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They're calling George R.R. Martin "better than Tolkien." Really?

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(Read caption) Would George R.R. Martin have become a literary mega-star without the HBO series of "Game of Thrones"?

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Sometimes it’s hard for the classics to compete in popularity games decades after their publishing dates. When I see the fighting words dubbing George R.R. Martin “The American Tolkien” or even better than Tolkien, I wonder how Martin would hold up going head-to-head – particularly if HBO's “Game of Thrones” series wasn’t drawing extra attention to his books.

But movie director Peter Jackson may help to boost Tolkien’s side in that battle. Jackson made a surprise visit to the San Diego Comic Convention last week, partly to talk about an upcoming "Tintin" adaptation, but also to offer a short update on his upcoming two-film adaptation of Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” the precursor to “The Lord of the Rings,” thrilling the convention's 6,000 attendees to the core.

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