Author Avatar

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> Hussie: Engage in highly indulgent self-insertion into story.

Lord Byron: I’ve a couple of cantos concerning the adventures of one ‘Childe Harold.’ A manly specimen, rather passionate, who journeys to Eastern Albania. (Beat) Hobby may recognize a deal of it.
Hobhouse: Does he sigh a lot, and mope after girls?

Davies: Does he have a limp, by any chance?
Byron

A fictionalized version of an author who appears as a character in the events of the story is often called upon to comment upon the situation, deliver the author's verdict, and possibly break the Fourth Wall in a self-deprecating fashion. The author character will usually not influence the plot and may be only loosely tied to the goings-on, their appearances being quite random. The high-falutin' literary term for a character designed to express the author's preferred opinions is the raisonneur — here at All The Tropes, the preferred term is Author Avatar.

How this "random" character knows the characters and their minor issues is rarely explained within the context of the series. Very often it is stated or implied that the avatar is the narrator.

This is typically a holdover from comedic comics, in which the author of a series appears in the show in a self-mocking way. The Author Avatar sometimes appears as the Only Sane Man, though rarely as the Straight Man. Sometime names will be changed to protect the guilty.

If the Author Avatar is idealized to a fault, always gets the last word, is always shown to be right and starts correcting the world around them, then reader beware: the author has just created a Canon Sue. Given the nature of the character, the Author Avatar is often called to deliver an Author Filibuster from time to time.

The other way to go is with Self-Deprecation; the characters will use the meeting to Rage Against the Author or ask Who Writes This Crap?, or threaten him with violence, if they don't actually commit it. After all, the author put their characters though a lot in the name of drama - just imagine what Buffy the Vampire Slayer would say (or do) to Joss Whedon if she had the chance[1]

Often, the avatar will show up on product logos and random artwork within the show.

If the character has a role in the plot, see Write Who You Know and Life Embellished. When done in works, most often Fanfic, and the avatar becomes a central figure in the story, it becomes a Self-Insert Fic. It has also been done for decades in Western Comic Books since The Silver Age of Comic Books, possibly predating its Manga usage. It should not be confused with Creator Cameo since a cameo may include the creator just being in the background doing nothing or actually playing a character not meant to be them.

An old Trope of The Forties and Fifties is the "personal fallacy", the idea that everything in fiction is derived directly from Real Life. Some went as far as to state that any character that even faintly resembled the author had to be an Author Avatar or even a Mary Sue. Needless to say, this was often taken too far: see the article on Dorothy L. Sayers for a particularly Anvilicious example.

Such characters will often have Author Powers. Compare Muse Abuse, to which the Author Avatar is often both victim and perpetrator.

Examples of Author Avatar include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is about the main character going through psychological struggles which mirror the ones Hideaki Anno faced when making it. See Creator Breakdown.
  • Patalliro! In both the Anime and mangas, a chibified Mineyo Maya pops up occasionally. His amusing little avatar even got a few mangas of its own, which were actually quite funny.
  • Sailor Moon: According to Word of God, Usagi was based on her mangaka, Naoko Takeuchi—to the point that Usagi's family members share the names of Takeuchi's family.
  • Eiichiro Oda made an appearance as Odacchi in the One Piece soccer short, in which he gloriously kicks a penalty right in the keeper's hands.
    • In the SBS corners, however, his usual avatar is that of a fish-headed man, apparently a pun on his name.
  • Excel Saga has both Koshi Rikudo (the Manga author) and Nabeshin (a contraction of Shinichi Watanabe, who made the Anime based on it).
  • Mokona from Magic Knight Rayearth represents (unsurprisingly) Mokona Apapa, the lead CLAMP mangaka.
    • It's worth mentioning, though, that she's only the lead artist. Ageha Okawa is a lead scriptwriter, and her (new) name, meaning "Butterfly", obviously explains CLAMP's penchant for butterflies in their recent works.
    • She actually takes turns with Nekoi as lead artist. Basically, Mokona is the one behind the fluffy bangs and the thick eyelashes, and Nekoi is responsible for the Noodle People style.
  • Osamu Tezuka frequently inserted self-portraits into his printed material; he invariably represented himself as a tall, skinny, big-nosed, bespectacled man wearing a beret and smoking a cigarette. In the Astro Boy collections, he drew new introductory pages for almost every story, in which he would provide opening narration and insights into the process of making manga. In his Buddha comic, he actually appears as a minor character, in his Real Life capacity as a white-coat wearing medical doctor. In Vampires he's one of the characters, and when a villains is trying to kill him he points out that since he's the one drawing the series, he can't die. Probably.
  • Mattsu and Asu Tsubaki, the authors of He Is My Master, show up in heaven (as an alligator and a hamster, respectively) every time Izumi mentions God, usually to ignore her plea for help.
  • The nurikabe that appears in Mahoraba is apparently an avatar of author Kojima Akira.
  • Miho Obana makes several appearances in Kodomo no Omocha (with a single self-voiced catchphrase "I'm Obana.") and naturally she's well known to the characters for no adequately explained reasons.
    • The television series mascot Babbit is sometimes confused for an Author Avatar since he gives so much running commentary, but that's more a result of Executive Meddling producing a surprisingly funny character.
    • Meh, Obana's overt appearances are silly or humorous. Her real avatar is Sana's mother, especially in the manga.
  • Mangaka Shirow Masamune often draws himself as an octopus with a minigun for a nose.
  • Ken Akamatsu, Love Hina's mangaka, made appearances in the two Love Hina specials, which the girls in the cast commented on several times; at one point in the TV series, Keitaro Urashima works a very short time as a manga "inker" for Akamatsu. He also made an appearance in another animated adaptation of his work, Mahou Sensei Negima. His avatar is never used to voice opinions, though; he's only used as a plot device when the characters need something (like money or transportation).
    • According to what I've heard, Keitaro and Mutsumi from Love Hina are based on Akamatsu and his wife, even though the main heroine is Naru.
    • In one episode of the anime, Naru was temporarily a singer idol; possible a reference to the fact that Akamatsu's wife was a former singer idol.
  • In Doctor Slump and early issues of Dragon Ball, a small robotic man wearing a hat, with a face like a gas mask, would sometimes appear walking around in towns and villages. This was in fact the Author Avatar of mangaka Akira Toriyama.
    • Wonderfully used when Turbo, Senbei's son, goes missing.

Senbei: Turbo! Turbo! Where are you?
Dog: (barks)
Robot Toriyama: You've got business with my dog Turbo?
Cut to Senbei angrily chasing Robot Toriyama around the field.

    • Another great use of this was in the trailer for the third Dragonball Z movie. It opens with a majestic, swooping shot of...Robot Toriyama at his drawing desk.
    • Akira shows up in this version as a videogame character as well, in one secret ending of Chrono Trigger. Mask hat and glasses all present.
      • Toriyama Robot also appears as a secret character in the videogame Tobal No.1, when the player clears all the floors of the expert level dungeon in Quest Mode. Akira Toriyama was the character designer for the game.
    • In early manga and anime Doctor Slump, he is depicted as a bespectacled mechanical bird[2] holding a big pencil.
  • Johji Manabe caricatured himself and his two chief assistance as background characters in several of his stories. Most notably in Caravan Kid. "Pipe down it's just a patrol. We don't run unless the editor shows up".
  • If Nagaru Tanigawa wants to show off complex concepts in Haruhi Suzumiya, he uses Koizumi, and adds a "just kidding" at the back. If he wants to show off his general knowledge, he uses Kyon and his references.
  • Akira Toriyama's long-time friend Masakazu Katsura parodied this in his early series Wingman, where his characters would allude to a certain Mayarito-san. This is an allusion to Toriyama, only with the syllables reversed.
  • In Slam Dunk, a chibi named "Mr.T" would from time to time appear to explain basic basketball rules to the viewers. Logically, this is the Author Avatar of Takehiko Inoue.
  • In one episode, Elizabeth, an enigmatic creature/alien in the anime Gintama is revealed to be the director wearing a weird costume.
    • This is more than likely a one-off joke, however, as it isn't referenced again any time in the series after that.
      • There are actually a few references made, but out of 202 or so episodes, the number of times the identity of Elizabeth is commented on can be counted on one hand.
    • The actual mangaka is portrayed as a gorilla in a t-shirt who complains about his boring life and how all he wanted to do was become a stack of waffles...
  • Tatsuhiko Takimoto does this in throughout Welcome to The NHK. In one afterword, he notes that upon reading his novel, it reminds him so much of his earlier lifestyle that he sometimes gets the urge to scream, throw his laptop out the window and commit suicide.
  • The author of Hidamari Sketch manifests as a Metapod-lookalike named Ume-sensei.
  • Harima in School Rumble.
  • Rohan Kishibe from Part 4 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is intended to be a representation of Hirohiko Araki, the author. The character is a manga author to boot! His Stand is also very telling: he can read information on people and even write commands which they must follow, a very symbolic ability for someone who represents the author. He's also an Insufferable Genius.
    • Ironically enough, Rohan absolutely despises Josuke, whom Araki has stated to be his favorite character.
    • He eventually states in one of the covers of Steel Ball Run that he's surprised people compare him to Rohan Kishibe and are intimidated because of this. He wants to be seen as a calm and easy to approach person.
  • In the Nasuverse, Kinoko Nasu is depicted as a mushroom.
    • Punny Name: "kinoko" means "mushroom" in Japanese.
  • If you see a small cartoonish bipedal cow with glasses in Fullmetal Alchemist, you've just met Hiromu Arakawa's avatar (a reference to having grown up on a dairy farm). She appears at least once in the anime (when Scieszka goes on a tangent about aliens), and several times as alchemized weapons or items in the games. She also appears at random times in the manga, whether on a logo of some sort or just a random appearance in the background.
  • Similarly, in the manga and anime D Gray Man, a pink rabbit called Yoshi with his tongue poking out often appears in various places—sitting on Lavi's shoulder, being thrown through the air by Kanda, etc. Yoshi is the avatar for Katsura Hoshino.
    • In one of the gag comics, she reveals she's given birth to a baby...kitten.
  • Barasui, the creator of Ichigo Mashimaro, appears at the end of the first manga volume, mainly to apologize for the Art Shift and to be criticized by the main characters.
  • Eri Takenashi, the author of Kannagi appears as a blue humanoid thing twice in the anime version. Once on an information card, and the second time in a crowd of people Daitetsu scares out of the bathroom.
  • Black Dog, an H-manga mangaka, frequently appears in his work as a tiny black figure that apologizes to the audience for various things.
  • Makoto Raiku frequently appears in bonus material in the KonjikiNoGashBell manga, but he makes one memorable appearance in the anime...as God. Victoream eats a magical melon which lets God grant him one wish, and he of course wishes for another melon—which Raiku cannot grant, because he ate it already. So Victoream instead wishes for a movie to be made about him, and Raiku complies.
  • Maeda-kun (aka MAEDAX), assistant to the creator of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, makes constant appearances in said anime in the form of a censorship bubble, clock face, or oddball cutaway.
    • Koji Kumeta himself often appears as a stereotypical (probably correctly so) overworked manga artist.
  • In Keroro Gunsou, one of manga editor Aki Hinata's employees is called Yoshizaki-sensei, referring to Mine Yoshizaki (who not only created Keroro but used to work with Futari Ecchi creator Katsu Aki). This character goes on to appear onscreen several times, including one scene in the third movie where he's enthusiastically sketching Dark Keroro's flying fortress.
    • To a lesser extent, there's a one-shot character called Yoshi Minezaki, a pallid woman in office garb.
    • In the manga, Yoshizaki is represented by a "Grey" alien wearing a baseball cap.
  • In Busou Renkin, the author, Nobuhiro Watsuki, appears as a cartoony pig, and even appears for a very brief cameo in the anime, voicing himself in both the Japanese and English(!) versions.
    • A less direct example also exists in Myojin Yahiko from Rurouni Kenshin; Watsuki has admitted in interviews that Yahiko's character was based partially on what he was like when he was a kid.
  • The principal of the Yazawa Arts High School featured in both Gokinjo Monogatari and its Spin-Off Paradise Kiss is the author Ai Yazawa herself. She does appear in Gokinjo (and takes the opportunity to lampshade the huge amount of Author Appeal going on in the manga), but in the latter she only turns up in a particularly crazy Omake.
  • Shouji Kawamori, one of the creators and current mastermind behind the Macross franchise, appeared in several episodes of the recent Macross Frontier as a taciturn movie director, filming the in-universe version of Macross Zero. He was drawn in his perfect likeness except for a thick, bushy beard.
  • A variation in To LOVE-Ru: the Girl Next Door was based on illustrator Kentarou Yabuki's wife...until he found out his wife was cheating on him behind his back, which led to the abrupt cancellation of the manga. See Creator Breakdown.
  • Kagami Yoshimizu, creator of Lucky Star, depicts himself as a spherical cat with a tail. It's never shown up in the main manga, but is commonly seen in the omakes and also the anime Eyecatch.
  • In the author notes of Pokémon Special, the author is an Electrode, the first artist is a pencil-wielding, glasses-wearing Oddish, and the second artist is a Swalot. In the beginning of the Emerald arc during the Battle Frontier opening ceremony, an Electrode and a Swalot are the rental Pokémon that Lucy and Spencer fight against. (Does it say anything about the creators seeing how those two Pokémon got the shit beaten out of them?)
  • The author of the TOKYO TRIBE2 manga, Santa Inoue, appears in the anime adaption talking with two other gentlemen who are likely part of the anime staff, discussing manga scripts and whether or not the anime staff should take a hip-hop class or not. Apparently, he's so well-recognized in the TT2 universe that two of SARU's members, Kai and Gondo, refer to him as "Sensei".
  • Karakuridouji Ultimo: The character Dunstan looks eerily familiar to a certain comic book artist/legend, who just so happens to be the series' author.
    • He later made an appearance in the first episode of Heroman asking "Joey Jones" for his coffee.
  • Yoshihiro Togashi of Yu Yu Hakusho often turns up in the background of his work as goofy-looking dog, generally a stuffed toy or logo. In Hunter X Hunter he includes his wife, Naoko Takeuchi (also a manga-ka, of Sailor Moon fame) in her preferred shape as a bunny rabbit.
  • Tachibana Higuchi of Alice Academy in her volumes appears as a humanoid pig that makes a cameo from time to time.
  • The author of Kekkaishi, Yellow Tanabe, takes the form of a penguin with a Y-shaped pattern in white on her chest. She shows up near the end of every manga volume to talk about how Kekkaishi came to be and the struggles she faced while going making the universe. She appears in cameo in the anime from time to time, being seen on such things as a pouch or a packet of tissues.
  • Gosho's name (or Gosho himself) tends to pop up frequently here and there in Yaiba.
    • He also appears along with the other characters (who refuse to acknowledge him and mercilessly mock him) in the Omake. He takes part in the race with the others but get zapped by God for cheating.
  • Sai from Naruto
  • An in-universe version happens in Wandering Son. The transgender protagonist writes a gender-bender play about everyone in the world switching sexes one day. The main characters of the play are avatars for herself and her best friend.
  • Jun Mochizuki, the author of Pandora Hearts, usually manifests herself in the form of a black cat with a pink mustache. While she never cameos in the anime, she appears in the manga volumes where she muses about a variety of things.

Comics -- Books[edit | hide]

  • According to various fan theories at any rate, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen -- Black Dossier, Alan Moore rather brazenly (if in a way that's fitting, given the nature of the work) adopts William Shakespeare's Prospero to act as his Stand In, using the character to discuss Moore's theories about the nature of fiction. According to these fans, as drawn the character certainly resembles Moore...
  • Grant Morrison inserted himself as godlike character in his run on Animal Man. This character, now referred to as 'The Writer' was killed in an issue of Suicide Squad by John Ostrander (possibly as a Take That).
    • Morrison also quite obviously modeled King Mob of The Invisibles after himself, and certainly seems to believe that he and the character enjoyed some sort of mystical link, pointing to the fact that he suffered a collapsed lung during the time period when the character was recovering from a gunshot wound. Why, yes, Grant Morrison is a very strange man...
  • Jack Knight, The DCU's Starman, was blatantly and unabashedly a dual creator avatar. The first volume's introduction has a third party writer note that Jack is writer James Robinson and that he bears a strong resemblance to artist and designer Tony Harris.
  • Jim and Maggie Power, the parents of Marvel's Power Pack, are very, very thinly-disguised versions of the husband-wife writer/artist team Walter and Louise Simonson. Louise Simonson co-created the original Power Pack series.
  • Warren Ellis does this quite a bit; sometimes the avatar's a writer, sometimes not. Pete Wisdom both in Excalibur, and later in Ultimate Human. Curzon, the British detective in his run on The Mighty Thor. Spider Jerusalem in Transmetropolitan. The Wildstorm Universe has at least two: Planetary has Elijah Snow, and The Authority has Jenny Sparks.
  • Bryan Talbot has multiple facets of himself in Alice In Sunderland.
  • The Fantastic Four rented their original home base from a landlord who clearly wasn't Jack Kirby at all...
  • Stan Lee once admitted that of all his characters, he identified most with his most popular character, Spider-Man, and even that he had modeled Spidey's way of talking on his own.
    • He also mentioned in an interview that his own traits were the basis of Reed Richards' tendency to over-explain everything (and subsequently get yelled at). Now look back on all Ben and Reed's interactions in the Lee-Kirby issues of the Fantastic Four...
    • He also has an in-canon avatar called The One Above All.
    • And the far more humble Willie Lumpkin, mailman extraordinaire.
      • He even ended up portraying Willie Lumpkin in one of the Fantastic Four movies.
  • The title character of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is meant to be an author avatar of Jhonen Vasquez, even down to the part where he writes a comic ("Happy Noodle Boy"—it's quite popular with the homeless insane) whose main character is meant to be an author avatar of the author avatar.
    • Actually, Jhonen has debunked claims of this many times, including several Take That strips targeted at people who believe this.
      • To be fair, the fact that it's Jhonen writing about Johnny, not to mention all the social commentary, could be part of why attempts to dispel this belief have been mostly unsuccessful. The fact that Johnny was also implied to be a former artist whose sanity decayed with his abilities does not help either.
      • The character Devi is probably closer to this. The stuff she goes through with NERVE is supposed to be similar to the way he felt while working at Nickelodeon.
  • In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Morpheus can change his shape as he likes, but he usually walks around looking like a tall, thin, pale man with messy, longish black hair, and he shows a preference for wearing black leather jackets and boots. Which also rather nicely describes Gaiman himself. He also calls himself "Prince of Stories" etc., appropriate for an avatar who tells stories (especially surreal, nightmarish ones) for a living.
    • It's probably not deliberate on the part of Neil, as he's quite different from the character in terms of personality.
  • In the DC Elseworlds miniseries JLA: Act of God (where all powered heroes lose their abilities in what is essentially a 3-part love letter to Batman), it becomes quite blatant that the Martian Manhunter is an avatar for author Doug Moench. He rants about how the heroes "deserved" to lose their powers, even himself (despite technically not having powers at all since his abilities are natural functions of his race), then raves about the coolness of all things Batman.
  • Shade the Changing Man: Shade reflected Milligan's own sense of cultural alienation in America.
  • Steve Gerber used perpetual loser Richard Rory in several works, including Man-Thing and Omega the Unknown.
    • Also bearing a strong resemblance to Gerber is Paul Same, the introverted artist neighbor from Howard the Duck.
  • Judd Winick may have done this with Max Lord in the beginning of Justice League: Generation Lost #15. Lord's plan includes killing Wonder Woman and turning the Amazons against the world, starting a human-vs-metahuman war. However, this is impossible due to the complete rewrite of Wonder Woman's character and backstory at the hands of J. Michael Straczynski. It's easy to see Lord's ranting in this issue and picture Winick's frustration as to how the hell he's supposed to make this story work now.
  • Fanhunter's author, Cels Piñol, appears on the comics as Cels Denbrough, a fanpire (sort of a living dead who eats comics, movies and so, given that he hasn't read/watched them previously). Kicks as much butt and is as butt-kicked as every other character, and though he's one of the protagonists, he doesn't uses to steal the spotlight.
  • According to Steve Moncuse, Inspector Gill of Fish Police is heavily based on himself.


Comics -- Newspaper[edit | hide]

  • Garfield: Jim Davis has stated that Jon Arbuckle was himself. Whenever it's Jim Davis's birthday, there's always a strip about Jon's birthday on the same day. (Garfield's birthday, of course, is the anniversary of the strip's premiere.)
    • In about two comic strips, a character who resembled Jim Davis appeared.
  • Peanuts: Charles Schulz stated many times that he saw Charlie Brown as a miniature version of himself.
    • There was so much publicity about this (an early Schulz bio was titled Charlie Brown and Charlie Schulz) that it became a major part of Peanuts' identity, but Schulz also admitted that the other major characters were reflections of him as well. Snoopy was his adventurous side, Linus was his intellectual side, Lucy was his negative side, Schroeder reflected his love of music, Peppermint Patty reflected his love of sports, and so on.
  • The title character in Cathy is basically a stand-in for creator Cathy Guisewite.
  • Elly Patterson, in For Better or For Worse.
    • In fact, the entire Patterson family was modeled after the Johnston family, with each character's first name being the middle name of their real life counterpart—except Elly, who was named after a childhood friend of Lynn Johnston who died at a young age.
  • Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine appears from time to time in his cartoons, often to get yelled at by his characters.
    • During a brief arc where Darby Conley and Pastis collaborated on a gag, Conley appears in one or two Get Fuzzy strips where Pastis tries to peaceably get Conley to cease and desist his blatant ripping off of the day's Pearls Before Swine strips. He looks a bit like Rob, but distinct enough that you can tell you're looking at someone else; he portrays himself as an arrogant jerk who forgets Pastis' name as soon as he's done lying through his teeth at him.
  • Amos from Nine Chickweed Lane is basically the strip's author with the serial numbers filed off. Did I mention that Amos is a dorky cello player who gets laid a lot?
    • This becomes Nightmare Fuel when you incorporate his admission that Edda is based on his daughter.
  • Frank Cho appears in Liberty Meadows as Frank the nerdy vet a chimp in a sweater.
  • Bill Watterson described all of the characters appearing in Calvin and Hobbes as being "half me", although this was arguably subtle enough that few people noticed until Watterson actually came out and said it.
    • Calvin's dad, who's based on Watterson's dad, looks a lot like Watterson himself (except Watterson has a mustache). One-shot character Uncle Max also looked like the author, only this time missing the glasses instead of the facial hair.
  • The title character of Frazz is into triathlons, and is particularly good at biking and bad at swimming. Which sounds remarkably like his cartoonist, Jef Mallett, except Frazz has better hair.
  • In Overboard, the author (who apparently lives on the ship with the rest of the pirates) appears as a nondescript man seated at a comicker's desk. The cast occasionally come over to complain about a plot element or attempt to convince him to write something in for them.
  • In Dilbert, creator Scott Adams spends a couple strips "trapped" in his own creation.


Fan Fiction[edit | hide]

  • In The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-Earth, Miss Cam is a stand-in for Camilla Sandman.
  • The Incredibles: Rise of the Galeforces gives us one of the few Author Avatars who actually influences the plot. See that teenage boy over there in the corner? The one who is eventually revealed to be Stratogale's half brother by way of Aperture Science and Technology? That's basically the author with the ability to transform into a genetically engineered Ptero-Soarer.
    • Hell, Deviant ART is quite fond of Author Avatars for fandoms in general (hey, it IS first and foremost an art website afterall), to the extent that no fandom for ANY franchise is complete without then.
  • Hypnos Technicion and agent of the Triad, Daneel Randt from the Tamers Forever Series, although he's a rare example of a Self Insert that doesn't hog the spotlight and rather, serves as more of a Mr. Exposition character
  • From Magica Madoka Veneficus Puella comes EnBey. He is a major factor in the universe's backstory, as he was the one who initiated the Incubators' civil war in the first place.
  • 111SAMUSRIDLEY4EVA2006 included herself as a character in her story Metroid High School. Without changing the name in any way.

One day Samus and Ridley and her frends Ted, Mandy, Robbie, 111SAMUSRIDLEY4EVA2006, Helen, and Tio Juan were at a sleepover.


Films[edit | hide]

  • Stan Lee, in all the Marvel films based on characters he created (so not The Punisher, Ghost Rider, or X Men Origins Wolverine). His role is becoming increasingly larger, and is something of an Easter Egg for fans. For example; in one of his earliest, he was a guy pulling a kid out of the way of falling debris in Spider-Man. Now, he's seen, very clearly, drinking poisoned soda in The Incredible Hulk, telling Peter Parker that he's made a difference in Spider-Man 3, and being mistaken for Hugh Hefner in Iron Man.
    • Stan Lee found himself in Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer, trying to get into the wedding but the doorman not believing he was really Stan Lee.
      • Which was inspired by the comics version of the wedding from Fantastic Four Annual #3, where Stan and Jack Kirby were thrown out of the wedding.
    • Stan Lee also wrote a special comic in which he appeared alongside with the main Marvel heroes and each one of them expressed dislike for him. You have to admit, Stan the Man's great at poking fun at himself.
    • In an episode of the animated series of Spider-Man, Spider-Man travels to a parallel universe and hangs out with Stan Lee for a few minutes, taking him webslinging (something Stan admitted to always wanting to try).
  • Alfred Hitchcock used to famously turn up in his films in cameos. He even guiltily looks at the camera in Marnie.
  • Kevin Smith largely avoids this in his own movies, appearing as Silent Bob...until the very end, when he either has a huge hand in resolving the plot or delivers a critical bit of wisdom in one of his few speaking lines.
    • Dogma is his character's least invasive role, where he utters maybe five words the entire movie, though he does still help out with Jay a fair bit.

Silent Bob: No tickets!

    • Smith apparently wrote the role of Randal in the first Clerks movie for himself, but when he had difficulty memorizing all the lines, he decided to cast Jeff Anderson as Randal and became Silent Bob.
    • Oddly, he acted more like his Real Life self in the movie Vulgar, which he neither wrote nor directed.
    • Kevin Smith's "Silent Bob" moment in which he possibly comes the VERY closest to ever being the real Kevin Smith was during the climax of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, in which he launches into a shockingly knowledgeable diatribe about the legal transference rights of intellectual properties.
  • In Aladdin, those two guys have John Muskers and Ron Clements faces.
  • One gets the sense that Tim Burton is the main character in many of his own movies. Maybe the most obvious was Edward Scissorhands, whose main character was a messy-haired Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette with a macabre look about him who had trouble fitting in. This goes double if played by Johnny Depp- one Hollywood producer explained that "Basically, Johnny Depp is playing Tim Burton in all his movies." Depp actually agreed.
  • Adaptation invokes this in one of the many ways in recurses in on itself.
  • Quite common in Woody Allen's films. Even among the films Allen doesn't act in.
    • Deconstructing Harry is built on the interaction between the writer protagonist (played by Allen) and several characters from his fictional pieces, including one ("Ken") who states he's a "thinly disguised version of you".
  • David Cronenberg's adaptation of Naked Lunch and Steven Soderbergh's Kafka feature thoroughly fictionalized versions of William S. Burroughs and Franz Kafka respectively as their protagonists, while combining elements from both their lives and their works.
  • M. Night Shyamalan has cast himself in very small speaking roles in all of his films for simple Creator Cameos but then in Lady in the Water, Shyamalan cast himself as a writer whose work would "change the world"—a part coming much too close to a Marty Stu for many viewers.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Franz Kafka to the extent that it's easy to identify characters from his own life in his work, and picture every Butt Monkey protagonist as him.
  • The authors of the Left Behind series are terrible about this, as they combine very obvious author avatars in the heroes (Rayford Steele for Tim LaHaye and Buck Williams for Jerry Jenkins) with raging Canon Sue complexes. This gets really, really hilarious when the authors get things blatantly wrong due to their limited understanding of reality (Williams, supposedly "really physically fit", is about ready to pass out after a two mile walk through the streets of New York - something that the overweight Jenkins probably would find uncomfortable).
  • Many of Jorge Luis Borges' short stories--"The Zahir," "The Aleph," and "Ulrikke," for instance—feature a "Borges" as the narrator and the protagonist. In "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbius Tertius" (where the narrator is not named) Borges' friend Adolfo Bioy Casares appears as a supporting character. Two different stories--"Borges and I" and "The Other"—are about meetings between older and younger versions of Borges. In the first, the younger Borges is the narrator; in the second (written much later), it's the older one.
    • The narrator in "Borges and I" is never identified. He can also be interpreted as Borges's inner personality, as opposed to the persona he uses to interact with others, or simply a different aspect of his mind.
  • Older Than Print: Chaucer shows up as one of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales, and is the only one to get two stories out. The first is horrible, the second is applauded.
  • Agatha Christie used the character of mystery writer Ariadne Oliver as an Author Avatar in several of her novels. Oliver's comments about her detective creation, a vegetarian Finn, give some interesting insight into how Christie felt about Hercule Poirot.
  • Dante put himself explicity into his Divine Comedy as the main character.
  • Johannes Kepler wrote a story about a student of Tycho Brahe travelling to the moon called the Somnium. Kepler himself was a student of Tycho Brahe.
  • In Leo Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina, the character of Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin is an Author Avatar: Tolstoy and his wife courted using the "letters game" that Levin and Kitty used in the novel. Also, Levin's musings on philosophy reflects Tolstoy's own internal debates at the time, and his idea of economic reforms that could be enacted to improve the Russian Empire's agricultural efficiencies were those suggested by Levin.
    • Just about any work by Tolstoy will have one. He has two in War and Peace.
  • Robert A. Heinlein has at least one of these in every book he ever wrote. Notables include Professor Bernardo de la Paz in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress; Johnnie's history and moral philosophy professor, Jean Dubois, in Starship Troopers, Jubal Harshaw in Stranger in A Strange Land and Lazarus Long by whichever name he's currently using, particularly in Time Enough for Love.
    • Critics allege that practically every Heinlein protagonist falls into one of three categories: Heinlein, naive-younger-Heinlein, or cynical-older-Heinlein. This works, as long as you're willing to ignore a few major personality differences in each case (e.g. Heinlein's optimistic patriotism vs Lazarus' pessimistic self interest).
    • And in at least one short story: -- —And He Built a Crooked House—, where Heinlein is briefly mentioned as the "Hermit of Hollywood".
      • One troper met him once in the late 1970s and asked him of any character in any of his stories was really him. His reply? "Igli" (from Glory Road).
  • Gringoire in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man and a major character in Ulysses, is a rather obvious Author Avatar—just look at book's title.
  • Randolph Carter is most certainly a stand-in for HP Lovecraft. Likewise Charles Dexter Ward from "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" (who has a "long face" enjoys "rambling walks" and walks with a "slight stoop") and the ghoul in "The Outsider" are probably the author in various guises.
  • Ayn Rand admitted that Dominique Francon in The Fountainhead was her Author Avatar.
  • After Dorothy L. Sayers' love affair with novelist John Cournos went awry (he'd wanted her to live with him without marriage, claiming a belief in free love, and revealed later that he was just testing her and wanted to marry her after all), she wrote a version of the affair into her successful mystery series featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. The novel Strong Poison features Sayers' avatar, Harriet Vane, on trial for the murder of the poet Philip Boyes, and Wimsey falling in love with her and setting out to prove her innocence. The next several books feature Wimsey's persistent courtship of Harriet, and in Gaudy Night she finally agrees to marry him, and the final book, Busman's Honeymoon, features the two solving a murder on their honeymoon.
    • Sayers herself always denied the identification; when she once received a letter inquiring the name of the book in which Lord Peter had saved her from being hanged, she answered, somewhat severely, "Lord Peter has never rescued me from anything that I know of -- except by selling sufficiently well to release me from being a wage-earner."
      • She denied it for many reasons, but the main one was the contemporary theory that if Harriet Vane was an Author Avatar, then Sayers herself must be a pathetic dried-up old prude and/or lesbian who created Vane so she could vicariously "marry" Lord Peter without having to deal with tiresome sex with a real-life man (lesbianism was seen at the time as a rejection of sex, since sex was naturally all about men).
  • Werther, the main character of the epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, serves as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's author avatar. Except for the suicide, which was in fact based on the life of one of Goethe's friends.
    • Later in life, Goethe actually tried to distance himself from the book—he had grown to dislike his earlier romanticism, and was embarrassed about the way he'd publicized his young love for Charlotte. To his ire, it remained one of his best-known works.
  • The nameless narrator of the original The War of the Worlds is HG Wells with the serial numbers filed off.
  • Oscar Wilde, not wanting to be simple about it, is all three of the leads in The Picture of Dorian Gray, or so he claimed.
  • Sal Paradise from Jack Kerouac's On The Road.
    • In the "scroll" draft of the book, all the characters corresponded to Kerouac's real life colleagues. For example, Neal Cassady became Dean Moriarty; Allen Ginsberg became Carlo Marx.
  • Word of God has it that Faramir is JRR Tolkien's avatar in Lord of the Rings.
    • Beren from The Silmarillion is also his author avater. That name is even inscribed on his tombstone! And "Lúthien" is inscribed on the tombstone of his wife, Edith. According to him, the story of Beren and Lúthien was their story. (Clearly, he embellished it somewhat.)
  • Esther Greenwood, the protagonist of The Bell Jar, is Sylvia Plath. Essentially every aspect of Esther from her appearance, talent for writing, bad luck with hypocrite boyfriends to her mental breakdown, suicide attempts, and subsequent hospitalization can be traced back to Plath herself in some way.
    • Which takes a deliciously meta twist when Esther starts a draft of an account of her experiences, which is obviously The Bell Jar in a nascent form.
  • A particularly dismal example shows up in Moscow Petushki. Despite all the comedy, it's depressing when you realize that the real-life Venedikt Erofeev was, like the fictional one, living a miserable life that was unlikely to get better anytime soon.
  • The protagonist of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is actually named Raoul Duke, not Hunter S. Thompson...
    • Actually the name IS Thompson. Shown when he receives the letter for Hunter S. Thompson. Duke was just a fake name he used.
      • Raoul Duke is a character Thompson created and used all throughout his work. Duke is the person behind the Sports Desk, representing the Sports Journalist in Thompson. There are various Thompson articles written out of the perspective of Duke or articles in which Thompson references the person Raoul Duke and his actions. Of course the reader knows that Thompson and Duke are in fact one and the same person, and Thompson plays with that without ever openly admitting it is so, for example with the message from Thompson to Duke. Anyway, the protagonist of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is clearly Duke, not Thompson.
  • Michael Moorcock appears as his own great-grandfather in the first two books of the 'Nomad of the Time Streams' sequence of novels (The Warlord of the Air and The Land Leviathan), and as himself in the third (The Steel Tsar).
  • The Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer has as a recurring character Peter Jairus Frigate (note the initials), who is, of course, a writer of science fiction. Likewise, Farmer's World of Tiers series has a recurring character named Paul Janus Finnegan.
  • Author Clive Cussler makes appearances in most Dirk Pitt novels. The character usually has something named Periwinkle with him (a boat, a car, or in one case a donkey) and tends to act as a very small Deus Ex Machina to get Dirk out of whatever jam he's currently in (typically by simply providing him with transportation from point A to point B.) He'll often dole out small bits of wisdom, advice or insight as well. No matter how many times Dirk meets him Clive always seems familiar but Dirk fails to place him.
    • The funny part is that Dirk Pitt is already a Marty Stu.
  • Author W.P. Kinsella wrote a fictionalized version of himself (named "Ray") as the protagonist of his novel Shoeless Joe (better known in its film adaptation, Field of Dreams).
  • Jeanette Winterson's novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, in which the narrator is named Jeanette, has a lot of autobiographical elements.
  • Ray Bradbury does this in three of his books—the unnamed narrator of Death is a Lonely Business, A Graveyard for Lunatics, and Let's All Kill Constance is almost certainly him. He's not the driving force behind the action, and is really just there to get it all down on paper.
  • Mark Twain's fantasy story "The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut" is narrated by a character who is clearly Mark Twain himself. "The Man Who Split in Twain" is a 1986 science-fiction story by F. Gwynplaine Macintyre, narrated by a science-fiction writer named F. Gwynplaine Macintyre who meets Mark Twain. In a meta-twist within this story, Macintyre reads Twain's story "The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime..." and he denounces Twain's vanity for making himself his story's protagonist, with Macintyre ironically failing to notice that he has done the same thing in his own story.
  • Diana Tregarde, the occult detective heroine of three Mercedes Lackey novels: Burning Water, Children of the Night and Jinx High. Played straight in that Diana is, like Lackey, a novelist (though of romance novels rather than fantasy), a practicing neopagan, has delivered more than one Author Tract on behalf of Lackey's philosophy, and shares (according to reports) many of Lackey's own personality traits; subverted, ironically, by real life, in that Lackey found herself so often having to insist to fans with a less-than-firm grasp of reality that she herself was not a magically powerful occult guardian who fought hidden supernatural menaces that it contributed to her eventually abandoning the series. (The primary reason she moved on was simply that the books weren't making very much money, but the fan weirdness certainly influenced the decision.)
    • Lackey is quite fond of this trope, actually; the most notable other example is Herald-Chronicler Myste from the Heralds of Valdemar (a little more obvious when you know that Mercedes Lackey's nickname is "Misty").
  • The main character in The Great Divorce by CS Lewis is a stand-in for Lewis (or perhaps what Lewis would have been, in his own estimation, if he had remained an apostate), and even shares some autobiographical details.
    • Lewis appears as himself, more or less, in the opening chapter of Perelandra, the middle book of his Space Trilogy, and in the disputed "Dark Tower" fragment. (One faction believes "The Dark Tower," published posthumously, wasn't actually written by Lewis.)
    • He also appears, more briefly, in the other two books of the Space Trilogy. In "Out of the Silent Planet," he describes how he learned of Ransom's adventures when he contacted Ransom to ask a philological question. In "That Hideous Strength," he describes his visit to the scene of the story, before the plot began.
    • Digory Kirke in The Magician's Nephew, who grows up to become Professor Kirke in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, is Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia. He nearly loses his mother to cancer as a pre-teen (Lewis's own mother died of cancer when he was ten years old), he gets to be present at the creation of Narnia, and in later life he owns the wardrobe that lets children into Narnia (the wardrobe in the books was inspired by the wardrobe in Lewis's study during the time when he was writing the novels). Kirke was also based partly (in both name and personality) on Lewis's own tutor Kirkpatrick, and serves as a vehicle for Lewis to shoehorn in a version of his own Trilemma.
  • Robert Rankin has inserted himself in at least one of the Pooley/O'Malley books, writing in a bar, with the characters complaining about him; in other books there are characters that darkly refer to "Rankin" in poking fun at his shameless Running Gags. Then again, considering the fact that his books have thoroughly demolished the fourth wall, it's actually an indication of his restraint in not doing it more often.
  • In Eric, the description of the Creator of the Discworld is described as a little rat-faced man with a put-upon voice made for complaining. It is strongly implied that the Creator's physical appearance is a reference to Terry Pratchett himself, and he is a self-parody of Pratchett's own act of creation in writing the novels.
  • Hermione from the Harry Potter books is, by JK Rowling's own admission, an exaggeration of herself when she was younger. Rowling says she was a bit of an Insufferable Genius in her younger days but gradually mellowed out, much as Hermione does over the course of the series (this may be why, of all the young performers in the Potter movies, Rowling is closest to Emma Watson).
    • Rowling has admitted that each of the three main characters are aspects of herself.
  • Inheritance Cycle: by the author's own admission, series protagonist Eragon was initially written as a reflection of himself doing the things he would like to do, but Eragon has become more of his own character as the series has progressed.
  • Bella Swan in Twilight.
    • Also Melanie Stryder in her second novel, The Host. She just spoonerized the name.
  • Douglas Coupland plays a part in his novel jPod, in which all the main characters are fans of his earlier works. As it turns out, he's a "sociopathic shit" who steals the main character's friends and colleagues (even his mom), and tricks him into handing over his laptop on which the entire novel is based, spam mail, porn collection, and other stuff included.
  • Spider Robinson's narrator Jake Stonebender from the Callahan's stories is admittedly himself; the cover art for the Callahan collections frequently features Jake among the other characters, always drawn as a portrait of Spider.
  • P. Frank Winslow in F Paul Wilson's "Repairman Jack" novel Bloodline. Amusingly, Winslow has a character called Jake Fixx to reflect Wilson's Repairman Jack....O.K, the recursion is starting to hurt.
  • Possibly (according to several fan theories) Pseudonymous Bosch in The Name of This Book Is Secret and If You're Reading This, It's Too Late.
    • Basically proven in the fourth book, when Max-Ernest sees himself in the mirror as the author...kind of. He also likes chocolate as much as him, so...yeah.
  • Children's picture book We're Off To Look For Aliens contains an obvious Author Stand In who writes a Book Within A Book that you can actually read, as it's physically a Book Within A Book featuring an obvious Author Stand In. In a Twist Ending, the Book Within A Book is a true story.
  • Robert Asprin's novels Dragons Wild and Dragons Luck are mostly set in the French Quarter of New Orleans (where Asprin lived in real life), and feature brief but ongoing cameos by a Cool and Mysterious Badass nicknamed (sigh) "Maestro" who is blatantly modeled on Asprin himself. Then, in Asprin's (more-or-less) last published novel NO Quarter, Maestro becomes one of the main characters.
  • Kurt Vonnegut invented a sci-fi author character, Kilgore Trout, who was originally based on another real person, but later developed into his own avatar for purposes of self-deprecation...or self-abuse.
    • Vonnegut also appears directly in Breakfast of Champions, where he tries to free his characters from his writing while still writing their lives in real time. He personally apologizes to Kilgore Trout on this occasion.
      • And there's Slaughterhouse-Five, which also has himself as a (very minor) character. Justified in that the novel is loosely based on his own experiences in WWII.
  • The character Grigoriy Aleksandrovich Pechorin in Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time fits this trope perfectly. So much so that, much like Pechorin, Lermontov had an obsession with dueling—which ultimately lead to his death.
  • Multatuli's novel Max Havelaar actually has multiple, which the author admits in a fourth-wall breaking monologue near the end.
  • Max Frei in Labyrinths of Echo fulfills a sort of unholy trinity. He's named after the author's pen name, he's far more powerful than the other characters, and he becomes popular rather than staying the friendless nerd he used to be. The funny thing is that this series is really popular in Russia.
    • Not sure why it's funny for a Russian series written by a Russian author for Russian readers to be popular in Russia. I'd also dispute it as an Author Avatar example, the character is not named after the pen name, but rather the books are presented a fictional autobiography. The last book in the original series explains to the readers why it was necessary that they should read it and love it.
  • A.P. (Alan Patrick) Herbert's "Albert Haddock", defendant in numerous preposterous law cases in Misleading Cases In The Common Law. According to Herbert, Haddock's middle name was probably Percival.
  • Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker has been claimed to be a self-portrait by the author ETA Hoffmann.
  • Louis in the Wayside School series.
  • Most novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs have a Framing Device where a character who is obviously Burroughs is visited by a character (such as John Carter) who tells them the main story of the novel. Oddly, while the framing character does seem to be Edgar Rice Burroughs (he lives in Tarzana and sometime characters allude to previous books he has published) some of his biographical details are slightly different, he grew up in the antebellum South rather than Chicago and he has been on giant hunting safaris and other huge adventures the real Burroughs rarely had.
  • Stephen King does this in The Dark Tower books. He writes himself in a warts-and-all snapshot of his life, including his alcoholism and his now-famours car crash injury. The main characters of the books rescue him after the accident, convince him to quit drinking and basically convince him he's God.
    • On the other hand, while the characters have to save him to ensure that their story gets finished, it's clear that they aren't obligated to like him.
    • They didn't really convince him that he was God. He got that idea after the first time they visited. By the second time, when they rescue him from the car crash, he has realized that he's not God, but rather the person that God decided to speak through to tell the story.
    • In general, King is really fond of authors as main characters. The main character of "Misery" has written a long series of popular genre-novels (historical romance, rather than horror), but wants to write more "serious" fiction, and is kidnapped by an obsessed fan. More egregiously, the hero of "It" is a successful horror writer, whose novel is being made into a movie, with some flashbacks to explain how thoroughly his success proves wrong his snobby, pretentious writing professor, who sneered at all that genre stuff. The relationship between character and author in "Misery" is really interesting; in "It" it's just an embarrassment. Interestingly enough, the protagonist of 1408 writes nonfiction "scary" books, all about supposedly haunted hotels, and the hotel manager comments on how cynical his work seems.
    • And let's not forget Jack Torrance in The Shining, whom, in On Writing, King admitted was a self-insertion (although he didn't realize this till after he'd written it).
    • A whole folder here could be devoted to Stephen King's author avatars. One of his more interesting variations is The Tommyknockers, where both the male and female leads are authors with similarities to their creator (he's an alcoholic, she's a successful writer of genre fiction).
    • In The Dark Half we have Thad Beaumont, to an extent. King has written (and still does, occasionally) under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, and he treats Bachman like a separate person, even giving him a separate biography in Bachman novels. He wrote The Dark Half partly to explore that idea in a literal sense.
    • Which makes the fate of the character who 'outs' Thad in The Dark Half a particularly obvious bit of score-settling on King's part.
  • The protagonists of many of L. E. Modesitt, Jr's science fiction novels are often conspicuously alike (if still well-written): ex-military (usually Spec Ops) men in their 30s and 40s who went on to study economics, sociology, or marketing (usually some semi-futuristic version of one or more of those), often with a doctorate, with strong ideas about social justice and often environmentalism. They then get thrown into situations and calamities that require both brains and brawn to solve, their field of specialization being the key to figure out who to hurt. Oh, and hey, Modesitt is ex-Navy and has worked as a market researcher and as an environmental consultant and...hey, wait a minute...
  • Philip K. Dick narrates as himself in the novel VALIS and its posthumously-published predecessor Radio Free Albemuth, both of which are based around the strange visions he himself had in early 1974 which he believed may have been from God. In both novels, however, the visions happen to a separate Author Avatar character (Horselover Fat in VALIS, and Nicholas Brady in Radio Free Albemuth) rather than to Dick himself.
    • Another Valis character, Philip Dick, probably deserves a mention.
  • Douglas Hofstadter inserted himself into his final dialogue in Godel, Escher, & Bach. Given the odd events his characters go through in every dialogue, meeting their own author barely provokes a reaction. The non-fiction inside is even more of a Mind Screw than the dialogues.
  • According to some sources, the Dodo in Alice in Wonderland (Charles Dodgson had a stutter, and would introduce himself as "Do-do-dodgson") and the White Knight in Through The Looking Glass.
    • Other sources point out that Dodgson actually stammered, and so would not have repeated syllables.
  • The protagonists in Ernest Hemingway's war novels: Robert Jordan in For Whom the Bell Tolls; Frederic Henry in A Farewell to Arms
    • Hemingway is an inversion of this: He did his very best to equal or better the achievements of every single one of his male leads. He outfished The Old Man and the Sea, for starters.
  • The Dogs of War has the Corrupt Corporate Executive consult a journalist known for his knowledge of African mercenaries while planning the coup. He's never named, but it's clearly Frederick Forsyth, freshly back from the Nigerian Civil War.
  • I, Lucifer by Glenn Duncan has failing writer Declan Gunn, who's body is given to Lucifer to live as a mortal for trail run.
  • In several of Philip Roth's novels, Nathan Zuckerman is a stand-in for the author; in "The Plot Against America," the narrator is actually an American Jew named Philip Roth, growing up when and where Roth did, albeit in an alternate universe. Zuckerman also narrates American Pastoral.
  • Michael Crichton does this on occasion. Ian Malcolm seemed to serve as his mouthpiece for the middle and end of Jurassic Park.
  • There's a meta-example in Jim Springman and the Realm of Glory. When the protagonists' entire town gets absorbed into a fantasy book, one of their ideas is to contact the author by finding her Author Avatar. Turn's out her avatar's the villain, not the hero like they'd suspected.
  • Chris Elliot's (Yes, David Letterman's Butt Monkey and Cabin Boy star Chris Elliott) historical crime novel Shroud of the Thwacker, the author skips past any pretense, and presents a buffoonish modern version of himself as the main character. Solving crimes in 1850. Also Yoko Ono turns out to be the evil genius behind it all.
  • Mark appears in his own gospel as a man who got his cloak ripped off and ran away naked from the soldiers who arrested Jesus—at least that's what some literary scholars believe. There are multiple and varied opinions about the character in question.
  • It's never stated in the stories, but Isaac Asimov has said that the narrator in his Azazel short stories is meant to be himself. Though all he does in the stories is get insulted by and act as Straight Man to the man whose stories he's reporting.
    • In Murder at the ABA, the First person narrator (Darius Just) breaks the Fouth Wall to meet Isaac Asimov. Apparently, he considers himself something of an arrogant Know-it-all.
  • The protagonist and narrator of Bret Easton Ellis's Lunar Park is a fictionalized suburbanite version of himself, cleverly named...uh, Bret Easton Ellis. He fears characters from his books are coming to life and murdering people. Naturally, it's completely fucked up. Could also qualify as As Himself.
  • Some people think the character of Slim from Of Mice and Men is John Steinbeck. It's a logical conclusion: He's God-like, helps move the plot on, and, of course, is nice. However, he is not a main plot point, more a device to explain what Lennie is like and help provide key Chekhov's Guns to the plot, thus avoiding straying into Marty Stu territory.
  • Jason Nazry appears in Unda Vosari - the first name of the character being the middle name of the author, and the last name being an archaic pronunciation of his last name.
  • Tre is, for nearly all intents and purposes, Lyle Terry. He realizes this in the third act and quickly starts to get irritated with it.
  • The Millennium Trilogy features the intrepid 40-something Stockholm journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who writes for Millennium magazine, which is dedicated to anti-fascism and exposing political corruption. The books were written by 40-something Stockholm journalist and author Stieg Larsson, who edited the anti-fascist campaigning magazine Expo.
  • Many Salman Rushdie characters share aspects of his personality and upbringing. The most blatant is probably Saleem Sinai, the main character of ' Midnight's Children' '. Saleem and Salman are both Indians of Kashmiri Muslim descent with younger sisters formerly called "the Brass Monkey", latest wives named Padma, and prominent noses.
  • LM Montgomery admitted that the protagonist of the Emily of New Moon series was pretty much based on her, saying "People were never right in saying I was Anne. But in some respects, they will be right if they write me down as Emily". Unfortunately, this means that Emily's glossy locks, purple eyes, literary genius, string of hopeless suitors and psychic powers moves her towards Canon Sue territory.
  • Lightweight political thriller author Steve Martini, a former attorney, writes a series starring Paul Madriani, an attorney.
  • Don Quixote: Cervantes dedicates some chapters of the first part of the novel to “The story of the Captive Captain”, Ruy Pérez de Viedma, a Spanish captain who was prisoner of the Moors. Curiously, this man, like the Priest, claims to know some guy called “de Saavedra”.
  • Gilbert and Patrick Hays, the authors of Of Snail Slime act as the main characters, and are cast as an idiotic tumor and a genius megalomaniac respectively.
  • In An Elegy for the Still-living Jeremy Reinertson appears briefly to retrieve an umbrella, tell Francis a story, and generally wreak havoc with the fourth wall.
  • The Railway Series: The minor character referred to in the books only as "The thin clergyman" is in fact the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, author of the series. His companion, the fat clergyman, is Wilbert's friend the Rev. Teddy Boston.
  • Skeeter in The Help is a blatant stand-in for the author, Kathryn Stockett. Kathryn Stockett wrote this book to discuss the plight of black maids in 1960s Missisippi. The book is about a white woman in the 1960s who writes a book (called The Help as well) about the plight of black maids in a Mississippi.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Myra Rutledge and, later, Countess Anne "Annie" Ryland de Silva are almost certainly avatars of the author herself, due to them being at least middle-aged, owning dogs on Myra's part, both of them having a lot of money (Annie has more money than Bill Gates, which is ridiculous, considering that Microsoft makes 90 billion dollars a year), and both of them seeing ghosts. One book in the series features a one-shot character named Marble Rose, who explains that her name comes from an imaginary friend she had, which is based off of the author herself and how she got her name!
  • W. Somerset Maugham includes himself as a minor character in his novel The Razor's Edge.
  • Roger, a guard in Castle Amber, and amateur author is likely to be Roger Zelazny writing himself into his novel. Corwin describes Roger as lean, cadaverous, pipe-smoking, and grinning, a description that would fit the author. Roger says that he is writing a "philosophical romance shot through with elements of horror and morbidity," and that he composes the "horror" portions while on duty in the dungeon.
  • The naked man who saw Jesus' arrest was probably Mark himself.
  • My Name Is Red has author Orhan Pamuk and his older brother Shevket appearing as minor characters. So too does his mother, Shekure, who's one of the most important characters.
  • The Golden Ass is a novel by Lucius Apuleius, about a man named...oh wait....Lucius Apuleius.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • J. Michael Straczynski appeared in the final episode of Babylon 5, as the janitor cleaning the station and turning the lights off for the last time.
  • Bill Lawrence is the janitor who tears down J.D.'s goodbye sign and gets the last word in the Scrubs finale.
    • He also appears a few episodes earlier as the person who marries The Janitor to Lady, complete with a "We are gathered here in the presence of The Creator" line.
  • Ron Moore appeared in the final episode of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica Reimagined reading a National Geographic magazine.
  • Robert Hewitt Wolfe appeared on the 5th-season finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, bloodied and beaten, evacuating the station after a Dominion attack. The episode, "Call to Arms," was his last as a staff writer on the series.
    • A large chunk of the writers appear in the series finale as patrons in Vic's when he sings "The Way You Look Tonight." Incidentally, a lot of the supporting cast also appeared out of makeup as extras in that scene. It was also the last day of filming and served as a goodbye, not just in-universe, but out-of-universe as well.
  • Kurt in Glee is an avatar for Ryan Murphy's teenage self.
  • Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, originally created the character of Xander Harris to be the avatar for his teenage self. However, he has since said that as he developed the characters, Buffy took on the role of his avatar; which explains much, although he also asserts that this shift was largely subconscious on the part of the writers.
    • It's also believed the character of Warren Meers is supposed to be Joss' dark side.
    • On average, there is one "Joss" character per Whedon show. Wash and Topher fill these roles nicely, although knowing they are Author Avatars, it is a bit unsettling that they both die.
      • It makes a startlingly great amount of sense when you think about Wash's role in Serenity. As far as we know, it's the last we'll ever see of Firefly. After he got them there, there was no point in "Joss" sticking around anymore, he knew his characters could get the job done without him. Wow, actually a little poignant.
  • Patrick in Dead Set is basically a mouthpiece for the show's writer Charlie Brooker, hugely exaggerated to the point of total disdain for absolutely everything. Joplin also acts like this to some extent; both he and Patrick use lines from Brooker's earlier work in his Screen Burn columns.
    • Dan Ashcroft from Nathan Barley is another example from Brooker's work.
  • Tina Fey is Liz Lemon. And Kate Holbrook from Baby Mama is Liz Lemon with a different name.
    • TGS is really SNL and most of the show's plots come from her experiences as a writer on that show. With some exaggeration at times.
  • Eugene Wesley Roddenberry openly admitted that Wesley Crusher was a younger, idealized version of himself. Oddly enough, though, the character was originally envisioned as a teenaged GIRL named Leslie...
  • Chuck from Supernatural is at least something of an Author Avatar for creator Eric Kripke: a slight, mild-mannered, reserved fellow with a fairly high speaking voice who openly states, "Writing's hard." Kripke himself added Chuck's drinking habit into the script (it's probably a fictionalized flaw, but it's interesting to note that the creator did not choose to idealize the character). This trope is played with somewhat by the fact that Sam and Dean found Chuck when they realized a series of "fictional" books entitled Supernatural actually described the protagonists' adventures in alarmingly accurate detail. When they tracked him down and confronted him, an angel informed them that he's actually a Prophet of the Lord, and his books are destined to become a new gospel. Meta humor ensues. It's suggested that Chuck has no marketable skills beyond passing the protagonists' adventures off as fiction. However, the fifth season finale has narration by Chuck, and at the end of the episode, Chuck smiles knowingly and disappears into thin air. One popular interpretation is that Chuck is actually the Judeo-Christian God who has been conspicuously absent throughout the series.
  • On WKRP in Cincinnati it's generally agreed that creator Hugh Wilson based the station's program director Andy Travis on himself (though he never actually worked in radio—his background was advertising).
  • George Costanza from Seinfeld is a thinly disguised version of co-creator Larry David.
    • In Curb Your Enthusiasm, where Larry David plays a fictionalized version of himself, he's annoyed, when Jason Alexander (who played George) refers to his character as an "idiot" and a "schmuck". Larry also tries to play George in the episode "Seinfeld", when he organizes a Seinfeld reunion show, but Alexander quits.
  • Justin from Ugly Betty is an author avatar of Silvio Horta when he was younger/growing up/a teen.
  • Constance M Burge stated that the Halliwell sisters were based off her and her own real life sisters. Three guesses which one Prue was based on.
  • Patrick McGoohan is Number Six. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Listen to the man give an interview and you'll be amazed at just how much the lines blur.
  • On PJ Katies Farm, PJ Katie literally made a plasticine avatar of herself to interact with the animals. It was even called PJ Katie.
  • Cantus the Minstrel of Fraggle Rock fame was a rather blatant one for Jim Henson. Overlaps with Ink Suit Actor (Puppet Suit Actor?), because Jim Henson was Cantus' puppeteer, and he was even designed to look a bit like Henson.
  • The Waltons: John-Boy Walton= series creator Earl Hamner, Jr. Hamner also does the John-Boy narration.
  • The writers of Gossip Girl have admitted that Dan is their author avatar. Which probably explains why he becomes more of a Creator's Pet each season.
  • In the Community episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design" has Dean Pelton writing a novel. The protagonist is known as Dean Dangerous.
  • Candace Bushnell is Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City.
  • The eponymous novelist in Castle has in his latest work a character called Jameson Rook, who is a high-profile freelance journalist who lives a rock-star life and is doing a ride-along with the NYPD, getting into UST with the attractive detective who is the main character of the novel. Castle himself is a high-profile mystery novelist who lives a rock-star and is doing a ride-along with the NYPD, getting into UST with the attractive detective who is his latest muse. Coincidence? Surely.
  • While David Simon's journalism background influenced The Wire's final season (he also cameos as a reporter), a more straightforward Author Avatar is Jimmy McNulty to Simon's co-creator Ed Burns, who was a similarly hot-headed but intelligent detective in his police days, who was a driving force behind major drug arrests of the gangsters that influenced the Barksdales. However, Prez also fills this role, his switch from policing to school teaching in season 4 following Burns' own career path, with much of his real life experience influencing Prez's storyline. It must be said though that Burns left the police of his own accord, rather than retiring after shooting another cop.


Music[edit | hide]

  • The eponymous Piano Man is a musician named Bill. Everyone loves him, he's far too good for the bar he works at, and he spends the entire song being rather bitchy about the unrealistic dreams of the bar's patrons.The fact that Billy Joel himself claims to resent playing this song makes it even funnier.
  • Roger Waters is Pink in The Wall. Pink also has a bit of Syd Barrett.
  • Subverted in Coheed and Cambria's The Amory Wars: Though there is a character named Claudio in the story-within-the-story and a character called The Writer who writes the story, neither character is based on the band's frontman and lyricist Claudio Sanchez.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • White Wolf did this in the Old World of Darkness -- Pentex subsidiary Black Dog Games is a thinly veiled parody of White Wolf at the time, and Black Dog's employees are (slightly) twisted versions of White Wolf's. In a later supplement about Pentex, they extend the parody to the RPG industry as a whole.
    • Even beyond that, White Wolf used to use the Black Dog imprint as a way to mark their extreme products (Clanbook: Giovanni for instance). They were the ones that pulled out the stops and could not be presented maturely to anyone under the age of twenty five. They didn't often have call for it, but it does mean that actual books with the Black Dog label exist, aiding the basic verisimilitude of the old World of Darkness setting. (The imprint had fallen into disuse by the time the New World of Darkness came on the scene, so there are no nWOD Black Dog books.)
  • Maid RPG author Ryo Kamiya features in the game's "examples of play" skits.
  • Ed Greenwood wrote himself into his "The Wizards Three" series of Dragon Magazine articles, interacting with Elminster directly, and spying on Mordenkainen and Dalamar. Elminster himself started out as something of an Author Avatar within Ed's original Forgotten Realms campaign, as well as a God Mode Sue Ex Machina.
  • Gary Gygax was infamous for this in almost all of his work.


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • The opera The Mother Of Us All, by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein, has a pair of characters named "Virgil T." and "Gertrude S."
  • The various fools in Shakespeare's plays are commonly seen as this, as is Prospero from The Tempest.
  • John Proctor in The Crucible is the avatar of the author, Arthur Miller. So is Quentin in "After the Fall".
  • Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie is the avatar of Tennessee Williams; similarly, Tom's physically disabled sister Laura is his mentally disabled sister Rose and Amanda is his mother.
  • In the musical Rent, the character of Mark, the filmmaker who narrates the story, is an avatar for the show's composer/lyricit, Jonathan Larson.
  • The leading character of Henry in The Real Thing is an avatar for playwright Tom Stoppard.
  • In George Bernard Shaw's "Candida", the character of Reverend Morell is an avatar for the playwright.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Nameless Mod pretty much runs on this trope, as the game takes place in a Tron-like representation of the Deus Ex community. Many of the major characters are people who worked on the mod.
  • The Author Avatar of Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima series, is Lord British, the (not quite) invincible ruler of all Britannia.
    • He was promoted to General British for his sci-fi MMORPG Tabula Rasa.
  • In Darkseed, you are producer Mike Dawson.
  • Sol Badguy from Guilty Gear is stated to be the creator's alter ego. Also, the creator is a fan of Queen and based Sol's design around that.
  • Many people from Ambrosia Software appear as minor NPCs in Escape Velocity.
  • Fahrenheit (2005 video game) opens with David Cage himself instructing you on how to play the game.
  • In both .hack video game series, the character of Piros/Piros the Third is the author avatar of Matsuyama Hiroshi, the president of the actual company CyberConnect2 and the director of much of the series.
  • Arguably done in Umineko no Naku Koro ni. Turn of the Golden Witch provides highly questionable semi-example when Beatrice, who more or less "wrote" the various murder scenarios solved in the series, writes herself into the story. End of the Golden Witch is a clearer example, the story's events basically boiling down to a villain's self-insert fanfic.
    • Most recently, Featherine in Episode 6 pretty much explicitly says that she is an author avatar, who is getting Ange, replacing Battler as Audience Surrogate to read and interpret the story for her - literally representing the relationship between Ryukishi and the theory-crazy, speculating community. Because including a meta-narrative wasn't enough, we needed the meta-meta-narrative thrown into the story itself.
  • Nagase in The King of Fighters Maximum Impact is a direct author avatar of producer Falcoon. Considering he's homosexual, there are no Unfortunate Implications here.
    • From the same series, protagonist Alba Meira was designed as a "cooler" Falcon. No, I'm not making that up. It would explain why he has such blatantly overpowered moves such as a triple projectile and anti-air reversal...
  • Although he doesn't appear in the games proper, No More Heroes director Suda 51 appears in the trailers for both games wearing a lucha mask.
  • Alan Wake is loosely based on creator Sam Lake. Luckily Lake is awesome.
    • On another note, Max's face in the first Max Payne, IS the Sam Lake's.
  • After the ending of Chocobo's Dungeon 2, the player can go to the second floor of the Bomb House in the village to find some monsters that are avatars of some of the programmers.
  • As part of the Devil May Cry reboot, Dante is getting a new look. This new look is nearly identical to the new art director.
    • Considering how some of the fanbase has reacted to said new look, I hope the guy has thick skin.
    • As of the E3 2011 trailer, Not!Dante has received a slight makeover, with different hair and a different face. Obviously, his original design must have been an Author Avatar for Tameem Antoniades if they were so hasty to change his look after the backlash.
  • Murtaugh in the Sub Machine series is based in large part on creator Mateusz Skutnik, right down to having a black cat. The fact that Murtaugh is the Big Bad is likely an original spin on real life.
  • Played very, very strangely in Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow. Akira Toriyama's Author Avatar died many years before the series began, and recurring character Toripo is a robot whose construction was stipulated in his will, designed to be his manga-drawing successor.
  • Action Doom Two Urban Brawl, authored by Stephen "Scuba Steve" Browning, includes a moment where a scuba diver comes out of the fountain to attack you, announcing "I'm Scuba Steve, bitch!" And he is, indeed, named Scuba Steve (all the other Mooks are named after prominent members of Doom community). He's pretty much a regular Mook though, if a Unique Enemy.
  • Arcade Gannon from Fallout: New Vegas is based upon a character JE Sawyer played in Chris Avellone's Fallout tabletop campaign. Although the version of Arcade in the game is less cynical than Sawyer, his didactic discussions of politics and ideology reflect Sawyer's own views and speech patterns. He was originally much more of an Author Avatar, but dialogue where he outright explains to the player why Caesar's plan is idiotic was cut.
    • Sawyer has two other Avatars as well. Arcade represents the Idealic version of Sawyer (Naive but striving for great things), Caesar represents his revolutionary side (The current system is corrupt and I will replace it), and Joshua Graham is his Pragmatist side (If we don't fight what we believe for, we'll lose more than our homes). Each representing the Id, Ego and Superego of Sawyer.
    • According to Chris Avellone himself, Ulysses from the Lonesome Road add-on, resembles Avellone's own thoughts on the Mojave conflict.
  • Scorpion may very well be this for Mortal Kombat co-creator and executive producer Ed Boon. The yellow-clad hellspawn ninja isn't just a fan-fave; Boon has stated numerous times that Scorpion is his favorite character. Boon even provides the voicework for Scorpion's iconic "GET OVER HERE!"/"COME HERE!" (in fact, he's been doing so since the series' inception in '92), and Scorpion has recently become the icon for Netherrealm Studios' logo, albeit with a slightly different design and weapon (a sickle instead of a chain-tipped kunai). On the flip side, it's unknown if Sonya and Tanya qualify for this status, although Boon does admit that they're named after his sisters, Sonya and Tania.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has Edgar Wright as a sprite in Level 2.
  • According to the Twisted Metal documentary that came with the PlayStation 2 version of Twisted Metal: Head On, co-creator David Jaffe said that Sweet Tooth and Kratos represent his darkest personas.

"Sweet Tooth is me, Kratos is me." -- David Jaffe


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Many webcomics do this. Bob and George most famously, seeing as its author is an entire cast of supporting characters, including an evil doppelganger version of himself, a shadowy version of himself, and not to mention all of his "Parties" consist out of Webcomic/Subcomic/Forum posters as Author characters, and his friend's Rick O'Shay's Author character being a tag along with random beer runs inside of the comic, not to mention Disgruntled Ferret showing up in his MS Paint Masterpieces subcomic etc. etc. etc.
  • Books Don't Work Here has the author as the director and narrator but eventually makes an official Author Avatar who gets Put on a Bus.
  • Punintended's two main characters are quite obviously supposed to represent it's two authors. Their friends also tend to occur in the comic.
  • Almost every character in Goodwill Heroes is based on either one of the four authors or their friends.
  • Polk Out does this with its entire cast, except for obviously embellished strips like Faulty Economy or Twee, which no longer run anyway.
  • Mayonaka Densha has Hatsune's best friend back in her own time be a huge otaku who larps on occasion named Kyoko who is stated outright to be an author insert. This character is only seen once at the beginning and a couple of times in flashbacks.
  • Since the Insecticomics is a toy comic, the author avatar is literally just the author—either in hand-drawn art (as seen here) or in photographs of herself (as seen here).
  • Penny Arcade is an odd example. The two main characters did not start out as Author Avatar, but due to fan pressure were later converted into them, to the point where the creators are now better known by their character's names than by their own.
  • Everyday Heroes has the Generic neighbors (literally), who are avatars for the author and his wife. Oddly, she's appeared more often than he has.
  • Phil Foglio shows up from time to time in Girl Genius as a nameless storyteller who appears to be picking up Agatha's story. At one point he has a fight with a nameless Jagermonster who wants a bigger part.
    • On another occasion, Oggie meets him, and joyously recognizes him as his several-times-great grandson.
    • The "nameless storyteller" is, of course, Phil Foglio's Author Stand In from his earlier strip, What's New with Phil and Dixie.
    • Phil's collaborators—co-writer (and wife!) Kaja Foglio and colorist Cheyenne Wright—also make occasional appearances.
      • In this strip, Kaja's self-insert takes a break from helping Phil's self-insert carry Cheyenne's self-insert, and asks Agatha for permission to become her biographer.
    • Master Payne, showmaster of the sparky circus, is a real person (though not the author). Yes, he really is that big, and he really has that hair.
  • In VG Cats, Pantsman fulfills this role.
  • Andy, of Skewed Reality.
  • In Irregular Webcomic David Morgan-Mar has himself as a main character. He appears in several strips (Fantasy and Space in particular, since they started out as just role-playing games, with him as the DM) He also did a strip just for his Author Avatar, titled "Me". "Me" was killed by himself from the future. However, when the me that was killed got into the position to become the killer, he chose not to. However this, combined with several other events in different strips, caused a paradox that wiped out the universe. With the birth of the new universe, he is now on the run from the Deaths.
  • Overcompensating is supposed to be semi-autobiographical, hence the main character looks like and shares the same name as the creator.
  • In Union of Heroes there are interludes between the end and the beginning of a new episode. The main character of most of these interludes is the photographed creator of the photocomic talking to the audience and providing them with making-off information.
  • Sequential Art's author uses a hamster avatar. Why? So his Sexy Secretary assistant can give him rides in her cleavage, of course.
  • This strip of the comic Dumnestor's Heroes. Irony-chan is also the author of Get Medieval.
  • Amber Williams of DMFA often appears one panel sight gags and Fourth Wall Mail Slot strips, always accompanied by the comic's "real" mascot, Fluffy.
  • MSF High: Subverted. The Author Avatar, while in the back-story, and writing all of the RPG sourcebooks, has disappeared by the time the comic takes place.
  • Barry T. Smith's InkTank site used to have a strip called Angst Technology, in which the four main characters (Hugh, Dante, Yaz and Marc) were based on different aspects of Smith's personality. It has been replaced with Ink Tank, a strip in which a fictionalised Smith himself works at Angst Technology.
  • Orion Gates writes Beyond Reality, the main character of which is named...Orion Gates. Orion the character has a girlfriend named Natty, who is based off of Orion the author's girlfriend NJ.
  • Tom, the author of Twokinds, has been known to appear in his comic, usually as a delivery boy of some sort.
  • In Sonichu, Chris-chan starts out as an Author Avatar character before steadily becoming more and more involved in his own series, moving on to Life Embellished as he depicts himself fighting against people who antagonize him in Real Life, until he becomes a full-on God Mode Sue and, in fact, the central focus of the entire series, with its title character Demoted to Extra.
  • Pepe Val Pew, the Fursona of Dave Hopkins appears in Jack both as Pepe Val Pew and as The Devil. Interestingly only when appearing as The Devil does he appear to be able to discuss plot points and openly break the forth wall, other appearances are little more than cameos.
  • The toy comic Adventures In Aaron's Room uses a knockoff Ryuranger figure, sometimes wielding a gunblade.
  • Andy, of Casey and Andy is the author Andy Weir, while Casey is a long-time friend of the author who (oddly enough) really is named Casey. Andy Weir claims the weird inventions and insane activities of the characters really reflect some of the crazy things he and Casey really did. Presumably, dating Satan is not in that list of real activities.
  • The Author of The Way of the Metagamer appears first in Filler Strips, but eventually ends up in the comic proper.
  • El Goonish Shive non-canon filler strips will often include Dan Shive himself as a squirrel-person, and as the acknowledged creator of the EGS universe he is shown morphing the world around him for shits and giggles. Canon strips include Dan the squirrel-boy as a character in Sarah's amateur comics.
    • Also, Dan's full name is Daniel Elliot Shive. Main character Elliot's full name is Elliot Daniel Dunkel.
    • This filler presents an alternate theory.
  • As seen in the page image, a recurring gag in Homestuck:

AH: Engage in highly indulgent self-insertion into story.
"What?"
"Oh hell no. This is always such a terrible idea. Leave me alone."

    • Apparently he has warmed up to this. In later chapters he also does cosplay of his own webcomic.
    • It also happens in Problem Sleuth.

AH: Become homoerotically interested in your fan.
"Andrew Hussie becomes aroused by fans of MS Paint Adventures. Way to break the 4th wall, numbskull!"

    • Homestuck also now has reader avatars, in the form of uranianUmbra and undyingUmbrage. The former, according to Hussie, represents the "obnoxious" fans who get way too invested in the story and pester everyone around them to read the comic; the later is the opposite, a Fan Hater who can't stand the actual issues readers have pointed out (long waits between updates, long, difficult-to-read chatlogs).
  • Living With Insanity has never been shy about its main characters being author avatars, even naming them after the writer and artist. Herbert has said the strip is partially autobiographical. In-comic David and Paul also do a comic strip, except for a newspaper, and find success when the real webcomic does.
  • Shortpacked author/artist David Willis cast himself as Unlucky Everydude Ethan's nemesis in a Transformers wiki edit war.
  • Pete, the writer of Sluggy Freelance, makes godlike appearances in filler strips. Shirt-Guy Tom (in charge of merchandising?) and Joe Sunday (colorist) also insert themselves when Pete is absent.
  • Ichabod from Far Out There is often accused of being this, though the author denies it (He claims he just wanted Ichabod to LOOK like him to for cosplaying purposes)
  • Tatsuya Ishida in Sinfest. Originally an anonymous background character simply assumed to be the author, he has recently put himself in the spotlight.
  • Notably averted in 1/0, despite its No Fourth Wall status -- Tailsteak speaks to the characters through narration boxes, but never appears on-panel. In-comic, he states that this is because he wants to get away from No Fourth Wall stories being about the author.
  • Jennie, the main character in The Devil's Panties
  • Brogalio and Kingwerewolf of Nintendo Acres.
  • In the works of Canadian furry and fantasy artist Style Wager (including Dela The Hooda), the male lead tend to be a tall, lanky guy in his late twenties with a blond mullet.
  • Fontes of Fontes' Rants.
  • Gary from Collar 6 is the Avatar of the Author, Stephen Wallace.
  • Virtual Shackles: The two main characters are based on the authors.
  • Both of the main characters in Faulty Logic are Author Avatars for the same person.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Canadian-born, Catholic-raised computer geek Raimi Matthews from Broken Saints has elements of this.
  • The toys the writers at OAFEnet use to represent themselves are author avatars in the most literal sense, but also fit the definition of this trope when they show up in the comics with personalities based on the real people.
  • Subverted by Shrooms, while the personalities of Blue and Red are based on creators Theditor and Shadow Raptor respectively, Shadow Raptor voices Blue and Theditor voices Red.
  • The Whateley Universe has the Lit Chix, who are a group composed entirely of Author Avatars. Unusually perhaps, most if not all of them are fairly well-rounded, fun-to-read characters. They come a lot further down on the scale of Sue-ish-ness than the main characters, for the most part.
  • In one Cheat Commandos episode, the ego of lead actor Crack Stuntman is getting way, way out of hand, so the show's writer inserts himself into the show as the superior of Stuntman's character so he can give that character the boot.
  • Pixel Girl of The Defrosters tends to be this for creator Stevie the Ice Queen. Explains why her rants stick with the Ice Queen's pet topics (Harry Potter, Vertical Horizon, World of Warcraft, Degrassi the Next Generation, etc).
  • The author of Secret of Mana Theater occasionally appears in the special episodes of the series.
  • The Deviant ART group Earth-G is made of these who are DC superhero expies
  • The AlternateHistory.com series Reds! has a sort of meta-example. The website is a forum, and in the timeline, one of the author's favorite story telling techniques is an alternate AH.com board. One of the recurring commentators from the alternate, flibbertygibbet, is according to Word of God, very close to the author Jello_Biafra's point-of-view.
  • Muranyl Kizrai of Chaos Fighters. This is lampshaded when he noticed that the plot of Beyond The Earth is exactly the same with what he wrote a year before.
  • Most of the early Legion of Net.Heroes members were "Writer Characters," loosely based on their creators' net personae. The LNH's leader Ultimate Ninja was originally his author literally writing himself into the LNH world.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Brian/Seth MacFarlane in Family Guy has been drifting this way, slowly but surely. One telling sign is that MacFarlane, a great voice actor who does a lot of different major characters, uses his natural speaking voice for Brian.
    • This makes Quagmire's lengthy rant against Brian's supposed self-righteousness and hypocrisy in "Jerome is the New Black" all the more surprising, and effective. (Interestingly, Quagmire is also a MacFarlane-voiced character.)
    • As a strange use of the trope, Seth Green's character Chris has twice been used as an Author Avatar, when Robot Chicken was mentioned on Family Guy.
  • South Park has Stan and Kyle as stand-ins for Trey and Matt, respectively. Or at least, that was the original idea; they have since said (half-jokingly) that they're each more like Cartman.
    • The creators use Cartman as a way of expressing some of their more controversial beliefs or beliefs that would antagonize them in the eyes of the fans (most notably Cartman's rainforest rant and his hatred of the show Family Guy). One might think of it as splitting the Author Avatar into Dr. Marsh and Mr. Cartman.
    • Terrance and Phillip also occasionally serve as author avatars for the duo themselves, reflecting the reactions Trey and Matt expected their show to get from parents, most notably in The Movie.
  • Lisa Simpson serves as this in The Simpsons, also being a great tool to swat strawmen conservatives/Christians/business people with.
    • Although she acts as the straw (anything else) herself quite often.
      • Groening has even admitted that Lisa is his favorite character and will do anything not to make her look bad. In fact during the commentary for "The Cartidge Family", Matt admitted, like Lisa, to absolutely hating guns and in fact nearly got into a fight with the crew.
  • From Avatar: The Last Airbender: See those two buff guys? They're the creators.
    • So...Author Avatars: The Last Airbenders?
    • To a certain extent, Aang and Zuko themselves are Author Avatars, sharing physical and personality traits with Mike and Bryan respectively (as well as being their favorite characters) and generally being the ones voicing the moral of the story. This is lampshaded in one Q&A segment when Mike has an Aang-style arrow painted on his head.
  • Chowder has this with a puppet version of Greenblatt in "Shnitzel Quits" and "Endive's Dirty Secret".
  • Some critics and fans accuse Huey Freeman of serving as this in The Boondocks in both the cartoon and the comic, although Aaron Mcgruder has denied it in interviews and insists that Huey's opinion isn't always his opinion.
  • The Drawn Together creators' in-show representation comes in the form of the Jew Producer, though uniquely, he is the show's villain (at least in the series; in The Movie, he's more of an Anti-Hero).
  • Mordecai from Regular Show pretty much is JG Quintel in blue jay form, to some extents.
  • Ralph Bighead from Rocko's Modern Life, not only living Joe Murray's life but is voiced by Joe Murray.
  • While not explicitly seen on camera, the very end of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles special Turtles Forever zooms out from a comic book into a live set clearly meant to symbolize the original apartment where Mirage Studios was informally created. There, the real life voices of Turtles creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird are heard commenting about their soon-to-be underground hit comic book with "I sure hope this thing sells" before the pair agree to head out and grab a slice of pizza.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: According to Craig McCracken, his mother noticed how similar Mac is to Craig as a child, making him an unintentional Author Avatar.
  • Hey Arnold!: Word of God has confirmed Brainy is his voice's actor (Creator Craig Bartlett) other self.
  • Mickey Mouse, for Walt Disney. This is partly what caused his Flanderization.
  1. He is fond of making his characters suffer for drama, and said that one of Buffy's principles was "Buffy happy = bad".
  2. as a play on his name, "tori" meaning "bird",