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Lord of the Rings Books

See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used To Build Middle-Earth (wired.com) 48

Esther Schindler writes: In addition to writing the story of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien drew it. The maps and sketches he made while drafting it "informed his storytelling, allowing him to test narrative ideas and illustrate scenes he needed to capture in words," reports Ethan Gilsdorf at Wired. "For Tolkien, the art of writing and the art of drawing were inextricably intertwined."

It's all coming out in a new book, but here we get a sneak preview, along with several cool observations, such as: "If Tolkien's nerdy use of graph paper feels like a secret message to future Dungeons & Dragons players, then so does his 'Plan of Shelob's lair.' Tolkien's map of tunnels stocked with nasties—here, a spider named Shelob—would be right at home in any Dungeon Master's campaign notes. He even marks the place for a classic dungeon crawl feature: 'trap.'"

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See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used To Build Middle-Earth

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why are these articles being posted? This is not tech news. Nerds/Geeks - let's move on. I like Star Trek too - I don't want to see articles about that either. Go ahead, I'm sure folks agree - maybe you're reading this now, agreeing, yet you will take the counter argument if/when you choose to reply to this. I won't be checking for replies on this, I am not attempting to introduce flame bait here. While I'm at it, I really can't get over how lame some of the tech is on here lately too. I need to brea

    • Why are these articles being posted? This is not tech news.

      Agreed. This is just filler and fanboy crap. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TECHNOLOGY?

      Fucking thing was drawn with a crayon, what does this have to do with anything related to technology?

      • Fucking thing was drawn with a crayon, what does this have to do with anything related to technology?

        How It's Made: Crayons [youtube.com]

        --
        Just cruising through this digital world at 33 1/3 rpm...

        at 33 13/rpm .... >pop<
        at 33 13/rpm .... >pop<
        at 33 13/rpm .... >pop<
        at 33 13/rpm .... >pop<

        • at 33 13/rpm .... >pop<
          at 33 13/rpm .... >pop<
          at 33 13/rpm .... >pop<
          at 33 13/rpm .... >pop<

          But notice how warm and rich the 'pops' are! Can't do that with a CD, now can ya? ;)

          • But notice how warm and rich the 'pops' are! Can't do that with a CD, now can ya? ;)

            As a kid I'd sometimes let an LP sit in the inner circle-groove and turn the amp way up, just below the point where the rumble fed back into the cartridge. The repetitive sound was as unique as a fingerprint and I'd listen to that for awhile. I'd imagine I was inside some giant machine.

            The worst gash-skips I'd 'fix' with a hot needle or razor blade. This stopped the skip but left a horrible noise. Then I discovered that you could often shave gently down from the top of the gash until the part protruding int

        • So don't you waste your time on
          you waste your time on
          you waste your time on
          you waste your time on
          you waste your time on

          Don't waste it, Don't wast your time on me . . . . . ((Extra points for anyone who recognizes this . . . . ))
      • 'News for Nerds' does not mean just tech stories. Sorry to break it to you.

  • "Stuff that matters"....indeed.

    I could have sworn this was a site about technology at one time....

    What's next, a review of Bristol Palin's Wordpress blog?

    • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Saturday October 10, 2015 @07:04PM (#50700787)

      Oh lighten up. LoTR has always been on-topic here. It's part of your nerd or geek card membership. After all, you conveniently left out the most important part of the tagline: "news for nerds." Though maybe the nature of the nerd is changing. Hard to believe I've been wasting time on slashdot for nearly 20 years now.

      Other nerdy non-tech subjects come up from time to time, that slashdotters seem to love talking about:
      - star trek
      - star wars
      - science fiction in general
      - The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

      to name but a few.

      • I seem to see these types of comments more and more, and all by users with such a short time on the site. As someone who has spent over 10 years as a member of this site, it is disappointing to see what it has become in terms of both what users think Slashdot is
        "How is Tolkien related to technology"
        and to see the quality of the articles go downhill. To me this is Stuff that Matters. Endless posts about the release of a new iDevice, or politics don't interest me. I can read about those topics on any othe
    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
      I'm surprised you came down from your high horse long enough to send a message to us peons.

      If J.R.R. Tolkien isn't "news for nerds" then I have no clue what would qualify.
      • Ya! I already wanna comment bitching about how come he didn't use that map instead of the famous but idiotically rectilinear mountains one, expecting someone else to chime in he drew that one, too, then I would make a sarcastic comment that he obviously used rectangle graph paper for large scale outdoors instead of hex, what a doof he was.

        I am not well-appreciated answering questions on stackexchange by the humorless robots there.

    • You really do need to get a clue about this site. It was never just about technology, and Tolkien has always been on topic here.

    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      If you killed yourself, you'd not be bothered by slashdot's choice of stories. It's a win/win for everyone involved!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I know that Tolkien did some rough sketches of some questionable quality in the early stages of the Hobbit and the LoTR, but his son, Chris, did most of the maps and drawings once he was a teenager, if not before that. I call shenanigans! Tolkien himself admitted--in Letters if not other commentary--that he was no artist and that Chris did most of the artwork associated with the maps and early sketches that went with his work.

    • Re:What?!?!? (Score:4, Informative)

      by AntiSol ( 1329733 ) on Saturday October 10, 2015 @09:21PM (#50701539)

      That's not quite right.

      Tolkien himself admitted--in Letters if not other commentary--that he was no artist

      That was JRRT being self-deprecating and humble. Some of his art was actually quite good. It all came down to how much time he put into it - there's a big difference between his finished works and his crude sketches. I think what he means when he says "I'm no artist" is more along the lines of "I'm not on par with picasso" rather than "I can't draw". If you want to see some awesome art by JRRT, check out J.R.R Tolkiien: Artist And Illustrator [wikipedia.org], which has some awesome stuff. This new book seems to be focusing more on the rough sketches.

      and that Chris did most of the artwork associated with the maps and early sketches that went with his work.

      Chris only did the maps IIRC. The other illustrations tended to be JRRT. The original (intended, I don't think it was published in the end) cover of the hobbit was entirely JRRT's design.

      • by RDW ( 41497 )

        Tolkien's cover for the Hobbit was used in the original and many more recent editions:

        http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki... [tolkiengateway.net]

        He also did the maps, endpapers and what I think are still by far the best illustrations for The Hobbit. These were in the edition I first read as a child, and it's always disappointing to pick up a version that doesn't have the painting of Smaug on the hoard, or the drawings of the mountain path, Laketown and Beorn's hall. There's a nice selection of Tolkien's art, including the Hobbit ill

        • Tolkien's cover for the Hobbit was used in the original and many more recent editions

          Oh that is his cover? And it was the original cover? It does look like his work. I seem to recall reading something that said there were issues around publishing it with his cover initially. Or perhaps it was the illustrations? Or maybe it was a point of contention but he got his way in the end? I read about it a long time ago and my memory is fuzzy. I did know that he had done a bunch of illustrations and the cover design.

          I have an illustrated edition with all his illustrations but no copy with that cover.

          • by RDW ( 41497 )

            Yes, it was used for the very first (British) edition, as were his black and white illustrations (the paintings were added in later printings) and his dragon motif on the board underneath the dust cover. In the UK there were only minor issues - in one of his letters from 1937 Tolkien is concerned about whether the original dust jacket illustration was too complex and had too many colours to print - the publisher went with his suggestion to replace the red sun with a white circle (restored in more recent edi

  • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Saturday October 10, 2015 @08:15PM (#50701205)

    J.R.R. Tolkien's Rings trilogy was originally published in 1954-55, relatively obscure until an American pulp publisher 'Ace' just went to press without even asking, never mind the money. Tolkien battled them for rights and royalties, and things dragged along slowly until a cadre of deep fan American readers took on the cause with verve that Ace could scarcely have imagined, and sent them reeling. Ace eventually offered an arrangement that was accepted by the Author and formal truce was declared.

    Meanwhile (1960s) popularity of the books had taken off considerably in the United States and Britain. So with new interest Ballentine Books approached the author with intent to produce an 'authorised' paperback edition -- with some revision -- and they would do the cover. From Humphrey Carpenter's J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography,

    [After some delay] they decided that they could not wait any longer. In order to get at least one Tolkien book into the shops they published The Hobbit in the original text without waiting for Tolkien's revisions, which they planned to include in a later edition. They sent him a copy, and he was astonished by the picture on the cover. Ace Books for all their moral 'piracy' had employed a cover artist who knew something about the story, but Ballantine's cover picture seemed to have no relevance whatever to The Hobbit, for it showed a hill, two emus, and a curious tree bearing bulbous fruit. Tolkien exploded: 'What has it got to do with the story? Where is this place? Why emus? And what is the thing in the foreground with pink bulbs?' When the reply came that the artist hadn't time to read the book, and that the object with pink bulbs was 'meant to suggest a Christmas tree', Tolkien could only answer: 'I begin to feel that I am shut up in a madhouse.'

    Late in 1965 the `authorised' paperback of The Lord of the Rings was published in America in three volumes, with Tolkien's revisions incorporated, and with the emus and the Christmas tree on the cover of the first volume, though this picture was later removed and one of Tolkien's own drawings was substituted; two more of his pictures were used for the second and third volumes. Each copy carried a message from Tolkien: 'This paperback edition and no other has been published with my consent and co-operation. Those who approve of courtesy (at least) to living authors will purchase it and no other.'

    Purple Emu Fellowships are now rare. I used to have one.

  • "For Tolkien, the art of writing and the art of drawing were inextricably intertwined."

    Well, he was raised in a time where people had a proper drawing room in every respectable house.

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