The Gonzovation Trilogy

There are three books in The Gonzovation Trilogy and they comprise, Extinct Boids, Nextinction and Critical Critters.


Extinct Boids by Ceri Levy and Ralph Steadman


But how did The Gonzovation Trilogy come into existence?  Ceri Levy answers this question.

Ceri Levy: Starting is necessary.

Ralph Steadman: It’s funny how things begin.

It all started with a mistake.

In 2011 when I first approached Ralph about taking part in an exhibition about extinction, a friend gave me an email for him and suggested I write to him direct and to be patient and that when I had given up hope then something may magically appear in my inbox. I sent the email complete with a brief of what was needed for the exhibition and waited. Weeks passed and then an email landed with a thud in my inbox.

It was from Ralph and said, “ I’m not sure quite what you want from me and the bird notion of yours puzzles me a little – I think WEIRRD is so much more intriguing. Man has always wanted to fly… perhaps we had wings once…” I asked if he had read the brief I had attached to my email and he replied, “Not as yet.” And then silence…

Two days later, out of the blue, Ralph phoned me. I tried to talk about the project but he was far more interested in reading me a story of his. So I lay back on my couch and listened  to his voice in my ear for the first time. Accents abounded for the different characters that we encountered during the reading. His voice, one minute Welsh, the next Liverpudlian, then gruff narrator, all swirled in my head and I knew in that moment that this was somebody I wanted to work with in whatever capacity. One drawing from him for the exhibition would mean the world to me and more importantly, to the project. When he had finished reading I explained the idea for the show. The thought of extinct birds seemed alien to him. He said that I wanted him ‘to draw creatures that don’t even exist. It’s madness really.” I suggested that what I wanted was for him to breathe life back into one. We ended our call and again I waited.

Later that day, I received an email, “I don’t know why I was doing it but I have done four birds today. Extinct too!!”

The first bird was a Japanese Egret, which doesn’t technically exist and egrets are not extinct but it’s a beautiful mistake. The next three were a Great Auk, a Moa, both definitely extinct and lastly the defunct Choiseul Crested Pigeon. We were up and running.

The next 8 years would see our relationship develop and we would write and draw into existence literally hundreds of birds, boids and critters. These have been released as three books, Extinct Boids, Nextinction and Critical Critters, which we have termed as…

The Gonzovation Trilogy