hello @whaleweekly and whale weekly fans!! welcome to moby dick!!!! i hope y’all enjoyed the first chapter of ishmael going “fuck im depressed im gonna go walk into the ocean”
for the past couple of years i’ve been working on a webcomic adaptation of moby dick. it looks a little something like this:
moby dick: or, the webcomic is a qtpoc-written (that’s me) adaptation of moby dick, trying to remain faithful to the spirit of the original story while also engaging with melville’s (always very conscious, sometimes excellent, sometimes poor) treatment of race & racism. it’s also very queer (like, of course, the OG book!). i have been working on this project for a couple of years now and it is my pride and joy; i’ve poured a lot of love into her. & id really love for y’all to come along and love this story as much as i do, through the lovely project over at whale weekly or through the comic.
i’ve got a good amount of backlog up, so if you want to read along the webcomic too as whale weekly continues to update, please come check it out! link is in my bio; updates with a new page every friday! (currently on a holiday break). you can find her at mobydick-thecomic.com
and just for fun, here’s some more snippets of what she looks like
thank you for reading! rb’s are always appreciated 💖
Ahab alone is enough to die.
[ID: A digital illustration for Moby Dick, based on the Twelfth Night Anne Hathaway photoshoot. Captain Ahab stands in the center, looking horrified as Starbuck, Fedallah, and Pip all grasp at him from different angles. All characters are tangled in a bright red harpoon line, except for Ahab, who is unharmed. Starbuck’s right hand holds the end of the harpoon line, with a heavy, sharp dart on the end, and the cord wraps around his hand and then throat as he leans in to kiss Ahab with a hand under his chin. Ahab’s eyes and mouth are open, as if he has been caught off guard, and he stares at Starbuck with a devastated concern. A bright red crown sits atop Ahab’s head and bleeds onto his face and collar. A drop of blood rests on Starbuck’s chin. The harpoon line passes in front of Ahab’s chest, and is grabbed by Fedallah, who holds the cord close to his chest, and buries his face in Ahab’s shoulder with an anguished expression. The line is tangled around Fedallah the most; wrapping twice around his neck and tangled all over his chest. With his free hand, Fedallah grasps onto Ahab’s waist. The line finally wraps around Pip, who is clinging to Ahab’s sleeve, and pulling at the line in front of Ahab’s chest. Pip’s mouth is open as if he is calling out, and the harpoon line circles around his shoulders, and finally hangs from his arm. Behind all of the characters looms the massive shape of the whale, Moby-Dick. Moby-Dick’s skin is wrinkled and scarred, and one massive eye stares down at the scene before him.
The next three images are all closeups of the drawing.
Character designs: Ahab is a large Arab man with short, curly, dark, greying hair, a pointed beard, and scars across the bridge of his nose, and over his lip. He wears a long, maroon coat with gold buttons. Starbuck is a thin white man with short red hair, a short mustache, and many freckles. He wears a dark waistcoat over a white shirt. Fedallah is a thin Persian man with a mustache and short beard. He wears a white turban and a dark long shirt. Pip is a teenaged Black boy with short curly hair, and he wears a light colored shirt. End ID.]
the ID for this is long enough already, so I’ll keep this brief, but hi I have spent weeks on this piece and it genuinely feels like a magnum opus or something. this is possibly my favorite thing I’ve drawn all year. designs as always from the delightful @pocketsizedquasar ‘s Moby Dick comic!
anyways I am constantly anguishing about the fact that Ahab thinks of himself as the lone sacrifice in his doomed journey, the one “enough to die”, but in reality, everyone who loves him, who tries to save him, faces his punishment first. Ahab ISN’T alone, despite what he thinks, and that connection directly gets the three closest people in his life killed. how am i ever supposed to recover from that.
24 heures de la vie d'un clown (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1946)
King Jean-Pierre The Great
“But if, in the face of all this, you still declare that whaling has no æsthetically noble associations connected with it, then am I ready to shiver fifty lances with you there, and unhorse you with a split helmet every time.”
I love this insult. It feels so out of place in this 19th century maritime novel, yet this whole book is so weird it somehow fits
I’ve never read moby dick in my entire life but seeing you post about it so much made me want to give it a try! any warnings before I go into it? :D
oh my god gbskxjs okay first of all im honored that my mad posting has had this effect :DD!! you are so powerful for this, genuinely 💙💙
and secondly YEAH ok i can absolutely give some warnings!!!! this answer got long tho so I'm gonna put it under the cut 🐳💙
Firstly: the main thing most people struggle with in Moby Dick (myself included) is how utterly rambley the narrator is.
there WILL be pages upon chapters at a time where he simply Cannot get to the point, which is frustrating!!! something that helped me to keep in mind, though, is that Ishmael is doing that on purpose to avoid having to relive his trauma. It helped me to think of his whale rants as either a friend infodumping, or a desperate plea for the story to stop repeating.
if that doesn't help, you can always look up a summary for a chapter to see if there's any plot you'll miss by skipping it lmao
The Racism. This is a novel written by a white man in the early 1800s. There is some bullshit in this.
Although Melville does try to be conscious abt race and stereotypes, and has a very diverse cast, he still majorly fucks up. He regularly refers to several major characters as "s*vage", uses outdated terminology for Black people, throws out all sorts of shitty descriptors for folks, and rarely lets the characters of color speak for themselves. It's important to be aware of that going in.
This one is a weird dichotomy though, bc like. on one hand. all of that is infuriating. but on the other hand, the love interest of the narrator is literally a Pasifika man who is a gorgeous character that undercuts a ton of stereotypes and is allowed to be a nuanced person with a life that exists outside of the white characters. There's several characters of color who get to be People and have nuanced experiences and vibrant lives!! Pip and Tashtego and arguably Ahab himself are all fascinatingly nuanced folks that are not entirely bound by stereotypes!!
However comma, there's also an entire character who isn't allowed to exist outside of "evil zoroastrian stereotype" so hgbbjggbngmdhhf. it's a whole thing. Be aware of it.
Animal death — this is a book about whaling gbsjfjjf
Seriously though a significant portion of the book is dedicated to violently killing and then harvesting the corpses of whales. It does get sad! Some whales are killed more brutally than others. There is gore.
This is just a safe one to mention. Lots of shit goes wrong with the rigging/harpoon lines in the book. Several characters are seriously injured or killed directly due to this.
The first chapter literally starts off the book with this gbskfjwjd but it is a present theme throughout, and especially in regards to the final tragedy. A significant portion of the story involves characters thinking that they have no choices left but to die.
In tandem with that, this book is a tragedy. Like a "everybody dies" kind of tragedy. Do not go into this story thinking that you're getting a happy ending out of it LMAO. there's love and joy and good times within the story, but it ultimately ends in tragedy.
This is a long ass post, but hopefully it's thorough enough to give you answers!!! On the more uplifting side: I did have a fantastic time reading this. The characters are all super compelling, the queer rep is incredible for the time, the narrative is truly awesome, and it genuinely left a huge impact on me. It definitely earns its place as a masterpiece of American literature imo.
I will also note that if you would prefer to engage with an adaptation of MobyDick that is not narratively racist to its characters, generally more accessible, and also gorgeous, I will always recommend @pocketsizedquasar 's Moby Dick (Or, The Webcomic)! It is, as of yet, unfinished, but they're currently releasing pages weekly, and it's what got me to read the book in the first place. There's a ton of heart here.
But yea thanks for reading this long ass ramble, and definitely do whatever you need to keep yourself safe! 💙💙💙 happy reading if you choose to!!! :D 🐳
“In judging of that tempestuous wind called Euroclydon,” says an old writer—of whose works I possess the only copy extant—
American writer Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick
前描いて放置してたクラムベリーにボコられるメルヴィルです by obb_osk
※Illustration shared with permission from the artist. Please remember to support the original artwork and creator by visiting the source.
this is lower quality bc it’s from my old garbage art program but. i have to post this before we get an influx of mgrp restart enjoyers with the upcoming anime
anyway i love them
captain ahab is one of the characters of all time.
he’s full of hubris. he’s an amputee. he said he’d punch the sun. he once was in a coma for three days straight. he was prophecized to lose his leg and in response decided to make his own prophecy that he would kill the thing that did it. he would fight god. he’s in love with his first mate who he also threatened at gunpoint. he used the same gun as a cane. he tells his second mate to go fuck himself. he was sent back out to sea immediately after losing his leg without the chance to heal. he chooses to go on whalehunts instead of staying on the ship despite having no reason to as the captain, something that is doubly dangerous for him on account of the whole leg thing. he once was in a deadly swordfight with a spaniard. his method of encouraging his oarsmen is to swear at them profusely, which was censored by ishmael for the good christian audience. he spent one (1) night with his wife after marrying her and then immediately fucked back off to sea. he’s an orphan, and this is the least tragic thing about him. he’s named after an evil biblical king. his best friend is a persian stowaway who tells him how he’s going to die. he hears he’s going to die by rope and immediately assumes it’ll be the gallows, ignoring the fact that he’s on a ship full of ropes, and also being surprisingly chill with the concept of himself being sentenced to capital punishment. like yeah, that sounds like something i’d do. having gay sex with his first mate WOULD fix him AND the entire plot of the story. he adopts the cabin boy for funsies. allowing himself human connection with the cabin boy WOULD fix him and the story, and he acknowledges this out loud while actively avoiding it. he worships fire. he was even gay.
hello everyone, I made a series of doodles to put inside of my copy of MobyDick and I would like to share them :3 pls enjoy:
[ID: Two traditional drawings. Ahab shows off his new pegleg with a flourish. Ishmael infodumps about whales to a fond Queequeg. End ID.] [More detailed ID in ALT.]
New Leg Goofin is for chapters 108-9, when Ahab gets fitted with his new leg! it's right before a super devastating chapter so i needed to make myself laugh lmao
Wikipedia Page About Every Whale is for the whole goddamn book, honestly, but I chose to put it at the beginning of ch.32, Cetology, where Ishmael really does try to explain every whale ever
[ID: A comic of Stubb and Flask bursting into Ahab's quarters, thinking the Captain is in danger, only to find Ahab and Fedallah playing a game of cards. End ID.] [More detailed ID in ALT.]
This gem belongs to p.344 where Stubb wonders if Fedallah means to kidnap Ahab, which was such a baffling ridiculous concept that I couldn't help but make fun of it. literally Ahab snuck this man on board bro, what the fuck is fedallah going to do to him. they're playing uno. shut up
[ID: Two drawings, with the first showing Pip after being cast away, haunted and alone on the deck of the Pequod. The other shows Ishmael and Queequeg homoerotically grasping hands while processing whale sperm. End ID.] [More detailed ID in ALT.]
this goes out to chapters 93-95, because the UNREAL whiplash from "a child was just abandoned at sea" to "hey let's be horny about whale sperm" is still the most insane transition of all time. Ish, what the fuck
[ID: A simply doodled meme diagram for how to greet a fellow amputee. The "wrong" answer shows Captains Ahab and Boomer shaking hands, while the "right" answers show Ahab in a handstand and then kicking his leg up high, both times to cross his prosthetic with Boomer's. End ID.] [More detailed ID in ALT.]
this goes out to p. 454. every interaction between these two absolutely delighted me but my mental image for the specific line about them "crossing ivory limbs" got. very silly.
[ID: A small comic of Ahab asking the Harpooners to give him blood to temper his harpoon in. They stare back at him with varying expressions of confused, uncomfortable disbelief. End ID.]
the last one, for p.504. yknow that feel when your boss just walks up and asks you to bleed on his custom made harpoon??? yeah uh. normal workday things
anyways thank you for reading, I had a delightful time making these and am so very fond of them all, so yea :3
credit as always for the designs goes to the darling @pocketsizedquasar , as well as credit for pricelessly annotating my copy of MD and thus getting me to actually read it, love youuuu💙💙
Source details and larger version.
And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago. It came in as a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances. I take it that this part of the bill must have run something like this:
“Grand Contested Election for the Presidency of the United States. “WHALING VOYAGE BY ONE ISHMAEL. “BLOODY BATTLE IN AFFGHANISTAN.”