Plagiarism, Hobbit Style

Looking through my Pinterest feed for Tolkien images, I found this cover for a French edition of The Hobbit. It looked awfully familiar to me. Then I figured out where I had seen it before.

Now, I wish the artist had been just a little more creative and not cribbed what is obvious, particularly as Frank Frazetta, whose illustration this is, is not known for his depictions of dragons. Human figures, big cats, horses, werewolves, fine. But his dragons looks like lazy, oversized Gila monsters. While Gila monsters can be vicious and poisonous, they do not have the dragon-like qualities of intelligence, speed, flight, and fire. The warriors in the pic areĀ  reacting far too quickly for the threat before them. They should be dividing and backing off, holding their swords for a deep thrust and not in a hack n’ slash fashion.

As an artist myself, I don’t like the French cover at all, and I doubt the artist even read the book, or the relevant sections of the book. Bilbo is not depicted at all, instead the human bowman gets the glory while holding his odd perspective. And Smaug looks too much like a giant bat which is suspended strangely on the clouds.

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