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When the ferry the intellectual Humphrey van Weyden is aboard sinks off of the San Francisco Bay, he drifts in the ocean until a seal-hunting schooner, under the command of hardened sailor Wolf Larsen, rescues him. Wolf Larsen is an incredibly strong brute and a hedonist who sees no value in life but is also educated― he likes that Humphrey (or “Hump”) is someone he can have meaningful conversations with, and decides to let him stay. This rescue comes with a catch, however― the boat is not returning to port soon. If van Weyden wants to stay onboard he must become a cabin boy and do chores on the ship, while he avoids angering the murderous crew. Furthermore, if he’s going to survive this trip, van Weyden must keep the crew from killing their captain, and the captain from tossing him overboard.
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JACK LONDON was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He is best remembered as the author of The Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush. He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as "The Pearls of Parlay" and "The Heathen", and of the San Francisco Bay area in The Sea Wolf. London was a passionate advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers and wrote several powerful works dealing with these topics such as his dystopian novel The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss, and The War of the Classes. London died in 1916 on his ranch in California.
With his dynamic graphics, RIFF REB'S has established himself as one of the founding fathers of a new school of comics artists. In 1984, he founded the Asylum studios, where he was soon joined by fellow artists like Édith, Kisler, Cromwell, Ralph, Gonnort, Joe Ruffner and Karim to work on animated series and graphic novels. Most recently, he has adapted Pierre Mac Orlan's satirical pirate book 'À bord de l'Étoile Matutine' for Soleil and further stories from the sea in his series 'Le Loup des Mers.'
Gr 8 Up—Humphrey Van Weyden is a literary critic who, due to his large inheritance, has never had to work a day in his life. During a routine voyage, his ship is sunk and he is rescued by a vessel called Ghost, where he is forced into service by the ship's terrifying captain, Wolf Larsen. Throughout the course of his time aboard Ghost, the protagonist is challenged to grow physically and mentally. At the outset, Larsen appears to be nothing more than a frightening and unpredictable ship captain. Van Weyden soon learns that the man is an autodidact, who enjoys partaking in philosophical arguments and solving complex problems. Unfortunately, Larsen's cruel and abusive nature dominates his behavior, thus leading to death and destruction. This graphic novelization of London's classic makes it accessible to low-level and reluctant readers. The illustrations are drawn so as to emphasize the wild passion and tense tone of Van Weyden's various interactions and observations while on the vessel. Similar in style to popular superhero comics, the book's chapters are each assigned a monochromatic color theme, which greatly enhances the work's mood. For example, the chapter in which Larsen attempts to assault a young woman and Van Weyden intervenes is depicted in red tones emphasizing the tension, violence, and approaching climax. The detailed images give readers a clear understanding of the basic themes and storyline so that they may better focus their attention on comprehending the dialogue. This title would be an excellent addition to any library or classroom.—Annalise Ammer, City of Rochester Public Libraries, NY
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