Ralph Steadman is a British cartoonist born in 1936. He is renowned for his very unique style of illustration. Steadman is the winner of several prestigious awards and was voted Illustrator of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1979.
Mr. Steadman is best known for his work with American author Hunter S. Thompson. If you do not know of Hunter Thompson, then shame on you again. Steadman’s style seems to be perfect for the “Gonzo” form of journalism for which Thompson is known. Steadman illustrated a number of Thompson’s works, including Thompson’s best known work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, published in 1971. My gravatar comes from the cover illustration of the book.
Why choose this particular gravatar. Well, by those of us just entering college at the time Fear and Loathing was published, Hunter Thompson is often regarded as the Jack Kerouac of the 70s, a comparison that makes many fans of either author find roll the eyes. With Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas published in 1971 and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72 published in 1973, Hunter Thompson’s books, carrying Ralph Steadman’s illustrations, landed on the bookshelves of many of us who were 18 years old at the time.
I urge you to visit Ralph Steadman’s website. and if you are interested in learning more about Hunter Thompson, I encourage you to at the very least read three of his books: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 and The Great Shark Hunt.