Today on the site:
From the archives comes Gary Groth’s expansive interview with the great Ralph Steadman, most famous for illustrations for Hunter S. Thompson books.
GROTH: Did you know who Hunter Thompson was?
STEADMAN: No, I had never heard of him before. Anyway, I went down there [to Louisville] and I met him after two days and we spent a drunken week looking for the rattled face of Kentucky, the ghastly sight that Hunter knew so well, and we finally found it in the mirror of our own face at the end of the week. The ghastly look, the rattled look [Chuckles]. I had done my drawing before I got back to New York. I spent a lot of the time in his hotel room drawing these pictures and he hadn’t done anything. He was in this stage of trying to help his mother with a personal problem; he didn’t talk about it much. He had a few family problems. He introduced me to his two older brothers, and he also maced someone that week, in a restaurant. Everybody was maced because when you spray mace in a bloody closed area, everybody gets it, everyone was going, “Ahhh!” In a restaurant!
GROTH: What were the circumstances?
STEADMAN: To get me out, because I stated drawing people and things were getting ugly. If he hadn’t had mace, we would have been in trouble.
GROTH: Who did he mace, the waiter?
STEADMAN: Somebody stumbling over: “Hey buddy, you can’t do this to me.” Hunter would say, “I wish you’d stop that ugly habit of sketching people.”
GROTH: He just carried a canister of mace with him?
STEADMAN: Yeah. And I guess we got on well because I was quite different. He said I always said everything was “teddible” — not terrible, but “teddible.” He had a funny way of saying it. I used to listen to what he said. He made me notice things I’d forgotten. So, anyway, I went back to Scanlan’s with the drawings and I hadn’t drawn a single horse. The editor said, “Didn’t you see any horses? Can’t we have one with horses in it?” So I did one drawing of a horse with a big dong, and also a Texan with his pants open and his own dong hanging out.
And on the other end of the drawing spectrum, here’s Robert Kirby’s review of John Porcellino’s The Hospital Suite.
The Hospital Suite is a deeply revealing, heartrending account of King-Cat creator John Porcellino’s descent from a normal life into a seemingly endless series of physical and mental health problems, problems that threatened to derail his life for good. Like many Porcellino fans, I knew somewhat vaguely that he had dealt with a number of health issues beginning in the late ’90s, but I had no idea of their magnitude. The Hospital Suite (amazingly, his first book of all-new, all-original material), records it for posterity. Intense and harrowing, it’s a must-read for fans of Porcellino, fans of the medical auto-bio comics sub-genre (Harvey Pekar’s Our Cancer Year, Ellen Forney’s Marbles), and fans of alt-comics in general.
Most important thing: The great Gladys Nilsson, a member of the Hairy Who and a hugely influential and important artist in her own right has just opened a deeply compelling and at times shockingly honest solo show up right now in NYC at Garth Greenan Gallery. It’s a must for anyone in or visiting the city. Don’t miss it. Also, I did the interview for the catalog, which is available at the gallery.
Also very important: I think this video preview means that Ben Jones’ new cartoon, Stone Quackers, is debuting Sunday night on FXX. This is the best cartoon Ben has done. I have seen an episode and I fell in luuuuvvv.
Another of my favorite artists, Leslie Stein, recently began serializing her diary comics over at Vice.
Gee, New York Magazine hearts, uh, whatever you call these kind of comics now (not mainstream, not genre, but… I dunno)… here’s a lengthy piece on DC’s John Constantine.
And that’s what I have. Enjoy your weekend.