Angela Hill had an idea for a story highlighting places in the Bay Area that might fit in to a vision of Middle Earth. She's a Tolkien fan and, for inspiration, she even loaned her copy of "The Hobbit" illustrated by Alan Lee. Her story is here, and it's very nicely done!
"The Hobbit" was a passion for me in my tweens and teens; I couldn't even guess how many times I read that book. Lots. I knew this would be good fun for me.
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Secretly, I dread these kind of map illustrations. Well, not so secretly now, I guess, but it's just so dang hard to get things to fit!
This was a quick turnaround, so I didn't have time to fret over each bit. It was a straight forward sprint all the way. I was really worried about how it would look until a couple of hours before it was due. I wasn't certain I could fill the page but I had to discard a few other ideas because I couldn't wedge them in comfortably. Which was good, because it took much longer to color than I thought it would, and another 5 minutes spent on the drawing would have sent me tumbling into the deadline crack of doom.
Still, I wish I could have worked in a gag about the Oakland Raiders. And Iwas going to have Gandalf and Bilbo saying something like "How strange this place is." "I knew we should have taken a left Lothlórien." Or something nerdy like that.
Jennifer Schaefer designed the page, guiding me along the way; and here's how it looked in the paper:
I drew everything except for the dragon Smaug at the bottom. I traced it from a picture of the cover to the first edition of the book. I thought that would solidify my Tolkein-geek cred.