Here at Atticus Review, we’re always intrigued by what happens when a book takes on a life of its own, inspiring creations (be they poems, videos, paintings, songs, T-shirts, whatever) that are undeniably works of art in their own right. One of the freshest, most original examples we’ve seen yet is librarian-turned-illustrator Matt Kish’s project “One Drawing for Every Page of Moby-Dick,” recently published by Tin House Books as Moby-Dick in Pictures. Imagine our delight when we found out Matt was working on illustrations inspired by John Minichillo’s satirical riff on Melville’s tale, The Snow Whale (Atticus Books, July 30, 2011). We’re thrilled to share these stunning illustrations, each inspired by a line from Minichillo’s debut novel, and hope you enjoy them at least half as much as we do.
Artist’s Statement: John first approached me having somehow discovered my Moby-Dick project and was interested in the collaboration because of the obvious parallels. One of the many things I loved about John’s book, and the chance to create the illustrations, was the way that his work so wonderfully showed the continuing liveliness and importance of Melville’s own books. We live in such a disposable society that something even one year old is often seen as antiquated and “yesterday’s news.” The way John explored, dissected, and reassembled the elements of Melville’s great book in a very modern context was a shot across the bow of that kind of foolish thinking. I literally couldn’t say no. John is really pretty brilliant, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.