I've for some time now been trying to track down a graphic novel published most likely in the 90's as I read it in the mid to late nighties in my school library.

From what I remember, the main character was a grumpy half-elf character who wore all black, Three Musketeers-style boots, a big cloak and a large hat much like a witch hunter and was armed with a crossbow. He had a stealthy-assail-type vibe.

There was also a female queen character who wore armour I think he assisted, reminiscent of Joan of Arc. There was a scene where she is addressing a crowd of townsfolk, someone throws an egg at her, she catches it and crushes it. I think she had black hair and large plated armour on her shoulders.

There were also elves in the world that the bounty hunter visited in a woodland setting; they sniffed from cauldrons and were seemingly addicted to magic or "the dreaming", as they called it.

The art work style was painted, not too dissimilar to Simon Davis's style from Slaine, if anything, maybe a little more painterly and less hyper real.

Stylistically the magical world was reminiscent in it's portrayal of peasants and gentry a little like Revolution-era France.

I read the book in the UK. It was relatively slim around A4 in size and probably a part of a larger series of graphic novels.

  • I started thinking it might be Drew Hayes' Poison Elves, but AFAIR, only the covers were painted. Feb 15 '19 at 15:16
  • Dagnabbit, missed the "graphic novel" mention. The Borderland books were never made into graphic novels, AFAIK...
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Feb 15 '19 at 15:20
  • thanks for the suggestions all, I checked Poison Elves and Borderland books, not them, it's definitely a graphic novel with full colour painted art and the magic world is reminiscent of revolutionary era france (18th century) but it contains elves and magic...
    – morgan
    Feb 15 '19 at 16:07

This seems to refer to a series of short story collections edited by Terri Windling (and Mark Alan Arnold on the first two): Borderland, Bordertown, and Life on the Border, which also spawned three spinoff novels.

The core premise was that, in some modern time (1990s?), the Elflands had returned to contact with the human world. Magic didn't work (more than very sporadically) in our world, technology wasn't something to bet your life on in the Elflands, but on the border, both were usable (and neither reliable). The result, after a few years of adjustment time, was that Bordertown became a destination for runaway youth, a haven for offbeat music and magic. Elves, humans, and hybrids mixed (in some areas; others were racist, with the shape of the ears more important than the color of the skin).

The details in the question seem to be a mix of one story from Borderland (the elf queen and the cauldron) and another from Bordertown (the large halfie with the crossbow).

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