Imagine plunging into a lush magical underwater world and being surrounded by mer-elves…
Well now you can.
Welcome to the official Elf~Fin™ website.
Our names are Jozef Szekeres and Julie Ditrich. Jozef is an artist and Julie is a writer, and together we form Black Mermaid Productions™, a creative team and publisher that specialises in mermaid comics stories.
If you’ve watched the video, then you know we’re introducing a new comic book series called Elf~Fin™: Hyfus & Tilaweed, which is about mermaids albeit with several points of difference to traditional mermaid mythology.
For one, in this take, our central characters are mer-elves, which contrast to the other mermaid stories we will release in the future that deal with the mermaid archetype you’ve come to known and love.
Secondly, our characters are not concerned with the land or the humans above who are often viewed as the stuff of legend—in fact we have no humans in the planet of Elf~Threaal at all. We prefer in the first instance to explore the rich Elf~Fin™ world, which is contained by the ceiling of the water surface and the great bottomless pits of the underwater depths.
Finally, these mer-elves live in communities called pods. Some of the individuals are gifted; some of them are not. All of them have unique physical attributes that allow them to thrive in this beautiful but unpredictable and often dangerous undersea world.
Issue #1 gives you a tantalising glimpse into the isolated Waverin pod that lives in an underwater canyon. They’re a friendly bunch who both celebrate and denunciate, who bicker and play, who sometimes love unwisely, and who hunt fiercely and who have lived a peaceful life for a long time until now…
This issue focuses on Hyfus who is a beloved but controversial seer~sea amongst the Waverin. When he makes a dire prediction that a dark time is approaching nobody believes him. But how much of it comes from the rumblings of a troubled planet and how much will be driven by his own hand?
We’re thrilled that some of the finest authors, illustrators and graphic novelists in the world have discovered Elf~Fin™ and have taken it into their hearts. Here’s what they’ve shared with us and allowed us to share with you:
‘The beautiful Mer elves of Elf~Fin are the stunning creations of Julie Ditrich and Jozef Szekeres, who bring you a tale of wonder, and innocence, and great charm! Gorgeously painted, this lovely story is a tale with heart, fantastic imagination, and romance. My highest recommendation!’
— COLLEEN DORAN, Illustrator and Graphic Novelist
A Distant Soil and Gone to Amerikay
“An inventive, imaginative, wholly original mer comic book series about life under the sea. The passions and betrayals of the Elf~Fin, combined with the lush art depicting them, will keep you riveted.”
— CAROLYN TURGEON, Author
Mermaid and The Fairest of Them All
“A gripping and poignant story, vivid characters, and an exotic, beautiful and threatened underwater world, brilliantly evoked in glorious illustrations, all make this a truly special collaboration between writer Julie Ditrich and artist Jozef Szekeres. As one of the early readers of the Preview, I’m delighted to be plunging back into the blue and green depths of Elf-Threaal, and the secrets, mystery, danger and passion of the story of Hyfus and Tilaweed.
— SOPHIE MASSON, Author
Moonlight and Ashes and The Secret Army: Operation Loki
“Elf Fin offers a vision of lives and of love in an undersea adventurous world . This exciting story of Hyfus and Tilaweed fighting for their freedom and looking for the true enduring love will move you and enchant you and entertain you in the best way. Beyond inspiring.”
— THOMAS CAMPI, Artist
Julia and Les Petites Gens
“Stunning! Szekeres’ colourful hand-painted panels easily draw you into Ditrich’s fascinating seabound society… an exciting yet poignant story of love and betrayal, featuring complex characters intertwined with a deeply imaginative and cohesive underwater world. With Elf-Fin: Hyfus & Tilaweed, the creators are bringing mermaids to the forefront of fantastical graphic literature with mature story-telling and uniquely beautiful art. A must-read for any lover of the genre.”
— SARAH ELLERTON, Artist
Finding Gossamyr and Phoenix Requiem
“Creating something with a high level of craft is actually very easy — talent is everywhere these days, and learning the skills to make something that looks great isn’t very difficult either. Creating something with a Pop Culture sensibility is harder, because that involves keeping an eye on what serves the commercial aspects of a project, and a lot of creators just don’t have those chops. And it is incredibly difficult to create something with heart, that will speak to readers in a deeper way than the gloss of craft and pop that may be on the surface will. Hardest of all is creating something that includes all three: high levels of craft, a glorious pop sensibility, and true, honest-to-goodness heart — but that’s a great description of Elf-Fin. It’s wonderful stuff, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.”
—JAMES A. OWEN, Author and Illustrator
Here, There Be Dragons and Drawing Out the Dragons: A Meditation on Art, Destiny and the Power of Choices
There is a “surface” innocence or sweetness about the animation style artwork in the comic book series but don’t let that fool you—this is a universally understood style that lends itself to exploring character and also services an original multi-layered story. Indeed, we recommend this story for readers 15 and up.
To put everything in context, Elf~Fin™: Hyfus and Tilaweed is a 288 page story broken down into six issues of 48 pages each.
And here is the first issue cover:
Some of you have been waiting for a long time for this book and we thank you for your ongoing support and patience. We want to honour four of our favourite characters who have a published history and who are beloved by many of the readers who wanted to see them in print again. We’re hoping that many of you who are new will also let our characters into your hearts and join us for a big underwater Elf~Fin™ adventure. We love our Elf~Fin™ characters – heroes and villains alike – and we can’t wait to introduce you to them and about 40 of their friends.
We polled our readers recently and asked us whether they wanted a large format edition or a standard US comic book size edition or both. They voted overwhelmingly for the third option and so we are fulfilling their wishes by releasing a Direct Exclusive TREASURY EDITION (large format) in May 2013. We will be applying to get the standard size edition available through comics retailers around the world but that is contingent on being accepted by Diamond Distributors. If all goes well, then the second format will be released at the end of the year.
If you want to get reading earlier, then the TREASURY EDITION will ONLY be available through this website, the upcoming Black Mermaid Productions website which will be relaunched in May, and at some Australian conventions and fairs later this year. It is a deluxe super sized edition because this is what the collectors have asked for.
So what do our readers need to know about Elf~Fin™: Hyfus and Tilaweed?
It is a:
- New work!
- New mythology!
- New world!
- New story!
- New lore!
- New characters (plus four fan favourites)!
The creative team behind it:
- Story by Julie Ditrich and Jozef Szekeres
- Script by Julie Ditrich
- Art by Jozef Szekeres
The TREASURY EDITION of Issue #1 contains 56 pages in all, and gives you:
- 48 pages of art and story
- Hand-painted artwork
- Two cover pin-ups from the Preview, and
- Production art and deleted scenes
The TREASURY EDITION is a large format edition so here is what you need to know about the print production if you’re a collector:
- Cover: Card with gloss celloglaze
- Size: 310mm (height) x 215mm (width)
- Binding: Perfect binding
The cover price is AUD$20.00 plus postage and handling.
The postage rates are dictated by Australia Post:
- Australia: AUD$5.00
- New Zealand: AUD$11.00
- Asia / Pacific: AUD$13.00
- North and South America / Europe / Rest of the World: AUD$17.00
To order your personal or gift copy of the Elf~Fin™: Hyfus & Tilaweed #1 TREASURY EDITION, nominate which country / region postage and handing rate applies to you in the drop down menu below and then CLICK on the BUY NOW button, which will take you to the PayPal order form.
SECOND PRINT RUN NOW AVAILABLE!!!
Please note that we only accept order quantities of one (1) under the postage and handling rates as the package complies with certain Australia Post weight restrictions. If you would like to order multiple copies, you can either place individual orders or you can email us first at email@example.com so we can check with the post office and try to get you the best rate.
In the meantime, thank you to our readers for your patience, enthusiasm and support—it’s been a long “tidement” coming and we’ve overcome and endured many obstacles but we’re here and it’s happening at last.
P.S. Remember… the TREASURY EDITION is ONLY available via this website, the Black Mermaid Productions website and some Australian comics events. If you want to dip your toes into Elf~Fin™ waters early, you’ll need to place your order now as we don’t know how many print runs we’ll be doing.