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The Tolkien Years of the Brothers Hildebrandt TP Paperback – October 16, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606903497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606903490
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg was born and raised in New Jersey. He grew up in a fantasy household along side his father and uncle, known as the Brothers Hildebrandt, who were the creators of the original 1977 Star Wars movie poster, the illustrators for several of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings calendars in the late 70's, as well as the original Clash of the Titans movie poster and numerous other iconic images.

Greg has worked on numerous film and TV projects, and has written screenplays, comics and books. Greg currently lives on Cape Cod where he continues to work in the entertainment industry while farming oysters.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By stephen hess on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
As someone who grew up with LOTR and the Hildebrant's wonderful calendars, it's great to see this book. My wife and I met Tim many years ago in Cape May, NJ, where he had a show. We purchased the only Tolkien work we could afford - a pencil study of a scene (the Taming of Smeagol) that never made it to a calendar - and spent a very memorable 30 min chatting with Mr. Hildebrant. He was gracious and personable, and my wife and I both very much enjoyed the evening. He signed the sketch for us, and to this day it hangs in our home. Not saying I wouldn't sell it, but it would take an offer many times what we paid for it.
LOTR and all JRR's work is very near to my heart. The movies, while visually matching my inner sense of Middle Earth, are too fan-boy, too over the top in their relentless action and liberties with the story. Don't know how JRR would think about them, but one of the most endearing qualities of his writing is the sublety of the work, the quiet compentence of the language. Of the artists who have tried to capture those qualities, Alan Lee, the Hildebrants and JRR himself have come closest to matching the books.
Congratulations to the Hildebrants on this very welcome volume.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a thorough fan of the "Lord of the Rings" books, but I've always had a take-it-or-leave it feeling about the LotR art of the brothers Hildebrandt. Everyone has a set of mental images from the books, and while my vision sometimes matched theirs, usually it didn't, or at least was different enough from theirs that I didn't connect with theirs.

Well, this volume probably isn't going to change your mind about how well you feel they represented the Tolkien vision, but it will certainly entertain and inform regarding the whole process that led to the creation of the calendars. I have a new appreciation of the brothers themselves, and of the complex process that led to the creation of each individual piece of work. I also have a much better understanding of the decisions that were made as the characters were created and the artworks designed and executed.

There are many candid comments from the brothers explaining the creative process. There is a remarkably engaging and modest narrative thread drawn by Greg, Jr., who was a kid living at the studio when all this work was being done. His insights, as a child and as an adult looking back, are perceptive and charming. And, the whole 60's, hippie, nutty granola, paintin' pictures in the barn vibe adds a lot of fun to the story. (The book includes lots of Polaroid photo studies that were prepared as part of the picture drawing process. The people posing in the studies are the Hildebrandts and their friends. That makes this about the funkiest family photo album ever compiled.)

So, however you feel about the artwork itself, as a family history, painting primer, or just fascinating biography/memoir, this is a surprisingly rewarding and entertaining book.

Please note that I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a frank review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Danno VINE VOICE on January 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
It's safe to say that the three late 1970s Tolkien-themed calendars that the Brothers Hildebrandt illustrated are among the best fantasy art of that era. They influenced the way many graphic artists approached the then-booming Sword and Sorcery genre, and presented a different approach to Tolkien than that of many other artists. The Brothers' style for these calendars seems to be equally influenced by Maxfield Parrish and early 1940s Walt Disney movies, which is to say that the Brothers chose to stress the more fairy-tale aspects of Tolkien's saga. That might not be your cup of tea if you love the grungy look of Peter Jackson's films or the stoner psychedelics of Ralph Bakshi, but I think it's a valid approach especially for 'The Hobbit'. And the Brothers certainly executed their paintings with a consistency of mood and quality that makes exploring these books a very pleasurable experience.

The text is written by one of the Brother's sons, from the perspective of what an innocent wild-eyed five-year-old thought of his father and uncle's work in progress and their blending of fantasy and reality. If you're looking for a detailed technical behind-the scenes approach, the text is going to drive you nuts. I, on the other hand, loved it because it complements the fairy-tale approach that the paintings for the calendars exemplify.

This book contains ALL the artwork from those three calendars, along with prep sketches and reference photos. It also contains some post-1970s work that, while they don't quite totally recapture the earlier mood, are still in the same neighborhood of quality. My only complaint here is that while the book is oversized it is still smaller than the actual size of the calendars, so the work is not reproduced as large as it could have been. Also, some of the layouts are odd - for example, a gorgeous painting of Smaug is spread over two pages which means that it can't be fully seen since the book does not open flat. Bummer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By QuietNoise on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful look into the minds of two of the best illustrators the world has ever seen. Showing how these iconic pictures were made up in minute detail is incredible to read and see. I loved flicking through the pages of this, seeing the little sketches to the end result. You can see that some of these drawings have never been seen before, as there is the representation of sticky tape to hold some of the pictures together. Wonderful stuff.

Being able to draw Tolkien calendars would be the dream of any illustrator but the Brothers Hildebrandt and their series of calendars set the style and feel for most Tolkien imagery. There is even a decent amount of images in this book that you will see in the film trilogy.

If you are an illustrator or a Tolkien fan, then this book is an essential. Seeing the hand drawings to final product makes this book entirely worth it.
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