1984 Tolkien Calendar - Unwin Paperbacks
1984. Unwin Paperbacks. The J. R. R. Tolkien Calendar 1984. ISBN: 0-04-529007-5. 11.75 x 11.75in. Spiral bound with a loop for hanging. Artwork by Roger Garland. Roger Garland had a lot of courage to depict Ulmo as a barnacle-encrusted, scaly merman. This image must be one of the most fantastic and well-remembered illustrations from all the calendars. I guess you either love it or think it's foolish. It reminds me of those crabs in nature films who adhere small pieces of flotsam to their shells in an attempt to camouflage themselves. I can't imagine that Ulmo incarnate would have all that stuff hanging from him. In general, Roger Garland's work is too fantasic, stylized and mimics Salvadore Dali. Dali's influence is very apparent in the illustration for October, The Lord of the Nazgul. There is even a small figure on horseback and a castle in the background, both features that Dali tossed into his landscapes. Another feature of Roger Garland's paintings is his distorted color pallette. Virtually every image has a distorted Blue-Green tinge. This distortion produces a general feeling of nausea. Roger Garland's illustrations essentially detract from Tolkien's subcreation. In this he is not alone; many illustrators have focused on the "fantastic" element of Tolkien's work and their depictions are consequently bizarre. A fantasy illustrator must be as true to Tolkien's theory of subcreation as Tolkien was when creating the alternate world. The illustrations must maintain the internal consistency of the fairy world or they will appear unbelievable and false. Although this requirement constrains the artist, it is a necessary condition for illustrating a thoroughly constructed fairy story. Deviations from this principle result in the broken spell: readers become skeptical of the subcreation and the fairy story appears childish and foolish.
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