I am currently working on a graphic novel – The Ghost Carp. It’s a humorous re-telling of Herman Melville’s 1851 masterpiece Moby Dick, set on a 21st century urban river.
Like Melville’s epic adventure, The Ghost Carp is loaded with portents, symbols and existential doom. Some of the characters and events in the book are inspired by true life on a real urban river – eccentric anglers, eels, tattoos, faithful dogs and dead foxes. A place where you might be lucky enough to see the turquoise flash of a kingfisher, or unfortunate enough to find a headless body.
I have drawn on over a decade of experience as an environmental volunteer in waders, working in a south London river with the Wandle Trust. This has involved all sorts of things that happen in the book, from handling live eels to hauling out mattresses.
The book is packed with literary references and allusions – direct quotes from Moby Dick are carefully woven into the text, as well as other literary and musical references.
The aim is to complete it by August 2019, in time for Melville’s 200th birthday.