John is best known for his work based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s worlds. Howe served as one of the two chief conceptual designers for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Howe also created the visuals for the Lord of the Rings board game created by Reiner Knizia, as well as a dozen follow-up expansions.
Howe also illustrated the maps of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and the Silmarillion between 1996–2003. His work is however not limited to this, and includes images of myths such as the Anglo Saxon legend of Beowulf (he also illustrated Knizia’s board game Beowulf: The Legend). He has written and published a number of children’s books.