He said that once I overcame my human repulsions, I would have the edge over my opponent and my combative options would be limitless.
-- Kabuki: Circle of Blood #6
* Dates Subject to Change *
Kabuki - The Alchemy Hardcover & Trade Paperback: ON SALE
Daredevil - Parts of a Hole Premiere HC: ON SALE
Kabuki - Reflections: Volume 1 Hardcover (regular & limited edition): ON SALE
Daredevil - Echo: Vision Quest Premiere Edition Hardcover: ON SALE
Kabuki - Volume 1: Circle of Blood Hardcover (Regular & Limited Editions): ON SALE
Se7en French Edition Blu-ray: ON SALE
Electric Ant Hardcover: ON SALE
Green Arrow #8: ON SALE
Dream Logic #3: ON SALE
Days Missing - Kestus #4: ON SALE
5 Ronin #4: ON SALE
Justice League of America #56: April 20
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Boston Comic Con
April 30 - May 1, 2011
Boston, Massachusetts

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May 27-29, 2011
Houston, Texas

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Home Message Boards Joe Quesada: May 2004

Ultimate X-Men, does mack read this?
May 07 2004,18:27

Hey there,
Thanks for the interest in my work.
About the updates on Ultimate X-men... It is all GOOD NEWS!
Marvel wants to break the news on how things have shifted a bit, but it is all an improvement and BIG, BIG, BIG!

Hopefully we will here the news soon.

Thanks for your interest in KABUKI.  I'm glad you liked my DD stuff, but I think KABUKI is by far the best example of my work in comics both as a writer and artist.

I hope you will check out the new series, and in the meantime, pick up some of the trades. My favorite is KABUKI: Metamorphosis. This one is probably represents the best example of my writing and art in the comic medium.

KABUKI: Circle of Blood is also a good trade to pick up. If you pick up one (or preferably) both of these, you will totally be set for the new Kabuki story to debut in July from ICON/Marvel.

Please let me know what you think of Kabuki. I look forward to any feedback that you have.

For more info on what each Kabuki book is about, you can go to davidmack.net.

Kindest regards,
David


Kabuki...
May 07 2004,18:33

Hi friends,

I've seen a few posts mentioning interests or questions about the new Kabuki series and the previous Kabuki trades.  I want to thank you for the interest in my work and give you a bit of info on Kabuki.

For those that have had kind words about my three different Daredevil storylines, I'm glad you liked my DD stuff, and I hope you will check out the new Kabuki as I think KABUKI is by far the best example of my work in comics both as a writer and artist.

I hope you will check out the new series that is in the current Marvel PReviews, and in the meantime, pick up some of the trades.  My favorite is KABUKI: Metamorphosis.  This one is probably represents the best example of my writing and art in the comic medium.

KABUKI: Circle of Blood is also a good trade to pick up. If you pick up one (or preferably) both of these, you will totally be set for the new Kabuki story to debut in July from ICON/Marvel.

Please let me know what you think of Kabuki.  I look forward to any feedback that you have.

For more info on what each Kabuki book is about, you can go to davidmack.net.
And you can post any questions here, and I will continue to check in to answer from time to time.

Kindest regards,
David


Kabuki...
May 07 2004,18:38

As for what the new Kabuki series at Marvel is about, this cover story interview from Comic Shop News should fill you in. Also lots of info as to how/why I do comics, and more Kabuki story info, ets.

For those that missed the recent cover story that ComicShopNews did with me, here is the Interview...

Hi, David!

We'd like to do a cover story on the new Kabuki series, if you have time for some questions!

(1) This is being promoted as a new start for Kabuki; can you offer some details on that aspect of the series?

DM: The new KABUKI series, KABUKI- The Alchemy, is a brand new era in Kabuki's life. It is a great place for new readers to start because it is a brand new start for Kabuki that is very much it's own story, not dependant on previous stories. You don't need to read the past to understand the primary thrust of the new story. But if you do, you will love the contrast and the oblique and subtle hints at her past. And you will see the fruition of many of the seeds planted in previous issues! Seeds that you didn't know were seeds, but now you will see them blossom into something spectacular and mind-blowing.

This era in Kabuki’s life is its own story and it is not going to recap anything from the previous stories. I've made sure that all six Kabuki volumes are in print and available in paperback and hardcover collections. So I hope readers will use this as an opportunity to read the early Kabuki collections that have come before in preparation for this new series. But if they do not, they will still be able to begin with this story. Those previous stories are Kabuki's past. There won't be any flashbacks to it. No catch up.

For readers that have read all of the Kabuki volumes so far, after you read this new series, you will want to go back and read the previous stories again and you will see them in a new way that is going to make you appreciate them in a brand new dimension as well as the ways that they are already charming to you. They will still hold that charm, but you will have a brand new perspective to appreciate them from. It will be like looking at pictures of yourself as a child. You always appreciated the pictures for what they were, but now that you are grown up, you can see how those moments shaped your present life.

The new series is specifically designed to be Kabuki’s new life. And it is essentially an instruction manual on creating a NEW life, creating the life of YOUR OWN PERSONAL DREAMS AND INTERESTS, that should be practical and applicable to anyone who reads it. It is a recipe and blueprint for creating your own reality, your own career, and your own fresh start. It is a spell for creating your own magic. Taking the baggage of your life and turning it into something positive and useful. Turning your garbage into gold.

(2) How did Kabuki begin? How much of the Kabuki canon had you envisioned from the beginning, and how much of it developed as the story went along?
DM: Kabuki was my answer to my decision to do comic books. So perhaps I should start by explaining why I chose to do comics. All my life I had made things. Stories, sculptures, paintings, drawings. And I had great passion for learning and doing. I love everything, and wasn’t really interested in specializing. At a certain point in high school teachers like you to fit your interests and passions into a box that you can at least major in, but I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of only doing one thing to the exclusion of others. When I was sixteen I was applying for a university scholarship for art. I teacher suggested that I put together a portfolio showing ten different media that I worked in. I had photography, sculpture, oil painting, watercolor, charcoal, etc. For the tenth piece I decided that I really wanted to do something that dealt with the nature of time and sequence. I loved film, and I loved books, and the personal nature of books, and I also loved to read comic books. So I decided that for the tenth example of my work that I would make a comic. And I did. I wrote and illustrated and lettered a 55 page book for my scholarship submission. And in the process of doing that, I realized that the medium of comic books are a format that I could integrate all other mediums into. And I realized that comics were the medium I could work in, because they had no limitations, and they included and encompassed aspects of every other medium.

My work on Kabuki Began in January of 1993 when I was twenty years old. I would begin publishing Kabuki in 1994. Having decided the medium I would work with, and having worked in the business for a couple years to learn the craft, I decided that I wanted to create a comic book in which I could incorporate all of my personal philosophies, my passion for learning, and integrate my everyday personal experiences. I loved autobiographical comics, but I was not yet comfortable with that idea. I wanted to tell personal truths but at a distance. Through the unselfconscious comfort of a veil. But I did not want to fall into the trap of making the main character an idealized version of myself. So I decided that I would make all of the surface details very opposite, and that way the universal truths could shine through, and I could tell the story through metaphor. This way, instead of reading the story and seeing me, readers could find their own personal relation to the story and see themselves.

So I made the main character the opposite gender. I set the story in a different part of the world, with a different language, different history, and different culture. I was in university at the time, and I was taking the Japanese language, and learning Japanese history and mythology in my classes and in my own travels. So I used that as a framework for the story. The structure of the story is the traditional structure and metaphors of the traditional Japanese Ghost Story that is the subject of many of the Japanese Kabuki plays.

Much of the first Kabuki story is me as a 21-22 year old dealing with the death of my mother, just as Kabuki is coming to terms with the relationship and death of her mother in the story.

I knew the structure that the story would follow. So I had a skeletal outline of some of the major points very early on. And through the process of working on it, the rest came alive for me. When I was working on KABUKI Circle of Blood, I knew the main structure of most of the other books up through Metamorphosis. But the real life of the story occurred in the process. And when I was doing KABUKI Metamorphosis, most of the high points for KABUKI- The Alchemy occurred to me and I made notes for it then and also outlined my ideas for the next few Kabuki stories.

(3) For some of the Kabuki-related books, you worked with Rick Mays and other artists, didn't you? What made you decide to come back to doing full art for this project? And for that matter, how do you decide which books you write and which you write & illustrate?
DM: For each story I do, the style and nature of the art is dictated by the nature of the story. I begin as a writer first and use the art as just another tool of the writing. I choose what art style, art media, storytelling pace, and rhythm is going best communicate the tone and atmosphere and language of the story.

KABUKI- Masks of the Noh (volume 3 of the Kabuki collections) is the first time I collaborated with other artists. The idea behind this story is that the Noh is searching for Kabuki. And though Kabuki is the central character to this story, and holds the story together, she is mostly absent, and it is the fleshing out of these secondary characters that becomes the humanity of the story. So in introducing each of these characters, I write them each with a different tone and voice. But I also wanted each one to have their own distinctive visual personality that contrasts from the other. So that idea was that each of the characters would be drawn by a different artist. That way, each time they appear in the story, the reader immediately sees their own unique perspective. It was a bold experiment and a logistical nightmare, but in retrospect, it worked out very nicely. Each time Kabuki appears, she is drawn by me. Rick Mays draws Scarab and Tigerlily every time they appear, Dave Johnson and Mike Oeming drew Ice, Andrew Robinson drew Snapdragon, and so on.

Then for the next two Kabuki volumes, Skin Deep (vol 4) and Metamorphosis (vol 5), I drew everything as Kabuki was the central character. Then in Scarab (vol 6) Rick Mays reprised his role as artist of Scarab to keep with continuity of that character’s visual personality. It is a story that chronicles her life from childhood to adult like Circle of Blood does with Kabuki.

Eventually I will do a series for each of the Noh characters. And for their stories, I intend to write them and work with an artist. And for all of the Kabuki stories I will be doing all of the artwork myself. And these will continue to alternate. I draw KABUKI- The Alchemy, then the next series will be a biography of Tigerlily with Rick Mays doing the art. That will give me plenty of time to gear up for the next Kabuki story that I paint myself, and so on.

(4) For readers who aren't familiar with Kabuki, could you offer a rundown on the series and the concept?
DM: The first Kabuki story begins with the character called Kabuki being an operative for a government agency in Japan called the Noh. This agency polices the interdependence between the worlds of organized crime and politics and business in Japan. They are also a part of the media and each of the Noh is a sort of pop culture Icon with a mask and clothing that is a variation on a form of Japanese traditional theatre. Kabuki has some personal issues stemming from the scars on her face, and she can only relate to the world through the security of her mask. The mystery of her scars unfolds as her personal issues with the death of her mother send her in a path of action that conflicts with the powers that she serves.

It is a mix of Japanese historical mythology, political intrigue, corporate espionage, and familial duty wrapped up in the retelling of the Japanese Ghost story. It is also a retelling of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. In that each of the characters in Kabuki corresponds to iconographic characters in that book and to pieces on the chessboard. Both stories are about the pawn’s journey to queen, or a child’s journey to an adult or evolved consciousness. Just as that book was a social commentary in the guise of a children’s book, Kabuki has it’s own themes that operate on several levels. Some are only apparent in repeat readings.

The story evolves as the character does in each of the succeeding volumes. KABUKI- Metamorphosis is described as this: “In an institution for renegade government agents, a horribly scarred woman faces a psychological showdown with her interrogating analyst, meets the other “defective” inmates, discovers the nature of identity, quantum physics, time, and the meaning of life. But can she escape her captors before her former comrades track her down to silence her?”

(5) Is all the earlier Kabuki material available in trade paperback now, or are there still some stories uncollected?
DM: All the Kabuki stories are collected in paperback and hardcover.
Vol 1- Circle of Blood (272 p)
Vol 2- Dreams (128 p)
Vol 3- Masks of the Noh (128 p)
Vol 4- Skin Deep (128 p)
Vol 5- Metamorphosis (288 p)
Vol 6- Scarab (288 p)
(6) Speaking of the trades--am I correct in remembering that you reworked and expanded some of the material when it was collected in trade paperback?
DM: On the earlier books, I added some extra pages in the trades and I went back and reworked some of the pages. I also include sketch pages, art process pages, pin ups, a detailed afterword and an introduction. The introductions are by: Steranko, Brian Michael Bendis, Terry Moore, Alex Ross, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Paul Pope.
(7) This is a fully painted series, right? How much of a time commitment does that demand from you? How long has the book been in production, and how far along are you in the series currently?
DM: It is fully painted. When I am writing and painting and lettering and doing all the production on a book like I do with Kabuki, I like to have two months for each issue. I’ve been building the story for this one since Metamorphosis ended, so I have a lot more of the story fleshed out than I usually do before I start publishing it in the periodical bi-monthly chapters.
(8) Erik Larsen has said that he prefers to focus most of his efforts on his creation, Savage Dragon. You've alternated, in a way, doing some Kabuki material, then taking a break and doing other stuff, including Daredevil; do you prefer working this way rather than dealing with the same character month in and month out? Is it a creative decision, a financial one, or both?
DM: I definitely put most of my effort on Kabuki and prefer to. It is my complete outlet where I can do anything I need to do. I created it from the beginning and enjoy building on it as it grows over the years.

I have done three Daredevil arcs and the covers to the entire run of Alias. But I had already done seven years of straight Kabuki at a pretty break neck bimonthly pace before I worked on DD. After doing Kabuki straight for seven years, it was a fun switch to work in a collaborative effort with creators that I respect on a character that I read when I was a kid.

It was a creative decision. I make a comfortable living from doing just Kabuki. This is because the Kabuki collections continue to sell more and more each year. Kabuki Circle of Blood sells more now than it did when it came out ten years ago. Same for all the other collections. The Kabuki books have a Sandman type life as paperbacks and hardcovers in that new readers continue to buy them year after year. And after a new reader buys one Kabuki collection, they go back and buy all of the rest of them.

So I felt like it was the right time for me to stretch my creative muscles in a different way. And this did pay off in Kabuki readership as well, because readers of my DD stories began buying all of the Kabuki collections in large amounts and have stuck with the books as new Kabuki readers. Each Kabuki collection has went through several printings and continues to stay in print.

And I continued to have published Kabuki for most of the time that I worked on DD. The first DD story I wrote, I did it between issue #7 and #8 of Kabuki Metamorphosis. Then I painted the Wake Up story with Bendis while I was publishing Kabuki Scarab. Then I did the Alias covers and the Echo story after Scarab. That was all a lot of fun and a great shift in creative muscles, but now it is a joy to be back to my own creative focus with KABUKI- The Alchemy.

(9) By promoting this as a "jumping on point" for new readers, Image has conveyed to some the impression that Kabuki will be appearing more regularly from here on. Is that the case?
DM: Yes. Each issue of this story is scheduled to come out every two months. Some times we might solicit it as three months between if I need time to catch up.
(10) You've maintained pretty tight control over Kabuki thus far; have you considered inviting other creators, like Brian Bendis, to play with your toys--that is, letting others write and draw stories set in the Kabukiverse?
DM: It has not occurred to me before. It would sort of be like asking someone else to write my autobiography. It would sort of defeat the purpose. That said, there could be room for some kind of collaboration or spot for that if the format is right for it. If it fit the nature of the overall story. I love collaborating with Brian Bendis, so I won’t say never. But as a basic rule, I intend to write all of it.
(11) There was a rumor recently that a Kabuki-Daredevil crossover project might happen at some point in the future... pipe dream or real possibility?
DM: I don’t see that happening. This is sort of the same thing for me. I’ve had many great offers for crossovers with Kabuki with many top characters. But that’s not really the way I approach my Kabuki work. I have a pretty specific personally driven story with this character. If I think something will work, who knows, but I won’t do a crossover just to do one. It would have to make a lot of sense to me. My basic policy is not to.
(12) Where do you go after The Alchemy is done?
DM: As far as Kabuki is concerned, I have many more Kabuki stories written to follow The Alchemy. I also have an oversized artbook scheduled for this year from Image. And I have some other creator owned projects. One is an autobiographical comic that I’ve been working on tentatively titled “Self Portrait”. You can see an eight page chapter from it in the Tenth Anniversary Edition of “Tales from The Edge”. The Edge describes itself as: “Stories by, and about, the world’s greatest cutting-edge artists”. The Tenth anniversary Edition of the Edge is offered for 2004 and includes stories by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, Marshal Arisman, Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storey, and Jim Steranko. It also features a brand new story written and drawn by me.

And I’m collaborating with Brian Bendis in writing Ultimate X-men. But this new chapter of Kabuki will be my main focus for the foreseeable future. I make a conscious effort to improve with every issue and to break new ground and evolve as a writer with each Kabuki story as the character is evolving. The Alchemy does this in spades and operates on several levels.


Icon & Kabuki
May 07 2004,18:49

Hi friends,

Thanks for the kind words and feedback.
Videofarmer,
Good to see you at the Atlanta Comicon!  It was a great con.
And Sean McK,
Thanks for dropping by, and for reading Kabuki!  I really appreciate it

I've seen a few posts mentioning interests or questions about the new Kabuki series and the previous Kabuki trades.  I want to thank you for the interest in my work and give you a bit of info on Kabuki.

For those that have had kind words about my three different Daredevil storylines, I'm glad you liked my DD stuff, and I hope you will check out the new Kabuki as I think KABUKI is by far the best example of my work in comics both as a writer and artist.
I hope you will check out the new series that is in the current Marvel PReviews, and in the meantime, pick up some of the trades.  My favorite is KABUKI: Metamorphosis.  This one is probably represents the best example of my writing and art in the comic medium.
KABUKI: Circle of Blood is also a good trade to pick up.  If you pick up one (or preferably) both of these, you will totally be set for the new Kabuki story to debut in July from ICON/Marvel.
Please let me know what you think of Kabuki.  I look forward to any feedback that you have.

For more info on what each Kabuki book is about, you can go to davidmack.net.

And you can post any questions here, and I will continue to check in to answer from time to time.

Kindest regards,
David


Icon & Kabuki
May 07 2004,18:52

This recent interview cover story from Comic Shop News should answer some of your other questions.  About the new series, the future Tigerlily series...

Also lots of info as to how/why I do comics, and more Kabuki story info, As for what the new Kabuki series at Marvel is about, etc.

For those that missed the recent cover story that ComicShopNews did with me, here is the Interview...

Hi, David!

We'd like to do a cover story on the new Kabuki series, if you have time for some questions!

(1) This is being promoted as a new start for Kabuki; can you offer some details on that aspect of the series?

DM: The new KABUKI series, KABUKI- The Alchemy, is a brand new era in Kabuki's life. It is a great place for new readers to start because it is a brand new start for Kabuki that is very much it's own story, not dependant on previous stories. You don't need to read the past to understand the primary thrust of the new story. But if you do, you will love the contrast and the oblique and subtle hints at her past. And you will see the fruition of many of the seeds planted in previous issues! Seeds that you didn't know were seeds, but now you will see them blossom into something spectacular and mind-blowing.

This era in Kabuki’s life is its own story and it is not going to recap anything from the previous stories. I've made sure that all six Kabuki volumes are in print and available in paperback and hardcover collections. So I hope readers will use this as an opportunity to read the early Kabuki collections that have come before in preparation for this new series. But if they do not, they will still be able to begin with this story. Those previous stories are Kabuki's past. There won't be any flashbacks to it. No catch up.

For readers that have read all of the Kabuki volumes so far, after you read this new series, you will want to go back and read the previous stories again and you will see them in a new way that is going to make you appreciate them in a brand new dimension as well as the ways that they are already charming to you. They will still hold that charm, but you will have a brand new perspective to appreciate them from. It will be like looking at pictures of yourself as a child. You always appreciated the pictures for what they were, but now that you are grown up, you can see how those moments shaped your present life.

The new series is specifically designed to be Kabuki’s new life. And it is essentially an instruction manual on creating a NEW life, creating the life of YOUR OWN PERSONAL DREAMS AND INTERESTS, that should be practical and applicable to anyone who reads it. It is a recipe and blueprint for creating your own reality, your own career, and your own fresh start. It is a spell for creating your own magic. Taking the baggage of your life and turning it into something positive and useful. Turning your garbage into gold.

(2) How did Kabuki begin? How much of the Kabuki canon had you envisioned from the beginning, and how much of it developed as the story went along?
DM: Kabuki was my answer to my decision to do comic books. So perhaps I should start by explaining why I chose to do comics. All my life I had made things. Stories, sculptures, paintings, drawings. And I had great passion for learning and doing. I love everything, and wasn’t really interested in specializing. At a certain point in high school teachers like you to fit your interests and passions into a box that you can at least major in, but I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of only doing one thing to the exclusion of others. When I was sixteen I was applying for a university scholarship for art. I teacher suggested that I put together a portfolio showing ten different media that I worked in. I had photography, sculpture, oil painting, watercolor, charcoal, etc. For the tenth piece I decided that I really wanted to do something that dealt with the nature of time and sequence. I loved film, and I loved books, and the personal nature of books, and I also loved to read comic books. So I decided that for the tenth example of my work that I would make a comic. And I did. I wrote and illustrated and lettered a 55 page book for my scholarship submission. And in the process of doing that, I realized that the medium of comic books are a format that I could integrate all other mediums into. And I realized that comics were the medium I could work in, because they had no limitations, and they included and encompassed aspects of every other medium.

My work on Kabuki Began in January of 1993 when I was twenty years old. I would begin publishing Kabuki in 1994. Having decided the medium I would work with, and having worked in the business for a couple years to learn the craft, I decided that I wanted to create a comic book in which I could incorporate all of my personal philosophies, my passion for learning, and integrate my everyday personal experiences. I loved autobiographical comics, but I was not yet comfortable with that idea. I wanted to tell personal truths but at a distance. Through the unselfconscious comfort of a veil. But I did not want to fall into the trap of making the main character an idealized version of myself. So I decided that I would make all of the surface details very opposite, and that way the universal truths could shine through, and I could tell the story through metaphor. This way, instead of reading the story and seeing me, readers could find their own personal relation to the story and see themselves.

So I made the main character the opposite gender. I set the story in a different part of the world, with a different language, different history, and different culture. I was in university at the time, and I was taking the Japanese language, and learning Japanese history and mythology in my classes and in my own travels. So I used that as a framework for the story. The structure of the story is the traditional structure and metaphors of the traditional Japanese Ghost Story that is the subject of many of the Japanese Kabuki plays.

Much of the first Kabuki story is me as a 21-22 year old dealing with the death of my mother, just as Kabuki is coming to terms with the relationship and death of her mother in the story.

I knew the structure that the story would follow. So I had a skeletal outline of some of the major points very early on. And through the process of working on it, the rest came alive for me. When I was working on KABUKI Circle of Blood, I knew the main structure of most of the other books up through Metamorphosis. But the real life of the story occurred in the process. And when I was doing KABUKI Metamorphosis, most of the high points for KABUKI- The Alchemy occurred to me and I made notes for it then and also outlined my ideas for the next few Kabuki stories.

(3) For some of the Kabuki-related books, you worked with Rick Mays and other artists, didn't you? What made you decide to come back to doing full art for this project? And for that matter, how do you decide which books you write and which you write & illustrate?
DM: For each story I do, the style and nature of the art is dictated by the nature of the story. I begin as a writer first and use the art as just another tool of the writing. I choose what art style, art media, storytelling pace, and rhythm is going best communicate the tone and atmosphere and language of the story.

KABUKI- Masks of the Noh (volume 3 of the Kabuki collections) is the first time I collaborated with other artists. The idea behind this story is that the Noh is searching for Kabuki. And though Kabuki is the central character to this story, and holds the story together, she is mostly absent, and it is the fleshing out of these secondary characters that becomes the humanity of the story. So in introducing each of these characters, I write them each with a different tone and voice. But I also wanted each one to have their own distinctive visual personality that contrasts from the other. So that idea was that each of the characters would be drawn by a different artist. That way, each time they appear in the story, the reader immediately sees their own unique perspective. It was a bold experiment and a logistical nightmare, but in retrospect, it worked out very nicely. Each time Kabuki appears, she is drawn by me. Rick Mays draws Scarab and Tigerlily every time they appear, Dave Johnson and Mike Oeming drew Ice, Andrew Robinson drew Snapdragon, and so on.

Then for the next two Kabuki volumes, Skin Deep (vol 4) and Metamorphosis (vol 5), I drew everything as Kabuki was the central character. Then in Scarab (vol 6) Rick Mays reprised his role as artist of Scarab to keep with continuity of that character’s visual personality. It is a story that chronicles her life from childhood to adult like Circle of Blood does with Kabuki.

Eventually I will do a series for each of the Noh characters. And for their stories, I intend to write them and work with an artist. And for all of the Kabuki stories I will be doing all of the artwork myself. And these will continue to alternate. I draw KABUKI- The Alchemy, then the next series will be a biography of Tigerlily with Rick Mays doing the art. That will give me plenty of time to gear up for the next Kabuki story that I paint myself, and so on.

(4) For readers who aren't familiar with Kabuki, could you offer a rundown on the series and the concept?
DM: The first Kabuki story begins with the character called Kabuki being an operative for a government agency in Japan called the Noh. This agency polices the interdependence between the worlds of organized crime and politics and business in Japan. They are also a part of the media and each of the Noh is a sort of pop culture Icon with a mask and clothing that is a variation on a form of Japanese traditional theatre. Kabuki has some personal issues stemming from the scars on her face, and she can only relate to the world through the security of her mask. The mystery of her scars unfolds as her personal issues with the death of her mother send her in a path of action that conflicts with the powers that she serves.

It is a mix of Japanese historical mythology, political intrigue, corporate espionage, and familial duty wrapped up in the retelling of the Japanese Ghost story. It is also a retelling of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. In that each of the characters in Kabuki corresponds to iconographic characters in that book and to pieces on the chessboard. Both stories are about the pawn’s journey to queen, or a child’s journey to an adult or evolved consciousness. Just as that book was a social commentary in the guise of a children’s book, Kabuki has it’s own themes that operate on several levels. Some are only apparent in repeat readings.

The story evolves as the character does in each of the succeeding volumes. KABUKI- Metamorphosis is described as this: “In an institution for renegade government agents, a horribly scarred woman faces a psychological showdown with her interrogating analyst, meets the other “defective” inmates, discovers the nature of identity, quantum physics, time, and the meaning of life. But can she escape her captors before her former comrades track her down to silence her?”

(5) Is all the earlier Kabuki material available in trade paperback now, or are there still some stories uncollected?
DM: All the Kabuki stories are collected in paperback and hardcover.
Vol 1- Circle of Blood (272 p)
Vol 2- Dreams (128 p)
Vol 3- Masks of the Noh (128 p)
Vol 4- Skin Deep (128 p)
Vol 5- Metamorphosis (288 p)
Vol 6- Scarab (288 p)
(6) Speaking of the trades--am I correct in remembering that you reworked and expanded some of the material when it was collected in trade paperback?
DM: On the earlier books, I added some extra pages in the trades and I went back and reworked some of the pages. I also include sketch pages, art process pages, pin ups, a detailed afterword and an introduction. The introductions are by: Steranko, Brian Michael Bendis, Terry Moore, Alex Ross, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Paul Pope.
(7) This is a fully painted series, right? How much of a time commitment does that demand from you? How long has the book been in production, and how far along are you in the series currently?
DM: It is fully painted. When I am writing and painting and lettering and doing all the production on a book like I do with Kabuki, I like to have two months for each issue. I’ve been building the story for this one since Metamorphosis ended, so I have a lot more of the story fleshed out than I usually do before I start publishing it in the periodical bi-monthly chapters.
(8) Erik Larsen has said that he prefers to focus most of his efforts on his creation, Savage Dragon. You've alternated, in a way, doing some Kabuki material, then taking a break and doing other stuff, including Daredevil; do you prefer working this way rather than dealing with the same character month in and month out? Is it a creative decision, a financial one, or both?
DM: I definitely put most of my effort on Kabuki and prefer to. It is my complete outlet where I can do anything I need to do. I created it from the beginning and enjoy building on it as it grows over the years.

I have done three Daredevil arcs and the covers to the entire run of Alias. But I had already done seven years of straight Kabuki at a pretty break neck bimonthly pace before I worked on DD. After doing Kabuki straight for seven years, it was a fun switch to work in a collaborative effort with creators that I respect on a character that I read when I was a kid.

It was a creative decision. I make a comfortable living from doing just Kabuki. This is because the Kabuki collections continue to sell more and more each year. Kabuki Circle of Blood sells more now than it did when it came out ten years ago. Same for all the other collections. The Kabuki books have a Sandman type life as paperbacks and hardcovers in that new readers continue to buy them year after year. And after a new reader buys one Kabuki collection, they go back and buy all of the rest of them.

So I felt like it was the right time for me to stretch my creative muscles in a different way. And this did pay off in Kabuki readership as well, because readers of my DD stories began buying all of the Kabuki collections in large amounts and have stuck with the books as new Kabuki readers. Each Kabuki collection has went through several printings and continues to stay in print.

And I continued to have published Kabuki for most of the time that I worked on DD. The first DD story I wrote, I did it between issue #7 and #8 of Kabuki Metamorphosis. Then I painted the Wake Up story with Bendis while I was publishing Kabuki Scarab. Then I did the Alias covers and the Echo story after Scarab. That was all a lot of fun and a great shift in creative muscles, but now it is a joy to be back to my own creative focus with KABUKI- The Alchemy.

(9) By promoting this as a "jumping on point" for new readers, Image has conveyed to some the impression that Kabuki will be appearing more regularly from here on. Is that the case?
DM: Yes. Each issue of this story is scheduled to come out every two months. Some times we might solicit it as three months between if I need time to catch up.
(10) You've maintained pretty tight control over Kabuki thus far; have you considered inviting other creators, like Brian Bendis, to play with your toys--that is, letting others write and draw stories set in the Kabukiverse?
DM: It has not occurred to me before. It would sort of be like asking someone else to write my autobiography. It would sort of defeat the purpose. That said, there could be room for some kind of collaboration or spot for that if the format is right for it. If it fit the nature of the overall story. I love collaborating with Brian Bendis, so I won’t say never. But as a basic rule, I intend to write all of it.
(11) There was a rumor recently that a Kabuki-Daredevil crossover project might happen at some point in the future... pipe dream or real possibility?
DM: I don’t see that happening. This is sort of the same thing for me. I’ve had many great offers for crossovers with Kabuki with many top characters. But that’s not really the way I approach my Kabuki work. I have a pretty specific personally driven story with this character. If I think something will work, who knows, but I won’t do a crossover just to do one. It would have to make a lot of sense to me. My basic policy is not to.
(12) Where do you go after The Alchemy is done?
DM: As far as Kabuki is concerned, I have many more Kabuki stories written to follow The Alchemy. I also have an oversized artbook scheduled for this year from Image. And I have some other creator owned projects. One is an autobiographical comic that I’ve been working on tentatively titled “Self Portrait”. You can see an eight page chapter from it in the Tenth Anniversary Edition of “Tales from The Edge”. The Edge describes itself as: “Stories by, and about, the world’s greatest cutting-edge artists”. The Tenth anniversary Edition of the Edge is offered for 2004 and includes stories by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, Marshal Arisman, Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storey, and Jim Steranko. It also features a brand new story written and drawn by me.

And I’m collaborating with Brian Bendis in writing Ultimate X-men. But this new chapter of Kabuki will be my main focus for the foreseeable future. I make a conscious effort to improve with every issue and to break new ground and evolve as a writer with each Kabuki story as the character is evolving. The Alchemy does this in spades and operates on several levels.


KABUKI live action film questions...
May 10 2004,01:27

Some of you may know that I've been working on the Kabuki film with Fox for a while.
I can't talk about much of the film stuff yet, but I was just curious of what you all thought about these things...What opinions of readers may be...

Who do you think would be the best actress to play Kabuki?

Wish list actors for the rest of the cast? Kai? General? Akemi? Link? Etc?

What do you think would be the best story structure for the film?
Like what Kabuki story or stories would you prefer to be included in the first film?
Who do you think would be the best director for that story?

It's been an interesting process these years, and been fun hearing actresses that I admired reading my lines in auditions, and sending signed books to others. Was also great working with John Sayles as was earlier broke on this board.

When I can announce more, I will. But I thought it would be good to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Thanks


KABUKI live action film questions...
May 10 2004,05:23

Glad you liked my first DD run.

I think Kabuki is by far the best example of my work in comics.  As a writer, and as an artist.
To get a good sense of it, pick up one of the Kabuki trades.  I recommend either KABUKI: CIrcle of Blood, or KABUKI: Metamorphosis.

I guarantee you will like it.  If for some reason you don't,  bring it by at a convention, I'm at and I will buy it back from you

Also, glad you liked the DD/Echo covers.  Each of the Kabuki trades uses a different art style and medium.  If you liked those covers, I think you will love the Metamorphosis book.

I hope some of you will give it a chance with the new run at Marvel.

If you pick up one of the trades, let me know what you think by posting about it here.

For more info on what each of the Kabuki trades is about, go to davidmack.net.

Best,
DM


Icon & Kabuki
May 10 2004,15:13

Thanks.
Please let me know your reaction to it, when you read it.
Kindest regards,
David


KABUKI live action film questions...
May 10 2004,15:23

Thank you very much for the hearty testamonials to the books Shwicaz and Spindle!
Glad you are going to try the new series, Reaperfett.

I really appreciate it.

Glad some of you like my DD and Echo work.  I don't really think the DD or Echo stories are very representative of my approach to Kabuki. I think Kabuki is something that really stands on its own in this medium. It is my own personal epic-scale story.

If you have any other questions about it let me know.

And for those that have read it, I really appreciate you speaking up on it
Thanks Shwicaz and Spindle...


I'm Thirty!, Or Something Like It
May 10 2004,23:17

Congrats!

Me 2


I've been asked to speak at Harvard...
May 10 2004,22:34

The Harvard and Radcliffe Sience Fiction Association has asked me to come to the campus and do a panel, workshop, reading, and signing at their annual Science Fiction convention.

It sounds great, I'm honored to be one of thier guest authors for this event, and I am intending to go.  It is next January 30.

Does anyone here go to Harvard?

Any experience with this Harvard Sci-fi event?

I've done things like this at other universities.  University of Technology in Sydney Australia, NKU... and I have been asked to do School of Visual Arts in NY,  Savanah College of Art and Designe, and Berkely, which I also intend to do when I get the chance.

But I've never been to Harvard.  Andy students or graduates know anything?

Thanks,
DM


I've been asked to speak at Harvard...
May 11 2004,15:46

Thanks Gibs,
Have I met Peterson?

Yes, I met him when I was doing a signing in Paris.

By the way, any French readers here?  I hear the new Kabuki hardcover French Translation should have shipped by now.  Have you seen it?


I've been asked to speak at Harvard...
May 11 2004,15:54

Now I remember.  Peterson seemed nice.  But  Gabriel Dell'Otto and I had been in Paris and Agouleme signing for the last couple weeks with our girlfriends and had a bunch of personal in Jokes.  And we were at dinner when Scott joined us but I enjoyed seeing Gab laugh, so I kept making our sophomoric humor to keep him laughing.  Scott was polite but eyed us strangely about it.  We had just signed at the books store Album.  And before that at the Festival in Angouleme.  It was a great time.
And then I took home copies of Gab's art and showed it to Bendis

And then I think Scott stopped by my table at the recent Orlando con and said hi.


I've been asked to speak at Harvard...
May 11 2004,15:55

Hey thanks Sean!

And thanks friends,
For the regards... and advice


Anyone here going to Motor City COn?
May 12 2004,20:45

I intend to be there the entire time.
I'll have original art on display (Kabuki, Daredevil, Echo, Scarab)

Lots of prints, Kabuki paperbacks and hardcovers, and a mockup of the new Kabuki #1 issue for a sneak peek if you ask for it.

Please stop by and introduce yourself.

If you are unfamiliar with my work, that is ok.  I'll show it to you and give you an issue or sketchbook for free.

I'll be signing the entire time, with no limits on sigining.  You can bring your entire DD or Kabuki collection of my work, or all your Alias issues and I will be happy to sign them for you.

I'll also be at Chicago and San Diego.

Hope to see you there,
Best
David


I've been asked to speak at Harvard...
May 11 2004,22:26

Yeah, I remember you!

I was just going to mention that you were there

Congrats on your film work. That sounds fun.
I hope to be a guest at the Festival of Angouleme next year if possible.  And next time I'm there, I'll sign at Album as usual.

Please give my regards to Album if you see them!
Olivier, Jerome, Guillome, and the Album crew!

I've been real happy with the Kabuki books that Sebestien and Marvel France  have put together.  I'm looking forward to the new Hardcover collection.  (the 3rd HC in French I think).
Best,
David


Pimp your favorite book, NOT being published by DC or Marvel
April 15 2004,04:09

Hey!
Thanks for recommending my Kabuki books.
I really appreciate that.

The new Kabuki series is a brand new story, so new readers can start with it right there...

But, I hope you WILL check out the earlier Kabuki stories.  They will give you a deeper understanding to the layers of the new story.

My favorite collection is KABUKI: Metamorphosis.  I think it represents my best work as a writer and artist in the comics medium.

Also, KABUKI: Circle of Blood is a good one to start with.

If you pick them up, please post here and let me know what you think of them.

Kindest regards,
David Mack


Marvel ICON Line in July, Hello Powers & Kabuki
April 15 2004,04:16

Thanks for the kind regards.
And thanks for those that mentioned Kabuki and that they wanted to try it.

I hope you will check out the KABUKI collections.

The first one is KABUKI: Circle of Blood.

There are six volumes so far.  Circle and KABUKI: Metamorphosis are probably the best ones to start with.  Meta is my fave as I think it represents my best work as a writer and artist in comics.

You can start with the new Kabuki series in July, as it is a brand new story...
But, I hope you will use this oppertunity to read the other collections first as they will give you a deeper understanding of the layers of the story.

Please let me know what you think of them after you read them.


I will be at Philly Con after all...
May 19 2004,14:58

I'll be there all three days.

Sorry for the late notice. But if you are at the show, please stop by my table in artists alley and introduce yourself as someone from Joe's board here.

I'll give you a free Kabuki book and will be happy to talk.
If you have any questions or comments about any of my work, I will be happy to discuss with you, and if you want to know more about Kabuki, I will have all the Kabuki collected volumes there and happy to tell you about it.

I will also have orignal art from Daredevil, Kabuki, Scarab, and plenty of Kabuki collections in paperback or hardcover as well as many 11x17 Kabuki prints, T-shirts, action figures, and Kabuki back issues.

Who here is going to Philly?

I hope to see you there
Kindest regards,
David


I will be at Philly Con after all...
May 19 2004,15:18

That is great to hear!

Glad I will see you both there.

I'm happy to sign any of my books that you bring, Kabuki or Daredevil, and I have no limit on the amount of books that I sign.

I will also be happy to sign any of the books that you pick up at my table.

And for anyone from this message board,  If you pick up a Kabuki trade or hardcover, I will throw in something free (like a free 11X17 print, or some free sketchbooks, or something on my table that you don't already have). I'll throw in some extra stuff and hook you up.

Just remind me of this at my table and say you are from these boards

This goes for friends and fam as well.

See you there!
DM


I will be at Philly Con after all...
May 19 2004,15:41

I'll have some Kabuki masks, and busts (Kabuki, siamese, Snapdragon, mini-masks, maybe Kabuki HeroClix) with me too.

Let me know if there is anything else, or something in particualar, that you want me to bring.

As for sketcthes,
I'll be doing some quick brush and ink sketches for $20.
I'll probably start a list for this, cause most of the time, I end up signing books for people, and talking with them, and then catching up with the quick sketches when I can.  Saturday will probably be pretty busy, so Sunday may be a better day for the Sketches.
I'll work with you.

Best,
DM


WizardWorld Philly, One week and counting!
May 19 2004,15:09

I'll be there all three days.

Just found out today!
Sorry for the late notice.  But if you are at the show, please stop by my table in artists alley and introduce yourself as someone from Joe's board here.
I'll give you a free Kabuki book and will be happy to talk.
If you have any questions or comments about any of my work, I will be happy to discuss with you, and if you want to know more about Kabuki, I will have all the Kabuki collected volumes there and happy to tell you about it.
I will also have orignal art from Daredevil, Kabuki, Scarab, and plenty of Kabuki collections in paperback or hardcover as well as many 11x17 Kabuki prints, T-shirts, action figures, and Kabuki back issues.

I hope to see you there
Kindest regards,
David


WizardWorld Philly, One week and counting!
May 19 2004,15:34

I intend to be there all day every day.

I expect to be set up next to Andy Lee.

See you!
DM


I will be at Philly Con after all...
May 26 2004,02:10

Thanks All!

I'm glad you introduced yourselves at the show.  It was a great con, very busy, and with great people.  It was good to meet you in person.

Thanks for the great feedback about the Kabuki books

I'm glad you are looking forward to the new Kabuki series.  Thanks for taking the initiative to try the books and to stop by and say hello.

Let me know if you have any questions.


The Chupacabra, Or, "The Goatsucker"
May 29 2004,04:00

I like this stuff too.
I wrote a children's book that includes the Chupacabra.
You'll see it in Kabuki #3.


Muchas Gracias, Mack Freebies Galore
May 30 2004,00:45

Good to see you at the con.
Thanks for picking up the Kabuki trades

Looking forward to your reaction to them.

Anyone can start the new Kabuki series from Marvel right there, without having read the trades.  But if you've read KABUKI: Circle of Blood, or KABUKI: Metamorphosis, you'll have an inside view on the new series and see some extra layers in it.


I will be at Philly Con after all...
May 30 2004,00:50

Good to see you at the con.

Thanks for picking up the Kabuki trades
Looking forward to your reaction to them.

Anyone can start the new Kabuki series from Marvel right there, without having read the trades.  But if you've read KABUKI: Circle of Blood, or KABUKI: Metamorphosis, you'll have an inside view on the new series and see some extra layers in it


Ia anyone bored by comics right now?, The majority of them.
May 30 2004,00:56

Hey Shwicaz,
Thanks for the exciting response to my Kabuki trades.  I'm glad you checked them out, and that you are looking forward to the new series.

Anyone can start the new Kabuki series from Marvel right there, without having read the trades.  But if you've read KABUKI: Circle of Blood, or KABUKI: Metamorphosis, you'll have an inside view on the new series and see some extra layers in it

I really am trying to make each Kabuki issue an exciting exploration of the medium as well as the characters.  In each issue, I make a conscious effort to improve and break ground that I haven't covere before, as well as weave together an over-arching story that goes beyond the box of what peaple are used to in comics.



Order Kabuki: Reflections -
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April 11: Webmaster's note


April 7: David Mack attending New York's MoCCA this weekend, MoCCA pre-party, thoughts on two films & more


April 6: Photo of upcoming Dream Logic shirt, David Mack and Tony Solomun art jam zine, David Mack plugged in Qatar newspaper & more
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Designed and maintained by David Thornton, DavidMackGuide.com is an unofficial website dedicated to the artwork and stories of David Mack, who created and owns the copyrights to Kabuki and all related characters. All other characters and images are copyrighted by their respective owners and are used by DavidMackGuide.com only for the purpose of review.