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Ralph Steadman in 2006
|Birth name||Ralph Steadman|
May 15, 1936 |
Wallasey, Merseyside, England
|Field||Painting, drawing, caricatures, cartoons|
Personal life 
Steadman was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, and brought up in Abergele, North Wales. From a lower middle class background, his father was a commercial traveller and his mother was a shop assistant at T J Hughes in Liverpool. He 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.
Steadman currently lives with his wife in Kent, England.
Steadman is renowned for his political and social caricatures, cartoons and picture books. Awards that he has won for his work include 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 Humour 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.
Steadman appears on the second disc of the Criterion Collection Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas DVD set, in a documentary called Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision, which was made by the BBC in 1978, of Thompson planning the tower and cannon that his ashes were later blasted out of. 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, and 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.
Among the British public, Steadman is well known for his illustrations for the catalogues of the off-licence chain Oddbins and he designed a set of four British postage stamps to commemorate the appearance of Halley's Comet in 1985. He also designed the labels for Flying Dog beer and Cardinal "Spiced" Zin' wine, which was banned in Ohio for Steadman's "disturbing" interpretation of a Catholic cardinal on its label.
Steadman also illustrated Will Self's column in The Independent newspaper. Hal Willner and Johnny Depp's anthology of songs, Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys (2006) contains two contributions from Steadman; he sings lead on "Little Boy Billee", and sings backing vocals on Eliza Carthy's song "Rolling Sea".
In 2011, Steadman began running prose and poetry in Kotori Magazine.
Partial bibliography 
- The Little Red Computer (1968)
- The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved (1970) (written by Hunter S. Thompson)
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971) (written by Hunter S. Thompson)
- Two Donkeys and a Bridge (1972)
- Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (1973) (written by Hunter S. Thompson)
- America (1974)
- Cherrywood Cannon, based on a story told by Dmitri Sidjanski (A.K.A. Mischa Damjan), Paddington Press (1978)
- Emergency Mouse (1978) (written by Bernard Stone)
- The Curse of Lono (1983) (written by Hunter S. Thompson)
- Inspector Mouse (1980) (written by Bernard Stone)
- I Leonardo (1983)
- No Good Dogs (1983)
- Quasimodo Mouse (1984) (written by Bernard Stone)
- Treasure Island (1985) (written by Robert Louis Stevenson)
- That's My Dad (1986)
- The Complete Alice (1986) (Through the Looking-Glass and The Hunting of the Snark, written by Lewis Carroll)
- Withnail and I (1987)
- The Crazy Never Die! by Mitchell Brothers Film Group (1988)
- The Big I Am (1988)
- No Room to Swing a Cat (1989)
- Near the Bone (1990)
- Tales of the Weirrd [sic] (1990)
- The Grapes of Ralph: Wine according to Ralph Steadman (1992)
- Still Life with Bottle: Whisky according to Ralph Steadman (1994)
- Teddy! Where Are You? (1995)
- Animal Farm (1995) (written by George Orwell)
- The Poor Mouth (illustrations for the English translation, released in 1996)
- Heart on the Left (1997)
- Have I Offended Someone? (1997) (Frank Zappa compilation)
- Sigmund Freud (1997)
- Gonzo: The Art of Ralph Steadman (1998)
- The Devil's Dictionary (2004) (written by Ambrose Bierce)
- The Joke's Over (2006)
- Psychogeography (2007) (written by Will Self)
- Garibaldi's Biscuits (2008)
- Slash (2010) (Album by Slash)
Further reading 
- Ralph Steadman, Between the Eyes (1984) [autobiographic reportage]
- Dubner, Stephen J. Ralph Steadman Answers Your Questions. Freakonomics Blog. June 12, 2008.
- "In the spotlight: Ralph Steadman". North Wales Weekly News. February 2, 2012.
- Perry, Kevin (2006-10-03). "Ralph Steadman interview about The Joke's Over". London: The Beaver.
- SUMMER MOVIES; On Filming a Gonzo Vision: A Gonzo Dialogue. The New York Times. May 3, 1998.
- Steadman's Author page at Kotori http://www.kotorimagazine.com/author/steadman
- Ralph Steadman's view on Northern Bald Ibis http://northernbaldibis.blogspot.com/2012/02/artists-view-on-nbi.html
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ralph Steadman|
- Official website
- British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent has a database with over 100 cartoons by Ralph Steadman
- Article on Steadman's Oddbins catalogues
- Oddbins Steadman cover
- Another Oddbins Steadman cover from an unofficial Hunter S. Thompson website
- Steadman t-shirts
- Spike magazine interview
- Internet Movie Database entry
- Flying Dog Connection and Bio
- Interview with Ralph Steadman by Laurie Taylor in New Humanist magazine
- Interview with Ralph Steadman by Jake McGee in Kotori Magazine