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View Full Version : Lazy Metaphors, did you see your review in the new Kabuki #6?



MACK!
03-07-2006, 12:12 AM
I hope it was presented fine. The link to the site was included and I cut some of the full review out for space and modesty.

Haven't seen you around here lately so hope things are going fine with you.

Lazy_Metaphors
03-07-2006, 09:52 AM
Hey David! No, that was just fine. Glad it was of use to you.

Meant to write this when #6 came out, but I've been busy on my own writing. The day job can be quite draining.

=============

Kabuki: The Alchemy #6: "The Empiricist's New Clothes"... Aw, David. You had me at the title.

"Transmitting electrical energy through the natural mediums" indeed. I defy you to concoct a better description of what "The Alchemy" has been to date. A piece of sequential art that brings new legitimacy to the oft-used term "mixed media" (in an age of MULTImedia, it would almost seem archaic) in crafting its own metalanguage to deliver, in a sense, inspirational fragmentation grenades... the best art looks at art itself even as it causes us to look within ourselves.

From Wikipedia: "In the 19th century, as mainstream alchemy evolved into modern chemistry, its mystic and Hermetic aspects became the focus of a modern spiritual alchemy, where material manipulations are viewed as mere symbols of spiritual transformations." Akemi is a force that transcends what would appear to be her place within the concrete reality of oppressive, corrupt governments and media manipulation (there's that term again) in order to galvanize the slow-burning flames of artists around the world. "The war of art," she says at the end of the volume, and this has never been more true in our own world, as well as the fictional one that Mack portrays so vibrantly. With the advent of the latest net-borne generation, growing up in a world that has grown eerily close to the one Mack laid out back in "Circle of Blood" so long ago, art has swung back under the radar and serves equally to provide escape and to provoke political action.

(For more research fun, take a look at the "kappa," the Japanese mythical figure that Ukiko disguises herself as during her work at Nohland!)

Ukiko wonders again in this issue if Akemi really exists, or if the identity marked by that simply-drawn smiley face is just a superstructure, or a meme, that infects and provides transformation. In many ways, she is reacting from her own position as a woman who has lived behind and through masks, and struggles with it still. Because the answer to Akemi's identity really doesn't matter at all - if anything, it's both. The originator, the creator, is never as important as its creation, and "the Akemi energy," as Ukiko calls it, is bigger than any of them - but there is still the woman(?) whom Ukiko met face to face, the one with whom she shared "a kiss before dying."

In Alan Moore's "V for Vendetta," the most infamous scene is a familiar one to Kabuki readers. Evey Hammond is left to rot in a cell as they pump her for information; and a toilet paper message from a woman named Valerie, who loved her unconditionally without ever seeing her face, gives her the strength to survive. When the prison is revealed to be a fake, a lesson from V, they argue and V reveals that Valerie was real, but shows that the message, that hope and love, is beyond even the brave woman who died loving a cell mate she never met. The transformation that "Akemi" brings to each person is beyond any one person, but it does not negate the former Paper Tiger, the former Tigerlily, with whom Ukiko has bonded on a personal level.

(Alan Moore has also talked at length on the concept of "Idea Space" as mentioned in this issue, though from a different angle. Kabuki fans would definitely enjoy the recently collected "A Disease of Language," collecting interviews with Moore along with the mixed-media work of Eddie Campbell, collecting Moore's spoken-word pieces. It's probably the closest comic work, in style, to "Kabuki" itself.)

Akemi tells Ukiko that when they meet next issue, she will not show up "in the form that you are used to." Let the speculation begin: will she appear as the Noh agent she replaced? Will she validate the hints from "Metamorphosis" and appear as a man? Or will she appear as something - or someone - else entirely?

On a personal level, I was certainly happy to see one of my favorite supporting characters return this issue. Ukiko's new roommate is a great counterpoint, and the way their quests are so similar, despite the differences in their "art forms," makes for a great look into the creative process. After the previous issues and their prepping us to begin work, David now talks about how to KEEP working, and how to keep energy and ideas coming.

"The trick, of course, is to walk around accepted limitations." As always, Mack's opus does that with zeal.

MACK!
03-07-2006, 10:58 AM
Hey David! No, that was just fine. Glad it was of use to you.

Meant to write this when #6 came out, but I've been busy on my own writing. The day job can be quite draining.

=============

Kabuki: The Alchemy #6: "The Empiricist's New Clothes"... Aw, David. You had me at the title.

"Transmitting electrical energy through the natural mediums" indeed. I defy you to concoct a better description of what "The Alchemy" has been to date. A piece of sequential art that brings new legitimacy to the oft-used term "mixed media" (in an age of MULTImedia, it would almost seem archaic) in crafting its own metalanguage to deliver, in a sense, inspirational fragmentation grenades... the best art looks at art itself even as it causes us to look within ourselves.

From Wikipedia: "In the 19th century, as mainstream alchemy evolved into modern chemistry, its mystic and Hermetic aspects became the focus of a modern spiritual alchemy, where material manipulations are viewed as mere symbols of spiritual transformations." Akemi is a force that transcends what would appear to be her place within the concrete reality of oppressive, corrupt governments and media manipulation (there's that term again) in order to galvanize the slow-burning flames of artists around the world. "The war of art," she says at the end of the volume, and this has never been more true in our own world, as well as the fictional one that Mack portrays so vibrantly. With the advent of the latest net-borne generation, growing up in a world that has grown eerily close to the one Mack laid out back in "Circle of Blood" so long ago, art has swung back under the radar and serves equally to provide escape and to provoke political action.

(For more research fun, take a look at the "kappa," the Japanese mythical figure that Ukiko disguises herself as during her work at Nohland!)

Ukiko wonders again in this issue if Akemi really exists, or if the identity marked by that simply-drawn smiley face is just a superstructure, or a meme, that infects and provides transformation. In many ways, she is reacting from her own position as a woman who has lived behind and through masks, and struggles with it still. Because the answer to Akemi's identity really doesn't matter at all - if anything, it's both. The originator, the creator, is never as important as its creation, and "the Akemi energy," as Ukiko calls it, is bigger than any of them - but there is still the woman(?) whom Ukiko met face to face, the one with whom she shared "a kiss before dying."

In Alan Moore's "V for Vendetta," the most infamous scene is a familiar one to Kabuki readers. Evey Hammond is left to rot in a cell as they pump her for information; and a toilet paper message from a woman named Valerie, who loved her unconditionally without ever seeing her face, gives her the strength to survive. When the prison is revealed to be a fake, a lesson from V, they argue and V reveals that Valerie was real, but shows that the message, that hope and love, is beyond even the brave woman who died loving a cell mate she never met. The transformation that "Akemi" brings to each person is beyond any one person, but it does not negate the former Paper Tiger, the former Tigerlily, with whom Ukiko has bonded on a personal level.

(Alan Moore has also talked at length on the concept of "Idea Space" as mentioned in this issue, though from a different angle. Kabuki fans would definitely enjoy the recently collected "A Disease of Language," collecting interviews with Moore along with the mixed-media work of Eddie Campbell, collecting Moore's spoken-word pieces. It's probably the closest comic work, in style, to "Kabuki" itself.)

Akemi tells Ukiko that when they meet next issue, she will not show up "in the form that you are used to." Let the speculation begin: will she appear as the Noh agent she replaced? Will she validate the hints from "Metamorphosis" and appear as a man? Or will she appear as something - or someone - else entirely?

On a personal level, I was certainly happy to see one of my favorite supporting characters return this issue. Ukiko's new roommate is a great counterpoint, and the way their quests are so similar, despite the differences in their "art forms," makes for a great look into the creative process. After the previous issues and their prepping us to begin work, David now talks about how to KEEP working, and how to keep energy and ideas coming.

"The trick, of course, is to walk around accepted limitations." As always, Mack's opus does that with zeal.


Is that a review from your site or from cellardoorpublishing.com?
Thanks for such a well thought out response to the issue!
I thought you would like that M.C. Square had returned.
I remember you mentioning her as one of your favorite characters on this board :)

Lazy_Metaphors
03-07-2006, 11:09 AM
Is that a review from your site or from cellardoorpublishing.com?
Thanks for such a well thought out response to the issue!
I thought you would like that M.C. Square had returned.
I remember you mentioning her as one of your favorite characters on this board :)

Naah, I just wrote it now for the forums here.

Thanks as always for making a book that deserves thought in the first place!

Lazy_Metaphors
03-18-2006, 08:48 PM
Ha! I just saw I was on davidmackguide.com! How about that?

MACK!
08-14-2006, 01:34 PM
Hey David! No, that was just fine. Glad it was of use to you.

Meant to write this when #6 came out, but I've been busy on my own writing. The day job can be quite draining.

=============

Kabuki: The Alchemy #6: "The Empiricist's New Clothes"... Aw, David. You had me at the title.

"Transmitting electrical energy through the natural mediums" indeed. I defy you to concoct a better description of what "The Alchemy" has been to date. A piece of sequential art that brings new legitimacy to the oft-used term "mixed media" (in an age of MULTImedia, it would almost seem archaic) in crafting its own metalanguage to deliver, in a sense, inspirational fragmentation grenades... the best art looks at art itself even as it causes us to look within ourselves.

From Wikipedia: "In the 19th century, as mainstream alchemy evolved into modern chemistry, its mystic and Hermetic aspects became the focus of a modern spiritual alchemy, where material manipulations are viewed as mere symbols of spiritual transformations." Akemi is a force that transcends what would appear to be her place within the concrete reality of oppressive, corrupt governments and media manipulation (there's that term again) in order to galvanize the slow-burning flames of artists around the world. "The war of art," she says at the end of the volume, and this has never been more true in our own world, as well as the fictional one that Mack portrays so vibrantly. With the advent of the latest net-borne generation, growing up in a world that has grown eerily close to the one Mack laid out back in "Circle of Blood" so long ago, art has swung back under the radar and serves equally to provide escape and to provoke political action.

(For more research fun, take a look at the "kappa," the Japanese mythical figure that Ukiko disguises herself as during her work at Nohland!)

Ukiko wonders again in this issue if Akemi really exists, or if the identity marked by that simply-drawn smiley face is just a superstructure, or a meme, that infects and provides transformation. In many ways, she is reacting from her own position as a woman who has lived behind and through masks, and struggles with it still. Because the answer to Akemi's identity really doesn't matter at all - if anything, it's both. The originator, the creator, is never as important as its creation, and "the Akemi energy," as Ukiko calls it, is bigger than any of them - but there is still the woman(?) whom Ukiko met face to face, the one with whom she shared "a kiss before dying."

In Alan Moore's "V for Vendetta," the most infamous scene is a familiar one to Kabuki readers. Evey Hammond is left to rot in a cell as they pump her for information; and a toilet paper message from a woman named Valerie, who loved her unconditionally without ever seeing her face, gives her the strength to survive. When the prison is revealed to be a fake, a lesson from V, they argue and V reveals that Valerie was real, but shows that the message, that hope and love, is beyond even the brave woman who died loving a cell mate she never met. The transformation that "Akemi" brings to each person is beyond any one person, but it does not negate the former Paper Tiger, the former Tigerlily, with whom Ukiko has bonded on a personal level.

(Alan Moore has also talked at length on the concept of "Idea Space" as mentioned in this issue, though from a different angle. Kabuki fans would definitely enjoy the recently collected "A Disease of Language," collecting interviews with Moore along with the mixed-media work of Eddie Campbell, collecting Moore's spoken-word pieces. It's probably the closest comic work, in style, to "Kabuki" itself.)

Akemi tells Ukiko that when they meet next issue, she will not show up "in the form that you are used to." Let the speculation begin: will she appear as the Noh agent she replaced? Will she validate the hints from "Metamorphosis" and appear as a man? Or will she appear as something - or someone - else entirely?

On a personal level, I was certainly happy to see one of my favorite supporting characters return this issue. Ukiko's new roommate is a great counterpoint, and the way their quests are so similar, despite the differences in their "art forms," makes for a great look into the creative process. After the previous issues and their prepping us to begin work, David now talks about how to KEEP working, and how to keep energy and ideas coming.

"The trick, of course, is to walk around accepted limitations." As always, Mack's opus does that with zeal.




Hi Michael,
A portion of this made it into the letters collumn for Kabuki The Alchemy #7 as well.

Did you go to the Chicago con?
I thought I may see you there but if so, I don't think you introduced yourself.

Best,
DM

Lazy_Metaphors
08-16-2006, 05:11 PM
Hi Michael,
A portion of this made it into the letters collumn for Kabuki The Alchemy #7 as well.

Did you go to the Chicago con?
I thought I may see you there but if so, I don't think you introduced yourself.

Sir!

:surrend:

No, I'm afraid that wasn't me. It's been something of a crazy month here, and as I recently left my job, attending this year's convention wasn't in the cards. I'm sorry I wasn't able to come by - yours is one of the few tables I would have been interested in visiting - though I've gotten enough signatures from you at this point, I think. 8-)

I don't know WHO that was! For someone who's done so much work with the concept of identity, and impersonation for that matter, you finding an evil twin of me wandering around out there is... synchronistic? Or maybe just creepy.

I'm looking forward to the new issue a great deal. When I pick it up, I'm sure I'll be back here with a little more active participation than I've had of late. I've just been off in my corner, focusing on a collection of short stories I'm hoping to send into the world some day soon... an edited and revised version of the piece I posted here some time back is one of them, though I've got about a dozen on hand and a half-dozen more underway.

Last night, though, I wrote this scene, which I couldn't get out of my head - but it's not very mainstream-approachable! :lol: Since I found myself referencing your work again, I figured I'd share it. Applicable part in bold.

Bring back Dove!

With all possible respect,
Mike Peterson

---

Constantine Diamantidis, though, he was easily the smartest motherfucker in our class. I remember when he got the idea; or at least when I think he did. He set up in the union building, selling these prints of Garfield done up in full Robert Crumb style. All the linework was turned in on itself, dizzy. I asked him if maybe the idea was too easy, too obvious, and he said it was a trial run. I didn’t really get what he meant then, just watched them go up in place of Klimt and Escher and the Reservoir Dogs. The girls of Pi Pi were fucking in threes and fours beneath “Fritz Tabby” and “Trucker Jon.”

I was focused more on my grammatical mathematics final when I went to his thesis exhibition. He’d been studying copyright law and subversive marketing all semester, and the pamphlet collection of his new exhibition work was called “Comic Mash-Up.” This was the new media. There was a blank mural up front for taggers to come in and add, one panel at a time, their narrative of the streets and rails.

The first piece was collage and mixed media. Parker, Stone, and Mack. “South Noh Park,” cut-out schoolgirls in a savage tear at violence-saturated media and co-opting Asian culture. Professors arguing over using an interstitial medium to bridge high and low art. Oh my God, you killed Scarab.

And then “Alecwood.” Elevating the mundane, the rhythm of language in sketch visuals. Eddie Campbell’s razor-thin parallel lines, with inhuman figures. Alec McGarry as Roast Beef Kazenzakis, Danny Grey as a poor man’s Ray Smuckles. The toilet bowl can be a King Canute.

The comic adaptation of his final presentation, however, didn’t do his work justice. The other paintings, the other Bristol pages framed and divorced from their sequence, they were almost reverse commentary. But the last story was playing on a screen to a packed, whooping crowd. Mental illness broken down, and archetypes dissolved. Kermit the Frog’s flailing arms in a plugsuit. Piggy as Asuka Langley. Animal with toy models in his mouth, knocking over Styrofoam buildings. Fozzie Bear with his stuffing pulled out. Gonzo Ikari in dark glasses, presiding over the mad circus theatre.

“Is that why you perform? To validate yourself in the reactions of others?”

“I’m not real unless…”