Ralph Steadman, the artist best known for his collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson and to anyone under 25 who isn’t a journalism major as the guy who draws the beer labels for Flying Dog Brewery recently sat down with Newsweek to talk about his life in cartooning, the attacks in Fran on Charlie Hebdo and the right to offend.
He also graciously provided Newsweek with the original drawing above which captures his response to the massacre in Paris.
Steadman said that he’d become a cartoonist because he wanted to change the world. It wasn’t the first time he’d made this declaration and it wouldn’t be the last. But it’s a mission statement that seems horribly apposite on an afternoon at his house near Maidstone, Kent, where he watched live news coverage from the print warehouse where Said and Cherif Kouachi, the killers of the Charlie Hebdo artists, are making their last stand.
“It is interesting that you should mention that remark today,” says Steadman, “because, looking at what has been happening in Paris, I now feel that I have succeeded. I did manage to change the world, and it is a worse place than it was when I started. Far worse – an achievement I had always assumed would be impossible.”