Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Debbie Jayne, Bookbinder extraordinaire

Debbie Jayne is the wonderful person who, up until last Friday, was handling just about all of the publicity and marketing for Moby-Dick in Pictures. In news that both saddened and thrilled me, Debbie emailed to let me know that she has very amicably parted ways with my publisher Tin House Books to explore other adventures, one of which is her bookbinding and papercraft business.

Debbie has an Etsy shop named Debbie Jayne's Paper Designs showcasing some of her wares, and the stuff is really beautiful. She crafts everything from journals to guestbooks to paper garlands and more. So check out the shop and see what she's got to offer, it is well worth it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

31 more 'Moby-Dick' illustrations for sale in my shop

Some of the really good pieces too. Check 'em out in my shop here or let me know if you're interested in a piece you don't see listed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some videos of me, coming soon

Tin House has asked me to make some short videos to share online to promote Moby-Dick in Pictures and...well, me I suppose. So as soon as I return from vacation next weekend (my wife and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary) I am going to start. First will be a brief and hopefully amusing tour of the closet studio where most of the art was made. I plan on breaking it up into 4 or 5 one minute videos. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess. So if you have any ideas, suggestions, or even just questions you'd like to see me answer on video, email me at mattkish87 [at] gmail [dot] com or leave them in the comments and I promise I'll answer.

And now, off to vacation...


Okay, not Moby-Dick related, but still very exciting to me. Author John Minichillo, who has just written a truly brilliant novel called The Show Whale which re-examines Moby-Dick through a delightfully skewed modern lens, was kind enough to ask me to provide an illustration for a short story of his that was to appear at the online literary magazine Smokelong Quarterly. This was a bit of a thrill for me because I have been laboring after the White Whale for so long now that it was a joy to turn my efforts to something new. You can read John's story, titled "Finally," and see my illustration right here and you can buy his novel The Snow Whale right here. I didn't do the cover, which I quite like, but I did do some illustrations based on the novel. They are not in the book, but will hopefully see the light of day soon. So here is one now...

Dicky Moe

I posted this on my Facebook page but it is so bizarrely compelling I felt it was worth mentioning here as well. What a strange little cartoon, and how odd that the artists chose to include subtle details such as Ahab's scar and Tom (Fedallah?) getting tangled in whale lines. I can't stop watching this!

I have been mentioned...

Jessica Goodfellow, a writer, editor, and mother living in Japan was kind enough to mention this project on her poetry blog Axis of Abraxas in this post here. It is actually a very amusing post and she confesses that she has yet to read Moby-Dick. She has some kind things to say about my art, and her blog itself is really quite fascinating so do have a look. Many thanks, Jessica!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My second author event

This past Wednesday evening Jen Reynolds, who works for Publishers Group West, was kind enough to invite me to Cincinnati for a dinner to meet with a number of people from the legendary Joseph Beth Booksellers store as well as Dr. Robert Wallace from Northern Kentucky University. Dr. Wallace's research focuses primarily on Herman Melville and the arts, so we had a great deal to talk about. I wasn't sure what to expect since this entire experience is still very new to me, but I had an extremely enjoyable evening talking about my upcoming book, the project itself, and Moby-Dick in general. I have a few very good friends in Cincinnati and they have been absolutely raving about Joseph Beth for years now, so it was good to learn that their effusive praise was well-founded. What really struck me about everyone I met that night was that they were all truly book people. Every one of them had a deep appreciation, almost a reverence, for the book as a cultural object and not just a collection of words or information. I'm really beginning to get the since that people truly do care about my upcoming book - as a book and for what it stands for and what went into its creation - which is absolutely wonderful. Honestly, there have been many times when I felt that what I valued in the creation of art was getting drowned out by a flood of digitally created imagery, which seems to be all the rage these days.

Anyway, it was a dinner, so I did not get to take many photos at all. Here, however, are two fantastic photos of me and Howard Cohen, one of the people responsible for Cincinnati's excellent Books by the Banks festival. In the first, we were just standing, and in the second I was apparently in the midst of making some filthy remark to Howard, which he took quite well. He is a pretty awesome guy...

Another highlight of the evening was spending time with Dr. Wallace, whose perspective and experience with Melville, Moby-Dick, and all the ways those two intersect with and overlap the visual arts was wide-ranging and fascinating. I truly look forward to many more conversations with Dr. Wallace, and there is a chance I may be able to spend some time with his students next year. You can actually see Dr. Wallace just to the left of Howard in one of the photos above. Best of all, Dr. Wallace presented me with a copy of his book Frank Stella's Moby-Dick: Words & Shapes.

I've been in awe of Stella's work for some time now, and this is a book that I wanted very badly. To be given a copy personally inscribed by the author is real honor for me.

I'll have more details as they become clearer, but I will be appearing at the Books by the Banks festival in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Duke Energy Center on Saturday, October 22nd. I will have copies of the art book for sale, I'll be bringing a lot of the actual art itself to share and show people, and I will be happy to sign or draw in copies, talk to people, answer questions, and so on. Keep your eye on this blog for more info soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Own some of my Moby-Dick art...for free!

Today, August 1st, is Herman Melville's birthday. In honor of this, blogger / writer / graphic designer Nora Luongo has posted a delightful interview with me and a special giveaway. She's been extremely kind and enthusiastically supportive of my book, and as a way to help me bring some attention to it, she came up with the idea of doing this interview and some kind of promotional contest. At first, it was just going to be something like a signed packet of those cool promotional postcards Tin House put together for the book, but I really wanted to make this special so I did a completely new illustration in ink and acrylic paint on an old TV repair diagram of the White Whale Moby Dick himself. Which any one of you could end up with, for free!

So, to get all the details, read the interview and see the new illustration, head on over to to this post here and take a look.

And yeah, happy birthday to Herman Melville!