A few years ago, I stumbled upon the book The Tolkien Years of the Brothers Hildebrandt by Greg Hildebrandt Jr. in my local comic book store.
It was hidden in a box full of remnants; I almost overlooked it. Before I even knew what the book was all about, I made an impulse purchase. At home I realised that the book was not simply a collection of Tolkien illustrations of the Brothers Hildebrandt. Instead, The Tolkien Years of the Brothers Hildebrandt tells the creative process of the Brothers Hildebrandt.
Initially published in 2001, Dynamite Entertainment released an updated and expanded edition of The Tolkien Years of the Brothers Hildebrandt with eight new pages of exclusive material in September 2012.
In contrast to other art books, The Tolkien Years of the Brothers Hildebrandt reconstructs the development of some of the best known Hildebrant paintings. The reader discovers how the Brothers Hildebrandt used family members and friends to model for their art. Those reference photos were then turned into sketches and finally into finished pieces of art in their calenders.
The book is enriched with anecdotes and personal stories, through which Greg Hildebrandt Jr. conveys the enthusiasm and inspiration of his father and uncle. Moreover, the enthusiasm that appears to shine throughout the art book is (as far as I’m concerned) contagious. I have to admit – I’m tempted to buy the expanded edition as well.
The Tolkien Years of the Brothers Hildebrandt can be purchased on dynamite.com for $29.99.