Politics, News and People

The Price Put On Artists.

Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse

The problem with art is that there is the community of fans who appreciate the artists for what they’re worth and those who buy and sell art who only see the dollar value it has to them…they’re in it for the bragging rights and a sense of belonging. Some see it as a competition to horde the most treasure like Smaug, the Dragon that terrorized Middle Earth in “The Hobbit”. Social media has given users a tool to talk with creators and artists in real time and talk to a larger audience, and the fans respond in kind with support and encouragement (and sometimes good ideas). A lot of people, especially collectors, don’t appreciate the hassle that creators go through to protect their intellectual property as copyright and they devalue the final product.

Fandom’s Finest Moments

Crying all the way to the bank lol The Quest never end$

– Patrick R.

So, when a “Collector” posts criticism of the artist, the fans usually rush in to defend the artists from the dogs that have a bone to pick, which was the case a couple of days ago on Facebook’s Elfquest Official Page and this young man, Patrick.

Patrick R Wait you’re still here?  I thought you left since you posted “I quit” over and over and over along with your lame joke “The Quest never end$” that no one but you is laughing at. 

If you’re not happy that the Pinis are making a living off of ElfQuest, no one can help you. If you don’t understand how crowdfunding campaigns and rewards work, read up on them before complaining. No one owes you free ElfQuest material. (If you had taken a break from griping you would have known, btw, that you didn’t have to pledge in any of the campaigns to get the audio movie or most of the rewards which were available for direct individual purchase via Backerkit, a fact we posted about over and over here but you somehow missed.)

Look, there comes a point where, as admin here, I have to step in when the only thing a person posts is griping, complaining, and repetitive passive-aggressive attacks and when other group members start flagging that person’s posts. We’ve let you make your personal opinion known (over and over and over).  It’s getting old and people are over it. Move along. –
David Charles

Admin and Superfan, David Charles went off on this Art Collector and addressed him with a quick burn. However Richard “Elf-pop” Pini doesn’t suffer fools and immediately put Patrick R. back to the end of the line.

Patrick R. – You have no idea what you are talking about. That money goes into the production of something of superior quality that we dearly hope fans will enjoy. We do not see one cent of it. As the farmer said to the jackass, “That’s two…“ – Richard Pini

What I really admire about Richard Pini is the way he really knows how to be patient with people who don’t deserve it, in order to get a clearer picture of the threat to the tribe and to assess it. If anything, what you don’t want is a hasty rocket scientist running the show.

It was at this point where I decided I needed to step up and say something, because I was red hot angry at this guy for how he was insinuating that the Pinis were only doing Elfquest now because it was a cash cow for them. America is supposed to be the land of milk and honey.. why steal the cow when we give you the milk? People, who make no concessions, don’t appreciate the value of the people they buy from, and so they make no investment in them emotionally or financially. They see a payment value for the end product, but not the hands behind it that worked for it.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

It’s not about “you”, it’s about “us”…

What you may not be aware of, Patrick, is how Wendy and Richard Pini support the community and they work they’ve done in cultivating their story ecosphere.   You’ve probably been a fan for the last decade or so and haven’t seen the work they’ve put into Elfquest, and investment in making comics and storytelling, collaboration with other artists, reinvesting into better tools, better printing, and travelling to meet the fans.  Think of it like the Father Tree in the woods… some people see the forest, but miss the value of each tree and the fruit they bear.  

The Pinis are well-known for taking the big risks, as well as advocating for other creators, INCLUDING investment into the community of fanfic artists and trusting others to play in their sandbox.  Imagine putting your children’s lives into the hands of others to watch over, and what kind of trust that involves, and make no mistake, Elfquest is Wendy and Richard’s brainchild.


Check out the Dreamberry Juice and Nutmash at the Concession Stand in the Lobby. “

***End Intermission***    

There’s an old saying, never put your time in the hands of people who don’t value it.  They, like other artists, entrust their time with the community of fans and recognizing the potential and value of the human personality – they’ve based their whole story on the richness of diversity and inclusion.  Part of the social contract in fandom and as a “tenant” of the World of Two Moons and resident in the Father Tree, you are a valued member of the community…think about the importance of that role not just by the money you spend, but also the emotional investment.  

TLDR;  Taking a cheap shot at creators is a devaluation of the fans and creators, and is self-deprecating humor?  Why would you insult everyone like that, including yourself? Nobody’s trying to browbeat you, but expect to get stung if you kick the beehive we live in just because we pass the hat to pay the rent and utilities.  Gold is pretty and necessary to create things of wealth and beauty, but it doesn’t satisfy like honey.

Now, about this time, I’d been following the conversation on another feed, watching videos on Facebook , and I was commenting on a video of someone making a hamburger in a waffle maker, with live chat, and people were getting riled up. It’s dangerous to watch live videos and comment on them if your humor of choice happens to be SARCASM.. because chat is an echo chamber, and the more you read people complaining live and making fun of the host, the more likely you are to meeting up with that “bridge too far”…and Facebook doesn’t understand SARCASM and how hard it is to get everyone laughing together, even at the stupidity of AI and algorithms monitoring our content. I suddenly had a bit of misplaced anger and had this mean thought about them getting their clock cleaned by their spouse. And that’s something that’s out of character for me since I especially detest domestic violence. So, I’m in “Facebook Jail” for thirty days. Although I can’t post to Facebook anymore, which I’m okay with as I am giving up my Facebook binging, there was a response from Patrick.

Came out with an audio movie DURING the pandemic, where you put your money down and get rare items EQ oriented based on the amount you spend, on items you can’t get anywhere else. Do you think I have the ways and means to get those items I desire: No. Did I have $3,500 to back the audio movie to get the 10 Chiefs print: No. 
I understand we all are fans of EQ but if you look at it at a publisher and writers perspective: you got a story that’s lasted for decades; you got to keep the story going not for just the fans, but to stay in business and pay to live.
Why is everyone so hard up for a series or a movie anyway? If it hasn’t happened then it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. 
If you all can put in your two cents about my simple comment, understand there is more than one perspective on all this. Get your head out of the clouds and keep spending your money on EQ. 
Yes they created a series that’s enjoyable but I’m not going kiss ass and call them “mom n pop”. For there to be a community, you check in with yo peeps to keep them and believe me, I’m not being kept because I can’t keep up with this money spending game to support a series that was simply available for me to enjoy. 
Censor me, take my voice away, and cancel me. I honestly do not care. If I can’t keep up with the collectibles what’s the point? 
Just because we all like the same thing does not make us this “community” where we all care about each other. Anytime I comment, everyone’s got some negative response to attack me, whether it is other fans or Richard.
I am not a rich person and I try collect the things I can but it’s too much and all you people on this page are awful and care about this false idea that the creators care about you and need your support and we are all a part of a “caring” community of Elfquest fanatics.
– Patrick R.

Never take people for granted.

So, according to Patrick, Wendy and Richard Pini are responsible for making their works affordable. That’s an interesting concept, considering that they have to have a publisher print their story and the publisher has to make it affordable to buy by the public. What his real beef is the matter of their personal art and what it means to the fans. What Patrick doesn’t get is that his attitude is that he’s buying a final product of the art that lead to the final product. He’s interested in buying their time. They’re under no obligation to set the prices to make nothing on it, and he’s not obligated to buy. They’re under no obligation to do anything for free, and they have the right to earn a living through appearances at shows, and so do the people who put on the show for them. Do you walk up to Gene Simmons and demand to pay less to see KISS, because Winger is playing down the street and cost $7 less to see their concert? No, obviously not, because you don’t go to KISS just to hear them play, but to EXPERIENCE them play.

The Elfquest Movie may or may not happen in our lifetime, and maybe that doesn’t matter, because the story is in the artwork and Wendy’s attention to the details that would be lost in a live-action or animated version of Elfquest. Maybe if Disney ever gets a division that can handle producing a fantasy story with horrific death and an orgy, then perhaps Pixar might stand a chance at making Elfquest Animation under the direction of someone who knows them and has the experience of storyboarding a breakout series called Toy Story for The Mouse.

Personally, this chucklehead thinks that everyone’s wasting his time here and has only invested his two cents on everyone else’s dime. Patrick isn’t a fan of Elfquest, he’s a collector. He sees the gold but it’s only Fool’s Gold to him because he doesn’t value it. It doesn’t speak to him as art… it only is a commodity to him, and that’s a waste of the artist’s time, when they’re so generous to share what they have left to their fans… many of which are adopted or need to be adopted because they’ve lost their own families. He has no kinship value and thinks only of himself and what he gets out of Elfquest without respect to the Pinis or the fans.

“But some words to men and women, boys and girls alike: The quality of the work must merit the readers’ time and money. Do it for yourself, but make yourself a member of your own audience. There is no other way to evaluate your own progress.” – W. Pini

But here’s where he really lets you know what he’s about… Elfquest is a transactional value for him to be a fan. “If I can’t keep up with the collectibles what’s the point? ” It’s not a contest to see who can collect the most valuable merch from someone. Kevin Smith doesn’t treat any fan less respectfully because they can’t afford every expensive item of merchandise in his Comic Book Shop. Nobody is expecting you to collect as much as you can. That isn’t the point of Elfquest…when Two-Edge promised the trolls treasure, he didn’t tell them how much, what to take, or that it wasn’t meant to be shared with the Elves. A living wage is enough to pay the bills, eat, and have enough leftover to invest in your personal enrichment, education or otherwise. Richard left a comfortable job at IBM to do Elfquest with Wendy, and this story is as much about their journey together with the fans as it is about the World of Two Moons.

Apparently, Patrick thinks that most of us have $3,500 in disposable income, and we only spend our money to support Elfquest and that the Pinis don’t pay it forward in supporting others in the art community. We all have other artists we support as well- Writer, Mike Baron (author of many Star Wars books, The Flash, The Punisher and The Badger, among many other titles) is backing most of his writing projects with Kickstarter. Many other artists are doing the same to raise money in backing their projects. I’ve supported Ken Mitchroney’s works, the Pinis, Mike Baron, Kevin Smith and several of his friends, Adam Nimoy, Jody Lyn Nye and others because I appreciate their works, not just because I’m looking for the trinkets for my shelf.

“We can’t all be Superman, but we sure as shit can train hard, and with loads of practice, we can be Batman. And who the fuck doesn’t wanna be Batman?”-K. Smith

“Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favorite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. – K. Smith

The fans that call them “Elf-Mom and Elf-Pop” do so as an homage to the local couple at the Flea Market stand that sells comic books.. like a lot of Comic Shops do to get off the ground. Some of us don’t have families we had anymore and we become the family of those that accept us as we are. Even the Trolls are accepted as they are for their part in the community of Two Moons, and it’s Cutter who acknowledges the wrongs that his race had in how they treated the Trolls. As Stan Lee once said, “Marvel has always been and will be a reflection of the world outside your window.” and Wendy and Richard Pini carry on that great idea in their comic books and graphic novels, being super fans of Stan Lee themselves and having had a great relationship with him. He gave them a platform to write on and loved getting mail from Wendy Fletcher and loved how she challenged him as a creator, she could have easily been written into the MCU if he wasn’t just so good as hiding Easter Eggs as shout outs to the Pinis.

If you’re getting negative response from fans and the creators, it’s usually because you’re being disrespectful, not “real”, “woke” or “enlightened. The Pinis gave free access to read their story online, so that just because you don’t have money, doesn’t mean you can’t find it online, or at the local library. Nobody expects anyone to be rich and collect everything, and most of us are teeming over with what we’ve found in bins and garage sales that we give to the libraries that allow us to share that joy of reading through out community. They can’t insure your success as a collector… that’s your job, to ensure your own success. Nobody is asking you to kiss anyone’s ass… Maybe Gene Simmons is…but you should demand mutual respect, not acquiescence, from the rest of fandom…this isn’t an airport, there’s no need to announce your departure. Thank you, come again.


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