Check out this sneak peek of our interview with Ralph Steadman, author of Little.com, published for the first time in the U.S. by David R. Godine, Publisher in June 2016.
Take a brief look at the creator of the eccentric little Dot who bounds through the pages of this unforgettable picture book for ages 3-100. Steadman, best know for his work with Hunter S. Thompson, explains how he came up with the idea of the Dot and how his illustrative process works.
Interview by David R. Godine intern, Hannah Winkelman, editing by Sales Manager Tildy Banker-Johnson. Thanks for watching!
Transcript posted below.
Hannah Winkelman: How did you come up with the idea for Little.com?
Ralph Steadman: Um, you know it was at the very beginning of things that were sort of, um, well, not the beginning, but 2000’s the year when I got the thing, or 1999. And I just decided that, uh, it was a nice idea for a character, for a book, Little. It’s like little something, you know, like little, little Jim, little something like that. So I thought Little.com, because I thought, I always say, for some reason, know what I mean? I always say confused.com. So that became kind of a habit, to say “.com.” So Little.com became a little guy.
[Publisher’s note: In the 2000s it was common to add ” dot com” or ” dot org” to phrases such as “give me a break dot com” or “move on dot org” (See: Gilmore Girls, Season 5, Episode 9). This is what Ralph is trying to express.]
RS: But how you see, I was making use of things like all the blots. I love blots. I just love a blot to just go down, and do what it’s going to do, and then turn it into something with the eyes, make it live. I mean look at him, crazy fool. And that there that’s the Duke of Bogshott… So, it’s like antiquated, antiquated computer animated, computer stories. It’s like the beginning, you know like when Steve Jobs was doing things.
RS: Well it was the… He hadn’t really got going, he was still doing things, but… ‘Cause a lot of people didn’t have, uh, any of this stuff. And I made mine up as I went along. I’m looking at it for the first time in ages and I’m feeling quite impressed….Yeah, I like it, I like them. You see, the thing is, I think I have a thing about blots. I’m clumsy and I love doing that.
RS: It does something wonderful. You know it’s energy. It’s energy! It’s going out in all directions and I think I like that. And you put an eye in it, or two eyes, teeth, and it’s a lovely idea. I mean I think that’s quite impressive. I don’t love drawing circles, I used to be an engineering draftsman.
HW: Oh, really?
RS: I just, uh, well—I liked doing the geometric drawing, but I used to like doing cartoons in the corner, down the side of my drawing.
HW: Would you just doodle on the side and that’s how you got started?
RS: Yeah, little funny drawings on the side. Then I was asked why I was doing that and I’d say “Because they’re looking at what I’m doing.”