Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | February 18, 2012

Shout-Outs: The Composites

If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself wondering what a character from a book would look like in real life.

This is why I often find myself pretty pumped when I hear that there is a movie adaptation of one of my favorite books coming out, even if the film inevitably sucks.

Brian Joseph Davis felt the same way and has taken the guesswork out of the situation with his Tumblr, The Composites.

The site displays police sketches of famous literary characters and descriptive text from the book that was used to render each character’s image.

Here is Daisy Buchanan:

And here is The Misfit:

In an interview with The Atlantic, Davis explains what inspired him to create the Tumblr site:

The project was inspired, Davis told me, by a James Ellroy reference to “Identikits,” which rendered composite images by asking crime witnesses to pick out individual features printed on index cards. The idea of literary character description “just fell in there,” Davis says. And “I still can’t believe no one has done this before.”

The rest of the interview with The Atlantic is a good read and totally worth your time (assuming you think this is as cool as I do, that is).

I definitely recommend checking out The Composites yourself and if you’ve got a particular character you’d like to see added to the mix, you’re in luck. Davis is currently taking suggestions for future renderings.

I think I’m going to suggest Robert Flagg from The Stand and a number of other Stephen King novels.

Does anyone have a classic literary character they’d love to see added to the site?



  1. Maybe Winston Smith from “1984” (although I always picture him as John Hurt now) or Kurtz from “Heart of Darkness?” I’ll have to think on it. Very cool idea.


    • It’s tough with the characters that have already been portrayed on film. It kinda takes the fun out of it, because now you’re locked into the image of the actor.


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