By Matt Kish
Tin House Books, $39.95, 600 pages
Matt Kish’s Moby Dick in Pictures is exactly what the title describes. Kish, a self-taught artist, began his journey through one of the intimidating classics of the English language in 2009, helping himself through the book by creating one illustration for each page during eighteen months. The illustrations are stunning, and Kish uses a wide variety of techniques as he creates over 500 drawings. Each drawing is presented with a quote from the page that inspired the drawing, as well as a brief description of the drawing, similar to the information on a museum card. This book would be a fantastic gift for anyone who is a lover of Moby Dick, a lover of art, or both. The illustrations express both Melville’s famous incredible story, as well as the struggle to get through long and overly technical chapters on whaling. Kish has created many of his illustrations by using and covering with ink or paint pages from old books and it works very well with the complicated Melville story. These images also speak to the profound impact the project had on Kish’s life.
Reviewed By Katie Richards