Most fans consider themselves lucky to get an autograph from their hero, but some book lovers get even luckier when they attend a book signing with their favorite author. A few literary luminaries are known for doodling a self portrait along with their signature when signing copies of their own work. Maurice Sendak, for instance, took the time to do a quick sketch of Mickey, the main character from his picture book In the Night Kitchen, while signing a copy of the book (above) for a fan.
The online marketplace AbeBooks.com gathered examples of these so-called “literary selfies” from famous writers like Sendak, Kurt Vonnegut, and Neil Gaiman. Here are five author self-portraits AbeBooks found in the title pages and flyleafs of signed books.
1. MAURICE SENDAK
In 1970, the Where the Wild Things Are author took the time to doodle one of his characters for a fan named Burt, adding "Mazel tov!" Lucky Burt.
2. JOHN UPDIKE
The two-time Pulitzer winner John Updike could have been a skilled caricaturist, if this drawing is any indication.
3. KURT VONNEGUT
Vonnegut was, according to Richard Davies of AbeBooks.com, so fond of doodling in his books that his drawings are considered a trademark of the Slaughterhouse-Five author's signatures.
4. GAY TALESE
This doodle-signature by New Journalism pioneer Gay Talese was signed not long after his bestselling dive into the world of a New York mafia family, Honor Thy Father, came out in 1971. Like Vonnegut, he drew himself with a cigarette hanging from his lips.
5. NEIL GAIMAN
It's not surprising that novelist Neil Gaiman would add a little artistic flair to his signature. The prolific British author, who has dabbled in short fiction, novels, movies, and comic books, added a reference to his series The Sandman above this undated self-portrait.
Check out more literary selfies here.