My attempt at rewriting (hopefully replacing) Moby Dick. Unfortunately, because I haven't written for this site for so long, something is, no, some (very critical) things are missing. I have no idea what they are, and so would really appreciate a review. Thanks in advance—SirMacManiaGUN—[02:27 15 Jul 2010]
Let me preface this review by saying that I've never actually read Moby-Dick. I do own the novel--bought it at the mall a few weeks ago actually (it was either that or a pretzel and a smoothie)--and I have read other stuff by Melville (namely, Benito Cereno, which is an interesting, if frustratingly redundant short story). Being an English major, I am very much familiar with Moby-Dick and all that stuff, so yeah.
Anyway, this article's amusing, but not quite there yet. Your angle is beyond clever, but your individual jokes fall kind of flat. Case and point: the first paragraph in the "History" section. Your coffee-related Mocha Dick joke is an excellent little throw-away one liner. However, you stretch this thin little joke, into, like, three jokes, the second two of which don't really deliver. And this paragraph makes up most of your "History" section, so basically 80% of your first section is one joke stretched into three. And, like, that's it. This is a shame, because there's plenty of stuff you could throw in here. What about jokes about Melville's nautical background? Or even jokes about his literary background? Or, if you want to stick with the coffee thing, maybe a joke or two about Starbuck the chief mate? Basically, there's a lot of potential you're missing out on, and this is just the "History" section--the same goes for most of the rest of the article. Again, I haven't read Moby-Dick, so I'm not in a position to make any specific suggestions, but you're familiar with the work to the point where you can write an article about it, so you'd know what to do more than I.
I was pretty harsh in the above section, but when it comes down to it your concept is fantastic--Moby-Dick is known for all the verisimilitude-increasing nautical and whaling jargon that add a layer of believability to an otherwise very metaphorical and symbolic tale, and you present it as though that were the main point of the work. Well done.
Prose and formatting:
Well-written and well-formatted. The infobox at the beginning of the article is a really nice touch. There weren't any spelling or grammar errors to speak of (or at least none that I noticed). At first I thought you had missed the 'y' in July, but it turns out that's you using a template for the present date and I'm just silly for not realizing sooner. But yeah, long story short, good job.
The first two images are excellent--I particularly like "Melville's Encyclopaedia of Whales and Whaling, or..." and the caption on the second image. The other two images fall very much on the side of meh. I would even advise against removing the mermaid image entirely, as even at a glance it clashes with the tone of the rest of the article.
I fully realize this score is well below your average--to use a nautical term, think of it as a sort of ballast. As it stands now, this is a brilliant article waiting to come out of an average one. In a word, what you need is more. More content, more jokes, more references to the original work to give Melville readers a knowing smirk, more everything. And really play up the fact that this is a supposed "encyclopaedia," too. I want to see jokes on the structural nuances of Ahab's peg leg. Jokes referring to the art of maintaining a healthy, festering scare on one's face. Jokes about seamen's often-Biblical-inspired names. Jokes about this Ishmael guy and just what the fuck he's doing. Etc., etc. There's a boatload (haha, get it, boatload?) of potential here, and I want to see you utilize it.
In the process of writing this review, I ate an entire Tony's frozen pizza and was kicked off at a point some my brother could check his facebook.