Fans of British fantasy write J.R.R. Tolkien are gearing up for the worldwide release of the first of three installments of director Peter Jackson's take on The Hobbit. In fact, fans in New Zealand, where the "prequel" trilogy to the popular Lord of the Rings was filmed, have already gotten their first look at the film.
Tolkien's fans are legion around the world, and he's been popular for decades. In the 1960s, Tolkien clubs were common across the United States, although Tolkien's own views on America were not equally positive.