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Special Newsweek Edition: J.R.R. Tolkien: The Mind of a Genius on sale now!
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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 2 2017, 3:01pm

Post #1 of 65 (2428 views)
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Special Newsweek Edition: J.R.R. Tolkien: The Mind of a Genius on sale now! Can't Post

I was in our local Wegmans supermarket this morning when, on a whim, I checked out the magazine section. Guess what I found?



The price is $10.99 (US). The corner box reads: Display until April 22, 2017.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes


OldestDaughter
Rohan


Mar 2 2017, 3:44pm

Post #2 of 65 (2282 views)
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I found that one at our local Food Lion! [In reply to] Can't Post

Its awesome! Another cool item to my Tolkien collection. Wink


It has some beautiful images in it as well.




"Keen, heart-piercing was her song as the song of the lark that rises from the gates of night and pours its voice among the dying stars, seeing the sun behind the walls of the world; and the song of Lúthien released the bonds of winter, and the frozen waters spoke, and flowers sprang from the cold earth where her feet had passed."


squire
Half-elven


Mar 2 2017, 7:06pm

Post #3 of 65 (2274 views)
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What? [In reply to] Can't Post

I would love to know more about the marketing decisions behind this. Who is supposed to buy it?
1. Movie fans - but the movies are as remarkable for veering away from Professor Tolkien's early 20th century ideals and art as they are for portraying his worlds and stories in modern-day imagery.
2. People who will buy anything that is "100 years" oriented - but 1917 is a somewhat arbitrary year for the 'beginning' of the Middle-earth that most of his readers associate with that term.
3. Pipe smokers - a vanishingly small percentage of people.
4. Geniuses and their fans - ditto.
5. Those who still prefer their pop media fixes to focus on the Lord of the Rings films and ignore The Hobbit films - not sure that's a group a marketing executive would identify ahead of time.
6. People who will buy anything with Alan Lee's name on the cover - Of course!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Darkstone
Immortal


Mar 2 2017, 8:15pm

Post #4 of 65 (2262 views)
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To produce buzz for new book and video game? [In reply to] Can't Post

Beren and Luthien is due for publication on May 4th, 2017.

https://www.tolkiensociety.org/...k-beren-and-luthien/

Middle-earth: Shadow of War has a release date of August 2017.

http://www.ign.com/...officially-announced


Coincidence? I think not!!!

******************************************
“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!"
"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."
"Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."
"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"
"But no living man am I! I am Eowyn, daughter of Theodwyn!”
"Er, really? My mother's name was Theodwyn, too!"
"No way!"
"Way!"
"Wow! Let's stop fighting and be best friends!"
"Cool!!"

-Zack Snyder's The Return of the King


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 2 2017, 8:58pm

Post #5 of 65 (2258 views)
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Focus on Tolkien's Middle-earth [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a relatively slim magazine, coming in at 100 pages (including covers and ads). It is broken down into three parts:

- Creating Middle-earth. The story of how J.R.R. Tolkien transformed a love of languages into a fantastic world.
- Exploring MIddle-earth. Breaking down Tolkien's universe to reveal its most compelling mysteries.
- Celebrating Middle-earth. A century later, Tolkien's writing continues to define how we imagine.

The first part includes a brief biography of Tolkien and looks at the experiences and influences that shaped him and Middle-earth. It also takes a look at the friendship between Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

The second section starts with a timeline of Middle-earth. "The Peoples of Middle-earth" includes short descriptions of the races of Arda, from the Ainur to the Orcs (though Trolls and Giants get left out). Another article examines the Hobbits in more detail. A map traces the journeys of the members of the Fellowship (though not those of Thorin and Company). Alan Lee discusses his experiences illustrating Middle-earth; some of his book covers are showcased, including the cover for the upcoming Beren and Lúthien. There is also a look at Tolkien's use of names and a table that traces the history of the Rings of Power.

"Celebrating Middle-earth" examines Tolkien's impact on literature and pop culture, discusses the insights to be gained from The Silmarillion, and looks at some of the adaptations of Tolkien's works for radio, television and film (the Rankin/Bass specials don't rate a mention while the 1981 BBC adaptation of LotR is conflated with the Mind's Eye adaptation for radio that aired on NPR), with an emphasis on the Peter Jackson films. Dungeons & Dragons gets a single name-check, but there is no coverage of actual Middle-earth games, video or otherwise.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Mar 2 2017, 8:59pm)


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 2 2017, 11:33pm

Post #6 of 65 (2242 views)
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Based upon this cover, you'd think he directed the movies... [In reply to] Can't Post

Doesn't look like much of a tribute to me. Should have at least have some images of his own original art and book covers.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 3 2017, 12:37am

Post #7 of 65 (2236 views)
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Oh, give it a rest, Grumpy! [In reply to] Can't Post

You don't like the movies. We know. But do you have to harp on it every chance you get?

I respectfully suggest that you go dip your beard in the foam, father.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Mar 3 2017, 12:38am)


Silmaril
Rohan


Mar 3 2017, 7:43am

Post #8 of 65 (2198 views)
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Interestingly there are only LOTR pics... [In reply to] Can't Post

and as far as I know wizzardly likes the LOTR movies to a certain extent.
And there is some truth in what he said about the cover design.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Mar 3 2017, 8:56am

Post #9 of 65 (2197 views)
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I have to agree [In reply to] Can't Post

that using photos from the LotR movie posters, rather than some Alan Lee artwork, is an odd decision for this cover. I have to think some ad exec had a hand in it - those are very familiar images because of the huge publicity around the movies, and might draw the eye of people who know JRRT mostly through the movies.

Darkstone's idea that this is to create buzz for upcoming releases makes a lot of sense, especially as Otaku-sempai mentions that this publication features Alan Lee artwork for the new Beren and Lúthien book.

So I'd guess that this little publication is meant to draw in people who enjoyed the movies, and then provide them with a little more background that might make them interested in a "new" Tolkien story that - just by coincidence - will soon be available in bookstores everywhere!

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



grammaboodawg
Immortal


Mar 3 2017, 1:46pm

Post #10 of 65 (2174 views)
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*gasp* Thank You! :D [In reply to] Can't Post

*scribbles on shopping list* FINALLY! A QUEST! :D




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 3 2017, 4:38pm

Post #11 of 65 (2161 views)
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This isn't really about how I personally feel about PJ's movies... [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed PJ's LotR for what it is...his Hobbit, not so much. But all of that aside, this magazine looks like something that should have come out in 2001 to promote the movie, not as a tribute to 100 years of Middle-earth, let alone the man who created it. Tolkien had nothing to do with the creation of PJ's movies and in most likelihood, wouldn't have cared much for them if he shared any of his son's sentiments.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 3 2017, 9:55pm

Post #12 of 65 (2129 views)
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Okay... [In reply to] Can't Post

...at least, that doesn't reflect your feelings on all of them. Remember, the films are now the most familiar incarnation of Middle-earth to the general public. Not that an Alan Lee cover wouldn't have been nice too.


In Reply To
Tolkien had nothing to do with the creation of PJ's movies and in most likelihood, wouldn't have cared much for them if he shared any of his son's sentiments.


Since Tolkien passed away in 1973 he obviously had nothing directly to do with the movie adaptations. At the same time, without the books there would be no movies, no animated television specials, no radio dramas, and no The Hobbit graphic novel.

Question: Do you think that the collected graphic novel could have been used as a template (a rough storyboard, if you will) in adapting The Hobbit to the screen?

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Mar 3 2017, 10:04pm)


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 3 2017, 10:13pm

Post #13 of 65 (2110 views)
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yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

Pre-movie artwork from any of the established Tolkien artists such as Alan Lee, John Howe or Ted Nasmith, would have been more appropriate, though I understand why Newsweek went with this cover design, and unfortunately, the reason you give is exactly correct.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 3 2017, 10:25pm

Post #14 of 65 (2101 views)
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Hobbit graphic novel... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's been awhile since I read the graphic novel, but I remember it being pretty close to Tolkien's original story, and the scenes as I recall were pretty well adapted to the comic book medium, so I don't see why that couldn't be adapted to live action. But as to Tolkien not being around for PJ's movies, I would say the fact that his son felt so strongly against them, and felt that they didn't do his father's creation justice, surrounding his photograph with images from said movies is a bit unfitting for a tribute.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 3 2017, 10:33pm

Post #15 of 65 (2099 views)
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As a side note... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad at least they decided not to include anything from PJ's Hobbit on the cover, because that would just be insulting.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Mar 4 2017, 12:52am

Post #16 of 65 (2091 views)
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For what it's worth, I agree with you. [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw it on the magazine rack, grabbed it, flipped through...and promptly put it right back. I figured everybody else had already seen it, and hadn't bothered to mention it here, so I didn't. It was nice to see a dedicated issue again, but it would have been a lot nicer if it didn't so closely resemble all the special issues from the LotR movie release period which I already own.

But I'm a curmudgeon. It says so right in my footer.

**********************************

NABOUF
Not a TORns*b!
Certified Curmudgeon
Knitting Knerd
NARF: NWtS Chapter Member since June 17,2011


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 4 2017, 1:48am

Post #17 of 65 (2080 views)
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indeed... [In reply to] Can't Post

It is as I feared. After the extraordinary success of PJ's LotR movies, nearly all Tolkien memorabilia has become movie-centric, and generally tackier.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


squire
Half-elven


Mar 4 2017, 2:47am

Post #18 of 65 (2083 views)
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Tackier than what? [In reply to] Can't Post

One of my first impressions of 'Tolkien memorabilia', long before the New Line films, was the Tolkien Calendars. Tim Kirk - a class act. The Brothers Hildebrandt - well, 'tacky' is not too far off the mark.

I understand and agree with your remark that the films have had a lasting impact on the popular imagery associated with Tolkien. I'm not so sure that anything is "generally tackier" since the films. Did you read Lin Carter's book? Listen to Led Zeppelin's less inspired lyrics? See the costume designs in Bakshi's animated epic LotR?

Tolkien has always been pursued by the tacky end of popular taste, and I doubt it really changed for the worse after 2001.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 4 2017, 2:51pm

Post #19 of 65 (2043 views)
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I'll gladly take everything you've mentioned... [In reply to] Can't Post

and trade you a lovely set of Light-up Goblets from Burger King, and a "Nobody Tosses a Dwarf" t-shirt.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien

(This post was edited by wizzardly on Mar 4 2017, 2:52pm)


dormouse
Half-elven


Mar 4 2017, 5:20pm

Post #20 of 65 (2025 views)
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More appropriate....... I'm not sure [In reply to] Can't Post

Setting aside what you or I or anyone else feels about the films - or, for that matter, the illustrators you've mentioned - is there really any right or wrong choice here? Both films and artwork are visual representations of Tolkien's work by people other than Tolkien, done after his lifetime.

I would guess at some quite different reasons why the Newsweek cover designer chose film stills. First there's the issue of rights. Pre-movie artwork by those three or any other artist would have to be paid for: they're all still living so their work is well within copyright. That would have meant dealing with their various publishers - the more artists represented, the more separate permissions and fees, whereas the film stills are all Warner: simples!

Then, purely from a design point of view it would be much harder to combine the photo of Tolkien with a montage of illustrations or details of illustrations. There used to be a tradition of painted portraits of authors surrounded by their creations in similar vein to the Newsweek cover but it's a hard thing to pull off well and if the separate elements were not by the same person the end result could look very cluttered. The Newsweek designer has achieved a unity by using photographs.

Me, I'd have loved to see a complete new portrait by Alan Lee or John Howe showing Tolkien surrounded by his creations - something full of details that we'd be mulling over for the next decade or so, but I don't suppose Newsweek wanted that. They wanted something strong and eye-catching that would be noticed on the newsstands - and that's what they got.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 4 2017, 5:47pm

Post #21 of 65 (2016 views)
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Yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

As I have already said, I understand why Newsweek would go with the movie-centric cover design. The movies are geared towards a more mainstream audience, as is Newsweek magazine. Most people on average are only familiar with Tolkien's characters and stories only through PJ's movies, so movie images will grab the attention of a larger audience. But, for all the reasons I have stated above, it serves as a terrible tribute to 100 years of Tolkien's Middle-earth.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


dormouse
Half-elven


Mar 4 2017, 7:24pm

Post #22 of 65 (2003 views)
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Terrible? I don't know. For myself I'm more inclined to say..... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that having lived through four decades when you didn't mention liking Tolkien's fictional writing because it was dismissed by the literary world as juvenile nonsense, I'm glad to see it celebrated by the world at large. I'm happy to cheer them on even if they don't always do things in a way I might have chosen.

Without that lasting and growing interest I suspect it would be harder in today's publishing climate for so many new books of Tolkien's unpublished work and new critical studies to find a home. They're published because they sell. They sell because so long as Tolkien is known and talked about people will go on discovering the books for themselves.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


wizzardly
Rohan


Mar 4 2017, 7:59pm

Post #23 of 65 (1988 views)
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That certainly hasn't been my experience... [In reply to] Can't Post

I was a proud admirer of Tolkien's long before the movies came out and would never think to hide my appreciation.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


squire
Half-elven


Mar 4 2017, 8:47pm

Post #24 of 65 (1976 views)
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It's hard to say how much of the published Tolkien studies material since 2001 is due to the films' popularity. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and the History of Middle-earth series - books that very few people have read, especially the last - all were published long before the films, simply because The Lord of the Rings has been a reasonably popular book over several generations.

The Children of Hurin might seem to be a creature of the films - I suspect that Christopher Tolkien pushed it along because he resented the attention the films were getting! - but given Mr. Tolkien's prodigious work on his father's archives going all the way back to 1977, and his excellent relationship with his publishers, I wouldn't bet that CoH and now Beren and Luthien, not to mention the books on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sigurd, and King Arthur among other lesser non-blockbusters, wouldn't in fact have been published no matter what Hollywood was doing. But take the contrary position: CoH, probably like the B&L book, are more readable but are still just abbreviated extensions of the earlier published works. Even had they not been published in a world of no blockbuster films, they would not be that greatly missed, I think, compared to the vast number of pages of Tolkien's words that were put in print long before Peter Jackson began his great adventure.

As for the critical studies, who can say whether professors are publishing more because the Tolkien name is hot due to the films. I think it's quite possible. But I also know I've read numerous critical essays in the last few years where the writers were unable to distinguish between episodes from the books, and episodes from the films, attributing both to "Tolkien". It's quite a double-edged sword, the impact of the films on 'Tolkien Studies'.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


dormouse
Half-elven


Mar 4 2017, 10:31pm

Post #25 of 65 (1961 views)
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I couldn't - and wouldn't - say how much difference it has made.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but I sense and see that it has made a real difference - and there is good in that difference as well as things any one of us might regret. I know that from my own experience, which may well be different from yours or wizzardly's, but it's real, nonetheless.

As far as publication goes, I was thinking of the publishing climate now, which is very different from what it was when The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and HoMe came out.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .

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