I'm an Australian cartoonist who publishes sci-fi cartoon parodies on my website http://www.sev.com.au. I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan and have read it many times since primary school (my childhood copy fell apart so my wife bought me a new copy last year). When images of the Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie started leaking onto the net, I started thinking about caricaturing the characters of Middle Earth. After the first trailer came out, I could resist no longer!
Each week, I run a punchline competition where readers finish the final speech bubble of a sci-fi comic strip. One week, I decided to try a Lord of the Rings parody, a cartoon about the writing on the One Ring. Although the cartoons are meant to be science fiction spoofs, this first Lord of the Rings parody was an immediate success. The competition received a bucketload of punchlines, proving just how strong the online Tolkien community is.
From that point on, I've steadily been adding to my collection of Lord of the Rings spoofs. The main limit on what I draw is what images are available from the movie (I like to caricature characters from TV shows or movies). Consequently, most of my cartoons have focused on Fellowship of the Ring. I'm looking forward to seeing what Treebeard and Gollum will look like but it'll be a long wait till December 2002.
As New Line Cinema have kept a tight lid on what the Balrog will look like, I had to employ guesswork on how it'd look. I heard that Peter Jackson employed Alan Howe (a famous Tolkien illustrator) to do much of the conceptual sketches for the movie. I searched the net and found a cool Alan Howe illustration of Glorfindel fighting a Balrog at the fall of Gondolin.
I often get asked if I ever get in trouble with movie studios for my cartoon parodies. The answer is no - as parody, my cartoons don't infringe any copyrights. In fact, I have been contacted by New Line Cinema - asking me if I could link to the Lord of the Rings official movie website. I was more than happy to!
Currently, I'm rereading The Fellowship of the Ring, getting psyched for the first movie in December! My cartoons can be found at the Fraud of the Rings webpage (www.sev.com.au/toonzone/fotr.asp)