A Turkish doctor is on trial for sharing a meme with side-by-side photos of the president of Turkey and Gollum. He is accused on insulting the president. The court has assembled a team of experts to determine whether or not the president resembles Gollum, a character from Lord of the Rings that J.R.R. Tolkien described as "a small, slimy creature."
From IBI Times:
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The experts, including two academics, two behavioural scientists and an expert on cinema, will reportedly decided whether Erdogan was insulted in the tweet.
[The doctor], who claims that Gollum is not a bad character and that he did not insult anyone, faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
is probably most well known for his Star Wars trading card art and illustrating two Star Wars books, Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars
and Draw Star Wars: Rebels
. He's also the creator of the original comic series Wolves of Odin
and has done awesome art from just about every fantasy and scifi series out there (and even some pop culture characters too). Read the rest
Ethan Gilsdorf interviews John Howe, Tolkien Illustrator and Conceptual Designer of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogies
reviews The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
, where we see more clearly Jackson's vision to give The Hobbit
the look, feel and slow majesty of The Lord of the Rings
Tolkien, perhaps rightly in marketing terms, though with the insistent literalism that makes writers writers (which is to say: not artists), demanded, of Barbara Remington's cover art for Lord of the Rings, "What has it got to do with the story? Where is this place? Why a Lion and emus? And what is the thing in the foreground with the pink bulbs?"
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At The New Yorker, Jon Michaud looks at why Frank Herbert's space opera, Dune, endures despite failing to ender the public consciousness the way Lord of the Rings and Star Wars have.
There are no “Dune” conventions. Catchphrases from the book have not entered the language. Nevertheless ... With daily reminders of the intensifying effects of global warming, the spectre of a worldwide water shortage, and continued political upheaval in the oil-rich Middle East, it is possible that “Dune” is even more relevant now than when it was first published. If you haven’t read it lately, it’s worth a return visit. If you’ve never read it, you should find time to.
A good article, which points out how the first novel's brilliance has been obscured by a distinctly second-rate franchise. A more salient reason Dune didn't penetrate massivedom, though, is simply that the movie wasn't good enough and it bombed. To seal the pop culture deal—and popular culture isn't quite the same thing as mere success or awareness—the screen is all-important. It's the moment of translation, the emergence of a story from the cocoon of literature to the glare of popular culture in all its splendor and squalor. A brilliantly-imagined but confused movie by David Lynch made Dune too weird, and a SyFy TV series made it too cheap. This puts it where Lord of the Rings was before Peter Jackson: pregnant with cinematic possibility, but misshapen by prior efforts.
But hey, it could be worse! You could be into Earthsea, which has had two movies made of it, each terrible in entirely different ways except one: both replaced the protagonist of color with a white dude. Read the rest
The Lord of the Rings Project
collects and analyzes data on all the characters inhabiting Middle Earth, to produce statistical comparisons of life expectancy, age distribution, population, and more. Read the rest
Somebody named a dinosaur after the Eye of Sauron
. Sauroniops pachytholus
got its moniker because (so far) only one specimen of this species has been found — the upper part of a skull, eye socket included. Read the rest
[Video Link] A short LEGO parody telling the Orcs' side of the story from Lord of the Rings, Directed and Animated by Kevin Ulrich. Read the rest
Don't get too excited yet, but Peter Jackson is talking about possibly turning the two Hobbit movies he just completed filming -- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again -- into a trilogy. Why? Because 1. Warner Bros. has the rights to the additional notes from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has all this groovy stuff in it that relates to The Hobbit, and 2. Jackson has all this extra footage lying around, just waiting to be seen. He spoke with Collider, warning that all of this is only in the earliest of stages:
Well, it’s very, very premature. We have got incredible source material with the appendices. There’s the novel, but then we also have the rights to use the 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of The Hobbit. We’ve used some of that so far, and just in the last few weeks, as we’ve been wrapping up the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story, Philippa [Boyens], Fran [Walsh] and I have been talking to the studio about other things that we haven’t been able to shoot and seeing if we could possibly persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting. We’d probably need more than a few weeks, actually, next year. The discussions are pretty early, so there isn’t anything to report, but there are other parts of the story that we’d like to tell, that we haven’t had the chance to tell yet. Read the rest