Tolkien Years: Greg and Tim Hildebrandt Paperback – Jun 1 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
When the tall, bearded, wild-eyed man showed up for the photo shoot, Gregory Hildebrandt Jr. knew that his "father and uncle were in league with the greatest wizard of all time." In Greg and Tim Hildebrandt: The Tolkien Years, the author recalls his childhood days in the studio of the creators of the wildly popular 1970s Lord of the Rings calendars and features 122 color and 75 b&w illustrations.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A lavishly illustrated book written by the son and nephew of fantasy and science fiction artists Tim and Greg Hildebrandt. These talented brothers painted the artwork for the popular J. R. R. Tolkien calendars. The vivid color pictures illustrate their fantastic imagination and their concepts in bringing to life the characters and locations of Tolkien's Middle-earth. The lively story gives readers an inside peek at not only this creative team's work, but also their methodology in creating the fantasy paintings for the calendars. This semiautobiographical account also gives insight into the younger Hildebrandt's unorthodox childhood. With all the interest in Tolkien's work and the first part of the movie trilogy now out, it is fascinating to see the characters and settings come to life through the work of the Hildebrandts.
Patricia White-Williams, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
One of the strongest and most charming elements of the book is the descriptions from Greg Hildebrant's son who was five when the brothers began working on the calenders. Young Greg's memories are full of wonder that's in keeper with what his uncle and father were working on. It's not all sweetness and light however, young Greg remembers that toward the middle of the project things got increasingly difficult in the studio. The pressures of the deadline, creative disagreements and artistic disappointments (Among other things the brothers didn't have time to do a huge battle scene that they'd planned) and the need to do separate projects are all mentioned.
Besides all three Hildebrandt calenders, the book has pictures of privately commissioned works (some of which are better than the orginal paintings), prelim sketches, and photos of the models. If you loved the work of the brothers or have just discovered it this will be a highly entertaining treat for you.
But... Some of the earlier works have odd perspective (check out the chimney in "Gandalf visits Bilbo"). The hobbits look like children (the 5-year-old Greg Hildebrandt Jr. was the model). Shadowfax just fell off the carousel. Treebeard is a cartoon. Rivendell looks like a gingerbread house. Smaug appears to be made of plastic. The Nazgul fly around on rubber chickens (really, that's what they used as the model). And Aragorn's mustache! Perhaps it looked majestic in the 70s, but now it's just laughable.
It is interesting to see the sketches (some of which are superior to the final painting) and reference photos. The text is annoyingly told from the author's perspective as a 5-year-old model, but contains some amusing nuggets like the rubber chicken fell beast. I didn't think much of the pullout poster -- it's certainly not their best work. Still, on balance I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Tolkien (unless you already have the calendars).
Along with beautiful illustrations this book has a lot of text that includes quotes directly from Greg and Tim and full text entries by Greg Hildebrant, Jr. All of the artwork in this book is in full color and look just like original pieces of art. In addition to the final artowrk there are also concept drafts from "scribble" stages, to a general rough draft, all the way to the ginal, full color, and eye-catching pictures. There is also a very nice pull out poster as a special bonus. This is a book of artwork from Middle-Earth that no Tolkien fan should be without. The art in this book will be appreciated by everybody. Get this book and enjoy!
Most recent customer reviews
The Bros. Hildebrandt were *the* Tolkien artists of my youth, and even today, when I find my own artistic interpretion of the scenes varies so much from theirs, I still deeply... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2002 by David C. Hill
this book cotains hundreds of photo's of paintings, drawings and refrences photo's of tim hildebrants artwork. Read morePublished on June 2 2002 by Chris Wozniak
The Tolkien Years isn't just another survey of Tolkien's titles so much as a superb presentation of the bestselling Lord Of The Rings calendars by Greg and Tim Hildebrandt which... Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2002 by Midwest Book Review
For those of us that remember the Hildebrandt calendars of 76/77/78, this book is a dream come true. Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2001 by Noctem
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