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 Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest

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Miss Gillespie

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PostSubject: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:26 pm

@sun girl wrote:
@Miss Gillespie wrote:

When a Wolfrider, or any elf for the matter, hates a human s/he always has every right to do so,


Oh dear… do you mean, in every example we've seen they have had a good reason to do so? Or do you mean just on principle any elf who hates a human has the right to because of the original slaughter of the High Ones by the humans? The former statement I can get behind.

Skywise: Parents killed at birth
Strongbow: Child killed (well admittedly, this story came much later)
One-Eye: Loses eye to torture
All of the Wolfriders: Lose holt due to burning it down
Ember: Torture, repeated losing of holts

Can't really think of other "explicit human haters" right now. The other elves can be persuaded/ be open to have a more open approach/ change their mind sets.
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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:25 pm

I think we may need to separate the actions of the humans and their portrayal in terms of how the writers choose to use them.
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Miss Gillespie

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:22 pm

Generally I'm fine with the idea, but aren't the actions and portrayals of the characters a result of the message the writers (try) to get across?

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:04 am

Well, there's the message they're trying to get across, then there's the unintentional message they're also conveying.
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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:47 am

I dunno, I think the message of "humans are a--holes" is accurate. For every truly kind and decent person out there, there's a hundred monsters in human skin.

Maybe human-elf relations would be better if the Firstcomers had landed at the appropriate time. Maybe not.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:17 am

I always saw elf-human relations as an exercise in misunderstanding.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:08 pm

I think the problem arrives when the elves start projecting their fear and hate of the humans who've harmed them onto all humans, even the nice ones.
Skywise attacked Nonna and Adar because he didn't realise that they were actually helping Cutter.
Ember's reaction upon seeing the human cubs Khorbasi had rescued was one of mistrust and honestly; I was a bit worried for those cubs for a second.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:09 pm

Is it possible people like Shuna are the beginning of something like elf-human liaison groups? My biggest problem with the humans is how they're written in a very black/white way for the most part, and they tend to be dumb as doorknobs. Nothing is shown relating to education in general, which I feel is important to show. The only thing we've pretty much seen is very clearly defined old school male/female roles and status stuff on a medieval level. We've gotten perhaps glimpses of variation in that - Nona being a symbol maker, and Shuna with the whole missionary thing - but it's been very, very slow. Infuriatingly slow. The EQ page says the humans of World of 2 Moons are similar to the ones we have now, because they're varied, but to be honest they don't seem all that varied to me at all in EQ.

Humans were first shown as cavemen/women at the beginning and then shown doing tribal/nomadic stuff and now it looks like some kind of industrial revolution period. There's still a whole chunk missing. I realize this is the world of 2 moons , but I still think it would've been cool to show a different cultural perspective from different parts of the world because art, medicine, and scientific advancement came a lot earlier in parts of the east, and there still seems very little advancement with humans in EQ except for weapons, and that's it. If the Wo2M is as big as ours, you'd think elves would see things like wars between humans in different countries and continents happening more and more, as that's certainly happened in history.  You'd think maybe some cultures would be more varied or have different forms of education or even openness, but they're not.
Even their religion is pretty much the same, from Gotara to Threk'shit or whatever.

And yes, I realize the story is about ELVES but it just seems kind of dumbed down to dumb down humans even more , considering the huge amount of tension and conflict which would be present anyway due to the existence of the elves, period. The humans continue to be a threat, but they're also like this 1-dimesional obstruction most of the time. It's not very sophisticated storytelling narrative.

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Miss Gillespie

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:58 pm

I think the humans around Korbshi's town are supposed to be Asian-y, but as many Western comic book artists, Wendy is not very good at depicting Asian features (Asian artists have the same problem vice versa Wink

Yeah, the reason why no one wants to read EQ stories in which humans have prominent story lines is simply that they are boring. It is possible to have an interesting fantasy story with humans, but it's not the case here.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:17 pm

I admit that I always skipped over the human interaction parts in Shards Wink  .... and then went back and read it later. It was like too many humans! It's off-putting!
I just get annoyed with seeing them always be a constant threat - I actually think they're sometimes an obstruction to the story itself.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:20 am

@Zadzi wrote:
Is it possible people like Shuna are the beginning of something like elf-human liaison groups?

I think that's pretty much Shuna's plan/hope with doing what she's doing.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:15 pm

I second the comment on very unsophisticated storytelling for humans. It's just broad strokes of black and white. The only "good" humans are the ones who worship the elves! Which... is not good. There about 6 elves I can think of off the top of my head that worship would warp into something no better than Winnowill.

While I love Shuna... she worships them too. Anyone else is a bad guy, with the ONLY one in the main storyline who was very neutral was Lehgrin (I know I spelled his name wrong.). I would LOVE to read a detailed story of his and Kahvi's time hunting each other, seems like it was a great story.

Sherla seemed to be another Shuna, but she ended up not really worshiping Reyak in the end. Their love story was fascinating, for all that it was short as hell and tragic too.

I think having another elf/human love story like that would be great for the plotline and address some issues with how humans and elves look at and relate to the same situations. Sherla/Reyak COULD have done that stunningly, but never got to thanks to Winno-Child Abuser.

Basically, I'd like human portrayals in EQ to move beyond the worshipful, childlike human or the one dimensional racist villian into something closer to Sherla and Leghrin. Hopefully Shuna will bridge that gap in the story.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:11 am

I forgot about Sherla. She really was interesting, and it would be great to see more of that. Lehrigen (sp?) was my favorite human storyline. He got worshipful at the very end, but it was right as he died...so I might be okay with that. In general though, I think he's the most interesting for me because he had the most transitional story arc character-wise. You could see his feelings changing toward the elves, and how it turned his world upside-down, and I liked that.
And I agree, Nomad-Human, a more detailed story of him and Kahvi would be great.
To be honest, I was never a big fan of Shuna... I liked her story but the worshipful elements made me uncomfortable. Khorbasi seems like a much more believable human in terms of how he relates with the elves. Granted, he was adopted at such a young age.... maybe that's part of it.

I don't know how much 'time' is going to pass during Final Quest. I wonder if the humans will remain in this sort of industrial age era. Or if there will be a bit of a fast-forward, and they will be more educated, more mature, more willing to look at elf-human relations in a different way. Time and technology seems to do very little for the humans' attitudes in general collectively, which largely seems unbelievable to me.

One of the interesting bits of EQ was during the Hidden Years, when Tyleet adopted Little Patch, and realized he was abandoned by his village due to that birthmark on his face. It was one solid example of how humans freak out about anything 'different', but having said that... you'd think there would be more examples of that within human context that elves would witness from time to time. Instead of constant war against humans.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:35 am

@Nomad-Human wrote:
While I love Shuna... she worships them too.

I wouldn't say so. In fact I think her story is very interesting because we got to see at least some of her journey from seeing the elves as Good Spirits to seeing them as Family.
Same with Khorbasi and Shukopek; to them the elves are simply Family. Even though Shukopek and Hartha briefly called Shenshen Honoured One, which of course is really weird considering that Shenshen is Shukopek's Great-Aunt.


@Nomad-Human wrote:
Sherla seemed to be another Shuna, but she ended up not really worshiping Reyak in the end. Their love story was fascinating, for all that it was short as hell and tragic too.

Haven't read Rogue's Curse, but I assume any love story between a mortal human and an elf who's not only immortal but literally can't die, can't be allowed to die, would be rather tragic.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:48 am

Shuna does worship them, especially in the beginning, and her relationship with them is shown as different from Khorbasi.
They may both see the elves as 'family' but Shuna did not feel worthy. She was desperate to lose their respect, to have them not believe her. She waxes almost nauseatingly poetic about them in Searcher and Sword, which shows the degree of worship she has, before she tries to find her own way to bridge the gap. She idolized Leetah (because she healed her). Khorbasi was never shown as idolizing Yun, or Mender, for healing him and extending his life.
Shuna's story IS interesting, regardless, due to her abusive background and how she found her own inner strength after making the initial choice to hook up with an abusive shit heel.

I liked the short yet tragic relationship between Rayek and Sherla because Sherla did not idolize Rayek at all. I liked the exploration story wise that she had some sort of intuitive/psychic powers herself. I wish we saw more humans like that, it's kind of neat to read about their perceptions of elves because it's totally different.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans! And their depiction in Elfquest   Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:41 pm

Yeah, Shuna worshipped the elves in SaTS, but that story was partly about her learning to live with the elves.
In FQ she doesn't really worship them. Sure, she wants to spread her love for the elves, but she's not telling other humans that they should worship the elves.

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