If you live vicariously though your books, you may find it maddening that it's impossible to determine exactly how an author intended your beloved characters to look. Is Humbert Humbert as creepy as his name (not to mention actions) imply, or is he "an exceptionally handsome male; slow-moving, tall…"? Was Edward Rochester swoon-worthy in spite of his "firm, grim mouth"?
Although Dickensian illustrations and Victorian film adaptations may hint at a graphic interpretation of an author's intentions, writer and artist Brian Joseph Davis has opted for a more formulaic approach. His latest project, The Composites, uses law enforcement composite sketch software and physical descriptions from novels to create haunting, and probably accurate pictures.
We have to say, Flannery O'Conner's Misfit looks deceivingly trustworthy. More so than Humbert Humbert, anyway.
As for two characters with large cult followings - Salinger's Holden Caulfield and Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout - Davis has denied reader-submitted requests for sketches.
"At a glance, the entirety of his self description amounts to 'I have a crew cut,' he writes on his Tumblr. "Ditto for Kilgore Trout, and as a Vonnegut fan I kind of knew that he had a workmanlike approach to description but I did go back and look. Please respect the authors’ stylistic choices but do keep sending in other suggestions."
Check out these police sketches of literary characters: