Megan stakes out her preference:
I believe that just as there are Elvis people and Beatles people, there are Rowling people and there are Tolkien people. Sure, you may enjoy both, but you’re always going to prefer one to the other. So one of the other reasons why I kept putting off reading HP is because inevitably whenever people recommended it to me they would go on and on about just how creative Rowling was. To which I would inevitably think, that may be true, but no one is ever going to create as rich and complete of an imaginary world as Tolkien (hi, multiple appendices of lineages and fully developed languages with pronunciation keys). So I’m a Tolkien person.
Somewhat oddly for someone of my general social circles my choice here would be “none of the above.” Although for different reasons, because I have actually read some Tolkien (read all of The Hobbit and tried unsuccessfully to get through The Lord of the Rings a couple times) and know he’s not for me while I’ve never read word one of Rowling. I don’t even mean that to be hostile; like Chuck Klosterman I secretly suspect that they’re actually not bad, but I also know I’ll almost certainly always have other priorities. And yet, I can sort of see what Megan is saying about the old stuff; although the LOTR movies are accomplished pictures that often make my mind wander and that I have no desire to watch again, it would be foolish to deny the scope of imagination the films demonstrate, and while that’s partly a credit to Jackson but however alien his sensibility is to me it’s also largely a credit to Tolkien. (With respect to the Potter movies, I haven’t seen them, but I have a very hard time believing Megan’s claim that they got worse after firing Chris Columbus.)
With respect to the perennial “Beatles/Elvis?” question, the correct answer of course is “the Stones.”