You’ve seen the movie, you’ve read the magazine articles, now you’ve got the opportunity to see the life of Hunter S. Thompson in graphic novel form.
And this isn’t your Entertainment Weekly-style, Bluewater Productions biography either. Written by Will Bingly and illustrated by Anthony Hope-Smith, Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson is published by an independent graphic novel house in London called SelfMadeHero.
Over the course of Hunter S. Thompson’s extraordinary life he was publically branded a bum, a vandal, a thief, a liar, an addict, a freak and a psychopath. Some of these were true. Yet, even when compared to the most significant figures of the 20th century, his legacy remains a brilliantly vital force. This is his story – the story of a troubled kid who went on to become an international icon, a story that plumbs the darkest depths of American society and charts the now-legendary adventures that birthed Gonzo journalism and a lifestyle beyond imagination.
Read more and check out some preview pages after the jump.
In a recent interview with Don’t Panic, the creators spoke about their decision to take on such a story. “We felt that he’d been misrepresented, particularly with the movies and bigger US papers,” said Bingly, “His broader image is that pure kind of gonzo thing, which is a massive misrepresentation of him. So we figured we could go in and tell a more interesting story.”
“He is very much perceived as a caricature persona, which, admittedly, is a persona that he came up with for himself,” said Hope-Smith, “But it meant people didn’t take him as seriously as they should have.”
Bingly states the story begins with Thompson’s youth in Louisville. “It’s not a straight non-fictional biography. It’s told from his perspective, written in the first person, as if it was fiction… to some extent,” said Bingly. ”We wanted to beat a path through his life through his eyes. That just seemed the best way to try and tell the story.”
SelfMadeHero has a few other graphic biographies published, like Johnny Cash – I See a Darkness, and several more to be released soon. Thompson’s editor for The Great Shark Hunt, The Curse of Lono, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972 and Amerika, Alan Rinzler provides the forward for Gonzo.
As far as the dialogue goes, Bingly told Don’t Panic there are few direct quotes from the international icon. “He’s just got such an obvious writing style. His vocabulary and rhythm are very specific. So it wasn’t that hard a thing to mimic,” he said. ”If you read his letters, he often wrote about his language. And about his use of language. So you can almost scientifically look at how he wrote and mimic it that way.”
Want to know more about Bingly and Hope-Smith’s Gonzo? Take a visit to SelfMadeHero’s website.