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Fiction Podcast Network Realm has released an ASL-interpreted version of ElfQuest. The audio series is based on the graphic novel series. The ASL project is a way to honor the ElfQuest community and align with the inclusive and representative nature of the series, increasing accessibility for fans.
Longtime fans of ElfQuest funded the audio series production through their contributions to a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $220,000. The ASL-interpreted version of ElfQuest was a reach goal of the series’ Kickstarter campaign in line with the ElfQuest Mission of Radical Accessibility. Made possible by the fanbase’s support, the production was created in partnership with Kristan Vermeulen, Thomas Starkey, Alex Steed of Knack Factory, with Pine Tree Society providing the services of Joshua Seal (Deaf Interpreter), Cynthia Young (Performer), Tristen Downey (Interpreting Support), Tyler Crysler (Interpreting Support), and Ainsley MacGillivray (Interpreting Support).
Created by Wendy and Richard Pini in 1978, the epic-sized world of ElfQuest possesses mirrored views of modern society, challenges prejudices, and forever changes your understanding of relationships—of all kinds. ElfQuest is the longest-running independent fantasy graphic novel series in the USA, with more than 20 million comics, graphic novels, and other publications in print.
The ElfQuest podcast follows a fierce tribe of woodland elves - the Wolfriders - who are burned from their homes by hostile humans. Their chief, Cutter, must tap every reserve of strength to lead his people to safety.
Richard and Wendy Pini: “We are delighted by this marvelous ASL version of the ElfQuest Audio Series. We’re very happy that this additional expression emerged during the crowdfunding campaign. It honors the inclusive spirit of ElfQuest just as we hope it also honors the Deaf and Hard of Hearing ElfQuest fan community.”
J Woodward, Producer: “These ASL interpretations are pure dance. The storytelling inhabits the performers’ entire being - it’s a kind of physical magic that totally transports the story to a whole new level. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to represent our Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, and everyone else should take a minute to also experience this art in its own right.”
Fred Greenhalgh, Realm’s Head of Audio and Director of ElfQuest, said: “ElfQuest’s message about inclusion, found family, and solving epic quests with wits rather than weapons is as relevant today as it was in 1977. It was incredibly powerful to be able to make the new, immersive audio experience accessible to more people – reaching more fans, and working to increase accessibility within the podcast industry as a whole.”
ElfQuest is available on all podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher, while the ASL-interpreted videos can be exclusively found on the Realm YouTube channel.