It was an obsession that would destroy them all...
On a cold December night, a young man called Ishmael rents a room at an inn in Massachusetts. He has come from Manhattan to the north-east of America to sign up for a whaling expedition.
Later that same night, as Ishmael is sleeping, a heavily tattooed man wielding a blade enters his room. This chance meeting is just the start of what will become the greatest adventure of his life.
The next day, Ishmael joins the crew of a ship known as the Pequod. He is approached by a man dressed in rags who warns him that, if he sails under the command of Captain Ahab, he may never come back. Undaunted, Ishmael returns early the next morning and leaves for the high seas.
For the crew of the Pequod, their voyage is one of monetary gain. For Captain Ahab, however, it is a mission driven by hatred, revenge, and his growing obsession with the greatest creature of the sea.
About the Author
Herman Melville's reputation was immediately established in 1846 with the publication of his first novel, Typee, yet for the most part he lived in near-seclusion and died in relative obscurity for a man of his talents. He wasn't fully appreciated until the 20th century. The conservative religious Americans of his day didn't trust him: his unorthodoxy regarding religion, his South Seas travels, his cynicism, his bitter criticism of the hypocrisy of missionaries, and his satires of religion and religious figures made him an outcast. Today, however, some critics claim that only Dostoyevsky is his equal among 19th century writers. At seventeen, he became a merchant seaman, sailing first to Liverpool, where the sexual activity at the docks at first shocked him but then opened up a new world for him, for he was attracted to men. At age twenty-one, he sailed to the South Pacific. Four novels came from this experience: Typee, Omoo, Mardi, and White Jacket. Another early novel, Redburn, is set primarily aboard ship. Philosophically, the strength of his early novels is his disdain for the white man trying to force civilization onto a people who were blissfully happy without it. He particularly objected to the indoctrination of religion. All of the books contain an undeniable homoeroticism. Melville moved to the countryside to write Moby Dick. The novel is an adventure story and a tale of revenge, but it is also an audacious experiment. The reaction from critics was so harsh that from the publication of Moby Dick in 1851 until about 1938, Melville was not afforded much respect among scholars. In 1852, Melville published Pierre, which is autobiographical in its anatomy of the despair Melville was feeling at the rejection of Moby Dick. Pierre was scandalous for its day, almost as if Melville were thumbing his nose at society. Melville was now only thirty-two but considered a failed writer. His next story was refused for publication, so he retired and lived in relative obscurity for the remainder of his days. When he died, however, he left Billy Budd, which some critics think the equal of Moby Dick.
In this slender graphic adaptation of Melville’s magnum opus, Ishmael, Queequeg and the rest of the uniformly burly, steely-eyed whalers are strong presences in Singh’s art — at least until their pale, gargantuan nemesis shows up to scatter them and their ship as flotsam across the waves. . . . The biographical introduction and closing pages on whaling ships and sperm whales provide a nice veneer of historical context. — Kirkus Reviews
"I highly recommend Campfire’s comics. They do what they are intended to do and do it in a way that excites kids about classic literature." — Chris Wilson, The Graphic Classroom (a resource for teachers and librarians)
"Stahlberg and Singh understand that the kids of today don't want to be talked down to. . . . The comic reads as a full story; there isn't really much that seems as if it's missing. Lalit Kumar Singh can stand up to any artist working in the Big Two today. He has a style reminiscent of Andy Kubert, or even, dare I say, early Marc Silvestri. The angular, realistic style expertly captures the dark nature of the story without going so dark as to possibly turn off younger readers. . . . If you have a kid whom you'd like to get into reading comics, and if you have a kid whom you'd like to get into classic literature, Moby Dick comes highly recommended." — The Comics Cube!
"Campfire Graphics has condensed [Melville's original work] to a mere 88 richly illustrated pages. And done quite a decent job too.... [Condensing] helps the action packed story move along at a brisk pace." — Emma, No Flying No Tights