One of the central protagonists of The March of the Eccentrics novel is a mad scientist by the name of Julius Herman Abu.  The character is based on an earlier version of the mad scientist archetype who I dreamt up in the 1970s and wrote about in a series of spiral notebooks, inspired both by pop culture (Astroboy, Tom Swift, James Bond, and Playboy magazine) and tomes of history (including JFC Fuller's Military History of the Western World and Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West).  In those notebooks, a more juvenile version of the story which would later grow to become The March of the Eccentrics, first took shape. 

When I first began to work with Katalina on illustrating the mature version of the story, I sent her some pithy descriptions of the mad-scientist character, some possible photographic models to establish general frameworks for creating his portrait, and some sketches of my own, similar to the ones with which I had adorned my spiral notebooks.  Below, are two of those (which clearly demonstrate why Katalina's services were required!):



These sketches (by someone who hopefully writes better than he draws) definitely conveyed the spirit of Professor Julius Abu at his worst:  intense, insane, fed up with the world to the point of despising the human race, scientifically brilliant but morally depraved (having come to believe that moral systems are mere mechanisms of control and domination invented by hypocrites -- so why pay them any mind?) 

However, there was also another side to Julius Abu:  that of the formerly noble, once sensitive, previously compassionate humanitarian who had dreamt of using his great genius to change the world for the better, before its prejudices, injustices, and insincerity had driven him over the edge, replacing his good will with bitterness, and his decency with degeneracy.  One of the great tensions in the novel is the battle between what remains of the former Abu and his new mad self:  a battle for control of his soul, whose outcome may well decide the fate of the earth.  This multi-layered, complex Abu - the one in whom a powerful soul still capable of great acts that may yet benefit Humanity survives - was expertly captured by Katalina in her portrait. Inspired by our back-and-forth emails, by her own studies of Renaissance faces, and also by photos of Julian Beck, the striking director of the Living Theater (whose look gave some additional nuance to the visualization), Katalina came up with an image which I consider one of her best - the portrait of a beautiful man of intelligence and force, catching him at one of those hopeful moments in which his greatness towers above his instability. 



^ Julius Herman Abu, mad scientist and March of the Eccentrics protagonist, as represented by Katalina Gutierrez. 

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