Illustrating VanderMeer at Lamson Library October 15-November 23

October 9th, 2009 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Plymouth State University will present the exhibit Illustrating VanderMeer: a Glimpse Into the Collaborative Works of Author, Jeff VanderMeer and Illustrator, Eric Schaller from October 15 to November 23 at the Lamson Library and Learning Commons.

VanderMeer and Schaller will attend the closing night of the exhibit, November 23, offering a reading and discussion from 6–7:30 p.m. in the library’s Commons Café.

Copies of VanderMeer’s books will be available for purchase and signing, including his new novel Finch and his guide for writers, Booklife: Strategies & Survival Tips for 21st-Century Writers.

Illustrating VanderMeer includes original drawings by Schaller that have appeared in editions of VanderMeer’s books City of Saints and Madmen, Secret Life Remix and The Exchange. Additionally, various rare editions of VanderMeer’s works are on display, on loan from the collections of Schaller and PSU adjunct professor Matthew Cheney.

VanderMeer’s writing has been praised by such people as Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Diaz and legendary writer and editor Michael Moorcock. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post,, and elsewhere. He has been a publisher (Ministry of Whimsy Press, Jabberwocky magazine), an anthology editor (Best American Fantasy, The New Weird, Steampunk), and a fiction writer for more than 20 years.

His books have been published both by small presses (Prime, Underland, Tachyon) and large (Bantam, Tor), and his writings have been translated into at least 14 languages. He has collaborated with the rock bands “The Church” and “Murder By Death” on soundtracks for his novels Shriek: An Afterword and Finch.

His books have been on the year’s best lists of Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Weekly, Publishers’ News, and He’s been a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award and the World Fantasy Award—indeed, he has twice won the World Fantasy Award and will be a guest of honor at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in San José, California.

In addition to being an artist and writer, Schaller is a professor at Dartmouth College where he is the principle investigator in Dartmouth’s phytohormone signaling laboratory.

“There are a number of things I really like about working with Jeff,” Schaller said, “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.”

Contact Jennifer Green, art librarian at the Lamson Library and Learning Commons at (603) 535-2226 or via e-mail to for information about the exhibit.

Log on to ThisWeek@PSU, for general information about events at Plymouth State University.


top: “Untitled,” illustration, Eric Schaller. Originally published in “The Exchange” (a chapbook) by Jeff VanderMeer; later integrated into the novel City of Saints and Madmen.

middle: “Falling,” pen and ink illustration, Eric Schaller. Published in Secret Life Remix by Jeff VanderMeer.