Moby Monday — An Icing Monument


One Kansas City Melvillian’s understanding husband honored her recent birthday by commissioning a Moby Dick cake, complete with chocolate stove whaleboat. The cake’s inscription replicates the harpooners’ toast from Chapter 36, the only toast you ever really need: “Death to Moby Dick!”

Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — Aquaman to the rescue


In a 1955 comic book, a whale named Moby Dick II is accused of bashing and sinking a ship. His attorney, Ruler-of-the-Waves Aquaman, cooks up a winning defense: temporary insanity. Which is the only thing insane about this comic book. Right?

Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — St. Valentine’s Day massacre


In Chapter 41 of Moby-Dick, Ishmael writes that Ahab piled onto Moby Dick’s hump all the rage and hate ever felt by mankind and then, “as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.”

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a lovelorn cartoonist who took that whole flying-heart concept in a different direction. (The text is from Chapter 135.)

Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — Danny Glover as Ahab hunts for white … dragon?


Filming started last week in Utah on Dragon Fire, an action-adventure remake of Moby-Dick starring Danny Glover as Captain Ahab and a great white dragon as the whale. Ahab has a daughter in this version, and said daughter has a love interest: Ishmael. The script is apparently based on a dream I once had.

Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — Book Club Madness


Falmouth, Massachusetts, may be the Moby-Dickiest place on Earth right now. The town’s 2010 let’s-read-together campaign is pushing Herman Melville’s classic novel with a raft of films, lectures, and other events designed to whet the public’s appetite for the salty tome. Free copies of the book are available at coffee shops, doctors’ offices, and other public places where books are not sold. On Saturday, February 6, a big star descends: Nathaniel Philbrick, author of the brilliant history In The Heart of the Sea, will speak about that book’s topic—the real-life Pequod, the whaleship Essex—and the writing of Moby-Dick.

Second Moby-Dickiest place on Earth, by our calculations: Johnson County, Kansas, where a library truck was repainted to advertise “Captain Ahab’s Fine Seafood” as part of a clever P.R. campaign. The library is currently sponsoring a group read of Moby-Dick, complete with lectures and an online discussion group.

Third Moby-Dickiest place: any nominations?

Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — Philip Hoare’s Melville Odyssey


A year after its publication in the UK as Leviathan, author Philip Hoare’s 464-page tome—“part cultural study, part travelogue,” per the Boston Globe—will be published next week in the States as The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea. Retracing Herman Melville’s travels during the writing of Moby-Dick, Hoare discovered not only the grandeur of whales but their intelligence—so great that one scientist he quotes believes whales might have a religion.

Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — Moby-Dick, the Video Game?

This thing (a mock cover for Moby-Dick, “the literary classic that inspired the epic video game”) reminds me of this thing (a T-shirt featuring a mock screen from an “Ahab vs Dick” video game) and this thing (a mock announcement of a Wii Moby-Dick game) and, sadly, this thing (an essay about why there may never actually be a Moby-Dick video game.) Sigh.

Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — The Wind(lass)y City

Chicago does Melville this month as artist Tim Vermeulen, known for his “obsessive self-portraiture,” exhibits paintings based on iconic passages of Moby-Dick, a book the show’s description calls “one of the strangest productions in the history of all the arts.” Vermeulen’s paintings are on display at Chicago’s Packer Schopf Gallery through February 13.


Meanwhile, puppeteer Blair Thomas and singer/songwriter Michael Smith will present a new “chamber puppet cantata” version of the book at Millennium Park January 28 through 30. This marks the first time your none-too-hardy correspondent has ever wanted to visit Chicago during January.

Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — Studio 360’s Moby-Dick Hour


Psyching yourself up for this Saturday’s Moby-Dick marathon at the New Bedford (MA) Whaling Museum? What better way than with an hour of awesome public radio about the book’s profound cultural impact?

Recently rebroadcast, this award-winning episode of Kurt Andersen’s Studio 360 (downloadable or streamable here) features composer Laurie Anderson, painter and sculptor Frank Stella, playwright Tony Kushner, and others talking about their own fascination with the book—and about their sprawling artistic responses to it.

Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Moby Monday — Whaling Wonderland


Did this week’s piles of drifting snow (or reports thereof) remind you of anyone? Moby Dick, with a hump white “like a snow-hill,” is a sometime inspiration for snow sculptors. Here’s a particularly impressive rendition, created by a team from Mexico in 2007 during Quebec City’s annual winter carnival.

Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.