Category Archive: Fresh News

What's been going on lately

Mar 31

Tolkien March, Concluded

J.R.R. Tolkien caricature by Diego Parpaglion   Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the End of our fellowship in Middle-Earth. Go in Peace! I will not say: Do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.   It’s been fun a fun month here in Cobaltland, delving …

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Mar 30

Sauron, Melkor, and the Ho-yay

Melkor and Sauron by Kaprriss on @DeviantArt   Tolkien March is drawing to a close. As it ends, I want to touch on the fanfic and fanart… and the slash… bursting onto the scene after the release of Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, and gathering steam through the next two releases and …

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Mar 26

Tolkien in Bengali

  A Bengali edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, published in the Indian subcontinent. (Hindi and English are the official languages government-wise, but there are many, many others including Tamil, Urdu, and Punjabi.) The artwork looks to be a crib from the 2001 movie, done in the style of Bollywood cinema posters. Look closely …

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Mar 20

In Praise of Oliphaunts

  Grey as a mouse, Big as a house, Nose like a snake, I make the earth shake, As I tramp through the grass; Trees crack as I pass.  J.R.R. Tolkien, “Oliphaunt” (Artwork: Oliphaunt am I, by wynahiros)     Oliphaunts, or mumakil as Tolkien also called them, are one of the mythical creatures most …

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Mar 19

Three Editions Through Time

  Three editions of the trilogy over the years. The top one is the first, unauthorized paperback version. Note that the Nazgul on the cover of The Two Towers is a pegasus and not the reptilian creature that was actually in the book. The artist got other details right, like the black-robed, faceless Nazgul, and …

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Mar 16

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 …

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Mar 12

The Fellowship of the Ring Chinese Cover

Cover for Chinese edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, 2014, by artist Jian Guo   This beautiful cover, reminiscent of Chinese jade carvings, was part of a competition by WenJing Publishing to release the trilogy for an Asian market.  I like it when the books receive artistic interpretations of the country they are released …

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Mar 10

Smaug the Terrible

  There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; a thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber. Beneath him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail, and about him on all sides stretching away across the unseen floors, lay countless piles …

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Mar 05

Der Kleine Hobbit

German edition   This German cover of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit changes the title slightly to “The Little Hobbit” and pairs a bloated, toadlike, crazy-eyed Smaug with a tap-dancing Hobbit waving a top hat. The whole is enclosed in a trompe l’oeil frame with a spider crawling on the bottom, which alludes to the dwarves’ …

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Mar 04

Russia does The Hobbit

In the 1980s the Russians made their own version of The Hobbit (unauthorized — copyrights, shmopyrights!) for TV.   It is not so big budget, but the acting is delightful. I particularly like the baby crocodile Smaug.

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