Earlier this month we were teased with a music video for Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul, and the internet was awash once more with fans reminiscing, making predictions and just generally getting pretty excited. Well, hold on to your hats, because Vince Gilligan has another treat in store for his incredibly loyal fans, in the form of some limited edition artwork for the Breaking Bad Blu Ray covers. And if this wasn’t enough to make you sit up and take notice, the artwork comes from none other than Ralph Steadman.
Ralph Steadman is best known for his work with Hunter S Thompson, most notably Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Apparently Vince Gilligan and Ralph Steadman are both big fans of each others’ work, which makes perfect sense when you think about it. Steadman created five portraits, all in his signature style, with each focussing on a different character from the show – Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, Saul Goodman, Gus Fring, Mike Ehrmantraut, and Hank Schraeder – one portrait for each season.
I’m probably a bit biased, because I’m already a fan of Ralph Steadman, but I think these are amazing. Steadman’s artistic style fits perfectly with the dark nature of Breaking Bad, and each portrait here seems to perfectly depict the individual characters’ personality and role in the show.
Vince Gilligan had this to say when asked about working with Steadman: “When I first floated the idea of approaching Ralph to work with us on this project, it was a bit of a pipe dream on my part. I can barely describe the combination of disbelief and giddy joy I felt when I heard he was on board to do it! Ralph is the Walter White of artists: He’s a dark genius whose output is disturbing, yet habit-forming. I am thrilled by his arrestingly bleak, visceral imaginings of our Breaking Bad characters.”
And when Steadman was asked about Breaking Bad, he said: “I watched the Breaking Bad whole series in two weeks and now suffer withdrawal symptoms. At first, I thought ‘this series is going to be all about death and desecration,’ but instead became a more complex landscape of human relationships. I hope I put something of these feelings into the portraits that I made of the characters, which were landscapes in themselves. An irony in the subject of crystal meth is how beautifully it resembles the desert sky.”
The limited edition Blu Rays won’t be available until 2nd February 2015 though, so don’t go changing your Christmas list just yet.