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DREW HAYES' POISON PEN

COMIC BOOK ILLUSTRATOR'S ELF WON'T WIN ANY CONGENIALITY AWARDS

By J. Stephen Bolhafner
Published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Thursday, July 6, 1995 Page 29 (Get Out Section)


We all know what elves are, right? They're cute little guys, like that Keebler fellow, with ears sort of like Mr. Spock and an affinity for natural things.

Drew Hayes would like you to meet an entirely different sort of elf.

Lusiphur, the star of "Poison Elves," has ears about two feet long, a real bad attitude, and a magic gun that never runs out of bullets. His friend Jace describes him as "one of those truly dangerous individuals who kill with little or no remorse and are free of any sort of madness."

Issue #1 is on the stands now, but actually Lusiphur has a long history behind him. "Poison Elves" began life as "I, Lusiphur," a self-published, magazine-sized black-and-white comic with a tiny circulation. With issue 8, Hayes changed the name, partly because he had been told that many comic shop owners flatly refused to stock a comic with "Lucifer" in the title, whether he spelled it the same or not. With issue #11, "Poison Elves" scaled down to normal comic book size, and began picking up in popularity. By issue #20, Hayes was becoming a big name in the small field of self-published comic book creators.

But then Sirius Entertainment made him an offer that included guaranteeing him a five-year run, so Hayes jumped ahead in his storyline (he says the first Sirius issue would have been #25 if he had continued to self-publish) and started over with "Poison Elves #1." So new readers shouldn't get lost, because most of what came before is not essential to what's going on now. On the other hand, the first 20 issues will be collected in a trade paperback soon.

So, should you read "Poison Elves?" Well, it partly depends on your taste for violence. A comic book whose "hero" is an amoral killer is not likely to make Parent Magazine's top 10 list. On the other hand, if you like action, adventure, wisecracks and a general send-up of fantasy literature without the silliness of true parody, this could be your book.


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