If you were a fan of C.S. Lewis, during the 60s and early 70s, the illustrations by Roger Hane (b.1939) would be familiar. His surreal covers for all the Lewis “Chronicles of Narnia” paperbacks, as well as scores of other paperback books, record albums, and magazine illustrations were ubiquitous. That is until in 1974 when he was murdered while riding his bike in Central Park. The shock of this senseless loss reverberated throughout the publishing industry.
Now, thanks to J. David Spurlock’s Vanguard Productions, Hane’s work is about to be newly appreciated. In an extensive monograph, Roger Hane: Art, Times & Tragedy by Robert C. Hunsicker, an evolution from sketchy renderings to monumental fantasy paintings are reprised. Hane’s work was emblematic of the era when magic realism and fantastic tableau were popular. Seeing this work recalls a unique period of illustration history when symbolic narrative art was at its peak.