Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas Review


Title: Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writer:  Hunter S. Thompson (Adapted by Troy Little)

Artist:  Troy Little

Review:  ★★★★★

We’re once again in bat country and we couldn’t be happier.  Earlier this year IDW Publishing partnered with the Hunter S. Thompson Estate to bring the writer’s most popular work back to life in graphic novel form.  Artist Troy Little was tasked with recreating the work and has done a perfect job capturing the narrative we all love.

Hopefully you already are familiar with Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.  The story is based on autobiographical events from Thompson’s time working for Rolling Stone magazine as he covered two separate events with his “lawyer” Dr. Gonzo.  Autobiographical can be used loosely here as the events are a drug fueled trek through Las Vegas that no normal person could possibly live through.  Even with the embellishes that make us tear from laughter, the book still manages to capture a feeling for the age it was written as the 60’s has just recently come to a close.  It is utter insanity, but the undertones still ring true.  It is a true classic and you will not hear us say otherwise.

The story and dialogue have been taken faithfully from Thompson’s original work.  Troy Little transforms the written work into graphic form through the layouts and of course his own art, which is the biggest component of this new version.  We already knew we loved the story, it was up to Little to adapt it in a new, fascinating way.  With this he tremendously succeeds.  The pacing and paneling is phenomenal.

For Little’s actual art, it would be hard not to consider Ralph Steadman’s original psychedelic illustrations.  Little wisely does not try to replicate Steadman’s art fully.  Instead it shares the same chaotic cartoon feel that perfectly matches the story itself.  As Thompson and Gonzo are on their journey or every drug known to man, the art shifts along with it;  even the panels themselves at times start to twirl in circles on the page.  His art sticks well with the original intent that it pays homage, but becomes its own at the same time.  It is compelling in a way to make the entire story feel new and fresh.

Whether you are a long time fan of Fear and Loathing as we are or reading it for the first time, it will feel like a completely new experience.  Little’s art brings the story to life in a way that you imagine the late Hunter S. Thompson would whole heartedly approve.  It is an insane, ecstasy filled journey that has been given the proper respect it deserves with a phenomenal new presentation.

“But our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country-but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.” ― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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