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Myth and Magic: The Art of John Howe
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Myth and Magic: The Art of John Howe

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  477 ratings  ·  26 reviews

Artists the world over have attempted to capture the essence of Tolkien’s Middle-earth: the passion and heroism of the characters, the heart-stopping drama of the action, the mythic grandeur of Middle-earth itself, but few have succeeded. Pre-eminent among those who have is John Howe.  Now, for the first time ever, a portfolio of more than 250 of his paintings and sketches

Hardcover, 141 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by HarperCollins UK (first published January 1st 2001)
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4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  477 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Robin Hobb
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's only fair to remind everyone that John Howe did the original UK covers for many of the Robin Hobb books. So I do come to this work with a very personal admiration for the man and his work. I will freely admit extreme prejudice in his favor.

And as I contributed text to this volume, in a sense I am cheating and giving myself a five star review. But anyone who reads only the text I wrote and does not linger far longer on John Howe's art has missed the whole point of this book. Skip the part I
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another great find on my travels and at a fraction of the cover price.

This is an amazing book which I am glad has carried on the tradition that Paper Tiger started all those years ago. The book is generously illustrated with many of John Howe's works although they are predominantly based on the worlds and works of Tolkien many of which are now famously linked to his work have become in many cases (Gandalf) synonymously the de facto image everyone knows.

However to say that Mr Howe is a Tolkien i
J.Aleksandr Wootton
Although Howe's vision of Middle-Earth occasionally offers an unwelcome filter for my inner eye (in fairness, I have yet to encounter an artist for whom that is not at least sometimes true), his art in the main is stunning, moving, wonderful to behold. Faerie he has certainly seen, Logres, Newford, and many other worlds besides. Howe's insistence on research, on basing fantastical imagery on the real, serves all fantasy lovers well.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: companions
John Howe... RESPECT!!!
That's the only thing I want to say about this collection of his artwork.
It's absolutely STUNNING!!!
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
John Howe, beyond the shadow of a doubt, has a knack for art. He seamlessly knows how to connect reality with fantastic elements, almost as if his works could be real someplace, sometime. 2/3 of this book dealt with all kinds of LOTR-related lore, which I adored. 1/3 was a variety of cover and illustration artwork for other titles, which I appreciated deeply as well, but which did not have the same effect on me as the illustrations for Tolkien's works. This is definitely a worthy addition to my ...more
Florin Pitea
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Breathtaking. A true collector's item. Highly recommended.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great artist - from a devoted Howe-fan, what else could I say?
An excellent book with excellent artwork from an excellent artist. It's truly marvellous for every fantasy fan or for those who generally indulge themselves in brilliant art.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A beautifully illustrated book! John Howe is definitely the master of Middle Earth's art. I loved every single page, every single painting!

Highly recommended to Toklien fans!!!
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic portfolio of artwork by John Howe. I've had this since around the time that The Return of the King film came out, however only perused the Tolkien section. Recently, I went cover to cover.

I heard of John Howe, as well as Alan Lee, thanks to The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. There is also a Myth & Magic poster collection too; which features I believe 8 poster-sized images from the book.

There is a vast array of varrying material included here. Tolkien, however, receives three se
Andy Hickman
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Myth and Magic: The Art of John Howe” by John Howe, Peter Jackson (Foreword)

Fantastic artwork and descriptions by John Howe.

I wasn't aware of The History of Middle-earth series.

“ I love dragons for the incredible pictorial possibilities they offer. It's hard to imagine another family of mythical creatures so multifarious.” (p48)

“I've always loved Arthurian legend; no other myth cycle covers a millennium of history, from the Mabinogion to Mallory, from the Celtic precursor of Arthur to the ulti
Lyle Blosser
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting survey of Mr. Howe's varied artistic career with numerous images from many sources, from Tolkien-related works to art created for a number of fantasy and science-fiction book covers. Accompanied by sketches and previous-unpublished paintings.
Andrew Garvey
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Considering this book is so light on written content, and - at least the edition I have is so misleadingly packaged - this is a real delight.

Without knowing the artist, my first exposure to John Howe was the 1991 J.R.R. Tolkien calendar, which I loved. At the time, as a 13/14 year old, I was valiantly trying (and failing) to read the Lord of the Rings and, in all honesty, I much preferred just looking at Howe's artwork than slogging through Tolkien's torturous prose.

Frustratingly, there isn't mu
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must for Tolkien fans. It was absolutely beautiful and I enjoyed seeing illustrations that I never knew existed. John Howe has his own style and after a while you can recognize the feats. A great book to completely get absorbed in fantasy worlds. Also words and praise from writers, filmmakers etc, which completes this book nicely together with Howe's own words and even some scenes of Howe roleplaying authentic costumes to get a feel for the characters he is drawing. Absolutely ama ...more
April Helms
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Anyone familiar with the Lord of the Rings movies probably knows of John Howe and Alan Lee. Howe was instrumental in many of the creature designs, scene concepts and armor designs. This book also includes cover art for other works, sketches (several previously unpublished)and pictures from his own stories. He also includes anecdotes throughout, and Howe has an engaging writing style and a very dry wit. His work is simply amazing. I love it how he says he does color sketches poorly. Yeah. I wish ...more
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book is absolutely beautiful. From LOTR to other fairy tales, general fantasy, and even some science fiction. Howe's representation of Rivendell in particular is stunning. It's like seeing the movie long before it was made. I want to read all the other books he illustrated now.
Anna Shiverdecker
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing artwork and wonderful words to go along with it. I only wish there were more words and stories and if possible even more pictures. They were so stunning. I recommend this to any aspiring artist or fan of John Howe or Lord of the Rings.
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very cool art book! Howe has such a neat style. And OMG, I had no idea he did some of the illustrations for the Enchanted World series! That was so cool to find out! This is a nice collection to have, and I'm so glad we spotted it over at B&N.
Angela Joyce
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fun
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like Fantasy art
What a great art book. I love how Howe's art evokes conflict and motion and emotion.
Jacky Hendrik
exxelent job,....
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book. There is so much energy in John Howe's art. Especially love the drawings of Middle Earth...
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
The art is what I expected: lovely to look at. The bits written by John Howe are delightful.

I could have done without the bits written by not-John-Howe.
Benjamin Morgan
rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2016
Lucas Leming
rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2015
Luis delgado
rated it it was ok
Feb 04, 2016
Jeff Sitko
rated it it was amazing
Oct 04, 2014
rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2012
Aina Alejandro
rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2014
Adam Willis
rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2018
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John Howe is a Canadian book illustrator, living in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. One year after graduating from high school, he studied in a college in Strasbourg, France, then at the École des arts décoratifs in the same town.

He is best known for his work based on J. R. R. Tolkien's worlds. Howe and Tolkien artist Alan Lee served as chief conceptual designers for Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings