Tobias Langhoff's Reviews > Moby Dick

Moby Dick by Christophe Chabouté
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it was amazing
bookshelves: comics

The main focus of this adaptation is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Ahab's madness. The story's pacing is excellent, and really helps to show his monomaniacal nature, like how he wins over the crew and how Starbuck grows more and more disillusioned with the crazy old man.

The omissions and changes from the source material all seem sensible and logically considered. The character of Pip, for example, is omitted, but an unnamed (and unseen, except for in silhouette) falls overboard at one point and is seen no more. This was presumably a nod to Pip. His death is used to set up an important plot point: The crew throw out a buoy for him, but fail to retrieve him, and it's the loss of this buoy that prompts them to refurnish Queequeg's coffin canoe into a makeshift buoy.

All in all, though, a lot of the plot remains intact (which cannot be said for Will Eisner's 32 page adaptation). The relationship between Ishmael and Queequeg gets the room it deserves. Many pages (although not as many as in the novel, perhaps just as well) are spent on presenting the whaling business, such as a long scene with no dialogue where the crew turns whale blubber into oil. The three gams with other whaling ships are also present, which help focus the story on Ahab's descent into madness.

The art is fantastic. The stark black and white wood carving style drawings make it stand among the classical Moby-Dick illustrators like Rockwell Kent and Barry Moser (as well as the modern Evan Dahm), and many of the comic panels in this book could very well be singled out and put into a regular, illustrated version of the novel. I was also reminded of Mike Mignola.

Shortly put, one of (if not the) best comic adaptations of a novel I've ever read. Great stuff.
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Reading Progress

March 3, 2017 – Started Reading
March 3, 2017 – Shelved
March 6, 2017 – Shelved as: comics
March 6, 2017 – Finished Reading

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