It’s already a week since DragonCon 2015 came to an end – and we’ve just about had time to draw breath and catch up on sleep! For any of you who haven’t had the chance to attend DragonCon, it’s one long party from Thursday night (although some would say that Wednesday is the new Thursday) to Monday evening. TORn staffers did their best to keep up with it all!
We had our usual ‘fan table’ spot in the Hyatt hotel, where we sold t-shirts, buttons, lanyards and hoodies (from our good friends at LoTH Hoodies) and enjoyed catching up with fellow fans. There are folks whom we see every year at DragonCon, and it’s always lovely to see familiar faces, as people stop by to say hello.
We had a fantastic time at last weekend’s Wizard World San Jose. Thanks so much to everyone who made the effort to come out and join us!
Our panel, Happy Hobbit: The World Ahead, was a delight on Friday afternoon. In keeping with our theme, there was lots of laughter and learning. It’s always very rewarding to meet people who watch our show and fellow Tolkien-fans in general. In addition to geeky fun, several creatives also turned out, curious to hear about my experience with writing as K.M. Rice and to see Fili’s love of capturing the moment with Alexandra Rice Photography. We can only hope that Tolkien would’ve been proud to see just how much creativity and inspiration people have found in his Middle-earth, leading them to their own unique forms of self-expression. Like Bilbo, many of us artists just need a little nudge out the door onto our own roads! You can watch our panel in it’s entirety here:
The short film that we debuted, Wildling, which we made together as a sister team over the summer, can be watched here(in a bit better quality than what you can see in this panel footage!).
Following the panel, we had time to sweep through the showroom floor before heading over to the Hilton’s Affinity restaurant for some hobbity and dwarven hijinks that made our panel look like a calm and composed event. TORn staffter Garfeimao and her sister, Carynn Hobbit, were in attendance, along with several friends, some old and some we’d only met that day! The following afternoon was none other than Billy Boyd’s (Pippin in LOTR and lead vocals in the band beecake) hilarious Q & A panel.
As always with our show, our goal is to make episodes that help you feel like you were at these events, even if you were only present in spirit, so feel free to prop up your feet and enjoy Wizard World San Jose by watching the video below!
DragonCon is in full swing down here in Atlanta – and TheOneRing.net is in the thick of it! Staffers deej and greendragon are hard at work running our fan table – come by and say hello! We’re in the Hyatt opposite the entrance to the art show. We have new buttons for sale, with some fabulous artwork by our own staffer Mithril. We also have shirts, lanyards and hoodies for sale, and prizes to be won!
Staffer MrCere, meanwhile, is very busy running the convention’s Tolkien Track. Their track room can be found in the Marriott, rooms L401-403 – lots of great panels to be heard in there. TORn will be giving a panel today (Saturday) at 2.30pm, in Hilton Grand Ballroom East, looking forward to what we might see in the soon to be released Extended Edition, and to what else is in the works for Tolkien fans; then tomorrow at the same time, 2.30pm, in Marriott L401-403, we’ll be looking back over the amazing journey we’ve all been on, through Peter Jackson’s movies and the fanbase which has grown up around them.
Last night the track hosted the annual ‘Evening at Bree’, organized by greendragon. Our good friends Emerald Rose raised the roof and got everyone up and dancing. The lovely Stephen Hunter was a fabulous MC of the costume contest, which as ever was full of incredible entries – thanks to our judges, who had the very difficult task of picking winners! And cast members Dean O’Gorman, Peter Hambleton and Sylvester McCoy came by to say hello to the fans. At the start of the evening we took a moment to remember artist Jeff Murray and fellow fan Melissa Kern, who sailed into the West this year; it was wonderful to feel the love in the room and to know that this is a community which cares about and for one another.
And finally – tonight staffer deej is living up to her name and DJing the ‘Middle-earth goes 90s’ dance party, 10pm in Marriott A601-602. Can’t wait to see the amazing 90s costumes folks will have dreamed up – Ringers are such creative folks!
It’s all happening! Looking forward to seeing some of you over the weekend; and we’ll have pictures to share afterwards, for those of you who can’t be here.
Not going to Dragon*Con? Live on the west coast? Need something Middle-earthy to do this weekend that includes two dwarves and a hobbit? Then look no further than the San Jose Wizard World!
The Tolkien festivities will kick off Friday with a Happy Hobbit panel, followed by a “moot,” or Entish get-together, across the street from the convention center at the Affinity Restaurant at the Hilton. Even if you’re not attending the con on Friday, be sure to join us at the moot for some Middle-earth madness, which is prone to happen whenever Fili and Kili are around.
Saturday is your opportunity to meet Billy Boyd (Pippin) and ask him anything at his panel, which will undoubtedly be comic gold and of course, very informative.
150 West San Carlos St., San Jose, California 95113
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH, 2015
6:00 – 6:45PMHAPPY HOBBIT: THE WORLD AHEAD (ROOM 211AB)
“Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread…” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Join sisters Kellie and Alex Rice (Kili and Fili of the webseries Happy Hobbit) as they go beyond the shire to explore how their geeky roots have blossomed into creative careers. Kellie is also known as K.M. Rice, an author and screenwriter who has worked for both Weta Workshop and Magic Leap, while Alex produces shows and shorts and has her own photography business. Both are excited to share tips on self-publishing, low-budget films, and engaging an online audience.
MOOT 7:30 PM
Affinity Restaurant at the San Jose Hilton.
Hilton San Jose, 300 S Almaden Blvd, San Jose, CA 95113
No reservation, we’ll just take over Dwarf-style!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH, 2015
12:30 – 1:15PM ADVENTURES IN MIDDLE EARTH WITH BILLY BOYD (ROOM 210)
“Lord of the Rings” fans rejoice! Billy Boyd (Peregrin ‘Pippin’ Took) has traveled far and wide to join us for this very special Wizard World Q&A! This is your opportunity to ask Billy about his life, career, and where his adventures will be taking him next! You don’t want to miss this awesome panel!
Billy is also a member of the band beecake, and anyone who has heard either Pippin singing in the LOTR films or “The Last Goodbye” as the credits rolled on Middle-earth with BoTFA this winter knows that he’s more than worth listening to.
Here’s to hoping we’ll see more than less than half of you as we’d expect, and that you all have more than half the fun that you deserve!
One of my favorite creatures in all of Middle-earth is the Balrog. When this guy first popped on-screen in The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring, my jaw dropped with just how cool he looked, and last year at Comic-Con the same thing happened when I saw this amazing piece. Part of the reborn The Lord of the Rings statue line, this time fans get a large version of this mind blowing creature. Coming in at 20.5″ high, with a weight of 33 pounds the Balrog is going to be a piece that will make everyone who sees your collection stop and look at it in awe. Shipping right now from all warehouses, the Balrog can be yours for $649 with an edition size of only 1500 pieces worldwide. (more…)
Today, is the last of the three week run of Weta Workshop post Comic-Con extravaganza collectibles.We end this run with a very cool rider piece capturing Dain Ironfoot himself on that really awesome War Boar. Dain, who hopefully we get to see a bit more of in the extended edition because what we did get to see of him in the theatrical release was pretty cool, is presented in incredible detail. One of the other things I really liked about Dain, besides the incredible detail and likeness, was the metallic paint used on the armor. Fans can order Dain right now for a solid price of $449 with a pretty low edition size of just 800 pieces worldwide. You can expect Dain to arrive into your collection during the first quarter of 2016.
This week marks the second of the three week Weta post Comic-Con Extravaganza. Fans of Middle-earth now have the chance to add the Uruk-hai Swordsman who was part of Saruman’s army attack on Helm’s Deep to their collections. The Uruks were some of the coolest creatures we’ve seen in any movie, and this statue does such a fantastic job capturing all that amazing work by our friends at Weta. You can snag the Uruk-hai Swordsman for $299, he comes with an edition size of 1500 pieces world-wide.
A member of the Tolkien community is gone. Jeffrey “Jef” Patrick Murray died Monday, Aug. 3 unexpectedly, at the age of 55.
Jef, living in Decauter, Georgia, was best known to many as a Tolkien artist, and was a selected artist at the upcoming Dragon Con in Atlanta. He leaves behind family and friends who know him as more than his work and will miss him dearly.
Jef was scheduled to help the Tolkien track of programming at Dragon Con this year, as he has many others, and will be missed and remembered. He was active year round in a Facebook group dedicated to the convention, where he posted his art weekly. He put his effort where his passion was and it will be hard not to notice that he hasn’t posted each Tolkien Tuesday.
Jef had a deep spiritual connection with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and credited the professor and his writings with his conversion to Catholicism. Besides leaving his mark in Tolkien fandom, he was involved as a writer and artist in religious publications and websites. He also wrote his own stories and poems.
Murray received a note of tribute from fellow artist and friend Ted Naismith, noting his passing and explaining that the pair kept in contact via email despite different viewpoints of the world. He said in part:
“I’m proud to call Jef a friend, fellow artist, scholar and colleague, and deeply mourn his loss. My deepest condolences to Lorraine and Jef’s family and close friends. He was a very lively and dedicated voice and talent in our community, and he leaves an impressive legacy. I’m truly saddened that he has left us, it’s simply too soon! I’d like to think he is now free to roam the width and breadth of Middle-earth and Valinor with his canvases and songs.”
Tolkien scholar Constance Wagner, who got to know Jeff at Dragon Con also spoke of her sadness at his passing:
“He has gone Into the West to paint forever with starlight. I will miss his wit and kindness and sense of fun. I will miss his talent. But mostly, I will miss him. Namarie, Jef. Elen sila lumenn’ omentielvo.”
The Tolkien Society knew Jef and his works well. He often contributed to its publications Amon Hen and Mallorn. It published a notice of his death, expressing sadness at his passing.
It is interesting to note, that he graduated from Georgia Tech with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering according to this obituary.
TheOneRing.net wishes our deepest condolences to those hurt by the loss of Jef, yet we honor his works and his passion and his life.
“Although it’s thought good form to speak about oneself in a “Biography” section, I’m always embarrassed that I’ll either say too much and sound pompous or too little and sound elusive. I intend neither, so beg your pardon in advance if I strike the wrong balance.
I’ve sketched and painted natural and mythological wildlife and landscapes since my childhood years in the north Georgia hills. I suspect I’m best known for my illustrations from Inklings-themed publications, although I’m very grateful that my work has also been published in many other books and journals.
I love the writings of G. K. Chesterton (see my artist’s statement), and a good deal of my work explores the connection between myth/fairy tales and Christian thought. I am Artist-in-Residence for the St. Austin Review (StAR).
My illustrations of whimsical tales and poems and my stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including Amon Hen, Mallorn, Silver Leaves, the St. Austin Review (StAR), the Georgia Bulletin, and Integrated Catholic Life. My most recent book illustrations appear in Seer: A Wizard’s Journal.
Lorraine and I reside in Decatur, Georgia with hamster-in-residence Ignatius, and up to 60,000 honeybees.”
Today is the first of three wonderful weeks of new items we can order from the goodies Weta Workshop had on display at Comic-Con 2015.
Minas Tirith one of the most important places in all of Middle-earth has been expertly captured by principal sculptor Leonard Ellis. All told it took eight people a total of 1,000 hours to bring this collectible to life. Due to land in our collections starting in the fourth quarter of this year Minas Tirith can be yours for $599.
One of the pieces that stole Comic-Con 2014, and was a big hit again this year at Comic-Con 2015, is the amazing Smaug the Terrible by Weta Workshop. Sculpted by Lindsey Crummett and Gary Hunt this piece is a perfect representation of what we saw of Smaug during The Hobbit Trilogy. Smaug is easily one of Weta’s best pieces with some of the most fantastic details and paints we’ve seen. You can get Smaug for $749 with an edition size of 2000 pieces world-wide. He is worth every last penny. As you may have heard me say in my Comic-Con booth tour, if you only get one piece from The Hobbit then this is one you should. (more…)
Our friends at Weta Workshop had so many great items at Comic-Con this year. Starting from next week, and continuing for the following two weeks, fans will get a chance to place pre-orders for some of these items. The first item will be available on August 3rd, this item being my favorite piece at Comic-Con, Minas Tirith. Then on the following two weeks, August 10th and 17th, we will get the Uruk-hai Swordsman (August 10th) and Dain Ironfoot on War Boar (August 17th). All three items will become available for pre-order at the same time starting at 2pm PST. (more…)
Sculpted by Gary Hunt this fantastic statue made its debut at Comic-Con just last year. This pose and the likeness are fantastic! They capture Bard as he’s trying to do all he possibly can to take out the dragon Smaug. Bard comes in with an edition size of 1000 pieces world-wide and is in-stock in both the United States and New Zealand warehouses while the UK is in pre-order status. You can add Bard to your collection for just $299. (more…)
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