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Try making your own! A Visual History Of Bilbo Baggins Shall we go there and back again? Thanks to the soon-to-be-released Hobbit movie, images of Martin Freeman as Bilbo may dominate our consciousness. But Bilbo has had many different incarnations! Let's take a look at them.
1937: J. R. R. Tolkien's original drawings
1942: Children's Book Club edition's dust jacket
1957: First German edition of The Hobbit
1960: The Dutch edition of The Hobbit.
1960: The Polish edition of The Hobbit
1962: The Portuguese edition of The Hobbit
1962: Tove Jansson's illustrations
Tove Jansson, Finnish artist and creator of the Moomins, provided her stylized illustrations for the Swedish edition of The Hobbit.
1966: William L. Snyder's The Hobbit
The first authorized film adaptation of
The Hobbit was produced in 1966. Watch the short here.
1967: Maurice Sendak's unpublished drawings
In 1967, J. R. R. Tolkien was considering having Maurice Sendak (
Where the Wild Things Are) illustrate The Hobbit. Sendak drew two sample images, one of which is pictured above. Sadly, an editor mislabeled an image of wood elves as hobbits, which Tolkien interpreted as evidence of Sendak not taking the project seriously, so the collaboration never came to fruition.
1973: Tove Jansson's cover for the Finnish edition of The Hobbit
hobbithunter.nl / Via hobbithunter.nl
OK, OK, Bilbo is actually kind of a tiny speck on the cover and the interior illustrations were recycled from the earlier Swedish edition, but I would be doing you a great wrong by not showing you this magnificent illustration.
1975: Frank Frazetta's illustrations
geeksofdoom.com / Via geeksofdoom.com
Frank Frazetta, best known for his work on
Heavy Metal, issued a limited edition portfolio of Tolkien-inspired images in 1975.
1976: Mikhail Belomlinsky's illustrations
gamer.ru / Via gamer.ru
The first U.S.S.R. edition of
The Hobbit featured fanciful artwork by Mikhail Belomlinksy.
1976: Hildebrandts' Tolkien Calendar
1977: Rankin-Bass's The Hobbit
This version of
The Hobbit is perhaps the best known of all the animated adaptations.
1978: The Lord of the Rings Animated Feature
Ralph Bakshi adapted
The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers in 1978, but sadly never followed up with Return of the King.
1979: The Bulgarian edition of The Hobbit
Petar Chuklev provided the fanciful illustrations for this edition.
1980: Rankin-Bass's The Return of the King
1985: U.S.S.R. film adaptation of The Hobbit
In 1985, the U.S.S.R. produced a live-action adaptation of
The Hobbit. Bilbo and Gollum are pictured above. See the entire film here.
1989: The Hobbit comic book adaptation
davidwenzel.com / Via davidwenzel.com
In 1989, Eclipse Comics released a three-issue adaptation of
The Hobbit by Chuck Dixon, Sean Deming, and Dave Wenzel. Wenzel's illustration is pictured above.
1990: Lord of the Rings, Vol. I for PC
1995: Alan Lee's The Hobbit illustrations
fantasy.mrugala.net / Via fantasy.mrugala.net
A new illustrated edition of
The Hobbit was issued in 1995, with beautiful paintings by Alan Lee, who would later become one of the lead concept artists for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
2001-3: Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy
2003: The Hobbit by Sierra Games
In response to the popularity of the Jackson movies, Sierra Games issued a game based on
2012: Peter Jackson's The Hobbit
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