- Noted literary criminals Emma Bovary and Tom Ripley. (Courtesy The Composites)
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Brian Joseph Davis’s new Tumblr The Composites takes this pretty literally. Using descriptions of famous literary crooks and police sketch technology, The Composites attempts to show exactly what your favorite villains would look like in real life (that’s Emma Bovary and Tom Ripley, above). It’s a relatively new Tumblr, so we’re putting in a request for these 10 book baddies we’d love to see.
Ponyboy Curtis from The Outsiders: Sure you might remember C. Thomas Howell’s version of the Greaser in the 1983 film, but who wouldn’t want to see the soulful, tortured little gangster in sorta real life?
Meursault from The Stranger: The indifferent, honest, and mysterious main character from Camus’ 1942 may not have cared that Marie was in love with him, but we’d like to see why she was.
The Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist: Dickens describes the self-assured prince of the pick-pockets as “a snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy enough; and as dirty a juvenile as one would wish to see; but he had about him all the airs and manners of a man.”
Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca: The vengeful maid of a deceased mistress, Daphne Du Maurier’s antagonist tries to persuade the narrator to kill herself and even sets fire to Manderlay hall. For Downton Abbey fans, think of a psychotic version of O’brien.
Captain Ahab from Moby Dick: Whaling is so illegal. Sadly, Ahab probably doesn’t look nearly as handsome as the composite of Gregory Peck and Patrick Stewart that we always picture in our mind’s eye.
The White Witch from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: Narnia’s most formidable albino is abnormally tall and has inflicted an eternal winter on the land (without Christmas!), but somehow she is still able to charm Edmund with the aid of Turkish Delight. Even given Tilda Swinton’s formidable interpretation in the Narnia films, countless fantasy book nerds would still like to see this dictatress in the flesh.
Mr. Hyde from Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The strange elixir drunk by Dr. Henry Jekyll in the novella transforms him from a “large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty” into Mr. Edward Hyde, a small cruel and remorseless man who takes pleasure in destruction, murder, and lustful activities that were too touchy from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Victorian readership to handle.
Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmations: Sure, we all know the famous animated character, but in the book this disgraced aristocrat has black and white braided hair, tons of jewels around her neck, and of course the trademark fur coat.
The Judge from Blood Meridian: The gargantuan scalp-hunter from one of Cormac Mccarthy’s Western novels, Judge is supposedly hairless, lacking even eyebrows and eyelashes.
Grendel’s mother from Beowulf: Because there’s no way she looks like Angelina Jolie.