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The Hobbit: Graphic Novel

The Hobbit: Graphic Novel

Book rating: 03 Paperback HarperCollins Children's Books

By (author) J. R. R. Tolkien, Edited by Charles Dixon, Edited by Sean Deming, Illustrated by David Wenzel

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 202mm x 274mm x 12mm | 481g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2000
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0261102664
  • ISBN 13: 9780261102668
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: Graphic novel ed
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 2,312

Product description

A brand new revised edition of the best-selling graphic novel based on the enchanting prelude to The Lord of the Rings. First published in 1990, David Wenzel's comic book adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit was an immediate success and has become one of the best-loved graphic novels of the last 20 years. The Hobbit is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a quiet and contented hobbit whose life is turned upside down when he joins the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves on their quest to reclaim their stolen treasure. It is a journey fraught with danger - and in the end it is Bilbo alone who must face the guardian of this treasure, the most-dreaded dragon, Smaug. Illustrated and hand painted in full colour throughout, and accompanied by the carefully abridged text of the original novel, this handsome authorised edition will introduce new generations to a magical masterpiece - and be treasured by Hobbit fans of all ages, everywhere. This new edition has been completely re-scanned from the original paintings to achieve more accurate and vibrant colours, with David Wenzel revisiting the work to provide sensitive improvements and additions to the original edition. The book includes a magnificent and completely new cover design by Wenzel himself.

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Author information

J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

Customer reviews

By 365 Graphic Novels 17 Jul 2013 3

This is somewhere between an illustrated children's book and a graphic novel. It follows the plot of J R R Tolkien's novel closely and remains faithful to the spirit of the work.

The text starts off identical to the source material but eventually you notice truncations and omissions in order to reduce the length of this volume. The Hobbit was originally published in 1937 and is set in a fantasy world resulting in some unusual and clunky uses of language. The odd typo and unfortunate punctuations don't improve in this.

The art is beautiful, hand drawn and lovingly watercoloured. The panels and layout are irregular and there is a great deal of bleeding of the art and speech between frames. This gives the book a wonderfully cosy and quirky feel to it. This was originally three books that have been collected into one. The first starts off slowly with big open panels showcasing the wonderful illustrations and is mostly dialogue serving to build character. By the third book the panels are much smaller, dialogue is sparse and the pages are crammed with boxes and boxes of narration that feel lifted straight from Tolkien. It is almost as if the writers ran out of room and had to cram everything into a shorter page count.

The large cast of Dwarves appear almost identical and little is done in terms of speech or art to differentiate them. Intermittently you will spot different colours of hat but only Thorin and occasionally Balin get special treatment. The pictures are there to accompany the text and never get the opportunity to tell the story on their own. The narration text boxes are all in different colours making you spend an inordinate amount of time looking for a pattern or code only to conclude it is merely the colourist's whim.

It is too long for a single reading session, has no clear breaks to pause and doesn't convey the fact the story takes place over a number of months. The sheer amount of text on the page by the latter third of the book is also a crying shame.

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