Science Book a Day Interviews Ralph Steadman


Special thanks to Ralph Steadman for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Nextinction

Ralph Steadman is a British artist and cartoonist known for his provocative, often grotesque, illustrations frequently featuring spatters and splotches of ink and for his collaboration with American author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson. – From Encyclopaedia Brittanica

Ralph’s Homepage:
Ralph’s Twitter:

#1 – What was the impetus for Nextinction?

Bloomsbury wanted us – me and Ceri – to collaborate on another project and it was very simple to move on from Extinct birds to Critically Endangered ones.

#2 – Is this a sequel to the successful Extinct Boids? Or something different?

It’s a sequel in that these birds are ones we can still help. There is more hope in these birds stories and some success stories as well as some shocking figures.

#3 – How do you try to capture the birds you are drawing in your art? What is it you are looking for when you draw?

We wanted to approach the subject with humour which is tricky with conservation or Gonzervation – its not a very funny subject – but I think sometimes some of the tragedy just leaks through too. I don’t do any sketches first just Splat, Boom and begin.

#4 – How did you work with Ceri Levy on the book? Did the text come first? The images?

The lists came first- Ceri loves his lists- the full list of critically endangered birds and then I began drawing. Ceri records all our emails, all our conversations which are all included in the books and then he adds the factual bits, the terrible figures of just how few of these animals are left Plus the silly stuff. The funny stuff that hopefully will pull people into the issues.

#5 – Who did you produce the book for? Adults? Children? Teachers? What has the response to the book been?

It’s not an encyclopedia. The birds are not necessarily accurate and some are even imaginary – the imaginary ones sometime just hijack the page. It’s for everyone – maybe not for the hunters – the ones with the guns who kill these creatures for sport.

#6 – Are you working on any new books/projects you can tell us about?

Yes my next book is called The Book of Clever Bastards. I may even be able to finally explain Grossenheimer’s Laws of Adiabatic Masses!!!

[Image Credit: ]


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