Pengboom Society

It’s been a long time since I last posted anything about web comics. (Here are part 1 and part 2 of a series I wrote a few years ago.)  But I, for some strange reason, logged on to tumblr the other day, scrolled through a few posts and found a recommendation from the amazing Kate Beaton. I checked out the site and now want to share it here!

All of the comics I mention can be found at the main site for the Pengboom Society. A word of warning: only 1 of the comics is finished (and it’s a very short wordless one) and the other two only have a little more than 30 pages each (which is not that much once you start reading!). Anyways. They’ve managed to hook me already so here’s to weekly updates!

A House Divided

Orphan Henrietta Achilles has just inherited her uncle’s mansion, an uncle she has never met and didn’t even know she had.

AHouseDivided2

There are all kinds of suspicious circumstances in town when she arrives and once she gets to the house, she is met by quiche stealing brigands.

AHouseDivided3

Yes, quiche.

AHouseDivided4

There are hints about a fortune and a hidden vault and I’m looking forward to the weekly Thursday updates.

AHouseDivided5

Kletschmore

It’s a bit harder to see where this one is going but here’s the official description: When man’s greed threatens their existence, the fey leave our world and take refuge in the realm of their ancestors. As the fairies rediscover the birthplace of their race, unspeakable tragedy disrupts the newfound peace: Murder. The first among fey.

KletschmoreCover

So far there’s a cute enthusiastic mouse, creepily beautiful walking fungi, and a sinister, mysterious hunting party.

Kletschmore2

Beautiful art and updates every Monday!

Kletschmore4

Eberhart & the Phoenix Chicken

Short, with no words, it tells the story of a anthropomorphic boar (I think?) and the chicken he discovers that also happens to be a phoenix.

Enjoy!

Advent Time!

ChristmasDecoration

Today is the first of December. Thanksgiving is over (hope it was lovely for all my American friends), the snow is falling on WordPress blogs, and yesterday was the first Sunday of this Advent Season. Which means that it is now socially acceptable to begin celebrating Christmas. Last year I wrote about my love of Advent Calenders after discovering a fantastic online Tolkien Advent calender with the chance to win a personalized Tolkien book collection. I just revisited that site today (tolkienchristmas.com) and it seems to be going again this year. Maybe. There are still clues to answer but no links to little Tolkien treasures like there were last year and I can find no mention of it on the hosting website (tolkien.co.uk). But…it won’t hurt to try right? The good news is that all the links from the calender last year still seem to be working so here’s the link to last year’s treat from today: an illustration by Jemima Catlin.

Father Christmas

Father Christmas

I also mentioned a series of posts on favorite Christmas carols written by Jubliare. Those are also still available to be read and you can begin here with O Magnum Mysterium. (Or read them all thoughtfully compiled here!)

christmascarol

And here’s something new for this year: an Advent Calender from Weta Workshop! (EDIT: I’m afraid that Weta link might be user specific. So if it doesn’t work for you, you can always try and pull it up through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WetaWorkshop) It too unlocks a door every night at midnight (New Zealand time) and offers a little treasure for us to enjoy each day until Christmas.

1stAdvent

Does anyone else have any links to other Advent Calenders? I would love to know about them! (Even if they are only pictures of physical ones!)

The Journal of Mythic Arts

I love stumbling on things that seem like they were tailor made for my particular interests. Things like this: The Journal of Mythic Arts.

It’s not publishing new content anymore but the material they have will stay there so people like me can read through it at their leisure. And there are some very interesting articles on the site.

There’s a nonfiction section, that has articles like “Baba Yaga in Film” and “A Rune with a View“.

There’s a poetry section, that has poems from Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman.

There’s an art and mixed media section (oh joy!), with articles such as “On Pre-Raphaelites, Then and Now” and “From Fairy Tales to Fantasia: The Art of Kay Nielsen” (all with lots of lovely examples).

And perhaps most dangerously of all there are several reading lists provided, one for mythic fiction and one for fairy tale fiction. Each article also has a further reading list at the end (like I don’t have enough to read already!).

I see many happy days ahead, poring over the articles on this website.

Russian Medievalist Tolkien

Another art post! I love finding stuff like this. One of the Russian versions of Lord of the Rings was illustrated by Sergey Yuhimov (or Sergei Iukhimov). Looking more like something I studied in my Art History classes in college, I would love to see an English version with these illustrations.

Gandalf arriving at Hobbiton

Gandalf arriving at Hobbiton

Bilbo and Frodo's Birthday- A Long Expected Party

Bilbo and Frodo’s Birthday- A Long Expected Party

Frodo and Sam meeting the Elves on their way to Rivendell

Frodo and Sam meeting the Elves on their way to Rivendell

Frodo rescuing his friends in the barrow

Frodo rescuing his friends in the barrow

Sam and Frodo meeting Aragorn at the Prancing Pony

Sam and Frodo meeting Aragorn at the Prancing Pony

The Council of Elrond (I think?)

The Council of Elrond (I think?)

The Bridge of Khazad-dum

The Bridge of Khazad-dum

Caras Galadhon, home to  Celeborn and Galadriel

Caras Galadhon, home to Celeborn and Galadriel

The Argonath

The Argonath

The death of Boromir

The death of Boromir

Frodo, Sam and Gollum in the Dead Marshes

Frodo, Sam and Gollum in the Dead Marshes

Gandalf and the healing of Theoden (Eowyn in the back!)

Gandalf and the healing of Theoden (Eowyn in the back!)

Merry and Pippin at Treebeard's House

Merry and Pippin at Treebeard’s House

Frodo, Sam and Gollum in Ithilien

Frodo, Sam and Gollum in Ithilien

The Ents destroy Isengard

The Ents destroy Isengard

The Siege of Gondor and Grond

The Siege of Gondor and Grond

"I am no man!"

“I am no man!”

Frodo and Sam enter Mordor

Frodo and Sam enter Mordor

The Healing Houses of Gondor

The Healing Houses of Gondor

 

"Here, at the end of all things..." *sniff*

“Here, at the end of all things…”
*sniff*

The crowning of Aragorn

The crowning of Aragorn

Oh man. There are so many more pictures I would have liked to add. Be sure to visit this blog, this article, and this page (in Russian, but all you really need to do is look at the pictures right?) for even more of Yuhimov’s Lord of the Rings illustrations.

Have a Very Merry (Tolkien) Christmas

Father Christmas

Father Christmas

We are now solidly in the Advent season, a time of joy and celebration for the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! If you’re looking for some lovely carols to listen to, Jubilare is doing a series this month with some of her favorites. Start here!

I’ve had very few in my lifetime but I have always been enthralled by Advent calendars, even the cheap cardboard ones with the poor quality foil-wrapped chocolate pieces inside. The joy of looking forward to a new gift each day while getting closer and closer to Christmas? You would have to be a pre-reformed Scrooge not to love that!

Bah. Humbug.

Bah. Humbug.

But, alas, most Advent calenders are expressly made for children (unless you’re buying the Starbucks one, (maybe check your local store?) which I strongly suggest you keep far, far away from children). Do not despair though, dear reader! For I come to you today with a calender for Tolkien fans. Simply go here to sign up and begin your first clue: tolkienchristmas.com. In theory, this advent calender is meant as a contest to win some personalized Tolkien books. But the real joy here is that every day you answer a simple question with a link to a special Tolkien related item. Perhaps an illustration, or a map, or, like today, a link to a rare recording of Tolkien reading a chapter from The Hobbit (“Riddles in the Dark”!). You might want to save each link as you get them, as it seems very hard to find them again once you have answered the question or closed the page. Have no fear, though! With my internet prowess, I have managed to bring you the links to each previous day!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20 (Final day!)

I will try to keep these updated as the month progresses; it would be a shame to lose these treasures.

Also in Tolkien news: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug opens on Friday! I haven’t read any full reviews yet but the general consensus seems to be that it is good and better than the first one. However, as one fan pointed out, so was Attack of the Clones.

The Beauty of the Illustrated Word

It’s no secret that I love beautiful art and, especially, beautiful book illustrations. I’m a fan of Susan Cooper on Facebook (the author of the fantastic The Dark is Rising sequence) and she occasionally posts information about new editions of the books. A few months ago, new editions from the Folio Society caught my eye. Once I went to the website to explore their other offerings I was quickly sucked into the beauty of their editions.

In their own words, The Folio Society believes that “great books should be outstanding not only in literary content but also in their physical form: this has been the philosophy of The Folio Society since it was founded in 1947 by Charles Ede, with a dream of publishing beautiful books that would be affordable to everyone.” At $40 plus for most of the books, these editions are, unfortunately, out of my purchasing range. I encourage you to visit the website and drool over the books though. And if you’re in a generous mood, let me know! I will send my wishlist to you immediately.

Some highlights from the books (click on the picture for more info on the book and more pictures):

HisDarkMaterials

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman;
Illustrations by Peter Bailey

HitchhikersGuide

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams;
Illustrations by Jonathan Burton

ArabianNights

The Arabian Nights;
Illustrations by Edward J. Detmold

BackNorthWind

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald;
Illustrations by Maria L. Kirk

NarniaBynes

From The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis;
Illustrations by Pauline Baynes

DarkisRising

From The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper;
Illustrations by Laura Carlin

Pinocchio

Pinocchio translated by Mary Alice Murray;
Illustrations by Grahame Baker-Smith

OliveFairyBook

From The Olive Fairy Book by Andrew Lang;
Illustrations by Kate Baylay

MerlinOnceFutureKing

The Once and Future King by T. H. White;
Illustrations by John Lawrence

PerraultsFairyBook

From Perrault’s Fairy Tales;
Illustrations by Edmund Dulac

LOTREowynills

From The Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien;
Illustrations by Ingahild Grathmer

HobbitSmaug

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien;
Illustrations by Eric Fraser

Yikes. Maybe I went overboard a little bit. But so many beautiful illustrations! Oh and in light of that last one have y’all seen the new Hobbit trailer yet?

Dali in Wonderland

Wow, guys. Wow.

Salvador Dali’s a bit of a favorite of mine. All surrealists are, actually. There is something about the strangeness and the dream-like quality of surrealism that has always appealed to me and that somehow seems to go hand in hand with so much of fairy tales and fantasy. My jaw dropped when I ran across this:

DowntheRabbitHole

That is called “Down the Rabbit Hole” and was made by Dali for an illustrated edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Advice From A Caterpillar

Advice From A Caterpillar

Published in 1969 for a publisher’s book of the month, this is one powerful combination.

Mad Tea Party

Mad Tea Party

I would love to get my hands on a copy! Unfortunately, it’s pretty rare and the few available copies are well out of my price range.

The Queen's Croquet Ground

The Queen’s Croquet Ground

To see more of this collaboration, check out the original article. They have the entire collection of illustrations there so it’s worth visiting!