Philosophy Prof Illustrates Nietzsche’s Zarathustra in the Style of Dr. Seuss


John Holbo, a philosophy prof at the National University of Singapore, recently gave the world a free illustrated edition of three dialogues by Plato (get it as a free PDF, or via Amazon). Now he’s embarking on a new creative project called On Beyond Zarathustra.

holbo 3

Over on the Crooked Timber blog, Holbo light-heartedly launched the project with these words:

Ever since Plato wrote Socrates “Will You Please Go Now!” and “If I Ran The Polis!” great philosophers have mostly started out as authors of (what we would now call) Dr. Seuss-style children’s books. A lot of this old stuff has been lost. Scholars have neglected it. But I’m undertaking a project of restoration and study, starting with Nietzsche.

I’ll be posting updates regularly to the Flickr page – few pages a week as my work proceeds. We’re just getting to the good bits: The Rope Dancer and the Last Man!

Please do feel to share with any friends who may have a scholarly interest in the historiography of philosophy. (I’ll have some more notes about that soon.)

We’ve posted here the first four pages of Holbo’s new graphical project.


To see how the project unfolds, you can regularly visit this album on Flickr. The are currently 22 pages, with the promise of many more to come soon.


And, take note, once he’s done with Friedrich, Holbo promises to turn to Descartes and Kierkegaard and give them the same Dr. Seuss treatment. Enjoy the ride.

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via Daily Nous

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Comments (6)
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  • nathan says:

    I’ve created a graphic novel of Zarathustra (all four parts) as one half of my research degree. Always interesting to see other interpretations of one of my favourite books.
    There’s a few pages from my version in the Illustrations and Comics section of my blog (address above) and the full graphic novel is available on Kindle.

  • Yohannes Hailu says:

    I appreciate your scholarly concerns.

  • Borsippian says:

    Nathan, how can I find your book on amazon?

  • Scott Marshall says:

    Very cool. I, too, am illustrating a highly edited version of Zarathustra, a little at a time, as a multi-year project.

  • John Warrington says:

    Why’d he get demoted from professor to prof?

  • Charles LLano says:

    Is it OK not to understand the point of this effort?

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