You may ask yourselves, what the heck is this guy now doing speaking about movies on a blog that was supposed to be just a plain illustration blog.
Well, that´s the point. An illustration blog in my view has a lot to gain not just by presenting an artist´s work as a continuous portfolio, but also in giving a glimpse of how the person behind the drawings thinks and feels.
Particularly speaking about inspiration sources that can also be useful to the reader.
And nothing gets me more inspired when it comes to movie references than [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] by Luc Besson.


A lot of my illustrations have a little bit of ocean somewhere (or water) because of this movie.
So let me introduce it to you.



If you never eard about [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] , but you love the sea, you´re totally fascinated by the ocean and believe that dolphins really are another intelligent race co-existing with humans under the same sky, stop reading this text now and go buy the movie.
And if you´re a diver don´t even blink before you do it.
No, really, don´t waste any time because if you have any connection whatsoever with the sea and never even knew that a movie like this existed, you´ll already want to own a copy ot it. Yes you do. You just don´t know it yet.


And yes you can get [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] from tons of torrents out there. And it´s ok if you do, but trust me, this is a movie that deserves to be seen in magnificent digital original  and not as a bootleg dvd rip out there because its magic depends totally between the combination of image and sound so do yourself a favor and buy the thing now, because you will sooner or later anyway.

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[“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is a unique story and movie. Not only within the filmography of Luc Besson, but in Cinema generally speaking and it´s the film that is even sometimes loved by people that usually dislike Besson´s work a lot.
Simply because there´s nothing like this movie out there.


A note of caution though; if you´re expecting something like a sci-fi thriller that´s hinted on trailer for the american release, forget it and go see Transformers instead. It has some good sci-fi medical based themes in it but it´s not what you expect it to be if you believe what the trailer tells you.
The trailer for the American/international release of [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] must be one of the most horrendous trailers ever created to sell a movie to the american (and americanized) audiences. If not, the most misleading trailer ever done too.


By looking at the available american trailer, you might think Luc Besson´s movie about the ocean, is something like a strange high-tech thriller. Something like “Leon” with dolphins, a touch of James Cameron stuff thrown in and a lot of James Bond locations, perhaps.
Sorry people, it´s not.
The locations rival anything that ever appeared in a 007 movie alright, but techno-thriller [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is not.
Oh, and there´s no mystery at all to be solved contrary to what that boomed voice announces in the trailer.
The only mystery in this movie is , who came up with such a ridiculous and misleading trailer ?!!
People who´ve paid tickets thinking this was some kind of action adventure high-tech thriller should have sued the american studio which distributed such a poetic film pretending that [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] was something that it never was, or could ever be for that matter.


But what´s  The Big Blue about ?
This is the worst thing anyone can ask about this movie and I would have hated to be the guy who had to publicize this in USA for the popcorn market.


If you´re not afraid of watching a story that has its own pace, don´t worry, [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] it´s not one of those mega boring Art-House so called masterpieces of Art that scare so many people out.
Although  the modern popcorn crowd  won´t like i´m sure. Simply because this is not one of those movies with 200 frames per second, mega-fast paced editing in MTV style and an action special effects scene between X amount of screen time.
Luc Besson created [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] as a contemplative poem and a love story about the ocean. There´s no giant robots in sight that change into cool cars, teenagers that wear the latest fashion clothes and nobody lunches at McDonalds in [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“].


What more can i say about it?… That it´s the story of two friends who compete to find out who´s best ?…It´s more than that ! That it´s a love story ? It goes much beyond a typical love story ! That it´s an adventure ? You bet it is ! But it has no action, no chases,no dangerous cliffhangers, no guns and no explosions. It doesn´t even has bad guys ! Or good guys in fact. It´s a travel film or a road movie then… Probably. The locations in this movie are breath-taking and they´re all real.


[“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is not an action movie, it´s not a thriller and there are no aliens hiding under the ocean, (come to think…maybe there are…). Anyway it´s not an action packed underwater adventure car chases,  guns, action scenes, nothing. And it´s definitely not a romantic comedy for teens, although it must be the greatest date movie ever created. Why ? Well if your girlfriend loves dolphins…this is the one to see. Trust me.
What ?! You don´t like dolphins ?!! You will.


So, there´s a woman and two men in it. There´s got to be a love triangle there to cause all those love story rivalry subplots, right ? Well, there´s a love triangle, but there aren´t subplots attached to it.
In fact the love triangle has more than three people.
All characters are a part of it really. Including dolphins and even the ocean !


Aha ! So this is some sort of a kinky erotic and exotic movie thing ? Wrong ! There´s sex in it, but not in that way at all.
It´s a comedy then… You´ll laugh, but you´ll cry too.
It´s a drama … Not in the conventional cliché way. Not at all.
A dramatic comedy… Nope !


It´s a sci-fi film !… Actually you might not even notice that bit of the plot, but now that i´ve seen The Big Blue more times than i can make you believe I did, i really can see this story as a sci-fi tale too.


Not only the dolphins are presented in a subliminal way like just another race of beings (that also double for mermaids in the general mythology within the story), but also everything around what makes the character of Jaqques Mayol be like a human dolphin could have been written in a good hardcore sci-fi novel. So i guess [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] can have its place among the best science fiction movies ever without being one openly, because contrary to what the american trailer wants you to believe, it never tries to be one.
But it´s more sci-fi than 99% of the special effects stravaganzas that come out of Hollywood nowadays, this you can bet. It´s sci-fi in a subtil way, more like a 2001 Space Odissey in the ocean than Transformers if you get my idea…


So what is this movie really about ?!!
It´s about what you want it to be.
About what you´re feeling.
It´s that open. You just have to feel it.


As Luc Besson said in an interview, at some point in the making of the movie he was stuck, because he didn´t knew how to carry the audience inside his world of water and solitude.


Then the real Jaqques Mayol, who worked in the film as a diving and story consultant took Besson diving with him one day and made him experience the sea in his way.
This way Besson understood that he didn´t had to explain anything to the audience.
He just had to make people feel what it was like !
And boy, did he make it !


The atmosphere in this movie goes beyond words. It has to be felt ! And you will.
Also the soundtrack is out of this world and truly magical as it fits the scenes like a soundtrack rarely does nowadays and it in itself an isolated character in the plot controlling the tone of the viewers emotions from afar.


To me this film is about love, but in a much deeper meaning than the usual.
Beyond race, beyond gender, beyond sex, beyond nationality.
Love as an emotion and friendship as some kind of different love too.
And about freedom !
Specially about freedom.


So get a wide screen TV and a full blast surround.
[“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is the reason to buy one if you don´t have it, believe me ! And watch it in the dark.
And by the way…do yourself a favor and watch only the so called “Directors Cut” with more than 160 minutes, not the short 130 minutes one. Please.


That long cut is in fact the real movie before the American distributors had butchered it and reedited it to create the theatrical “international” version that most people knew until Luc Besson released the complete version which is now available everywhere.
Watching the two versions it´s like watching two different movies altogether and the longer original cut really makes a difference in everything.


The american short version in the States even had all the incredible original soundtrack created by Eric Serra erased and replaced with an american one because the american distributors at the time felt they needed the movie to sound more like a Pop video clip to compensate for the slow pace of the story (they even tried to eliminate).
This short version in America even had to have a different ending, because the studios wanted a clear and definitive happy ending without any ambiguity so one was even created or the movie wouldn´t be released in america and to the world. It´s even hard to believe !



Anyway, everything is great nowadays, the movie is back in it´s full length and it´s also available now in Blu-Ray, which includes a 90+ minutes making of documentary which no [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] fan will want to miss. Although i cannot comment on it yet because i have yet to see it too.
Just make sure you get the English Blu-Ray recently released (or the old dvd for the long version) and don´t go buy the movie in France .
Although [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is a French movie, its original soundtrack is in English, but the french edition of the Blu-Ray only has the french dubbed version and not the original english dialogues. So beware, make sure you buy the UK release and not the french one.


This is the movie of my life and so i had to tell everyone here about it, because it´s definetly a major, major influence in all my art (even when it doesn´t seems like) and i consider it a good example of how something like a movie can affect the life of a person.
I never before saw a film that i could identify myself so much with. I´m lucky enough to live in a place near the sea very similar and as beautiful as those in the movie and the opening scenes always remind me of my teenage years and the waters i explored like young Jaqques Mayol does in the beginning of the movie. And there still things in there that i still do. So i immediately related to the character and its love for the ocean.


I guess that´s the beauty of this movie. It makes us feel that we could be any of its characters, because they´re so real. We almost can´t believe that they don´t exist outside of the movie.
And by the way, full marks to all the actors.


Years ago when i learned that the guy who played the unforgettable Italian character Enzo, was in fact Jean Reno a French actor that never even dived before accepting this role, i had to pick up pieces of my chin from the floor and to me Enzo, remains the best work Jean Reno ever did. Although he´s more popular due to the other Luc Besson´s movie -Leon- because it was the action movie that presented Jean Reno to Hollywood, to me the unforgettable Enzo will always be his top movie acting performance. You´ll never find a more Italian character in movies than Enzo, played by this brilliant french actor which steals the show in almost all scenes is in.


And let´s not forget about Rosana Arquette e Jean Marc Barr as Joanna and Jaqques wich are absolutely brilliant also and bring us totally believable persons on the screen to a point we totally forget we´re watching actors in a movie.
The character of Jaqques Mayol is the soul of the movie and Joanna is one of the best romantic female characters of the 80´s due to a simplicity you will love and be totally mesmerized by.


In fact [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is one of those movies totally rich in characters that you´ll never forget with great performances from the cast. Sergio Castellito as Roberto, Enzo´s brother is the perfect choice and another proof that Luc Besson can write good parts even for the secondary characters, which of course brings me to, Mama ! Or I´d better not…


You´ll find out by yourself.
Another detail worth mention is the children casting which is incredible.
The kids look exactly like their adult versions of the characters and they really can act.
Simply one of the best child castings to fit older characters i´ve seen up to this day.


It´s an amazing ,beautifully well written ,acted, photographed and directed movie ! It carries us into an extraordinary world, and it´s our world !! (mine at least to some point) Not some Hollywood depiction of reality.


And besides, it has the most amazing scenes with dolphins you´ll ever see in a movie !
All among incredible scenery and almost enchanted seascapes that you´ll never forget.


[“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] it´s my top inspiring movie when it comes to create illustration and i can bet that if you´re a bit like me, soon, it will be yours too. 😉
Oh, and you´ll be quoting its lines for years to come too, as it´s one of those screenplays filled with memorable dialogues…Roberto mio parmo … 😉
Go get it.
It´s brilliant, a masterpiece of atmosphere and visual poetry and a totally unique story and movie with unforgettable characters.



To me is one of the greatest and most inspiring movies about the sea ever made.
If you love the ocean and want to see a real poetic and inspiring movie about that big blue space this is the movie for you.

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For: the characters are unforgettable, Jean Reno, Jean Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette, it has a great sense of humor, tons of quotable dialogues, the poetic atmosphere, filled with incredible imagery, it was filmed in real locations, it has excellent scenes with dolphins, amazing underwater footage done for real, fantastic balance between drama and comedy, it´s a unique film, brilliant soundtrack by Eric Serra, the greatest movie about the sea ever made.

Against:  does not follow the typical american style narrative people expect and so this could have too much of an European flare for some people who can only apreciate the regular Hollywood fast-food pre-made and recycled stuff that comes out every week looking the same.



Unbelievably BAD trailer edited in the United States that seems to try to con people into thinking this is some kind of high tech mystery sci-fi adventure. It´s not !!
This trailer is a joke !


This is the real French trailer which captures the feel of the actual story.


Below is a bit of the beginning of the movie for you to check out if this is your type of atmosphere or not. The begins in black in white then opens into full color about 10 minutes into the picture.


There´s a great alternative new trailer created for the release of the full version of the movie, that you need to check it out because it has almost a magic feel to it and conveys beautifully the atmosphere of the story.

Click here to see this new good trailer.




Contains both versions; the original English track and the French dubbing ( yes, it´s not the opposite despite the movie being French ). Also this bluray has a fantastic making of documentary where you´ll be amazed to learn that all the ocean scenes you see in the movie are for real, the actors are really in there and the film had almost no special effects at all.
Mandatory purchase if you enjoy this movie. Go get it.




#(cliquem aqui para uma versão longa e mais detalhada desta review em Português)








“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” – THE HOBBIT – BBC Radio adaptation – Audio book


As an illustrator, one of the questions I get asked the most since I professionaly started on this path back in 1992, is:
– “Where do you come up with this crazy stuff ?!!!”
This was the top question thrown at me back in the days before Fantasy was fashionable and before it became so popular within the general mainstream audience; thanks to the new hit movies we all know and love.
Before Peter Jackson´s – The Lord of the Rings – presented the genre to the casual movie goer, it´s hard to believe but not many people read Fantasy books (not like today anyway), and so only the real genre fans knew about “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula Le Guin, “Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S.Lewis and of course, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” by Tolkien, that inspired so many artists like me myself to create our own worlds of fantasy.

But back then Fantasy was treated almost like the poor retarded cousin of science-fiction (or worse; some fairytale crap for little children) and so illustrators like me that created images within those imaginary universes always got that odd look from observers and the usual question was always inevitable:
“Where do you come up with this crazy stuff ?!!!”
Followed by the inevitable: – “Isn´t that for little kids ? Do you still like fairytales ?!” (chukles).

Well, speaking for myself, I always got inspiration from the sea and the seascapes from around where i live, from fantasy books, earlier fantasy movies (The Neverending Story, Lady Hawke, Legend) and more recently in the last 10 years from audiobooks.
So now, I decided to share here on this blog, some of the best ones I know and that I´ve listened to over the years and that still inspire me today to create my art.
I always wanted to diversify this webspace talking about some of my best inspiration sources and so let´s start with one of the very best.
Let´s talk about  THE HOBBIT.


Not the Peter Jackson movie(s) adaptation, but about the almost forgotten and fantastic BBC Radio Adaptation produced back in the 60´s more than fourty years ago.

Nowadays almost everyone who has seen the Lord of the Rings movies knows about the early novel that later developed into that now famous trilogy. Many people have read the book, but maybe not so many people know that this early novel was also adapted by BBC Radio back in the 1960s.
To me, altough the BBC 1981 Radio adaptation of Lord of the Rings overall is the best audiobook ever made, nothing beats the first minutes of narration in this earlier radio adaptation for pure Tolkien atmosphere. Not even the opening of the Peter Jackson movie adaptation could match the one in this audiobook. Also, the scene where Bilbo meets Gandalf at the begining is simply unforgetable once you listen to it.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

This is how the story starts off .  If you´re a fan of the book and never listened to this 1968 BBC Radio adaptation you´re in for a treat.
There´s no way I can describe in words what two actors can do with only their acting skills backed up by the perfect music soundtrack to fit the original text.

Essentialy, instead of just having this initial and totaly iconic bit of narration read by a single person, this was transformed into a dialogue between Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins as they both start to tell this magic tale and in the process interrupt each other with snippets taken from the original text in a way that I wasn´t expecting at all but which is simply a brilliant piece of audio narration that not only remains true to the original written material but enhances the whole initial setting of this amazing prelude to The Lord of the Rings.

After listening to the beginning of this audio book you´ll never be able to read the actual written book without thinking of this narration and play it inside your mind as you read along. I guarantee you.
It´s that good.
Yet again, if you never listened to this and you´re a fan of the book, you really, really must get this one too along with the LOTR Brian Sibley adaptation. Yes you do. You don´t know it yet, but you really, really want to.;)
After reviewing in this website the BBC Radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, I simply had to do The Hobbit next as it was the most logical recomendation to present to those who are looking for audio books on mp3 or cd and even good audio books for children. After all this book was writen as a novel for kids to begin with.

The Hobbit radio play is as good as the Lord of the Rings BBC Radio adaptation…although diferent.
This 1968 BBC Radio earlier atempt to adapt a Tolkien novel, has a totaly diferent feel to the later 1981 LOTR adaptation.
Actualy if feels much simple. The cast is smaller, the soundtrack is much more like Celtic music without that big movie orchestration from the Sibley LOTR adaptation but this whole setting is just perfect to adapt the much less complicated novel that lead to The Lord of the Rings as The Hobbit is also a much simple book than what later followed.
It might sound less sophisticated, (the sound quality is also much inferior than what you can listen to for the LOTR later adaptation), but the 1968 BBC Radio adaptation for The Hobbit is in my view another masterpiece of audio dramatization and so I guess I must consider it as the second best audio book i ever listened.
And probably you will too. 🙂

This radio play is a good and captivating adaptation that follows the book very well, with a couple of exceptions that in my view are not even worth mentioning as they don´t ruin the original work at all and the acting is absolutely fantastic. Gandalf sounds different than what was later done for the LOTR adaptation but nevertheless it´s the perfect interpretation for this character as it appears in The Hobbit.
And Bilbo Baggins audio depiction is not only perfect and brilliant but absolutely captivating as you can really believe that if it had existed somewhere it would surely sound like that.
The whole dramatization has a very British feel to it and that couldn´t complement the book better as the rural atmosphere from this work totaly carries you into an earlier Middle-Earth to simpler times long before the events of The Lord of the Rings.

Technically, nowadays this BBC Radio adaptation might sound a bit disappointing to those who will go into it expecting modern  state of the art sound effects and atmosphere, but remember this was done more than 40 years ago and at the time it must have been a radio event I´m sure.
Nevertheless, do not worry, as there is nothing here that will prevent you from enjoying this amazing prelude to The Lord of the Rings as much you probably liked the 1981 adaptation.

It´s a must buy if you love Fantasy, so don´t try to resist.
Even if you download it in mp3, i believe you´ll want to own the original edition after you listen to it. One of many available with different covers.

And by the way…speaking of mp3…The weird music in this radio play adaptation of The Hobbit fits the tale perfectly although it doesn´t carry the same modern cinematic punch that was present in LOTR BBC soundtrack made more than ten years later but has tons of atmosphere nevertheless and fits perfectly with this magic tale.
The actors shine through, the characters are alive and if you´re a Tolkien fan you can´t miss this audio book, particularly if you never listened to it before.
It sure deserves a place in any good audio book club.
You can download it on the net for free, (but not in free audio books legal websites) but don´t waste your time, just buy the thing because if you love the book after listening to this version you´l want to own the audio book.
Besides it looks cool on the bookshelves next to the actual written book as it´s got a nice package. Go buy, listen to it and enjoy pure Tolkien magic.
Then get The Lord of the Rings BBC Radio adaptation too. Because after this one, you know you have to anyway. 😉

But wait…What´s a Hobbit ?!
To those out there who never eard of The Hobbit as a book, well…have you seen The Lord of the Rings movies ? Want to know in detail how Bilbo Baggins found the One Ring and met Gollum ? It´s all in this book.
And in the audio book as this is another of the best books on tape you can get and it´s been re-released in 5 cds along with some goodies such as a Tolkien interview and additional music.
If you´re searching to buy good online audio books and you love fantasy, you cannot go wrong buying this one, either in the UK edition or American ones as there are now a couple of different editions with a variety of covers available on CD.



What can I say more ?…
Just buy the thing !!!

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Just make sure you´re getting the BBC Radio dramatization and not the book read by a narrator to get this version. Either for The Hobbit or for The Lord of the Rings. Above are some of the Uk and American releases.











THE LORD OF THE RINGS – BBC Radio adaptation – “One audio book to rule them all !”



Welcome. This will be a review for THE LORD OF THE RINGS and it´s here because the original masterwork from Tokien it´s one of my main inspiration sources for when i´m creating illustrations and so i had to talk about it on this blog too.


Actually, I´m not talking about the brilliant Peter Jackson movies or about the original novels even, but I want to present you the almost forgotten and fantastic BBC Radio Adaptation produced back in 1981 more than twenty five years ago wich still remains in my opinion one of the best audio books you can ever buy or listen to.
If not the best ever !
And it´s mine, it´s my precious !…ssss.

By the way, the cover you see above is the modern cover for this product. It was now re-released again because of the movie´s success and so that is the new look for the box cover. I don´t know how the interior package looks like.

The other photos you see on this article below are from my very own purchase and they represent the version which was available some years ago on amazon.uk, (you can stil find this version in amazon sellers if you want to). This version was presented in a box, which contained this really cool hardcover book with all the Cds in it, a small booklet with plenty of notes about the making of and also a map of middle earth.



Yes, it´s The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien but in a radio dramatized version with a huge cast and it´s hard to describe in words something that can only be truly experienced by sound. After its initial radio broadcast in England, it became available in cassettes for a while, until it was released in CD around 1999.

The Lord of the Ring BBC Radio adaptation - audio book review

I first listened this incredible radio play, about eleven years ago, when i bought it in CD from Amazon.Uk attracted by some reviews but i was not expecting this at all for the quality of this radio production rivals the work of Peter Jackson but in audio form.
It got me hooked on audio books since then, and since then i´ve been searching for something that could top it but to this day nothing ever came close to it.

Ready to return to Middle Earth ?
If you´ve check out the dvd extras in Peter Jackson´s Lord of the Rings movie adaptations, you probably didn´t noticed a guy called Brian Sibley.He was there for more than one reason, and among them is because he´s the person behind the first ever great adaptation of Tolkien´s novel. Precisely the BBC Radio dramatization of The Lord of the Rings, which was also used by Peter Jackson to help planning the initial structure of the movies and so, if you´ve never heard about the radio version of this story, you can see there´s much more to it than it seems at first.
The radio version of The Lord of the Rings,  is about 12 hours long (more or less the same as the new Peter Jackson movies altogether), and  immediately got a place of honor on my bookshelve next to the printed traditional Lord of the Rings novels.
In fact, it still surprises me that although, the BBC Radio adaptation is popular among people who love audio books, it´s not very well known outside that circle of fans.

Although it´s not exactly part of the official Peter Jackson´s movie versions Lord of the Rings merchandise, for obvious reasons, it surely deserves to have a place in the heart and bookshelves of everybody who loved the movies or read the books and so i hope this text now, will contribute to spread the word around about this incredible alternative to the dvds or the books themselves.
If you like books on tape, or you´re curious about them and never listened to one, this is the first one you should get.

As good as the movies in all aspects and even if you don´t like Fantasy, but enjoy good acting, you´ll be amazed at the quality of this audio production.


Huge cast of perfect voices, great editing and to top everything there´s an incredible music for this Lord of the Rings soundtrack too, that you won´t forget and its as cinematic as the music from the movies.
At this point i still don´t know which of the two i like best yet.
Also the BBC radio adaptation differs from the movies because it´s more faithful to the books. There´s a few chapters left out of the movies and the ending is the original one written in the novel by Tolkien with the original structure and it´s different from the ending in the movies. So if you haven´t read the books and only saw Peter Jackson´s adaptation you´ll enjoy to discover how the real ending of the books was done. It´s all here in the BBC radio version.
The only thing left is once again the strange chapter about Tom Bombadil for those who know what I´m talking about. This radio version also left that one out for obvious reasons that all Tolkien book fans understand.
There´s so much to tell about this work, but at the same time i don´t want to spoil the joy of discovery, so let me see…I can start by speaking about the voice cast.
It´s brilliant ! You don´t need to know more.

Actually…I can tell you that if you love the Lord of the Rings movies, you´ll recognize many of the characters just by listening to them in this radio version. Although this audio production was created around 1981, you´ll be amazed at the similarity between some of the voice acting here and the actual voices of the actors that Peter Jackson cast for the modern movie versions.
You´ll feel right at home and sometimes if you close your eyes it almost feels like you´re listening to an alternative movie cut.

Middle-Earth Dejà-vu… 🙂
Gandalf´s voice (Michael Hordern), is almost the same as in the modern movie versions, the same goes for Frodo and Sam, and some other characters too, which demonstrates how influential this radio version was for the making of the movies more than twenty years later.
Ian Holm, wich in the movies now played Bilbo Baggins, in the audio-book, plays Frodo Baggins instead and it´s brilliant. It´s almost like you´re listening to Elijah Wood creating the same character nowadays. It´s really weird.

And wait until you get to ear Gollum !

Before the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy came out, i lent this audio book to my friends and after listening to it, they went around the streets screaming “Precioussssss ! My preciousssss !” long before the common person ever heard of the movies and so you can imagine the reactions.


The actor that plays Gollum in this radio version, is the same one who created the interpretation for the character in the infamous Ralph Basky animated movie of the 70´s. The same one where Andy Serkis based its performance as talked about in the dvd movie extras.
There´s almost no difference between the voice acting in this audio book and the magnificent work that Andy Serkis did for the movies. It´s like a continuation of a brilliant performance shared by two actors, Peter Woodthorpe and Serkis.
If you loved Gollum in the movies, and don´t know this audio book, get ready for a surprise. You´ll love it !



I don´t want to continue writting a giant text here as i had plenty to say about this fantastic Lord of the Rings audio book, so let me summarize the remaining brilliant features of this production.
If you loved Tolkien´s poems from the original books, and you missed them in the movies, you´ll absolutely adore what Brian Sibley has done with some of those bits. Many Hobbit and Middle Earth songs are put to music an sung during the story and contrary to what would be expected they don´t sound corny at all. In fact, the songs fit just right into the narrative and you´ll be completely fascinated by the power of sound to carry you into a fantasy world.

The music soundtrack is beautiful overall, and best of all, you can have it on a isolated CD that comes with the 13 Cd set.


As an adaptation, well, it´s as good (or bad depending on the views) as the movie was. There are some bits missing from the novels, some events changed around, (exactely like in the movies), and like I said the Tom Bombadil episode is also absent, but nothing can detract this work from being an incredible masterpiece of voice acting and storytelling, that you must buy today.
The only thing that i don´t like at all, is the way the first episode begins with Gollum being captured by the Orcs. It sounds weird (the orcs sound too British and polite), and starting the story at the middle can be a bit confuse for those who don´t know the books. In my opinion it was a very bad choice to begin this magnificent work in this way.
But don´t worry, once we get to the Shire about five minutes into the episode, you´ll start to love it and you´ll be totally hooked ! Trust me.

A funny trivia about the project, was in the fact that Michael Horden who plays Gandalf, did it without even liking the book or understanding of what it was about as it was known at the time that he only did it basically for the money and as a job opportunity. If it was like that and his Gandalf is absolutely incredible, i wonder how it would come out if Horden actually liked Fantasy novels ? His performance in this audio book is just pure Tolkien and you can find much of Horden´s Gandalf in McKellen´s work later in the movies themselves.



What can I say more ?…
Just buy the thing !!!

star01 star01 star01 star01 star01 gold


Buy the right version. The BBC one.

I would recommend you buy the European Edition, (the golden one you see in all the photographs above , either my version or the new box),
It´s worth the price. Believe me and go for it.

In alternative, you can search for the American editions of the BBC version. There´s now TWO as i understand…the one with the more colorful package and a new one similar to the european but with an ugly design.

All editions carry a folded map of Middle Earth which looks the same as the one in the books.

Other safe european editions to buy are these ones where you can either buy the trilogy in separate CDs

cd-bbc-lotr-thefellowshipofthering  cd-bbc-lotr-thetwotowers  cd-bbc-lotr-thereturnoftheking




… or even buy a new excellent edition with both BBC the Lord of the Rings COMPLETE TRILOGY and the earlier BBC The Hobbit radio dramatization of which I´ve spoken in this blog in a separate review and it´s excellent too. This is my pick to buy for sure.



DO NOT BUY THE AMERICAN radio adaptation by mistake.

No matter what you get, make sure you´re buying the BBC RADIO Dramatization with Ian Holm starring as Frodo.
There´s 2 radio adaptations out there. The BBC and the American one.
Make sure you´re getting the BBC one first.
There´s another radio-play adapting the Lord of the Rings but don´t get that one, before you listen to the BBC one. Please !
The other is known as the National Public Radio Version and it´s the American one, much inferior to the English for many reasons which i´ll detail in my other review in the future.

Beware, then. Get the right radio-play, the (English) BBC Radio version, not the National Radio Play (American) one which is depicted on this photo right here.

I know that wooden box looks much cooler and atmospheric than the other packaging for the BBC versions but don´t be fooled by a pretty box.
Make sure you listen to the original English one first and then you can check out the US inferior version to compare. But only then. Not before. Trust me. 😉

You´ll love the original.




OLD COMICS PROJECT: Emil i Lönneberga ( Emilio of Lonneberg )


Wow, now, this is a really old one too.
Another from the days long before I went digital.
This one was a fast and simple Comics adaptation for the classic storybook Emilio of Lonneberga by swedish author, Astrid Lidgren, and it was created for a portuguese revival project which tried to present this classic Sweedish book to new generations.
To complement the whole thing a new Portuguese audio-book was also created at the time and so if you understand Portuguese, you can still listen to it online here ( narrated by Rui Unas ):

Astrid Lidgren - Emilio - Banda desenhada Portuguesa

Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis
Emilio - Astrid Lidgren - comics - banda desenhada gratis

Multiple choice – Adventure books Illustrations


These are a couple of Ink illustrations I did about ten years ago for one of those Ian Stevenson multiple choice adventure style books. I had a bunch more but all were lost a long time ago. These are still illustrations from the time before I went fully digital and so these pics are all done in pencil and paper and ink pens for real.
Just found these lost among my archives and so I thought, why not post them here too ?

Steve jackson style book - multiple choice fantasy adventure

Steve jackson style book - multiple choice fantasy adventure








Little Witch


This is just the first test I did on an illustration for a commissioned set of pics to illustrate a poetry childrens book some years ago.
I wanted to try and see what color mood could work best for a background setting.
Actually this simple version ended up looking like a greeting card somehow…hmmmm………
Here´s the final version along with some images from the creation process.

This illustration was still made at the time when I mostly illustrated in traditional mediums and I only used digital for small things like the backgraound here.
Nowadays I work mostly in digital simply because of the freedom it allows when we need to make some serious changes on a pic.
But what you are seeing below are still sketches from the time I used real paper and pencil.

Looking for a freelance children book artist and illustrator ?
Check my fantasy or children book portfolios and contact me today with your project.









Well, my new site is up. And this time I´m in wordpress. After testing several platforms I came to the conclusion this one was the best for me for the way it allows me the perfect integration between a regular portfolio site for my artwork and all the power a wordpress blog has.


So this will now be my home. My idea is to use the site as my porfolio to showcase some of my artwork around but also to play with the blog and not only post some tutorials when I get the time to create them, but also talk about all the stuff that inspires me.
I get a lot of questions from people wanting to learn how to get into this illustration thing; how to carve your own niche and all that and so I´ll try to post some articles based on my experience. It´s just my point of view, but one thing that I found over the years illustrating professionally as a freelancer is that the world is really big and so the good news is there is room for everyone.
The bad news… the world is really big. 🙂

avatar teste3

Also on this blog, you´ll find articles about stuff that inspires me to create my artwork. I get a ton of inspiration from books, music and of course movies along with talk radio and audio books and so to answer the old question : where do you get your ideas from ?… I´ll be posting some reviews on those things too.

So this being a blog about illustration is also a blog about what inspires me to illustrate and so don´t expect a technical thing all the time.

I do a lot of hiking so you will be seeing some photos from my expeditions around my area always in search of lost beaches to swim on and so expect anything that has something to do with the art of illustrating. It´s not all about skills and technique but also about inspiration and so this is my idea behind this blog.


As long as you are reading this, you might care to know that I have a fully free fantasy comics up there waiting for you to download the 4 books I illustrated some years ago, so go get it. If you love crazy sci-fi / fantasy stuff you´ll probably enjoy my “ONCE UPON A TIME ON MARS” 180 page comics saga.


Other than that you can find plenty of illustrations I did over the years since I started back in 1992 and so don´t forget to take a look at my sci-fi / fantasy / childrens book portfolios too. Besides the main galleries there´s also a few book projects for you to browse like for examploe “A Comet´s Tale” so if you enjoy imaginary worlds just dive into my website at will.

And if you have a project for me, Hey, I´m a freelance illustrator !!
Contact me today.