(Okay, my computer now operates courtesy of Ubuntu, rather than Windows XP. In short, fellow babies... I'm back.)
By now, it should be no secret to any of the long-time readers of this blog that I am fascinated by the story of Moby Dick, the far-famed, fictitious white whale pursued by Captain Ahab. And by "story," I mean the novel itself, Herman Melville's Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (and ya gotta love that only-in-the-title hyphen), several filmed versions which I've seen (and own), and numerous comic book adaptations which I own as well. I even own a copy of a "stamp book" (don't ask) which I had as a child.
A few years back, I wrote an article for a local newspaper which told about my childhood obsession for the story of Moby Dick while also telling of my participation in the New Bedford Whaling Museum's annual "Moby Dick Marathon," where readers of all ages come from various points of the globe to read the novel aloud, a section at a time. (That particular task takes twenty-five hours, by the way.) One of my earliest posts on this blog reprinted that article, which filled half of the newspaper's page, and if you missed that post back in 2008 and want to read it now, go here.
I have a large collection of books and films about whaling, plus other whaling memorabilia as well. Some of that stuff dates back to the 1800s. I could go on and on -- and I know, usually I do just that -- but you've endured enough introductory crap for now.
Today's post is specifically going to showcase my two favorite comic book adaptations... and by "favorites," I don't mean best-written, and/or best-illustrated. I mean "favorites" in the sense that they're the coolest to me in terms of all the Moby-Dick comic adaptations cluttering the Silver Fox's "den." And they're tied for first place, as it were.
During the year of my birth, 1956, an impressive film adaptation was released, directed by John Huston and starring Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, Orson Welles, and many others. Dell Comics came out with a comic book version of the film in their varied & celebrated Four Color series (#717). I think the cover, combining a photo of Mr. Peck as Ahab, and a background painting, is simply striking!
(But... guys? Where's the effin' whale?)
The second comic book is the 1950 Feature Presentations Magazine #6, the cover of which was illustrated by comic great Wallace Wood, early in his career. The copy I now own is in absolutely gorgeous shape, although I must admit that the scan below (as well as the scan of Dell's Four Color #717) was culled from the internet.
I received this gem as a gift from my close friend Paul Howley, owner of That's Entertainment, the Eisner Award-winning "pop culture emporium" which was my alma mater in the field of comics retailing. And hey, to end this on a light note, I'm gonna reproduce the postscript from my blog about the Moby Dick Marathon here, in case you decide not to follow the link which I provided above (This did not appear in the original newspaper article, of course!):
Okay, now, if a person who is a fan (maybe, even, to the point of obsession) of the Grateful Dead is a "Dead Head"... What would you call someone who -- like myself -- is a fan (maybe, even, to the point of obsession) of the novel Moby-Dick?
Just a rhetorical question, really. I just wanted to say it before someone else came up with it. Heh.
That's all for now, except... I swear I didn't realize this before a minute ago, while I was perusing the site to the New Bedford Whaling Museum which I linked to above, but August first, only two days from now, is the 191st anniversary of Herman Melville's birth! Who'da thunk it?
Thanks for your time.