In Soviet Russia…

… things were different in such a way that one might interpret them as being the opposite of our North American customs, thus leading to great humorous effect.

Which is to say, look at these swell illustrations from the Russian version of The Hobbit! A friend brought them to my attention. Aren’t they great? So strange, yet so familiar.

Looking at these images made me feel the way I did when I was learning how to read. The pictures seem to take on a greater weight and depth when the meaning of the text is obscured (for those of us who can’t read Russian, anyway).

The textures, the brushstrokes, the shapes, and the composition all contain a richness that is too easy to overlook with the efficient-to-a-fault eyes of an adult.

Also, hairy hobbit legs! You win this round, Russia.

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