John Howe

Back to the Drawing Board

Or There’s No Place Like Home

Time has taken wing in a big way and suddenly a full month has flown…
Apologies for that, I had entertained illusions of actually keeping up a newsletter and deadlines, but the muse flew the coop along with the rest.
But, I’m back.
Not only back to what I hope will be a weekly setting down of thoughts and what not, but back from all manner of running about far from my studio.
There seems to be a bit of travelling salesman involved in this illustration business; have just returned from the ultimate or at least penultimate opening of the Tolkien exhibition in France, and thankfully have no more major trips planned.
Saint-Nazaire was good fun, but one of those trips where there is not a minute to dally between trains, planes and the rest, straight to an opening where I make a dishevelled speech (at least I remembered to change my proper shoes for my sneakers, unlike that most recent opening, where I realised with horror halfway through my little speech that my decent clothes were still in the car…)
London was great, the extended version of the Return of the King is spectacular, and don’t count on me to spill any of it before the DVD comes out.
The Paris Book Fair was another marathon of sorts, but I did manage to stroll around for half an hour, alas without finding the books I was seeking.
The exhibition opened in Vitry-le-François yesterday evening, and after that will be wrapping up, at least for a while.
The boardgame is was madly working on is done and delivered.
Sounds like I should be on vacation, doesn’t it?
But, no sooner do I finish something and I’m late again… seven years this time around.

Undoubtedly a record, even for me.

But that’s another story.


Just could not resist this: a very kind fan sent a biography the other day. “John Howe”, by Robert F. Horton M.A., D.D., published by Methuen & Co, London, in 1895.
This is so-o-ooo cool, all I need do is change the dates and names and I will have my own biography! Let me see, who shall I replace Oliver Cromwell with?

Now, while that’s all very well for the biography, there’s still the autobiography to do. Thankfully, that’s taken care of too!
This next picture is from a book of Howe’s writings that someone else sent me. All I need do it draw in a beard and moustache on the portrait, and change a few words in the title, and my life’s work is done. (I may need to overhaul the text a bit… though “the vanity of this mortal life” does definitely appeal to me.)


Miraculously, my lost luggage was found! All rather battered, wheels torn off, everything inside squashed, torn, dog-eared, but all there. Even the sketchbook, which now has that kind of raffish seen-the-world-from-a-tramp-steamer look to it. Very romantic.  Hard on the binding, though.

Oscar Nilsson sent me these a while ago. Gandalf is pretty much done, and Oscar will come deliver him towards the end of this month. Can’t wait.