Eric Schaller is a writer and illustrator possessing a unique, precise, and decidedly weird aesthetic. He has contributed art to publications such as Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Last Drink Bird Head, and Jeff VanderMeer’s Ambergris story cycle, most notably in the chapbook of “The Exchange,” later included in the Ambergris collection City of Saints and Madmen. Earlier this year, Small Beer Press published An A‑Z of the Fantastic City, a chapbook travelogue of different fantastical metropolises, written by Hal Duncan and illustrated by Schaller. Copies are available for purchase in a variety of formats from the Small Beer Press website. Please enjoy the following selection of Schaller’s illustrations from A‑Z and other works, complete with titles and further commentary provided by the artist himself, and also be sure to read our interview with the artist himself.
Cover image for An A to Z of the Fantastic City by Hal Duncan.
Frontis for An A to Z of the Fantastic City by Hal Duncan.
A selection of headings from An A to Z of the Fantastic City by Hal Duncan.
Logo for the Ministry of Whimsy press, founded by Jeff VanderMeer in 1984 and now an imprint of Wyrm Publishing. I’ve always loved this little guy.
Tree Baby. Unpublished.
Squid Friend. This one as drawn by L. V. (Louis Verden), an artist found in VanderMeer’s City of Saints and Madmen. Unpublished. I consider it too much of a pastiche of Beardsley, but I still get a kick out of its suggestion of untoward activities in Ambergris.
Ursquid. This one came about based on some discussions with Jeff V about a squid-based religion. Unpublished.
Beer label. This was based on Shriek: An Afterword by Jeff V. and used as a promotional piece.
Last Drink Bird Head. The name of which, unintentionally, inspired Jeff V. to put together the Last Drink Bird Head anthology, published by Wyrm Press. The strange and amusing history as to how this came to pass is recounted in different versions in the Introduction to Last Drink Bird Head.
Illustration for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities (Jeff and Ann V., editors), and the basis for a short story by Jay Lake, “A Critical Examination of Stigmata’s Print Taking the Rats to Riga.”
Mushrooms. Done as botanical-like illustration. Unpublished.
Dueling Twins. Cover image from The Revelator, volume 136, issue 1 (www.revelatormagazine.com), editors Matthew Cheney and Eric Schaller.