Art untitled

Published on April 2nd, 2013 | by Marc Calhoun


“Ahab is for ever Ahab”



Epic is an overused adjective in this day and age, but this may be one example where it’s warranted.

Ohio artist Matt Kish took on Melville in epic way.  Using text from each of Moby Dick’s 552 pages, Kish assembled his own re-interpretation of the Cetacea-baiting classic.

The results are as stunning as they are mammoth. The most appealing factor for me is the character of the illustrations.  Kish is a self-taught artist, and his aesthetic is a tad low-fi.  I mean that in the best possible way, as any hint of pretension would send a project like this belly-up.  There’s a real variety in the 552 illustrations.  From crayons to the found-papers used as backgrounds, Kish commits a certain energy to every single image in this book *.

Does it undermine the original? Does he bring new understanding to one of the most assigned books of the last 50 years? I really don’t know?  I DO know I admire Kish’s work ethic as much as his end results.





*Though these images are great to look at, I really can’t recommend enough experiencing Kish’s Moby Dick as a physical object.  I noticed the paperback is available rather cheaply, and would be a fantastic way to spend a day stuck inside.

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About the Author

Marc Calhoun is a freelance writer/blogger/musician living in Providence RI. He currently presides over Total Echo ( and Micro/Macro Album Coverz ( Feel free to check out his past radio shows ( or his own musical mishaps (

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