AN UNEXPECTED PARTY
by Artist DAVID WENZEL 1991
inspired by THE HOBBIT of J. R. R. Tolkien
UNUSED MODERN C. 1997 ART REPRINT POST CARD POSTCARD
APPROX. SIZE OF CARD: 6.25" X 4.75"
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J. R. R. Tolkien
Born John Ronald Reuel Tolkien 3 January 1892 (1892-01-03) Bloemfontein, Orange Free State
Died 2 September 1973 (1973-09-03) (aged 81) Bournemouth, England
Occupation Author, Academic, Philologist
Genres Fantasy, High fantasy, Translation, Criticism
Notable work(s) The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis – they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After his death, Tolkien's son, Christopher, published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955 Tolkien applied the word legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when they were published in paperback in the United States led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or more precisely, high fantasy. Tolkien's writings have inspired many other works of fantasy and have had a lasting effect on the entire field. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of 'The 50 greatest British writers since 1945'.
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by J. R. R. Tolkien. Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognised as a classic children's book. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into darker, deeper territory. The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien's Wilderland. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature (the "Tookish" side) and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo develops a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. The prose adventure is interspersed with songs and poetry, many of which serve to lighten the tone of otherwise frightening or dramatic scenes. The final chapters deal with the climactic Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict. Critics have drawn parallels with Tolkien's own experiences and the themes of other writers who fought in World War I. A sequel was requested by his publishers, and as work on the The Lord of the Rings progressed, Tolkien made retrospective accommodations for it in one chapter of The Hobbit. These few but significant changes were integrated into the second edition. Further editions followed, correcting minor errors and reflecting Tolkien's changing concept of the world into which Bilbo stumbled. The work has never been out of print since the paper shortages of the Second World War. Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, screen, radio, and gaming, both board and video games. Some of these adaptations have received critical recognition of their own, including a video game that won the Golden Joystick Award, a scenario of a war game that won an Origins Award, and an animated picture nominated for a Hugo Award.
The Hobbit films
The Hobbit, based on the novel of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien, is a two-film series in development for release in December 2011 and December 2012. The films will be directed by Guillermo del Toro, with The Lord of the Rings film trilogy director Peter Jackson serving as executive producer and co-writer. Originally, the first film would have adapted The Hobbit and the second would have bridged the gap between this and The Lord of the Rings, but it is now the director's intention to split and expand the narrative of The Hobbit over the two films.
|David Wenzel |
David T. Wenzel (born November 22, 1950) is an illustrator and children's book artist. He is best known for his graphic novel adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
Wenzel's first ambition had been to work for one of the big animation houses in California, but his early career path led him instead to work at an advertising agency and as a Penciller in the mainstream comic book industry. From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s he worked on such Marvel Comics titles as Avengers and Savage Sword of Conan. He penciled part of The Avengers story arc which won a 1979 Eagle Award for Best Continued Story.
Segueing from comics to children's literature in the 1980s, Wenzel illustrated Robb Walsh's Kingdom of the Dwarfs for Centaur Books, and then illustrated a series of books about American colonial life for Troll Associates.
A recommendation from college classmate Larry Marder was key to Wenzel's landing his next major project. Marder was working with the people who had secured the rights to adapt The Hobbit to comics, and he knew firsthand that Wenzel had devoted his senior year in college to drawing Tolkien's characters. And so Wenzel provided the fully painted art for The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic, a three-part adaptation of The Hobbit, written by Chuck Dixon and Sean Deming. The work was originally published by Eclipse Comics in 1989. Published in a collected edition by Ballantine in 1990, The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic is one of the most successful graphic format adaptations of a piece of classic literature. In 2001, it was updated by Del Rey Books with a new cover, larger format, and 32 new pages of artwork.
Another graphic novel project in a similar vein was Wenzel and writer Douglas Wheeler's adaptation of some of the Brothers Grimm's fairytales for NBM in 1995. In 1998 Wenzel teamed with acclaimed comics writer Kurt Busiek on The Wizard’s Tale, the story of Evernight, a land ruled by a consortium of evil wizards who discover that one of their kind harbors a "dangerous" glimmer of good. The Wizard’s Tale was designed to be a crossover book that blended children’s book elements with the format and readability of a graphic novel.
Other notable projects Wenzel has done include Robert L. May's Christmas bestseller Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Grosset and Dunlap, 2001); Max Lucado's A Hat For Ivan (Crossway Books, 2004); and several books in the Little Bear series which were art-directed by Maurice Sendak (HarperFestival, 2003–2004).
Wenzel's non-book related projects include puzzles, greeting cards, and two entire miniature kingdoms of collectible figurines. He also teaches at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Connecticut.
Wenzel cites illustrators like Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, N.C. Wyeth, and Howard Pyle as influences; as well as the Dutch painters Pieter Brueghel and Jan Steen.