I never enter competitions, but this one caught my eye.
Who wouldn’t want to receive a Ralph Steadman print? (Okay, you don’t need to answer that, actually.)
I’ve loved his work for years and years. As a teenager, I adorned my high school locker with his illustrations from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, beside a picture of Travis Bickle.
I pored over and coveted my brother’s copy of I, Leonardo. He doesn’t have it anymore, and it is out of print now but you can still buy it new on Amazon for £599.
During my first week at university, I discovered Steadman’s version of Alice in Wonderland in the campus bookshop and splurged a fortnight’s spending allowance in one gluttonous binge. Raman noodles were 14¢ per pack at Econofoods and I survived on them quite nicely, thank you.
Years later I had a friend who was also a Steadman fan. Upon learning that I owned a copy of Alice in Wonderland he offered to buy, barter or sacrifice his firstborn child to me in order to get hold of it, but I declined all offers.
When my daughter was very small, one of her favourites at bedtime was my copy of The Jelly Book. She was intrigued by the idea of there being good jelly and bad jelly. So am I.
When she was eight years old, she found his version of Animal Farm on one of the bookshelves, and asked me to read it to her. So I did. She was distressed and indignant about Boxer, and she hated those pigs. I was a little worried that between Orwell’s text and Steadman’s illustrations, the whole experience would give her nightmares, but she’s my girl and she took it all in stride.
So yeah, I do like the work of Ralph Steadman and so, sure why not, I sent along my selfie by Twitter to the good folks at The Big Issue:
So yesterday I discovered that I’m one of the winners! Hoorah!!! What fab news!! And what remarkable and marvellous timing, like a hug delivered by the universe on an afternoon when I was feeling a bit like a Steadman picture myself.