Home Interviews Newsarama
April 12, 2002
David Mack/Andy Lee Team on Kabuki GN
By Matt Brady
On David Mack’s NohTV website, artist Andy Lee has announced that he and David Mack will collaborate on an upcoming Kabuki hardcover graphic novel that will be assembled in a very Zen-like manner.
If Lee’s name is unfamiliar and you’ve been to a comic convention where Mack has been set up, Lee usually shares the other half of the space.
Working in a traditional Chinese calligraphy and Cha’an Buddhist methods of painting, Lee uses broad brushstrokes of black ink on handcrafted paper. His work has appeared in Mack’s Kabuki series over the years, as well as source books for White Wolf’s The Kindred RPG, and The Crow.
According to Lee, his part of the graphic novel will be to supply Mack with 50 to 100 paintings each week.
“Each painting is made in a splash style similar to Cha'an Buddhists in the 13th century,” Lee told Newsarama. “The paintings are used for meditation purposes; after a mark is made on paper with sumi ink, the shapes are interpreted by me to create things. Depending on what I see, I determine what I feel. Because this is a project about Kabuki, I see whatever I can and then further add details to relate it to the story. Of course there will be times where something looks like a cement truck and I can't use it for the book, but that is what happens with this style of painting.”
On Lee’s part, the process must begin with a completely clear mind, otherwise, he may start, even at a subconscious level, putting a story together, and making on painting relate to another. “Because I am not a Buddhist monk in any way, it may take me a few hours of painting before I get into the right mindset of clearness,” Lee said. “But once in the zone, I know because I am stunned with what comes out on paper.”
Mack will then sift through the paintings Lee sends to him, working to pull the story out from the images. “There will just be a jumble of images, and from those images a story will arise,” Lee said. “The only difference is that this time, Dave will find the story with me, which is hidden between the pages of art. This will be a whole new way of making a ‘comic book.’”
While the process may sound like a backwards Rorschach test, Lee said there’s no pressure on either Mack or himself – both are going into the experiment with open minds and no preconceived notions of what the finished story should be, or the book look like, overall.
“We have mandated that for this project, we should take our time and let the meanings appear at its own pace,” Lee said. “It's happening, but the mind is always playing tricks on us, which is half the fun.”
Obviously, with a project such as this, there is no set length or deadline, and following it’s Zen-based creation, the book will be done when it’s done.
· This article was lost when Newsarama moved from Comicon.com to its own server