I attended the recent 3rd Conference on Middle-earth (in Westford, Massachusetts) where I listened to talks on blond elf imagery and debates on how to adapt The Hobbit into one movie or two movies (and the wisdom of that latter endeavor).
I also wandered over to a vendor table manned by an older gentleman named Ed Meskys, who has been involved in science fiction and fantasy fandom since the early days. The former president of the Tolkien Society of America (1967-1972), Meskys had been cleaning out his garage, he told me, and wanted his old treasures to see the light of day again. Most of the stuff — magazines and old book jackets — he was selling for a buck or two each.
Among the ephemera were some yellowed, dusty, wonderful, terrible, Lord of the Rings stickers. It was the end of the day, and Meskys gave me his last sheets of stickers for free.
So the Nine (yes, there are nine stickers in all) have come to light again. I’ve done my best to clean them up without destroying them. As you’ll see here, the artist has taken some liberties with Tolkien’s vision. Legolas looks more like a crime-fighting Robin than elf, Aragorn wields an ax, Tom Bombadil is sporting some groovy bellbottoms, and Frodo resembles a pig on crack. My favorite might be Gandalf “Keep on Truckin'” the Gray.
I later asked Ed Meskys where the stickers came from. Here’s the story. Any further information on the artist or the origin of these stickers is welcome.