Book Review: Moby-Dick: A Pop-Up Book
February 15, 2008
One of my all time favorite books is Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville. I have read it countless times by now, own several different editions, and have the excellent audiobook version by William Hootkins. I have long held that this book is the Great American Novel, and that American writers since then, Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace, among others, have built careers making variations on Moby-Dick. Now comes – the pop-up book! Really, a graphic novel version of Moby-Dick, with pop-up elements, it’s very skilled and respectful distillation of the book’s characters, story and themes, managing to give you a sense of the epic and emotional sweep of the book in a mere eight pages. But what an eight pages they are, as the artist, Sam Ita, has packed each fold out page with a mass of cleverly and often surprisingly done graphic and pop-up art. Of course, it’s not a substitute for reading the novel itself, but as a work of art inspired by another work of art, it’s top notch, and would make an excellent introduction to the story for adults and children alike.