You can’t talk about writer Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo combined without mentioning the work and talent of illustrator Ralph Steadman. You just can’t.
If you’re a fan of writer Hunter S. Thompson like me, then surely you would have seen the illustrations on his book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Thompson’s binge writing and down-and-dirty experience found in the book is accompanied by Steadman’s splashing technique in drawing. Their partnership never seemed to run out of surreal images and outrageous scenes.
Focusing more on Ralph Steadman, the illustrator is known for his unique style in drawing. Wielding his fountain pen haphazardly and dunking it generously in ink, Steadman creates free-flowing caricatures that are loony and overly stylized in appearance. It is in that visual direction that Steadman is known for up until now.
Aside from his long partnership with Thompson, Steadman also illustrated the many characters and scenes in George Orwell’s classic novel, “Animal Farm” (great book, by the way). The British cartoonist worked on the images as the book celebrated its 50th year in 1995. Again, Steadman’s handiwork proved to be unique to the eyes. The images have Steadman’s signature written all over it.
What really appeals to me about Steadman’s work is his commitment to his aesthetic. He quickly whips up outrageous and sometimes hilarious scenes on paper with his trusty fountain pen with the ink just blotting and scattering all over. That and his renowned participation in creating the Gonzo legacy. His partnership with Hunter S. Thompson was a match made in heaven.
All information and photos used in this article were sourced from Juxtapoz.