Ralph Steadman is 87 years old today
Ralph Steadman is 87 years old today.
A British cartoonist best known for his work with the writer, Hunter S. Thompson, Steadman was born in Wallasey, Cheshire and brought up in Abergele, North Wales.
Steadman attended Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan (high school and then later East Ham Technical College and the London College of Printing during the 1960s, doing freelance work for Punch, Private Eye, the Daily Telegraph, The New York Times and Rolling Stone during this time.
Renowned for his political and social caricatures, cartoons and picture books, Steadman has won awards for his work including the Francis Williams Book Illustration Award for Alice in Wonderland, the American Society of Illustrators' Certificate of Merit, the W. H. Smith Illustration Award for I Leonardo, the Dutch Silver Paintbrush Award for Inspector Mouse, the Italian Critica in Erba Prize for That's My Dad, the BBC Design Award for postage stamps, the Black Humor Award in France and several Designers and Art Directors Association Awards.
He was voted Illustrator of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1979.
Steadman had a long partnership with the American journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, drawing pictures for several of his articles and books. He accompanied Thompson to the Kentucky Derby for an article for the magazine Scanlan's, to the Honolulu Marathon for the magazine Running and illustrated both Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.
Much of Steadman's artwork revolves around Raoul Duke-style caricatures of Thompson: bucket hats, cigarette holder and aviator sunglasses. He appears in a documentary, Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision, which was made by the BBC in 1978.
It showed Thompson planning the tower and cannon that his ashes would later be blasted from after his death. The cannon was atop a 153-ft. tower of Thompson's fist gripping a peyote button. Thompson demands that Steadman gives the fist two thumbs, "Right now."
As well as writing and illustrating his own books and Thompson's, Steadman has worked with writers including Ted Hughes, Adrian Mitchell and Brian Patten. He also illustrated editions of Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Animal Farm, the English translation of Flann O'Brien's Gaelic-language classic, The Poor Mouth, and most recently, Fahrenheit 451.
In 2011, Steadman began publishing prose and poetry in Kotori Magazine. He also contributed to the BirdLife International's Preventing Extinctions program with an image of critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis.
A major documentary about Steadman's career, For No Good Reason, directed by Charlie Paul, was released at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in the "Mavericks" program.
Here is a video segment on Steadman
Ralph Steadman’s monograph, Proud Too Be Weirrd, an ink splattered journey through his studio