Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In Praise of (Other People's) Basements

So, we don't have basements, or attics, where I come from. And, since moving up north (and later west), I've discovered that the nice thing about basements is they Accumulate Stuff. And, at certain intervals, the urge comes to clean out significant amounts of said stuff. And thus, a friend last night gave me a bunch of old calendars he thought I'd like.

Old Tolkien calendars.

As in, the 1974 Tolkien calendar, the first (I think) with Tolkien's own art.

As in the 1975 Tim Kirk calendar, which I don't think I've ever even actually seen before -- I've seen the art, or most of it anyway, but don't recall seeing the calendar itself.

Add to that the Hildebrant calendars from 1976, 1977, and 1978 (one or two of which I have, or at least had at one point -- not sure if they survived the house or not). The Bakshi calendar of 1979 with the movie art. The 1980 'Great Illustrators' calendar, with its hilariously, famously bad picture of the death of Boromir based in equal parts on images of St. Sebastien and the Pieta.

Living down in Arkansas as I did, I don't think I had the chance to buy a Tolkien calendar for myself until I discovered Land of Legend, the Zaentz marketing company for items centered on the movie (like the Lord of the Nazgul piggy bank), along with a few other interesting items -- such as Tolkien calendars, Anne Etkins' little book, et al.*

So now I'm going to get out all my old calendars that have survived time, decay, and many many moves, and introduce them to their new friends. And find a new home for them all, in the box room.

Thanks Jeff!


*this wd have been 'long about '78.

P.S.: The Wife Says: Thanks, Jeff.


Jeff_Grubb said...

So, what part of "you might be able to sneak this in past Janice and for god's sake, don't tell her where you got them" was unclear?

N.E. Brigand said...

That "hilariously, famously bad" painting by the "Brothers Gentile" was, so I once heard, submitted to the calendar as a joke, and unexpectedly accepted for publication. I don't know if that's true.

Wurmbrand said...

Ballantine's first Tolkien calendar was 1973. I believe the 1974 calendar uses the same art.

John D. Rateliff said...

Hi Brigand
Hadn't heard that anecdote before. I'm skeptical of its truth, but as a rationalization of 'what were they thinking?' it's priceless.

Yes, it's not the absolute first, but I'm v. happy to have it nonetheless. That and the Kirk are things I never thought I'd have, having come along a little too late in the Tolkien-collecting , due to being so isolated in those early days.
I'm still grateful to Grotta-Kurska's book for having been the means whereby I found out how to contact groups like the Mythopoeic Society and the Tolkien Society, after more than a year's futile searching for the (defunct, as it turned out) TSA.

--John R.