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Back to the Weta Cave

I’ve been working a fair bit of overtime the last couple of weeks which is not conductive to getting out and about. We did manage to squeeze in a visit to the Weta Cave this weekend just gone to attend a book signing by John Howe.

John is in Wellington working on the forthcoming Hobbit movie; he’s an artist and he has done a lot of work around the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. John has also done cover work for a number of well know fantasy artists.

I was expecting quite a line but there were only a handfull of people in attendance. When we had our turn we handed over a few books, said hi and chatted while John drew a couple of skeches for us. We talked about a bunch of things like his opinion of the cover for the latest Robin Hobb book (John painted the covers for the last few series), the wait for warmer weather, work on the Hobbit and getting out to see the country. We had seen John when we visited Castle Point a few months back and he said we should have said hello at the time. John did say that he’s looking forward to getting stuck in to the new locations for the Hobbit as they’ll be quite different from what he has worked on previously (in the Lord of the Rings movies). He also said that its worth visiting Hobbiton now that they’re hard at work getting it ready for shooting, and hinted that maybe this time they won’t be destroying it again once shooting is finished.

We got a few books signed. Firstly there was a book we had bought years ago called Myth & Magic that showcases much of John’s work. We got a friendly looking dragon sketch in this one:

IMG 0017Photo by Brendon & Keryn

A dragon sketch in Myth & Magic

We had bought a new book at the Weta Cave and also got a drawing in this one. The book is called Fantasy Art Workshop and its a look into John’s technique with examples from many of his past works. We got a sketch of Gandalf this time around:

IMG 0018Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Gandalf appears in John’s Fantasy Art Workshop.

The last book was a nice hardcover edition of the Hobbit we’ve had for a while. We now have it signed by Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro, John Howe and fellow artist Alan Lee. A nice little movie souvenir.

IMG 0016Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Our signed copy of the Hobbit.

We then also had a photo taken. John was very gracious, friendly and open. We had a nice chat and have some nice momentos to go with our memories.

IMG 0015Photo by Brendon & Keryn

John Howe with a couple of Kiwis.

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