In 1984 Alan Lee illustrated the book Castles, withDavid Day and in 1985 Alan lee illustrated The Mirrorstoneby Michael Palin - the first book to use holograms, winning theSmarties Prize for Innovation. Alan Lee went on to do TheMoon's Revenge by Joan Aitken in 1986 and Merlin Dreamsby Peter Dickinson in 1988. In 1989 Alan Lee was asked to createthe conceptual design for Terry Jones' film Eric the Viking.
When I was a child I saved up for months to buy the Lord of the Rings. I could have gotten the paperbacks much cheaper but I wanted the hardback Alan Lee illustrated version because his pictures fit so exactly, I was very excited when I found out he was doing concept art for the film. He has always been my favourite of the Tolkien illustrators and probably my favourite fantasy book illustrator in general as well. I will have to watch out for the cameo now too!