The Hobbit illustrated by Where the Wild Things Are creator Maurice Sendak? It almost happened, but didn’t, and all because J.R.R. Tolkien got miffed, putting a stop to what might have been the greatest edition of The Hobbit ever.
In the late ’60s, Sendak was asked by the U.S. publisher to illustrate the novel’s 30th anniversary edition, but before Tolkien, then 75, would approve the project, he asked Sendak to audition with a few drawings. This apparently miffed the artist, but he went ahead anyway and created two sketches, one of them (above) of Gandalf and Bilbo.