Who is Walter Schnackenberg?

Jeffrey Ford’s blog led me to A Journey Round My Skull‘s amazing collection of surrealist drawings by an unknown-to-me German artist named Walter Schnackenberg.

Actually, he seems to be unknown to the internet in general. A Journey Round My Skull came up with a one-paragraph biography–apparently Schnackenberg worked on poster art most of his life and didn’t get into surrealism until late in his career. Googling the guy turns up nothing helpful. Amazon.com turns up a couple of books on posters and some volumes by a historian of the same name.

But the drawings are amazing–done in pen, ink, and watercolor, they’re populated by grotesques yet seem to have a surprising sympathy for their subjects. As one of the commenters at the site points out, Schnackenberg’s drawings are reminiscent of Mervyn Peake‘s. I’m also reminded, just a bit, of Maurice Sendak and Jim Woodring. I’d love to know more about him.