EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" #3 Is Electrifying
When the call went out over the weekend, scores of men, women, Elves, Orcs and, um, other things responded, descended upon Fort Radikov, with nothing less than the future of Middle-earth at stake.
Or at least it could’ve been easily mistaken for Middle-earth. It was actually a village in the Czech Republic, where dedicated LARPers gathered for “The Battle of the Fort,” an event set within the sweeping fantasy world created by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Whether it’s as described in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien or depicted on film by Peter Jackson, Minas Tirith is an awe-inspiring city, constructed on seven 100-foot levels, each ringed by a wall, with a massive spur of stone dividing all but the lowest tiers in half. At the summit sits the Citadel and the White Tower of Ecthelion, which reaches 1,000 feet above the plain below. It’s a marvel of the Third Age of Middle-earth, and of fantasy architecture.
And now a group of dedicated and ambitious fans wants to reconstruct it, life-sized, in the south of England.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games have debuted a new trailer for LEGO Dimensions that introduces the 14 Adventure Worlds of the toy-to-life video game.
There’s a DC Comics world, a Simpsons world, a Lord of the Rings world, a Back to the Future world, a Wizard of Oz world, a LEGO Ninjago world — well, you get the picture. They separate from the game’s main story, with each playable character able to unlock the corresponding world.
Believe it or not, there’s more to LEGO Dimensions than throwing together a bunch of characters from unrelated franchises into the same video game. There’s actually a story, as this new trailer demonstrates.
You see, evil mastermind Lord Vortech vows to rule the LEGO Multiverse by summoning characters from assorted worlds to help him find the Foundational Elements that will allow him to achieve his goal. When a powerful vortex appears and sweeps up characters from DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings and The LEGO Movie, Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle set out to save their friends, only to discover that Lord Vortech is summoning villains from different LEGO worlds to help him gain control.
Now that the New Horizons mission has provided NASA with the most detailed images yet of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, it’s time for scientists to put names to the previously unknown surface features. And things have gotten pretty nerdy.
Maps the New Horizons team will submit to the International Astronomical Union for approval include nods to mythology, naturally. But there are also shout-outs to Star Trek, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, Firefly, Alien and H.P. Lovecraft.
A plan to build a J.R.R. Tolkien theme park in the Spanish coastal town of Rincón de la Victoria has attracted the all-seeing eye of Warner Bros.
Announced early this month by the town’s mayor, La Comarca (roughly, “The Shire”) was initially trumpeted as “a top-rated tourist attraction” based on the works of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings author. However, with a budget of just $2 million, the 20-acre Shire seems like a pretty low-rent affair; y’know, a gift kiosk, a couple of carnival cutouts and a gaggle of prickly Hobbits to pose for photos and pick up trash.
If you’re heading out to watch The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, odds are that you have at least a passing familiarity with the complex mythology underpinning J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth saga. If you don’t … oh, boy, do you have some catching up to do. And fast.
Luckily, CGP Grey has put together a four-minute (or so) primer, with nifty illustrations, that may help. Of course, it may also leave you tearing at your hair and shouting, “Wait, who’s Eru Iluvatar again?” and “But where the hell did Hobbits come from?” (It serves you right for coming in at the end.) But, hey, that’s preferable to trying to slog through the The Silmarillion.
Appearing through Feb. 9 at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California, “Little Golden Tales” features the classic children’s books reimagined by an impressive roster of artists. The result, in the words of the exhibit’s description, is “a delightful body of work certain to charm your inner child.”
It includes Breaking Bad depicted by Maxime Mary as a heartwarming chemistry lesson, The Lord of the Rings reinterpreted by Eren Blanquet Unten as an adorable “Middle-earth Book,” the ideal read for little Whovians everywhere, Loren’s The Little Doctor.
More pieces can be found at on the Nucleus website.
The Ohio State University Marching Bad is sometimes referred to as the Best Damn Band in the Land, and with good reason: During Saturday’s game, the band performed a Hollywood medley featuring the themes from Superman, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean. But this being Ohio State, these weren’t straightforward renditions; no, they were performances, complete with a soaring Man of Steel, a Quidditch-playing Harry Potter and peckish T-rex. Watch for yourself below.
Paolo Rivera has become the latest comic artist to produce a poster for design house supreme Mondo: It’s a great composition, centering on a key scene from The Lord of the Rings, in a 10-color (!) screen print. Like all of Mondo’s designs, it will be strictly limited on a first come, first served basis, so follow them on Twitter to find out when it becomes available.
With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hitting theaters Friday, fan interest is high — and some of those fans happen to be comic creators. Artist Daniel Govar and writer (and former comics executive) Ron Perazza are releasing today a unique one-off comic project on Comic Book Think Take celebrating an overlooked facet of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories: the walking songs of Bilbo Baggins.
The Road Goes Ever On is described by Perazza as “a lyrical presentation of the Shire” based on Baggins’ walking songs featured in the Middle-earth stories. In those original novels, the songs were featured in bits and pieces that are now collectively referred to as “The Old Walking Song.” Govar and Perazza have threaded those verses into one continuous piece that they’ve overlaid on a panoramic view of the Shire illustrated by Govar.
Chinese artist Jian Guo makes incredible, digital paintings in the style of stained-glass windows. This Avengers one is amazing, but my favorites are his Lord of the Rings designs, each of which includes multiple, related vignettes from the story. See some of those below, then head to Guo’s deviantART page for more, including ones inspired by World of Warcraft.
(via Who Designed It?)
Four entries this time that I’ve been saving up for a not-so-rainy day …
Publishing | Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson talks about the ups and downs of the past year, including getting Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn on a tighter schedule and the difficulties of selling all-ages comics: “There’s this really blinkered mentality in comics that “all-ages” means only for kids, despite the relatively easy to understand implication that all-ages books can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Diamond even has this graphic they use for all-ages comics in Previews and it’s these two children that look like toddlers or whatever. People seem to miss the point that most the comics we love from the ‘60s or ‘70s or even the ‘80s to a large degree, were all-ages comics. Stan & Jack’s Fantastic Four was an all-ages book. And it was brilliant.” [Multiversity Comics]
Digital | Viz Media, the largest manga publisher in the United States, began releasing its graphic novels on Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet and Nook Color devices today. As on the Viz iOS app and website, the manga are priced from $4.99 to $9.99 per volume, and they read from right to left, in authentic Japanese fashion. 107 volumes from 18 series are available at launch, although the selection skews a bit older than what’s available on the iOS app, with no sign of the Shonen Jump blockbusters Naruto, Bleach, or One Piece, at least in the initial announcement. [press release]
As Tolkien fans watch for the next update from the set of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is gearing up for the fall release of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, the action RPG game set during the journey of the One Ring. Developed by Snowblind Studios, the game takes place in the great northern wastes of Middle-earth, where three heroes confront a growing army even as the Fellowship winds its way toward Mordor.
To encourage pre-orders through certain retailers, Warner Bros. Interactive is offering a digital comic produced by corporate sibling DC Comics, written by Northlanders creator Brian Wood and illustrated by Judge Dredd and The Authority artist Simon Coleby. Curiously, as IGN.com notes, gamers who pre-order through Toys ‘R’ Us will have access to both parts of the comic, while those who go through Amazon will only get Part 2.