Ralph Steadman is my favourite illustrator.
Discovering him many years ago was a game changer. And I was introduced in the best possible way, by reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. My mind was blown on two fronts, illustration and the written word. Two phrases from the book "Did you see what God just did to us?" and "bad craziness" (from one of Ralph's drawings) pretty much summed it up for me. Well bad craziness sounds like a dis and I don't meant it that way, it's just a good phrase that stuck.
Ralph is massively prolific and in no time I had a bunch of his books and wld spend hours being stunned and silenced by his incredible work. The looseness, the chaos and madness, colourful, organic, seemingly out of control except wonderfully, incredibly tied together with masterful strokesmanship. He clearly buys the Miles Davis line of "there are no mistakes", spilling, splashing, splattering ink and paint all over the place knowing the illustration god's wldn't let him down.
Then there's Hunter S. He's one of those writers where every now and then you have to put the book down, so what you've just read can settle in your brain.
When I left my last job I was given a Ralph Steadman print of Hunter S Thompson. It was the best leaving present I cld ever get - two heros in one!
Ralph's book The Joke's Over, covering their friendship (?) and working relationship is a must for fans of either or both of their work.
For more of Ralph Steadman:
Rolling Stone story
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