An Unexpected Party

The Hobbit may be my favorite book. I say "may" because I'm pretty sure, but I do have a LOT of favorites. It is probably the book I've read the most. There is wonder and excitment and I'll never forget gazing upon the cover by Ted Nasmith and wondering what part of the story this amazing image took place. The images of the dwarves and Gandalf, Bard and Beorn, the eagles and of course Smaug, were burned into my mind with much joy. Recently, the movies were released and I was a bit disappointed with a few things (because what movie ever lives up to the book - except maybe Fantastic Mr Fox), but mostly Thorin Oakenshield, and his lack of beard.

Anyway, enough of that. I still love the Hobbit and Middle Earth and have been wanting to do something with it for a long time. Then one day this just flowed out, and I went with it.

I had so much fun creating this. Most of my work is typically character focused. But I wanted to make the surrounding background as characterful as I could. I also added a number of things and little treats I liked from the book: That Fili and Kili had the keenest eyesight; Oin and Gloin were the fire makers (with axe); the contract agreement, the map; various instruments that they all played; and that Galdalf had a silver scarf, tall blue hat and huge black boots.
I'm hoping to have prints of this available soon, though they may be limited. My first run will hopefully be here and released at the Calgary Comic Expo at the end of the month!

You can click on the enlargements below to see cycle all the closeups of the lucky party of 14 (or 15 with Gandalf):

Here's the final:

Now it's back to work. More books to finish!