Penthouse Magazine commissioned me to do this original William Butler Yeats caricature illustration for a feature article:
“The Secret Sex Lives of Great Authors.”
It has been reported that the famous author William Butler Yeats dearly desired to feel as young as he once was.
Back in the day, a bizarre procedure was performed to recapture a man’s virility, as conveyed in a comical way by this William Butler Yeats caricature.
Surgery was the only alternative to combat that kind of decline before enhancement drugs. The article described it as a Frankenstein procedure, where monkey glands are implanted in the patient.
Illustrating that would be disgusting and not funny at all. So I chose a mad scientist transferring the essence of virile monkey junk into a Keats caricature in order to “jump start” his libido. A much better idea.
I illustrated the unsanitary, and archaic conditions I imagined would have existed. I captured what might have been a dubious expression while Keats endured the procedure. The monkey, however, was rather shocked to be included.
If you look carefully, the illustration it contains a multitude of small ideas making a large idea. Illustrators are always challenged to pack in these layers into the parameters of the assignment. All the while I am concerned with the flow of the viewers eye. The trick is to draw the viewers eye into the background to the bonus caricature illustration of the mad scientist.
I’ve always loved the old Frankenstein movies, so I enjoyed this project immensely. It inspired a character design called Francis N. Stein.
Published in Penthouse Magazine: Art Director John Faraci, Illustrator Mick Coulas.
Email Mick to discuss the next caricature for your publication.