Illustrating VanderMeer

An illustration by Eric Schaller for Jeff VanderMeer\'s, The Exchange. Which came first; the story or the illustration? When you think about the illustrated stories that you’ve read, whether they have been in the form of a graphic novel, a picture book, or comic strip–you might ask yourself this question.  In an exploration of the collaborative process between an illustrator and author, Plymouth State University presents Illustrating VanderMeer: a glimpse into the collaborative works of Author, Jeff VanderMeer and Illustrator, Eric Schaller, October 15 – November 23 at Lamson Library. Join us on November 23rd from 6pm – 7:30 pm for an event in the Library, Room 124, where you will have the opportunity to meet the author and illustrator and hear VanderMeer talk about, read from, and sign his recently published books Finch and Booklife. The PSU Bookstore will make copies of both books available for sale at this event. Above Illustration: artist, Eric Schaller, published in the chapbook, “The Exchange,” by Jeff VanderMeer (image protected by copyright)

About the Author

“Award-winning writer Jeff VanderMeer has just finished the final novel in his Ambergris Cycle, Finch. With his wife, he recently edited Fast Ships, Black Sails and Best American Fantasy 2. His short fiction has or will soon appear in Black Clock,, and two year’s best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for The Washington Post Book World, Omnivoracious, The Believer, the B&N Review, the Huffington Post, and many others. He also co-edits fiction anthos with his wife, Ann VanderMeer (fiction editor of Weird Tales), and The Church recently completed a song cycle based on his last novel, Shriek: An Afterword.”–Jeff VanderMeer’s Blog, Ecstatic Days, 2009

Many of VanderMeer’s novels including City of Saints and Madmen (pictured right), Shriek: an Afterward, and Secret Life can be found on the shelves at the Lamson Library and Learning Commons.

For more information about Jeff VanderMeer and a list of his work, visit his blog, Ecstatic Days.

About the Artist

Eric Schaller is a Professor at Dartmouth College where he is the Principle Investigator in Dartmouth’s Phytohormone Signaling Laboratory. The illustrations in this exhibit can be found in the following VanderMeer books: The Exchange, City of Saints and Madmen, and Secret Life Remix.

Schaller describes his work with Jeff VanderMeer: “There are a number of things I really like about working with Jeff, some of which can be seen in the artwork exhibited here. First, Jeff doesn’t follow a specific set of rules about how illustration and writing relate to each other. Sometimes the writing comes first and inspires the artwork, but other times Jeff will allow his writing to be inspired by a piece of artwork. Second, the illustrations are never redundant with the writing and add a new dimension to the text. For example, several of the pieces here are ostensibly created by characters in Jeff’s novels. Third, Jeff is very open to the give and take of ideas, treating the artist as a true collaborator in the work.”

Above illustration: artist, Eric Schaller; published in City of Saints and Madmen, by Jeff VanderMeer (image protected by copyright)

Many thanks to Matt Cheney, Author and Adjunct Professor in the English Department at Plymouth State University, for contributing the rich collection of books and supporting materials on display in this exhibit, and for coordinating with Jeff VanderMeer and Eric Schaller to make the November 23rd event possible.

The exhibit is curated by Jen Green, Art Librarian at the Lamson Library and Learning Commons.

Exhibit PR

Fantastic Collaboration: Biologist illustrator and writer have created imaginary worlds
by Victoria Shouldis, The Concord Monitory, November 5, 2009

Blog Post: Ecstatic Days, Jeff VanderMeer, October 2nd 2009

‘Illustrating VanderMeer’ Opens at Lamson Library, The Citizen of Laconia

Illustrating VanderMeer Illustrating VanderMeer
Illustrating VanderMeer
Jen Green, Art Librarian

left to right: Eric Schaller, Illustrator; Jeff VanderMeer, Author; David Beronä, Dean of Library and Academic Support Services.