Kabuki: The Alchemy


If you don’t like the story your culture is writing, it’s not enough to rail against it or say you don’t subscribe to it. You have the obligation to be writing your own story– To be a contributing author of your own culture.

This is exactly what David Mack seems to be doing through his groundbreaking Kabuki series; a powerful comic book series that defies all precedents in the genre and succeeds in creating a visually arresting world like never before.

What jumps at you when you flip through the pages for the first time is the artwork. Unlike traditional comic books, it’s not just pencil and ink that adorn the pages, it’s an amalgamation of various styles ranging from paint to magazine clippings. The story telling too is far from ordinary; characters take up more space than the plot per se. The plot is merely an excuse for rich ideas and musings on consciousness, philosophy, deceit, knowledge of the self and love.

Kabuki is a girl driven by vengeance who dies after massacring The Board of Directors of an evil front called Noh. She is brought back to life and to a mental rehabilitation facility by the Control Corps, where she is reprogrammed but takes on a new identity and flees when she learns that her former associates are after her life. Over the course of the book, the plot hardly moves; Kabuki: The Alchemy is a more of an introspective tale than anything else.

Intellectually and artistically, this book is like nothing I’ve ever come across before. Kabuki is a sort of postmodernist counter culture defying all known rules of story telling and goes to show what a powerful medium the comic book has become over the years.

[Pictures sourced from www.davidmackguide.com]


13 Responses to “Kabuki: The Alchemy”

  1. I love the illustrations. Any idea where I could get a copy from?

  2. Ruhi…you should check at your nearest comic book dealer; they should have it. Another amazing thing about the series is that each of the books stands out on it’s own.

    I remember you liking Maus…you’ll probably like this too then, though the story telling technique is very very very different.

  3. All right 🙂 Recently I’ve been finding everything that’s possible to distract me from working. This is another one added to the list.

    I did like Maus a lot, and I wouldn’t mind a different way of story telling. Maus kind of bored me a bit towards the end.

  4. I got hold of ‘Reflections”- collection of art by David Mack. I was stunned by his water color painting abilities. Never seen anyone using crow quill, water color and plain lead pencil like this.

  5. i’ve been searching for this comic in cbr format on torrents. no luck yet. if u find a link, do mail it to me. i;ve been reading up on Kabuki and David Mack. and i’m dying to read this work.

  6. Bap, I’ll email you the links. I found all of them.

  7. 7 laney

    The new issue of Alchemy- #9 references the concept of Baphomet in the story.

    Great characters, great ideas, great plot and exquisite storytelling on the most innovative level.

    also check out the fan site davidmackguide.com and macks myspace page: davidmackkabuki

  8. @Ruhi Collection of art? I thought Reflection was an entirely different Kabuki series. If you liked this…you’ll probably want to check out the art of Kent Williams in The Fountain graphic novel…plenty of water colors and paint.

    @baphomet Like Laney said, there is a very cool reference to Baphomet in Issue #9…which is I own! Muhahah!

  9. 9 Ravenent

    @Presti: Seems quite interesting, hadn’t heard of it, more comments later, thanks! 😉

    @ruhi: I’d appreciate it if you could point me to the site you got this from, or better still, rar the torrents (if you still have ’em) and put it on Mediafire etc.

  10. Ravenant–


    It’s in .rar format.


    You can download the Reflection volume from this link.

  11. @ruhi Woah…thanks for the link!

  12. 12 Ravenent

    @ruhi: Thanks for the link! 🙂

  13. 13 Lin

    Yah, just check out davidmackguide.com as it has updates on Mack’s work everyday. And it has lists of all the online stores that have the Kabuki books available and all the best prices.

    And the new Mack children’s book THE SHY CREATURES.
    This site is many pages and has all the info at it.

    Also mack has a myspace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: