
Knowing the story very well, and not generally listening to podcasts or audio books (let alone audio movies), it’s hard to me to make any objective review comments. Certainly, a fan of Elfquest, past or present, should listen to it. A fan of fantasy and audio books should give it a try. But, since it’s free, what have you got to lose? If you are even remotely curious about Elfquest, the audio movie concept, or are facing a day of driving, give it a listen. Available on all major podcast platforms.