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Lord of the Rings comic books

Alientraveller
Lorien


Dec 27 2017, 9:40am

Post #1 of 9 (1763 views)
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Lord of the Rings comic books Can't Post

Hi everyone! Earlier this year I posted a couple of speculatory pieces on a Middle-earth Cinematic Universe and a Lord of the Rings TV series. Ho ho ho, I basically got my wish. Now over at Multiversity Comics, I've had a piece exploring how Middle-earth could be explored in comic books. I go over again about events that could be explored but hopefully you'll also enjoy learning about earlier comics aside from Eclipse's version of The Hobbit, and writers and artists who I think would be great for Tolkien's world. Happy Christmas everyone!

http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/we-want-lotr/

"Sure, it's not really The Lord of the Rings, but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie." - PJ


squire
Half-elven


Dec 27 2017, 1:08pm

Post #2 of 9 (1741 views)
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A very extensive brief [In reply to] Can't Post

As I read the essay, I felt I was re-reading the endless debates about which films should or could be made about Middle-earth if only restrictions were lifted by the Tolkien Estate regarding copyright.

The comics format is engaging, of course, because of the addition of artwork and the necessary condensation of text to make room for it. Still, a book length comic about, say, Gondor's kin-strife episode, must necessarily be based on less than a page of narration in Tolkien's LotR appendices, which gives only the barest outlines of the story, a few leading character names, and no dialogue. The work would be just as much fan-fiction as any proposed spin-off novel, or original screenplay.

I imagine much of the enthusiasm for this kind of proposal does come from what seems like equivalent permissions from the 'cinematic' or 'comic' universes of other sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, or superhero properties. Authors and artists are commissioned, or permitted, or licensed to "explore" new story directions, alternate universes, 'what-if' scenarios, additional characters, and cross-over encounters with other similar universes. Surely Tolkien's Middle-earth is just such a place, lacking only legal sanction which now seems forthcoming since Christopher Tolkien's retirement?

I suppose if the Tolkien Estate goes along with this kind of expansionary thinking, we will be seeing the results in a few years. I remain a bit stodgy on this front, though - I can't say I look forward to any of it at all, at all.



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


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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Dec 27 2017, 5:26pm

Post #3 of 9 (1724 views)
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Perhaps there has been an anti-comics bias? [In reply to] Can't Post

The serialization of The Hobbit for Princess magazine was a condensed version of the book that was heavily illustrated; it wasn't done in the comics format. I do wonder that it doesn't seem to have been collected and published as a single volume. While I still have a vague impression of at least part of TH being adapted as a comic strip for some 1970s American children's magazine, I do have both hardcover and paperback copies of the collected graphic novel originally published by Eclipse Comics (currently available from Del Rey Books).

The adaptation of TH might have been permitted due to the story being seen as a children's book, as opposed to a more serious novel in the case of The Lord of the Rings. Luis Bermejo was adapting the Ralph Bakshi film version, apparently under license from Tolkien Enterprises (now Middle-earth Enterprises). I would be all for a complete adaptation of LotR, though it might need to be published in six volumes, all around the size of the TH graphic novel (and would likely be missing the appendices).

I am a little surprised that there never seems to have been a manga (Japanese comics) adaptation of at least TH.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Dec 27 2017, 5:27pm)


MorgulBlade
The Shire


Dec 27 2017, 6:31pm

Post #4 of 9 (1701 views)
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re:comic books [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Hi everyone! Earlier this year I posted a couple of speculatory pieces on a Middle-earth Cinematic Universe and a Lord of the Rings TV series. Ho ho ho, I basically got my wish. Now over at Multiversity Comics, I've had a piece exploring how Middle-earth could be explored in comic books. I go over again about events that could be explored but hopefully you'll also enjoy learning about earlier comics aside from Eclipse's version of The Hobbit, and writers and artists who I think would be great for Tolkien's world. Happy Christmas everyone!

http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/we-want-lotr/


Well I think the world of Middle Earth would be an obvious pick for a graphic novel adaption. Ive seen how well similar series can translate to a graphic novel format, like Stephen Kings the Dark Tower.

Anyway I could see stuff from the Similarrion or Unfinished Tales making it into Graphic novel form, or even stuff from the appendices.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Dec 27 2017, 7:04pm

Post #5 of 9 (1692 views)
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Expanded stories? [In reply to] Can't Post

Christopher Tolkien may have retired, but I'm not sure the Tolkien Estate is ready to authorize a series of comics that expand upon the Appendices or later works such as The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales. Granted, a comic-book series about the journeys and errantries of Aragorn could go on for a long time just getting caught up to Frodo's first encounter with Strider in Bree!

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Dec 27 2017, 7:04pm)


Alientraveller
Lorien


Dec 28 2017, 8:22am

Post #6 of 9 (1666 views)
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The Official Handbook of the Ardaverse? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The adaptation of TH might have been permitted due to the story being seen as a children's book, as opposed to a more serious novel in the case of The Lord of the Rings. Luis Bermejo was adapting the Ralph Bakshi film version, apparently under license from Tolkien Enterprises (now Middle-earth Enterprises). I would be all for a complete adaptation of LotR, though it might need to be published in six volumes, all around the size of the TH graphic novel (and would likely be missing the appendices).

I am a little surprised that there never seems to have been a manga (Japanese comics) adaptation of at least TH.


I'm not an otaku myself yet can imagine Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves and Orcs lending themselves well to a Japanese penciler's style.

The idea of the Appendices as an "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" type deal might work as an addendum to a LOTR adaptation. I guess it would also quell squire's concerns about too much original writing, though it's not a concern I have given how two of the films' most beloved speeches - Sam in TTT and Aragorn in ROTK - were created by PJ and company.

"Sure, it's not really The Lord of the Rings, but it could still be a pretty damn cool movie." - PJ


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Dec 28 2017, 3:35pm

Post #7 of 9 (1651 views)
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Other Voices [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm not an otaku myself yet can imagine Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves and Orcs lending themselves well to a Japanese penciler's style.


Otaku is a pretty broad term that roughly translates to 'rabid fan'. Evil You don't have to be Japanese or be interested in anime or manga. You can be a futball otaku, a basketball otaku, a food otaku, an automotive otaku, or even a Tolkien otaku! Laugh We can look at the book illustrations for the Japanese editions of Tolkien's works to get a rough idea of what manga adaptations might look like.








In Reply To
The idea of the Appendices as an "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" type deal might work as an addendum to a LOTR adaptation. I guess it would also quell squire's concerns about too much original writing, though it's not a concern I have given how two of the films' most beloved speeches - Sam in TTT and Aragorn in ROTK - were created by PJ and company.


Yes, any new adaptation or addition to (secondary?) canon has the opportunity to refresh the material for a new audience. There are places where Jackson certainly did succeed at that even as some changes gave conniptions to some of the existing fandom. It is probably worth remembering that some of the most reviled sequences ("I could have anything down my pants!"; "Because it was real.") are bound to be among someone's favorite scenes. In the right hands, there is material in the appendices that could become graphic novels in their own right--or even an entire series of collected graphic novels in the case (for one example) of "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" from Appendix A.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Dec 28 2017, 3:46pm)


MorgulBlade
The Shire


Jan 4, 7:28pm

Post #8 of 9 (1489 views)
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re: spin offs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Christopher Tolkien may have retired, but I'm not sure the Tolkien Estate is ready to authorize a series of comics that expand upon the Appendices or later works such as The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales. Granted, a comic-book series about the journeys and errantries of Aragorn could go on for a long time just getting caught up to Frodo's first encounter with Strider in Bree!


I am just surprised because we have gotten video games (like shadow of mordor) which would seem to take new spins on established lore but somehow graphic novels always seem to be out of the realm of possibility here.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 4, 8:39pm

Post #9 of 9 (1485 views)
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Times have changed! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I am just surprised because we have gotten video games (like shadow of mordor) which would seem to take new spins on established lore but somehow graphic novels always seem to be out of the realm of possibility here.


When Eclipse Comics originally serialized The Hobbit as a comic, graphic novel adaptations of longer works like The Lord of the Rings was considered to be untenable. But things have changed, and we see more and more book series adapted and collected into multi-volume graphic novels. It might be that no comics publisher has made an offer to the Tolkien Estate in recent years, such an offer might not have been good enough, or there may have been a bias within the Estate against the comics format. Without inside information it is hard to know.

And for the record, I am a little surprised (and disappointed) that we haven't seen an animated movie prequel to any of the recent Middle-earth games. Such direct-to-video movies were getting pretty commonplace for a while.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 4, 8:42pm)

 
 

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