Saturday, December 10, 2005

How I ended up in David Mack's Kabuki

Okay, not me exactly ehehe. First off, for those of you asking "David who?". David Mack is a graphic novel writer and artist. Perhaps not as huge as Neil Gaiman (and those who don't know who Gaiman is, just google him), but he's well on his way, imo. What's so amazing about David's major ouevre, the Kabuki series, is that he does the writing and the art. And what do you know, it doesn't suck! Not only does it not suck, it soars!!! It's a very good example of how the marriage of graphics and text can be very powerful in telling a story. There's nothing like it out there.

So your next question is: what (or more appropriately, who) the heck is Kabuki? Kabuki is an operative of The Noh, a secret organization that polices the balance between organized crime and politics in present-day Japan. It's not your typical action-packed story populated by impossibly buxom women. The heroine is a flawed creature, forever scarred by a painful personal history that has left the mark "Kabuki" inscribed on her face. The series, begun by the author as a thesis in college, delves into issues of identity and being. It touches on culture, history, psychology, philosophy, science. It's a fictional story that talks about universal truths (aren't those the best stories around?). All this sounds quite lame if you truly knew what I'm talking about.

Anyway, in the last completed 9-story arc (Kabuki: The Metamorphosis), Kabuki escapes The Noh and her past, aided by Akemi, with whom she has been in contact solely through surreptitiously delivered origami letters.

In Kabuki: The Alchemy, Kabuki begins her new life under a new identity. In #5, having settled in her new home somewhere in America, she continues to correspond with Akemi, who by the end of Metamorphosis, had infiltrated The Noh. The art, as always, is fabulously rich. (Preview here.) Collaged into the pages are envelopes from around the world. One of them is from Manila. Guess who sent it in?

Here's a closer look:

Hmmm. Strange how things come together. I didn't know the post office had butterfly stamps at that time. Enclosed with the letter were copies of 2 Kabuki-related poems I wrote some time ago -- both mention butterflies (since they were recurring images in Metamorphosis which appealed to me very strongly: the butterfly as transformation, ephemeral creature, beautiful yet frail miracle).

Fully Booked has been talking about bringing David over for some time now, even before they got Neil Gaiman. The Mackster announced it himself months before. I pointedly asked FB owner Mr. Daez if they still intended to push through with it and he said yes. Wonder when that will happen? Hmm.

For more information on David Mack and Kabuki, check out the link in the slowly improving sidebar, folks. (Ladies, you might want to check what David Mack looks like, he's sorta hunky. *ahem* ;-) )


Anonymous said...

tsk tsk tsk...
So he is a nice fellow, since he kept his promise.
And I am a nasty contessa, since I forgot to send him stamps.
*hides forever*
Is it too late to send anything?

imogen_ph said...

i really don't know, contessa. no one knows what's going on in that wonderful head of his. (did i tell you that he wrote himself into the story? he made an appearance on the plane!) anyway, pssst, in #5, ukiko (that's kabuki's name) seems to be interested in photography, so the mackster might well have use for photographs in the near future *cough hint cough* *makes note to self*

terry2000 said...


I learned of your blog because there is a link to it on!
Congratulations! You are in the book and on the fan site!

I think Mack said he is using more stamps and things in other issues as well.
You should send him stuff. He seems to use things fans send him in his art work.

I love your comments of the Kabuki book and Mack's work.
I love the writing of David Mack and Neil Gaimen.

Is anyone else here familiar with Mack's work?

groovebunny said...

Hi, I found a link to your site through! How completely awesome to be mentioned on the site and have your envelope used in Mack's work! Congratulations! :)