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Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page [Paperback]

Matt Kish
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 11 2011
A collection of illustrations inspired by lines from every single page of the 552-page Signet Classics paperback edition of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick
Inspired by one of the world's greatest novels, Ohio artist Matt Kish set out on an epic voyage of his own one day in August 2009. More than one hundred and fifty years following the original publication of Moby-Dick, Kish began illustrating Herman Melville's classic, creating an image a day over the next eighteen months based on text selected from every page of the 552-page Signet Classics paperback edition. Completely self-taught, Kish refused to set any boundaries for the artwork and employed a deliberately low-tech approach in response to the increasing popularity of born-digital art and literature. He used found pages torn from old, discarded books, as well as a variety of mediums, includingballpoint pen, marker, paint, crayon, ink, and watercolor. By layering images on top of existing words and images, Kish has crafted a visual masterpiece that echoes the layers of meaning in Melville's narrative.

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Product Description


“Not so much honored as reimagined, Moby-Dick in Kish's hands is the vertiginous immersive experience Melville intended.”

“In an age of soulless, cookie-cutter computer illustrations, Matt Kish's intense and obsessive drawings, paintings, and montages are a riotous delight. Kish's artwork renews our age-old love of expressive handmade imagery. He humanizes his material in way that has all but disappeared from the design scene. It's great to see that passion again.”
—Paula Scher, Pentagram

“[A] wondrous compendium . . . sometimes vibrant, sometimes somber, Kish’s images are relentlessly fresh and eye-catching . . . Even the least visual readers will feel energized by Kish’s artistry and his obvious passion for Melville’s work.”
—Library Journal

"Conjuring the frenetic energy of tempest-tossed waves so integral to Moby-Dick's setting, the artist's bold, full-page drawings in highly saturated colors illustrate passages he's called out, but also extend the narrative to suggest that modern-day man hungers to fulfill his self-proclaimed destiny every bit as much as the legendary whalers did… .clearly infused with an intense joy that only comes from following one's heart."
—ForeWord Book Reviews

“I'm in love… with Kish's art work… .Who knows, Matt Kish may be the impetus to finally read Moby-Dick.”
—Contemporary Literature

"Woven of equal parts visual mastery and creative bravery, Moby-Dick in Pictures is a treasure in and of itself, one that not only pays homage to Melville, but also reimagines what it means to embark on a modern-day epic voyage of creative restlessness."
—The Atlantic

"Kish has done something really fascinating [in Moby-Dick in Pictures]. He has not only re-imagined Moby Dick for a modern audience. He has also slyly, almost imperceptibly, yanked this nineteenth century novel into the twenty-first century, underlining its relevance for the post-post-modern world. These illustrations are not simply a sideshow to the novel: they are a well-thought out pleasure that enhances the enjoyment and understanding of Melville’s work."
—The Rumpus

"The overall impact of Moby-Dick in Pictures is stunning… "
—The Oregonian

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow March 15 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are no words for this. The ambition of this thing, the sheer magnitude of this, and how this ambition perfectly matches the themes of the book, wow. It's hard to write a review of something when that something leaves your speechless. You can get lost in this for hours and hours, and find yourself in a kind of narcotic haze. A tremendous achievement.

Arjun Basu
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now...This is Different! Nov. 12 2011
By Gerard D. Launay - Published on
I have heard it said that most people who talk about "Moby Dick" have never read it. Actually, it is one of my favorite books and I am hoping that this fascinating volume might actually get people interested in reading it. The artist takes a line (or so) from every page of the book and illustrates it - sometimes in a very unique way. The pictures do not all adopt the same artistic style, but are left to the fanciful ideas Matt Kish discovers about the meaning of a particular passage.

One aspect that comes through is - not just the artwork - but how exceptional and poetic Herman Melville was. The selections create moments of thought and space in our noise-saturated world. Highly recommended because there is simply nothing like this anywhere.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick is born again! Nov. 27 2011
By quirky grandma - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Moby Dick in Pictures is absolutely splendid, and may well become as much of a classic as its namesake. By all means go for the hardcover in slipcase. The book is a series of images using techniques such as collage, drawing, paint, inks, markers - all on "repurposed" papers that give a richness to the overall effect. Each image responds to a small exerpt from a page of the novel. Sometimes the images are clearly representative, sometimes they arise more from the emotional impact or visceral response to the quotation. Each is worth spending time to asorb. Especially if you are into altered books or collage, or edgy art that falls into the brut or naked or naive categories, you'll probably love this one as much as I.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It grows and grows on you March 2 2013
By Fran - Published on
At first glance, the low-tech art in this massive book seems odd and simplistic, but it soon grows obvious that Matt Kish's interpretation of Melville's novel is nothing short of inspired. He made one illustration a day, each referring to one page of the Signet Classics edition. Moby- Dick (Signet Classics) It's an unbelievable feat, and a feast for the senses.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of framing Oct. 17 2013
By Ryan D Eastwick - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just bought this after discovering it at a maritime library. I plan on removing pages and framing them to put around my house. Really a great piece of work.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration and Awe Sept. 25 2012
By dierdra fleury - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was wonderful to receive this book. It is a book we find ourselves opening and spending time with it daily and is a treasure to have in our art collection. I love the quality of line in the artwork and Kish's illustrative telling of the text. It is extra amazing when one considers that Kish did an illustration a day to create this work. The entire work is a thoughtful gift of respect and a present day visual interpretation of a time honored classic.

I am looking forward to watching the progress of Matt Kish's career as an illustrator.
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