Fabian Fröhlich | Fantastische Illustrationen | Fantastic Illustrations

Miscellaneous techniques

Illustration for “Ronnies Vorrat” (Ronnie’s Supply), 2012

Lothar Nietsch, Ronnies Vorrat


Short story illustration for the webzine LITERRA. Arranged as a still life on my desk. photographed and photoshopped. Originally i wanted to draw it later, but than I thought the image worked as a a photography as well.


Illustrations for “The Alchemy of the Throat” and “The Dripping of Sundered Wineskins” by Brian Hodge, 1999


The book Von Heiligen und Mördern, a collection of two loosely connected novellettes by Brian Hodge, was edited by Frank Festa as part of his Edition Metzengerstein and published by Blitz. Initially they were published within  Poppy Z. Brite’s anthologies Love in Vain 1 (1994) und 2 (1995). The first novelette, “The Alchemy of the Throat” (Die Alchemie der Stimme), was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, the second,”The Dripping of Sundered Wineskins” (Von Heiligen und Mördern), for the World Fantasy Award.

I love both stories deeply, to work with them and to create these 13 drawings was pure joy.

The book cover was designed by Malte S. Sembten, based on two black-and-white, Celtic inspired initials that I painted with acrylic.

Cover: © Blitz

Illustrations for Edition Metzengerstein and Festa, 1996–98

Henry S. Whitehead was an American writer of horror and fantasy fiction and a friend of H.P. Lovecraft. His portrait (embellished with details from his stories “The Chadburne Episode”, “Scar Tissue” and “Bothon”) was a commission for the short fiction collection Der persische Ghoul. The book was edited by Marco Frenschkowsky, translated and designed by Malte S. Sembten. and published within Frank Festa’s Edition Metzengerstein in 1996.

The acrylic painting portraying H.P. Lovecraft was used as a interior illustration in Lovecrafts Dunke Idole, an anthology with Lovecrafts favorite authors, edited by Frank Festa in 2007.

The cover illustration for Die geheime Kammer by Eddie Angerhuber, also an acrylic painting, wasn’t used for the book. Regardless of whether you like the picture or not (I do like the privet hawk moth, but not the rest), I have to admit that it wouldn’t have matched the edition’s design.

A fourth commission for Edition Metzengerstein were the illustrations for Von Heiligen und Mördern by Brian Hodge.

Cover: © Festa

Three Etchings, 1993

Etching and aquatint, 59 x 33, 33 x 24 and 33 x 24 cm each.


Two Etchings After Francisco de Goya, 1993

Image 2 and 4: Etching and aquatint, 26 x 19 cm each.

During my art history studies I dealt with the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya for a while, in theory and practice. Besides his paintings, Goya is the titan of etching. His print series, such as Los Disparates or Los Caprichos, e just beyond comparison.

The self-imposed task was to take some of Goya’s paintings and translate them into etchings, a technique I only knew theoretically. A studio at the Kunsthochschule provided that possibility – you can’t do etching at home if you haven’t got the equipment. Of course the whole exercise was not about being as good as Goya, but about understanding his work a little bit better.

What I love about “Witches’ Sabbath”, “The Lamp of the Devil” and many others of Goya’s pictures is, among other things, the way he makes fun of superstition and belief in the Devil – and at the same time takes these dark and fantastic topics very seriously – quite a modern attitude, I think.


Illustrations for “The Outsider” by Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1992

Two-plate linocuts, 12 x 20 cm each.

“…I know not where I was born, save that the castle was infinitely old and infinitely horrible; full of dark passages and having high ceilings where the eye could find only cobwebs and shadows. The stones in the crumbling corridors seemed always hideously damp, and there was an accursed smell everywhere, as of the piled-up corpses of dead generations. It was never light, so that I used sometimes to light candles and gaze steadily at them for relief…”

I discovered Howard Philips Lovecraft (1890 – 1937) in 1985. I was 14, and Lovecraft was the right thing at the right time; within a year I read everything there was (at least in German). “The Outsider” from 1926 (The full text here) has always been one of my favorite stories, I think it’s one the saddest and most disturbing short stories Lovecraft ever wrote.

I made the linocuts during a seminar with Klaus Ensikat (known, for example, as the German illustrator of The Hobbit) at the Kunsthochschule Kassel where I studied Art History, but also had the opportunity to work practically now and then. I used the chance to try things I didn’t do at home, like linocut, etching or drawing from the nude (I am wondering where all these drawings have gone, I am afraid I threw them away, like all the preparatory sketches for paintings – unfortunately).