Wikipedia as a Memory Completer

So here's something typical that I've been using Wikipedia for a lot lately, that I'm not sure it gets nearly enough credit for. It helps fill in the dark areas of my memory and give context to things that happened when I was a kid. Sometimes something was important for a small time in my life, and then disappeared and only remains as a distant memory and it bothers me that I have these strong memories of things and I'm not sure why.

Ready for a step-by-step process of how I ended up at Wikipedia this morning? Okay..

Today is Thanksgiving (Happy Holidays everyone!), and I was thinking of my favorite movie for today which is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It captures the day perfectly for me somehow, and is hilarious. Now, I've written about it twice before and I was mulling posting about it for a third year just for fun, but on my way to finding the post, I ran across another post I wrote last year about Douglas Coupland.

This reminded me that Coupland's new book called "jPod" was going to be published and the end of this year - this is supposed to be his followup to Microserfs, which I'm eagerly awaiting - so I decided to bop over to Coupland's site to see what's going on with it. On the jPod page it says 2006 now, so I guess it'll be a little while longer. So *now* I'm about to post about this as well, when I see these images with odd quotes like "Why didn't you stupid Wolfriders send Petalwing back to us?" and something waaaay back in my mind lights up.

Hey - those are quotes from ElfQuest!

Still with me? Didn't think so...

Okay, I'm not sure if you know what ElfQuest is, but it's a series of independantly published comic books started in 1978 by Wendy and Richard Pini (WaRP Graphics) until 1984, and have been republished and extended since. Now, I knew little of that last sentence at the time I saw those quotes on Coupland's site, actually. All I remembered was my older brother David having a stack of these cool black and white comics (graphic novels really) when I was 10 to say 15 years old or so that my whole family was into for a while. There was this huge wait in between issues, so it was a big thing when my brother brought home the latest copy from the comic book store. I honestly haven't really thought about them in the intervening 20 years.

Okay, time to fill in the details! First a Yahoo! search brings up (of course) which has links to the first episode of the comics (in full color no less!) and also a link to the Pini's blog. Now *that* is cool. At the end of all the original issues, Wendy and Richard would write a message to their fans, and answer mail questions, etc. Now those guys actually have a blog! That's pretty damn cool.

But wait, what about the Elves?! I remember the plot went off into this direction with all these evil elves showing up... what happened there? The official site (and fan sites) just have the latest stuff... Wikipedia to the rescue! The ElfQuest entry in WIkipedia has a great summary of the plot and characters and history of the publication itself, and gives me context to what was a distant memory from my youth. Ahhh, now I feel much better - and when I have these memories from now on, they won't be uncompleted mysteries to me any more.

This happens a lot, actually - and Wikipedia is a perfect place to look. From news events that I sort of remember, to TV shows, to books I read when I was young, and more. There's tons of blank spots that I'm able to fill in with context. Current events too. I love the fact that there's a place with summaries of everything.

Okay. After all that... I've got one question: What the hell are Elfquest quotes doing as images on Douglas Coupland's new novel called jPod which is ostensibly about Microsoft and maybe Apple (given the name)?


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