Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson
Fear and loathing in six panels.
By Maria Popova
The past few years have given us some stellar graphic nonfiction, lending the comic book genre to “grown-up” storytelling ranging from photojournalism to media history to biography. Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson (public library) offers exactly what it says on the tin, and does so brilliantly — an uncommon biography of legendary iconoclastic author (and garden fence expert) Hunter S. Thompson (July 18, 1937–February 20, 2005), revered as the father of Gonzo journalism and reviled as an addict, a bum, a liar, a thief, a sociopath, a hedonistic outlaw. In bold black-and-white graphics and a few well-chosen words, author Will Bingley and illustrator Anthony Hope-Smith tell the story of how a disillusioned troublemaker kid from Louisville became a global literary icon, exploring in the process the most uncomfortable nooks and crannies of social order, individual liberty, and American culture.
Hope-Smith tells The Wall Street Journal:
Visually, the trick was to not shy away from the ‘Fear and Loathing Hunter.’ Rather we could have fun playing with him but then be ready to dial it right back in order to show his humanity through subtlety of expression and body language. We tried to create a balance between the man and his performance.
Published May 25, 2012