Richard Pini
SPECIAL GUEST
(Co-Creator - ElfQuest)
Richard PiniIt’s been a while since I wrote one of these, and I must be careful not to descend too far into rant mode, a pitfall of the frequent writing of editorials. I used to have a perfectly serviceable biography that I would send around to folks who asked for such, part of which read: “In 1981, he stopped working for IBM and started devoting full time to Warp Graphics.” However, at some point, due to someone else’s editorial negligence, I discovered that “In 1981, he stopped working for IBM.” Period. A later omission put me deeper on welfare: “In 1981, he stopped working.” It’s fear, pure and simple, that motivates this new attempt to limn my life; I don’t want to find out what else happened (or didn’t happen) to me in 1981.

There comes a point in the repeated crafting of biographies when one forgets what one has said before a hundred times and what one has never revealed. Therefore, I present a smorgasbord and the reader may pick and choose at leisure.

Yes, I am a damn Yankee, born in Connecticut, educated (allegedly in the collegiate sense) in Boston and Cambridge, and living in New York (but, I hasten to add, not in the City - never in the City). Poughkeepsie is upstate. It’s nice. There are trees. There are not many taxicabs. There used to be not many cell phones, but even Poughkeepsie must come into the 20th century at some point.

I was born in 1950, in New Haven, Connecticut, which made me half a century old in 2000, which was not the first year of the new millennium. I used to think that “half a century” was a long, long time to live. Now that I’ve arrived, I realize that it’s only the start. I’ve spent nearly half of that span working on Elfquest (more on that in a bit). I’ve spent over half that span knowing, loving and conspiring with life-partner Wendy. There is much yet to come.

My educational background is in astronomy (a love of heavenly bodies and all that, I’m sure you’ve heard it before) which has prepared me ideally for careers in planetarium entertainment, teaching high school, programming big computers for IBM and, presently, publishing comic books and graphic novels. You’ve perhaps heard of “Elfquest”. It is a sprawling fastasy adventure series told in various forms and formats and it has occupied my mind, hands and wallet for the last twenty-plus years; its grip does not seem to be weakening. They say that the average career lasts for five years; I’m doing my part to screw up the average. In the span of over two decades I’ve done nearly everything possible for someone in this line of work to do: write, edit, publish, market, manage, succeed, fail, and administrate. I enjoy most of that; I do not however like being a paper-pusher. Now that Elfquest has gotten its second wind as an animated film and licensed merchandise property, I suspect that everything prior to now is merely preamble, and that the gods are going to turn the volume up to 11 any day.

I enjoy language in all its creative uses; puns, limericks, double entendres, these are a few of my favorite things. There are not many subjects that can or will embarrass me in conversation, on a panel discussion at a convention, or in editorial exposure. Over the years, some people may have discovered what one of them might be; I don’t recall. If it happens again, we’ll see.

One of my favorite sayings has been, “Everything’s negotiable.” In the course of business, it works well. In the course of learning about and from life, that phrase is tied for first place with, “Everything’s learnable.” As vast and mysterious as is the external universe, uncovering what goes on inside the head, heart and soul is the truest quest of all.
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