Losing the sense of wonder?

Running on from instant0’s thread about how games were better in the good old days.

I used to be really into a particular series of graphic novels that had a very mysterious, existential backdrop. Not gloomy gritty existential, but rather, the characters were exploring the world and you never had any idea about what they were going to find.

I made the mistake of reading the Role Playing Game of the comic, which had maps and statistics and all that crap about the world. It didn’t ruin it for me, but it sure as hell sucked a lot of the wonder out of it.

Any similar stories?

Rob Beschizza, WHICH COMIC?

Yu-Gi-Oh …


(Now I should disappear for three weeks and only reply when the thread is long dead.)

Elfquest is it. Pretty obscure, I guess. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s like Watership Down, but with elves.

…and furries

If you haven’t heard of Elfquest, you haven’t heard of graphic novels. It’s hardly obscure…but maybe you are being ironic? Anyway, the RPG is VERY old, just like the comic. I liked the RPG. It actually got me into the comic, rather than the reverse.

Metadiscussions like this make me lose my sense of wonder.


I’ve bought a couple of RPGs just for the additional background information, and it never felt like it spoiled anything.

Instead, I experienced that loss of wonder back when I read rec.arts.sf.tv.b5. I’m not sure if it was knowing some of the backroom politics, the squabbles, or just information overload or what, but as I was reading the group I just gradually lost interest in it between seasons.

You know, I’d never noticed, but you are technically correct. I still keep up with the series and I’m very glad that it hasn’t yet been “discovered” and subsequently irreparably drenched in spooge by the furry community. Perhaps because all that stuff is backstory rather than “current events” in the plot. Given all the hippy sex in Elfquest, that was probably a very wise decision.

Regarding the obscurity, it’s obscure where I come from (Britain) but I know it was a big hit here in the states, allegedly the first graphic novel in posh bookstores, that sort of stuff.

Interesting that you got into it the other way around. I remember enjoying reading the supplements/scenarios that came with the game, as they were quite spartan and stark (e.g. “You are on the plains hunting. You see a fire raging on the horizon, coming toward you. Your clan’s camp is on the other side. Get to it.” and when you get there everyone is dead, you knew it all along but this aint D&D buddy)

But seeing the maps and statistics, past the initial nerdy thrill of KNOWING EVERYTHING… pah! Pandora’s box, indeed.

I certainly sympathize with Fugitive’s internet/usenet overload. The insider info+online politics+info overload being too much, it’s really the same thing: It takes you out of the story and places you somwhere above it, inspecting it. But I can see how starting from that point (by playing an RPG version first) might then actually suck you into the original books.

I get the same thing replaying old games. I’ve banned myself from emulators (apart from arcade games), because realizing that, say, Beachy Head from the 8-Bit era is total garbage wasn’t nice. It cast an ever so-slight pallor over great memories I have of playing it with friends.

Ahh Elfquest. I remember reading those a ton when I was younger. I’ve thought about going back and trying to get into them, but havn’t had the heart to try and figure out where to start. Sure I could the first 7-8 novels, but then the stuff that’s been coming out these last few years confuses me and I’m never sure when or where they all fit in.

A couple of friends and I all played the Elfquest RPG, but quickly abandoned the rules and dice and just played the story, with the DM deciding the outcomes. Damn, now that I think back we had a storyline that lasted a year, if not more.

The only reason you should maybe disappear is for describing Elfquest as “Watership Down, but with elves.” Okay, the elves humped like bunnies, but EQ, although a very imaginative, epic saga in its own right, doesn’t quite have the ingenuity and gravitas WD has (IMO).

I’ve maybe heard of it. Since, like, I have the entire Marvel Epic re-issue of the original saga bagged and boarded in one of my 30 or so comic book boxes.

Next-men. Before a particular individual lost his cookies.

If I had to go into all the comics I love it would take a while.

Yeah, mea culpa. You don’t need the (IMO) as it’s obviously the case.

This will probably get me in more trouble, but you could say that Elfquest is to Watership Down as Star Wars is to Dune. I’m not going to argue that point, though, because it probably glibly insults four fandoms simultanously.

I’ve maybe heard of it. Since, like, I have the entire Marvel Epic re-issue of the original saga bagged and boarded in one of my 30 or so comic book boxes.

Man, those reprints were dreadful, but I really should read more comics. I’ve restricted myself to graphic novels sold in bookstores, more or less, and I feel that’s like licking off the icing and never actually tasting the cake.

OK, not wishing to completely derail my own thread, (I didn’t mention the name of the comic so it would become a discussion of the comic) the rule with Elfquest is as follows: if it’s not written and drawn by Wendy and/or Richard Pini, don’t bother.

That cuts out some great stuff, but fuck it.

Back on topic then - Loosing the sense of wonder? I’m one of those people who enjoys the backstory and all the little details. If nothing else it makes me more interested in the stories world at large, and I love seeing more little references and things that are tossed in.

Elfquests world, probably would be more fun to read first and get the unveiling of the story elements first, and then maybe read a bit of background and re-read and see even more.

See, I’m one of those people who gets bored with games of CIV once the world has opened up and the “discovery/exploration” game is over.

I’d say that is different, though in that Civ isn’t telling you a story, you are creating your own “story”. Or something along those lines. If we liken it to games, think of a complex RPG story, that you replay after all of the big reveals, and see how much was foreshadowed, and notice new subtle little things about characters and the overall story line.

I just take all the backstory provided as suggestion, or one perspective on a world’s history (doubly so when it’s a RPG), and try to look upon it through the same uncertain lens I view real history. Leaves the mystery largely intact, and is pretty much necessary for RPGs where the players have access to the books too. Elf Quest was a nice adaptation of Rune Quest; I got it as a kid, but never played it despite having a bunch of friends also into the comic. Seemed on the outside like it was for kids, but not your standard kiddy fare at all.

Rob, if you’re looking for good comics along those lines I’d recommend Artesia; the author takes alot of inspiration from Rune Quest, there’s plenty of mystery and history, and the art is fantastic. It’s a bit more serious and adult than I remember Elf Quest being, but I doubt that’s a problem. There’s a RPG too, although IMHO it’s a bit overbearing in detail.