Tolkien Illustrator Ted Nasmith Creates Poster for Lucca Comics & Games Festival (Exclusive)

Italy’s Lucca Comics & Games, considered the biggest pop-culture festival in Europe (and second only globally to Japan’s Comiket), has enlisted renowned Canadian artist Ted Nasmith to create the poster for its 2022 edition, which The Hollywood Reporter can unveil.

Best known for his illustrations of J.R.R Tolkien’s works, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Nasmith also provided the artwork for the cover of the first edition of The Silmarillion, the posthumous work edited by Christopher Tolkien, and was involved in the conceptual art for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. For his Lucca Comics & Games poster, Nasmith worked with the theme of “hope.”

Lucca Comics & Games Poster 2022

Courtesy Lucca Comics & Games

Held in the medieval walled city of Lucca, the convention brings together thousands of fans of comic, gaming, video games, fantasy fiction, manga, anime, animated films, TV series and cosplay from all over the world.

In Nasmith’s artistic vision for the festival, Hope is the so-called “Lady of the Dawn.” The Goddess Hope is inspired by Yavanna, who represents the “healer of nature” in Tolkien’s universe. Her power drew the two last fruits out of the dead twin Holy Trees of Valinor: Laurelin and Telperion. It stands on an ancient olive tree and the colors of the Lady of the Dawn recall the Italian flag; the ribbons symbolize freedom, creativity and differences. With its walls and the famous Church of San Martino, Lucca becomes Valinor, with its sacred tree, an enchanted kingdom and earthly paradise.

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“Fantasy is on the side of those who dream, of those who want to build alternatives, parallel worlds, better scenarios, new roads,” said festival director Emanuele Vietina.

“For us, hope is a certainty not a doubt. Hope is the future of a generation, as Greta Thunberg would say, something that comes from actions, not words. Above all, hope, is the only thing that remains in Pandora’s box when it is opened. So Hope is the theme that permeates the festival’s program, which celebrates creative industries in Italy and abroad” and includes, among others, the 20th anniversary event of game company CD Projekt Red and “exhibitions dedicated to masters like Alex Randolph and international guests, such as Chris Ware, John Romita Jr., Tracy Hickman, Chris Riddell OBE and John Blanche.”