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Bring Your Questions for Ralph Steadman

Ralph SteadmanRalph Steadman, self portrait from Stop Smiling magazine.

British cartoonist and caricaturist Ralph Steadman is best known as the late Hunter Thompson‘s collaborator.

Starting with their first assignment together — illustrating the Kentucky Derby for Scanlan’s (Steadman forgot his “colors” and drew with a friend’s makeup samples) — Thompson and Steadman invented a genre of narrative storytelling that may (or may not have) changed the face of journalism.

Their style is most aptly exemplified in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (later made into a popular film) and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.


Steadman’s work, covering everything from Watergate to football to the American Dream to wine, has also been published in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and AdWeek , among others. His lament about his editorial commissions:

[I wish] they would not piss around trying to get something chaste. I only want to do for them something I consider great!

Ralph Steadman

Steadman’s recent works include a tribute to Thompson’s failed run for sheriff of Aspen, Alice In Wonderland, The Joke’s Over, the Flying Dog beer labels, and Will Self‘s column in The Independent.

His Cardinal Zin wine label was banned in Ohio for its depiction of a Catholic cardinal, but that didn’t stop Saatchi & Saatchi from naming Steadman a hero at its annual Clio show, where he spoke about the “Elements of Chance in Creativity,” and commented:


Today, cartoon imagery has been flogged to death.

He has won several Designers and Art Directors Association Awards, was voted Illustrator of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, won the BBC Design Award for postage stamps, and the Black Humor Award in France.

Steadman welcomes your questions about journalism, humor, advertising, politics, alcohol, or anything else you can conjure, so fire away.

As with past Q&A’s, we’ll post his answers here in short course.