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December 22, 2009 5:12 PM   Subscribe

One Drawing for Every Page of Moby-Dick Inspired by Zak Smith's (previously) Illustrations for Each Page of Gravity's Rainbow, self-taught artist Matt Kish is posting One Drawing for Every Page of Moby-Dick. Some favourites: 8, 40, 48, 54, 66, 74, and 85. While he's only through about 100 of the Signet Edition's 552 pages, you can follow along on the artist's blog.
posted by synecdoche (29 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Does he explain somewhere why he's using found paper and not the pages of Moby Dick? Seems like that would make more sense, but perhaps there's some connection I'm not making.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:20 PM on December 22, 2009


Hey I like these very much, thanks.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:21 PM on December 22, 2009


OK, here's a game. Take the book part away and just show the drawings. Whatta ya got? Exactly.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 5:28 PM on December 22, 2009


very nice... I love the "found paper" part..don't know why, but it made all the difference in how I accepted this....
posted by HuronBob at 5:35 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awesome post. Thanks. But now, great, I've got a new project to work on. Crime and Punishment? Of Mice and Men? Their Eyes Were Watching God?

Venus in Furs?
posted by John of Michigan at 5:43 PM on December 22, 2009


John, I think Ulysses would be fun.
posted by synecdoche at 5:47 PM on December 22, 2009


Orson Whales
posted by stbalbach at 5:53 PM on December 22, 2009


John, how about Watership Down, with the rule that you are not allowed to draw any rabbits.
posted by Jimbob at 5:58 PM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Crime and Punishment? Of Mice and Men? Their Eyes Were Watching God? Venus in Furs?

Goodnight Moon?
posted by buriednexttoyou at 6:01 PM on December 22, 2009


i really love zak smith's work.
posted by nadawi at 6:16 PM on December 22, 2009


Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.
posted by qvantamon at 6:17 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Shōbōgenzō
posted by chambers at 6:28 PM on December 22, 2009


What's the difference between a "self-taught" artist and a regular artist?

$20SAITHURFDURFbutseriously
posted by DU at 6:39 PM on December 22, 2009


Ah yes, Moby Dick truly is the book that just keeps giving.

I've often thought of writing a book and calling it "Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Moby Dick." And it would really be that, a handy guide to living, all taken from this wonderful huge book.
posted by marxchivist at 6:58 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've many times thought to myself that I should go grab a copy of some work in the public domain off project Gutenberg, and do just this, make loads of illustrations, and typeset it myself. But I'm far too lazy.

Anybody else reminded of those "Big Little Books" for kids (not so much by the execution as by the concept)? I remember I had a "Big Little Book" version of "Hound of the Baskervilles" that was pretty cool, and one I don't remember the name of that was full of Wild West cowboy horror stories, and I think I had a Robinson Crusoe one as well.

In case it's not clear, and I suspect it isn't, as googling didn't turn up much, except really ancient collectible ones, which might be the same thing, but not as I remember them (mine were from the late 70's, early 80's probably), the "Big Liltle Books" were physically small copies of classic (public domain, mostly) books, in which every other page was an illustration, in a black and white comic book style. The books were paperbacks, maybe 4 inches tall, and 3 inches wide, so there wasn't much text on each page, and consequently, each one contained *tons* of drawings, and they were quite thick, since they had so many pages.

The books were also cool for kids because they made great flip-books, and you could draw little animated cartoons in the margins (thus destroying the value for future collectors, I suppose.)
posted by smcameron at 7:00 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is excellent. Thanks!
posted by Verdant at 7:11 PM on December 22, 2009


smcameron - I used to do flipbook animation with those "Big Little Books".
posted by Sailormom at 7:27 PM on December 22, 2009


"Self-taught" usually means that they didn't go to art school and want you to know that.
posted by echo target at 7:33 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's funny to run across this, as I've been thinking about writing a novel for every figure depicted in Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights.
posted by rusty at 7:51 PM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some of these are very fun and playful - I love the solid, bright colors and the workmanlike lines.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 8:10 PM on December 22, 2009




OK, here's a game. Take the book part away and just show the drawings. Whatta ya got?


Some pretty compelling artwork.

Exactly.

I'm glad we agree!
posted by eyeballkid at 8:53 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I remember I had a "Big Little Book" version of "Hound of the Baskervilles" that was pretty cool, and one I don't remember the name of that was full of Wild West cowboy horror stories, and I think I had a Robinson Crusoe one as well.

I had Hound, Crusoe and Around The World in 80 Days. Plus I think I read a Robin Hood one once. They were great. It seems doubtful that I would have been interested in such a seemingly-boring book as Moby Dick even in condensed and semi-cartoon format, though.
posted by DU at 4:29 AM on December 23, 2009


Hadn’t seen the GR page-by-page. Thanks for this.
posted by mistersquid at 7:55 AM on December 23, 2009


Tom Phillips' A Humument.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:18 AM on December 23, 2009


Phillips also did an illustrated Dante's Inferno (which he translated himself) and was working on an illustrated version of Joyce's Ulysses, but to my knowledge he never finished it. Looking at Kish's work, you can see the Phillips influence really strongly.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:24 AM on December 23, 2009


Super-inspiring...I think I'm going to try this with Julius Caesar in the Arden edition, since I may teach it next year.
posted by HeroZero at 1:47 PM on December 23, 2009


Ok, so, the first page of Moby Dick is about a guy who is walking around under a dark cloud of misanthropy. He's a lost soul. He's so disconnected from his true self that he can't even tell us his real name ("Call me Ishmael", not "I am Ishmael") and yet we have an artist here drawing a lovely bright cloud, rainbows, a happy font. How can you fail like that on page 1?
posted by spicynuts at 3:10 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm torn over the found paper aesthetic - I think sometimes it works and sometimes it detracts. Overall, it's an interesting idea - better executed by Zak Smith's Gravity's Rainbow illustrations. As well as the fact I adore some of the illustrations and deplore other ones; the project seems very hit and miss.
posted by crossoverman at 3:38 PM on December 23, 2009


How can you fail like that on page 1?

Irony?
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:13 PM on December 23, 2009


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