Friday, September 28, 2012

10 Literary Authors Who Illustrated Their Own Work

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, and as a result, we’ve been blessed with all manner of new Hobbit-related media coming to fruition. Inspired by the recently published compendium of Tolkien’s artwork, The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, we decided to track down a few other literary authors who created illustrations for their works, whether published or unpublished. Though The Hobbit is arguably a book for children (and The Lord of the Rings trilogy even more arguably so), it gets a pass as a classic, and for the rest of this list we’ve been committed to leaving out children’s literature, picture books, and graphic novels — because that’s just too easy. Click through to see our list of ten literary authors who illustrated their own works — and since a list like this can never be complete, let us know who we missed in the comments!

J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien was not only a prodigious storyteller, but a fine illustrator as well — he drew maps and illustrations for both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, though (aside from the maps) they only appeared in some editions of the books. For a veritable treasure trove of Tolkien’s illustrations, head here.
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Kurt Vonnegut
At this point, Vonnegut is probably as well known for being a doodler as he is for being an author. The very first instance of drawing in Vonnegut’s work is the image of the locket hanging between Montana Wildhack’s breast in Slaughterhouse Five (1969), but it was his felt-tip pen drawings in Breakfast of Champions four years later that really gained him attention as an illustrator — not only were they clever (and often offensive) but they actually seemed to enhance the text. Now they are tattooed across half of America.
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