It’s that time of year again, when ghouls and ghosts and all things strange wander the neighbourhood – some of them not even in costume. I’ve drawn many of them, and even written and illustrated a book about them. called Draw It! Monsters. In 2000 however, I was sent by London’s Evening Standard to investigate and write about another intriguing phenomenon – Iceland’s elf population.
I’d heard about Iceland’s belief in and respect for elves, and set up a meeting with Magnus Skarphedinsson, headmaster of Reykjavik’s Elf School, on the outskirts of that city to find out more. Magnus proved to be elusive, but happily we did meet in the end, and here he is showing me what elves’ saucepans look like.
Not only did I learn about elves, and get a certificate to prove it, I met and had tea with Erla, charming elf intermediary, who kindly drew a picture of my aura, which I was very glad to see included my favourite colour – turquoise blue.
Later on during my trip I visited the Ellidaar hydroelectric power station, and was fascinated to see this map hanging on the wall amongst the power station’s more technical information. It indicates elf home locations so they can be avoided during construction work. Apparently bad things happen if they’re disturbed. Elves have respect in Iceland. As I was told by the owner of my b&b in Reykjavik: “You have your Royal Family, and we have our elves.”