Monday, September 26, 2016

Emergency Mouse Signed by Ralph Steadman, Part 2

A copy of Bernard Stone's and Ralph Steadman's Emergency Mouse (1978) bears an original drawing of an impatient mouse thump-thumping his hind leg. It is currently offered on eBay for $129, more than three times what another copy previously shown on this blog sold for in 2008.

Signed Ralph Steadman with a sketch of the impatient mouse "Thump Thump"

Ralph Steadman, Emergency Mouse, 1978

eBay Listing as of September 28, 2016

eBay Item Description

Note:  "A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is now showing in  New York at the Society of Illustrators. Would I steer you wrong?

If you should possess or have access to a book or books signed, dated, inscribed, sketched in, or otherwise embellished by Ralph Steadman and if you should also wish to scan or photograph said book or books for potential inclusion on the blog, then please proceed and forward these images to me.

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:

Attempted Bloggery's rescue index


Ralph Steadman: The Dogsbodies Portfolio

What happens when a popular illustrator's fan base grows up and gains in affluence? Well, for one thing, some of that illustrator's earlier work may get reissued in deluxe portfolio editions. Some of his drawings may be published as limited edition prints. It's the publishing equivalent of all those '70s bands who are still touring because their fans are now well-off. A case in point here is Ralph Steadman's Dogsbodies, first published in 1970. This was a transitional year in Steadman's career. His iconic Alice in Wonderland artwork was done in 1967 but apparently not collected in book form until 1973. His collaboration with Hunter S. Thompson took off this year with the publication of "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" in Rolling Stone.

Was Dogsbodies a commercial success in 1970? One clue is the publication thirty years later of The Dogsbodies Portfolio, which includes the original edition of the 1970 book. There are seventy numbered copies of the portfolio plus an additional thirty artist's proofs. If there were one-hundered pristine copies of the 1970 book presumably still in the artist's possession in 2000, how successful could the book have been?

The Dogsbodies Portfolio has a number of quirks beyond the inclusion of the original softbound publication. That book is signed in brown ink—to distinguish it from the black printer's ink used in the published volume—where modern book collectors might expect to see the signature on the limitation page. That limitation page makes the egregious error of getting the name of the original book wrong, calling it "DOG BODIES." That's inexcusable. A diligent proofreader might also have added an apostrophe to the word artist's and a couple of hyphens elsewhere as well.

Ralph Steadman, The Dogsbodies Portfolio, 2000

The original illustrated book is housed on the left while the prints and limitation page re on the right.

Ralph Steadman or someone close to him had one-hundred copies of the 1970 first edition to lend to this project.

Ralph Steadman, Ink Hound, 21/70 + 30 artist's proofs
Does the second color of the print add anything to the original drawing?

The limitation page, 21/70, with a printed signature and numerous typographic errors

The original Dogsbodies of 1970 signed by Ralph Steadman in brown ink

eBay Listing as of September 26, 2016

eBay Item Description

Note:  "A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is now showing at the Society of Illustrators. Through October 22.

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dogsbodies Signed by Ralph Steadman, Part 2

Rooke Books of Bath offers a signed copy of Dogsbodies (1970) by the irrepressible Ralph Steadman. The book is signed to Jane, possibly a publisher, and is further embellished with an illustration of a...of a...well, never mind!

Ralph Steadman, Dogsbodies, 1970

Inscribed "To Jane/[Dogs]ear publishes[?]/from Ralph Steadman/XX."
with a drawing of flatus—"Bang."

Rooke Books Online Listing, September 25, 2016
As long as we're on the subject and since you really deserve to know, here is Fart Check from The Ralph Steadman Book of Dogs.
Ralph Steadman, Fart Check
The Ralph Steadman Book of Dogs, 2011

Note:  I'm winding down my short series on Ralph Steadman. Now that I've got the last word on Steadman and dog farts, there really isn't much left for me to do...

"A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is in town at the Society of Illustrators. Through October 22.

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:


Dogsbodies Signed by Ralph Steadman

Two weeks ago at the Society of Illustrators, Ralph Steadman signed a copy of Dogsbodies (1970) to illustrator Stephen Kroninger, adding a sketch of—wait for it—a dog. Mr. Kroninger has generously provided Attempted Bloggery with the essential documentation:

Ralph Steadman, Dogsbodies, 1970

Inscribed "For Stephen! from Ralph Steadman" with a sketch of a dog

O.P. is bookseller shorthand for Out of Print. This secondhand copy is now one of the most desirable copies of Dogsbodies on the planet.

The line emanating from the dog's hind leg has been added by hand, as have the splotches. I know, right?

Note:  Thanks again to Stephen Kroninger for sharing his unique book and for being a friend to this blogger. Learn more about Mr. Kroninger's artwork at His photocollages have been exhibited at MoMA. Impressive, right?

I'm just about finishing up my little run of Ralph Steadman posts, which consists mostly of signed books with original sketches. If you've got something more you'd like to share here—original artwork, sketches, rarities, random ink splotches, what have you—by all means pass it along. I'll get to it some day...

"A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is showing at the Society of Illustrators. Get to it by October 22.

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:


Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Retrospective: Ralph Steadman Signed by Ralph Steadman

Illustrator Stephen Kroninger graciously provides us with these three photographs showing his prized copy of A Retrospective: Ralph Steadman (2016) signed just two weeks ago by the artist at the Society of Illustrators in New York. The inscription is unusual in that it is executed in both wash, above, and in ink. This inscription is accompanied by an original drawing of a cartoon face. The last photograph shows Mr. Steadman in the process of either diluting his ink or cleaning his pen.

Ralph Steadman, A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman (2016)

Inscribed "For Stephen from Ralph Steadman" with a sketch of a cartoon face

Ralph Steadman signing at the Society of Illustrators

Note:  Thanks to Stephen Kroninger for furnishing these wonderful photographs. Be sure to check out his website and please also note that his work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. You see, he's just my typical blog reader...

Over the past two weeks, as you might have observed, I've featured signed books here by Ralph Steadman, many containing original sketches. These have been inscribed to Stephen Parr and now to Stephen Kroninger as well. A reasonable person might thereby conclude that Mr. Steadman inscribes books only to people named Stephen. Does anyone have a problem with that? Whatever the recipient's name, I would still love to publish images of other books that have been sketched upon, inscribed, and otherwise bespattered by Mr. Steadman.

"A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is being exhibited at the Society of Illustrators through October 22. Small world.

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:


My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #537

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #537 for September 19, 2016. The drawing is by Mick Stevens.
"And I've had to reinvent our marriage."

Here are some other captions I simply couldn't reinvent:
"I was always attracted to his primitive qualities."
"I always say check with the patent office first, but does he listen?"

"He's reinvented the man cave."

September 26, 2016 Update: The Finalists

Note:  Last week cartoonist Benjamin Schwartz psychoanalyzed a self-driving car. My caption lacked direction. Take a joyride to Contest #536.

See more posts about the free-wheeling Mick Stevens.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Alice in Wonderland Signed by Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman's 1967 illustrations for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland are almost fifty years old now, but they were modern classics from day one. A personalized copy of the 2006 paperback edition includes a quick sketch of Alice. She's looking rather angular and a bit crude here, more so than in the fantastical illustrations. This copy of the book was sold on eBay August 16, 2008 for $55.54 plus shipping and insurance.

Ralph Steadman, Alice in Wonderland (1973) by Lewis Carroll

Inscribed with a portrait sketch of Alice "For Stephen Parr from Ralph Steadman 2006."

Note:  This blog's author welcomes photos or scans of signed books by Ralph Steadman, particularly those containing original drawings. Got a Snark to share?

"A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is now on view in New York at the Society of Illustrators through October 22. O frabjous day!

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:

I'm late!


The Joke's Over Signed by Ralph Steadman

The Joke's Over (2006) is Ralph Steadman's tribute to the writer Hunter S. Thompson, his friend who committed suicide in 2005. Thompson, the founder of gonzo journalism, leads his illustrator friend through a series of ill-advised adventures often involving drugs, alcohol, and guns. Steadman eventually finds a more sustainable path for himself, continuing to illustrate Thompson's American pieces from his studio in England. Steadman's memoir is surprisingly articulate, and the book is ultimately a funny and moving recollection of an engaging if pathologically unstable character.

Ralph Steadman, The Joke's Over, 2006

Inscribed "For Stephen Parr/Ralph Steadman 2006" with a drawing of a cartoon face

Note:  An event in the 2006 publicity tour for The Joke's Over seems to be where Mr. Steadman personalized each of the books for Stephen Parr that have been shown on the blog these past two weeks. Attempted Bloggery welcomes photos or scans of other signed Steadman books, particularly those with original drawings or sketches.

"A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" is now on view at the Society of Illustrators in New York through October 22. It's no joke.

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:


Thursday, September 22, 2016

America Signed by Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman's America (1989) comes with a disclaimer:  "What you see in these drawings, of course, is not you Americans. They are only cartoons—not to be taken seriously—disregard them. They are terrible propaganda and obviously the ravings of a demented scribbler!" What a relief! In 2006, Mr. Steadman inscribed a copy of the book to Stephen Parr and added some teeth on the C in America just in case his drawings didn't have enough bite.

Ralph Steadman, America, 1989

Inscribed with a sketch of teeth "For Stephen Parr, Ralph Steadman 2006."

Note:  Say, would you like to contribute to this blog? I'll take original drawings, jottings, letters, scratchings, doodles, sketches, or anything else by Ralph Steadman for use here. How's that for an offer?

Try not to miss "A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" at the Society of Illustrators in New York, New York. It's a helluva town. Through October 22.

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tales of the Weirrd Signed by Ralph Steadman

In 2006, Ralph Steadman inscribed to Stephen Parr a copy of his Tales of the Weirrd (1990), a book about assorted eccentrics which sported its own eccentric title spelling. The artist took care to capitalize all the letters of the recipient's surname in this and the other books he inscribed at the day's signing, just as he capitalizes the first syllable of his own surname in his distinctive signature. This raises the question of whether Mr. Steadman routinely inscribes a volume by capitalizing only the first syllable of his recipient's last name, imitating the asymmetric look of his own iconic signature.

Ralph Steadman, Tales of the Weirrd, 1990

Signed and inscribed "For Stephen Parr from Ralph Steadman 2006."

Note:  I plan to devote the remainder of this week to books by Ralph STEADman with original sketches and inscriptions to Stephen PARR. After that, I am prepared to move on to other subjects although I would happily share other Steadman book sketches with my readers if only some readers would care to share them with me.

You might consider "A Retrospective:  Ralph Steadman" at the Society of Illustrators for your next helping of inspiring illustration art. If you show up on Tuesdays between 5 and 8 p.m. and tell them I sent you they'll let you in for free. Through October 22.

Attempted Bloggery's quick links:

Attempted Bloggery's weirrd index