KN/PC Presents: Inside Look at Mark Weaver

When dreaming up the Kitsune Noir Poster Club I sincerely hoped that someone would do Moby Dick. When I think of classic novels, like the really old ones that everyone borrows from, it’s at the top of my list. So when Mark Weaver chose it I was really excited. If you don’t know, Mark is an illustrator/designer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve been following Mark’s work since earlier this year and I loved what he did with collages. Anyone can cut images out of old National Geographics but not everyone can make it look like a work of art.

Why did you choose Moby Dick?
When I was a kid books like Moby Dick and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea captivated my imagination. Growing up in Massachusetts around small seaport towns like Gloucester, I was surrounded by all kinds of nautical imagery which brought the stories to life for me. I’ve always loved the idea of sea monsters or something fearful out in the deep depths of the ocean. When this project was assigned to me I immediately thought of the White Whale.

Why did you choose the images in the poster to represent the novel?
Any illustration for Moby Dick wouldn’t be complete without Moby Dick himself. I wanted to distort the scale relationship between the whale and the ship to illustrate the weight of Ahab’s obsession. Originally the whale was much smaller than it is in the final poster. The purpose of the grid was to create an abstract representation of the division between the surface of the water and the sky. “REVENGE” being one of the major themes of the book, seemed to fit really well because of the content in the piece.

Do you remember the first time you read the book?
The first time I became familiar with the book was when my parents bought us kids a set of little classic illustrated books. Recently I discovered them in my parent’s basement which brought back some great memories. The first time I read the original novel was in high school for an American Lit. class.

What’s your favorite part of the book?
Definitely the last few chapters where they chase the whale for 3 days and Ahab inevitably meets his doom. The illustration is loosely based on this portion from the last chapter:

“From the ship’s bows, nearly all the seamen now hung inactive; hammers, bits of plank, lances, and harpoons, mechanically retained in their hands, just as they had darted from their various employments; all their enchanted eyes intent upon the whale, which from side to side strangely vibrating his predestinating head, sent a broad band of overspreading semicircular foam before him as he rushed. Retribution, swift vengeance, eternal malice were in his whole aspect, and spite of all that mortal man could do, the solid white buttress of his forehead smote the ship’s starboard bow, till men and timbers reeled. Some fell flat upon their faces. Like dislodged trucks, the heads of the harpooneers aloft shook on their bull-like necks. Through the breach, they heard the waters pour, as mountain torrents down a flume.”

Thanks again for making my dreams come true Mark!
To purchase Mark’s print click here.

December 17, 2009