1977 Tolkien Calendar - Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin. 1977. The Lord of the Rings 1977 Calendar. The top was spiral bound with a cut-out and loop for hanging. The artwork was by J.R.R. Tolkien. The cover contained the "Lidless Eye" emblem in black, red and yellow. This is an awesome calendar and certainly a contender for the best ever made. The production quality even extends to a three-color printing of the mailing envelope. This is the best lidless eye and ring emblem that I have seen produced. Allen and Unwin should have made a poster of this calendar cover. Of course, it is was designed by Tolkien himself. I think it is one of the best designs of the type Tolkien ever produced. Only Tolkien could have correctly produced the ring inscription. I think the way the letters turn to flames at the top is a great touch. The artwork inside is by Tolkien. Although there is some overlap with calendars produced in previous years, there are also a number of new images in this calendar. One of the most interesting aspects of the calendar are the notes on the images provided by Cristopher Tolkien. In particular, I liked his analysis of the writing from the illustrations of the Book of Mazarbul. I recall reading that Tolkien took great pains both to make the writing match the text of the Lord of the Rings and make the coloring of the pages look like burned parchment. From these images, it is clear that subcreation demands realism in illustration. A modern, professional illustrator would likely produce a suggestion of this document without the convincing, historical fidelity that Tolkien brings to the imagery.
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