When Tom Wolfe called Hunter S Thompson the “greatest American comic writer of the 20th century”, there’s no way he could have seen this coming. It’s been 44 years since Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas was first blasted into ink, and it’s now been reimagined as a graphic novel by Canadian artist Troy Little.
Thompson’s drug-twisted Vegas odyssey lends itself to the comic format. “Things can be much more plastic and malleable in this medium then in real life, which suits the story” says Little.
The comic’s been critically praised, but the jury’s out on whether Thompson himself would‘ve warmed to it. He fired director Alex Cox from the Fear And Loathing film for trying to animate a particularly righteous passage known as ‘the wave speech’. “Write your own story,” Thompson barked, “just don’t fuck with mine and make it into a cartoon.”
Little was well aware of that exchange. “I can see his concern about having his work ‘Mickey Moused’,” he says. “I was careful to stick to the source material. That said, I fully expect nothing less than a savage haunting foisted upon me.”
Originally published in Shortlist, 5 November 2015.