Peter Jackson is producing The Hobbit.
Hmmm. He's only producing. So, I guess, I'm not sure if it's good news or not.
I'm leaning toward "good news".
I'm hoping for good news.
It'll be a few years before we know, though.
I have to say, though, that some of the most inspiring books for me as a "artist" (in quites, because my arts are not drawing-based) have been the "Art of" books that came out with the movies.
The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring
The Art of The Two Towers
The Art of The Return of the King
All of them are extremely cool, just to browse, but also if you want to get some in depth glimpses behind the creative process of developing those monstrously huge movies.
But the best of the bunch is:
The Art of Lord of the Rings
The above book is my favorite because it has concept art from all three movies, but the artwork seems to be more eclectic.
Another amazing book, not linked to the movies directly, although the artist was one of the concept designers for the movies, is Alan Lee's Lord of the Rings Sketchbook.
All of these books are "must haves", in my humble opinion, for anyone involved in creating fantasy creatures, worlds, or comics. I find them inspiring, and it's interesting to see how armor evolves in artists minds, or to see abandoned creature concepts, etc.
As long as these guys are involved in The Hobbit I know that the movie will be a visual feast. But the question is, will they find someone who can match the way Peter Jackson tapped into that vision of Middle-Earth. When I watched those movies, I thought to myself, "That may not be the way I envisioned it, but that certainly looks like the way it should be."
Time will tell.
Speaking of getting a peak into how things develop, I'm very curious about this: The History of The Hobbit. It's got an unpublished draft of the book and unpublished maps and illustrations. Seems interesting.