Hello all, and welcome to the first Tolkien Collector's guide (TCG) newsletter!
First, the newsletter itself. I am always working on improving how TCG operates, and to offer as many ways as possible to keep all interested people up to date. The TCG Home page summarizes a lot of what's going on in the community, there are RSS feeds for the forums and news articles, and now this newsletter to summarize what has gone on in the last month in the Guide database as well as elsewhere in the Tolkien community. I do hope that these will come out around the first of every month.
This inaugural newsletter has been emailed to all registered members of the website who have asked to receive it (by default, all new accounts are set up to receive it). You can change your preference to receive or not receive these newsletters by clicking on the Edit Account link here or near the bottom left corner of any TCG page. Find the button labeled "Receive occasional email notices?" and select yes or no. If anyone has any issues at all with this, please email me and I will make it right!
Now that the bookkeeping is taken care of, on to site updates! Two major content updates were added to TCG last month.
Like jigsaw puzzles? If so, you probably have seen at least a few from International Polygonics, also known as The Underground Puzzle Company. They obtained permission from the Tolkien Estate to use artwork from Tolkien and Pauline Baynes, as well as a handful of other puzzles with art from Barbara Remington, photographs of Tolkien himself, and cel art from the Ralph Bakshi movie. I interviewed Hugh Abramson from International Polygonics about how these puzzles came to be.
Tolkien Jigsaws Are Hobbit Forming, an interview with Hugh Abramson.
A few months ago on the Mythopoeic Society mailing list, someone pointed out that a fanzine titled Rómenna Meeting Report was cited multiple times by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull in their new book, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion. But what was this fanzine, and where could it be found? The author of Rómenna Meeting Report, Margaret Dean is still a member of the Society, and stepped forward to explain. Rómenna was a reading group started in the early 1980's that discussed in detail The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales. She was the record keeper, and meticulously documented the discussions. These Reports make great reading, and could server as a great basis for other reading groups to get discussion topic ideas. She offered to have all of the Reports freely available on the web if someone was willing to scan them in and host them. So here you go, the entire run of issues is available now!
Rómenna Meeting Report Collector's Guide Page.
There have been some other minor technical updates to TCG's software, and more will be forthcoming as I find the time. Unfortunately I was on the road all of last month, so I didn't have a lot of time to devote to Tolkien! This month should be much more active at TCG. Please keep in touch, via the discussion forums, etc. I love to hear from everyone!