Ellis Miller, 100186393
Assignment: The editorial works of Ralph Steadman: An exploration using semantic theory.
Module Number: 5VC507
Main Text – Page 3
Illustrations – Page 11
Bibliography – Page 16
The Editorial Works of Ralph Steadman: An Exploration Using Semiotic Theory.
This essay will explore and analyse the editorial work of Ralph Steadman, and how it can be explained using Semiotic Theory. Steadman’s work, can be described as gritty, caricaturised, splattered and exaggerated (Seymour et al., 2004). Steadman has worked as a freelance cartoonist and illustrator, since the 1960’s, ‘becoming well-known in the 1970’s, after meeting and working with the journalist Hunter S. Thompson’ (McCarthy, 2013), where Steadman illustrated several of Thompson’s journals, spanning decades, including ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ (See Fig 1 for example) and ‘The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved’. (See Fig 2 for example).
This essay will initially explore Steadman’s work, focusing on the use of caricature, distortion and exaggeration in his works to portray social and political characters in certain ways, to create desired effects. The second part of the essay, will explore semiotic theories, and how these can be employed to aid our understanding of Steadman’s work.
Before discussing Steadman’s work, it would be appropriate to explore what caricature is. Caricature is often seen in the cartoon world, as a subject that has been distorted or exaggerated in any way possible and for a desired effect (A small body and large head, or large eyes and ears are commonly used). Simplification of features is another example, such as depicting someone’s mouth as a simple line, or giving an overweight character a circle for a body. Caricatures are often used to portray the certain personalities or emotions of a character, and are often used for a satirical commentary on political or social...