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View Full Version : You aRe going to get a kick out of THE ALCHEMY #8



MACK!
10-23-2006, 12:45 AM
Its one of those moments where I wonder if I've gone to far

ReporterSteven
10-23-2006, 01:15 AM
rock on. Can't wait. Any hints?

tdaniel
10-23-2006, 09:07 PM
How is far? I heard its nice. I'm going there with you.

MACK!
10-24-2006, 12:24 AM
How is far? I heard its nice. I'm going there with you.

HA :)
Choose either of the below responses:

A) Here you go, use this one: "too"


B) It is a fantastic place. I tend to live there. Weather is fine but mostly in my head.
Also I'm hungry.

J. Wilson
10-24-2006, 04:01 AM
Damn creator hype making me even less patient to see what they are talking about! ARGGHH!

DeadMike
10-26-2006, 12:35 PM
When can we expect this?

Lazy_Metaphors
11-04-2006, 09:52 PM
There's no such thing as going too far.

The only thing to fear is dreaming too small.

MACK!
12-10-2006, 10:52 AM
Well the content, is what I was referring to, but I'm doing some really fun things with the panel format as well.

I often hear people say something to the effect that my art doesn't use panels and I sometimes hear the word "random", even though they are saying this in a good way...
It always really PUZZLES me.

I always use panels. I just use panels in new and different ways.
Apparently so different that they don't realize they are panels.

And I never do anything random in the book. All the layouts are strategically planned for the story to a scientific degree.
Hopefully they appear organic and naturally part of the story, but random is a real puzzle word for me in this regard.

Well, I think this issue will really play with the idea of traditional PANEL layout.

I'm doing a really fun thing with the traditional 6 panel page grid.

And I'm turning it inside out and trans-dimensional.
It is a lot of fun!

FUN was my big word for all of these issues and this story.
I know I have a lot of subject matter that asks people to think.

But I always focus on making the book FUN ahead of that.

There were moments on this issue script that started to get a little complicated. So I wrote the word FUN real big on the scripts to make sure I simplify it down and have pure joy of each page and joy of story first and foremost.

Now I crawl back in my hole and work.

Actually, I'm at a cafe with Kabuki pages all over the table as I work on them.

Cheers~

tdaniel
12-11-2006, 11:20 AM
1 page, just 1 page sneak!?!? Please? It would be F-U-N.

Jacob Lyon Goddard
12-11-2006, 07:02 PM
this isn't the last issue, is it?

MACK!
12-12-2006, 10:58 AM
No, Alchemy will be at least 9.

Mary E. Brickthrower, MEB Grim
12-12-2006, 03:54 PM
No, Alchemy will be at least 9.
groovy
thanks

Murdock's Girl
12-18-2006, 09:23 PM
HA :)
Choose either of the below responses:

A) Here you go, use this one: "too"


B) It is a fantastic place. I tend to live there. Weather is fine but mostly in my head.
Also I'm hungry.

It's post like this that made me miss the board so much.
:)
Tessana

tdaniel
12-22-2006, 11:41 AM
I have seen the future. And far? Far is a great place.
And don't worry, if you're still hungry we're bringing snacks.
Bring on 8.
THANK YOU DAVID!

MACK!
01-30-2007, 03:09 AM
It's post like this that made me miss the board so much.
:)
Tessana


I got my copies of #8 from the printer today.
The Kent Williams cover looks GREAT!

I have the original painting on the wall by my desk.
I've been an admirer of his work for a while, and it is very cool to have it as a varient Kabuki cover.
I loved his art on THE FOUNTAIN graphic novel, by the way.

It is in stores this Wednesday.

And my cover art of this is the art I currently have as my profile art on myspace and comicspace.

Akemi is here...

Murdock's Girl
01-30-2007, 08:26 PM
ohhh i can't wait till friday when I can pick up my books.
but its freaking friday because of school. DAMN IT!
;)

Gavin
01-31-2007, 02:22 PM
Got it during lunch. Great work all around. I feel like I need to read it (and the previous issues) again to fully digest.

MACK!
01-31-2007, 03:45 PM
Got it during lunch. Great work all around. I feel like I need to read it (and the previous issues) again to fully digest.


Thanks, and good idea.

Now that you mention it, I recommend that people read Alchemy 1-7 before reading #8 to refresh the recent issue events and ideas in your mind.

thommy
01-31-2007, 04:39 PM
Lovly jubbly...i been waiting so patient

bairdduvessa
02-01-2007, 07:44 AM
i finally found an alchemy issue, this one. my mind hurts now.

love the art

D-Money
02-01-2007, 08:54 PM
I don't know Dave, you MIGHT HAVE gone a little too far this time...it was just a little too surreal and pretentious, especially the part where you were just taking pictures of your workspace and your cat...no offense, but it almost seemed to me like you were just mailing it in. I keep wondering when something, when ANYTHING, is going to actually happen in "The Alchemy". You know, it seems like nothing new has really happened with Kabuki's character since Circle Of Blood's ending, and everything is still building off that story. Kabuki has gone through a Metamorphosis since then, and now she is becoming proficient in her own personal form of Alchemy, creating change in her life...but it still seems like she's been off somewhere in a dream world since escaping the Noh. The tension and drama of the series is gone, where is the antagonist?

It almost seems like the book has become a parody of itself now, sampling it's past success, and continuing on only for the sake of experiementation in the medium...pushing the boundaries to see just how far you can go with the "comic book" concept. I enjoy the existential wandering in "The Alchemy" as much as anyone, but after 8 issues of what seems like the same status quo, I just keep wondering when something new will happen.

I do love your art concepts though, you truly are re-imagining how to construct a comic book, like the way you form panels and layout pages is just brilliant. However, I do miss the old art style from Circle Of Blood, I wish you would draw scenes like that occasionally. And I think you are an excellent writer, especially at the meandering, stream of consciousness style of writing that you do, you really philosophize about some deep concepts, and I can appreciate that. All this plotting must be leading to some kind of action in "The Alchemy", before this series ends. I hope the introduction of Akemi will lead to some new plot development, and maybe some interaction with past characters (like Scarab!?). A possible heel turn by Akemi would certainly spice things up too and give Kabuki a foil, it just struck me as odd how adamant she was for Kabuki to publish her story, so that has me suspicious of her motives. I'm hoping she is a deep cover Noh agent just waiting to twist the knife in Kabuki's back...

I'm sure you've got it all figured out already, but I just wanted to give you some of my thoughts. ;-)

MACK!
02-03-2007, 01:05 AM
I don't know Dave, you MIGHT HAVE gone a little too far this time...it was just a little too surreal and pretentious, especially the part where you were just taking pictures of your workspace and your cat...no offense, but it almost seemed to me like you were just mailing it in. I keep wondering when something, when ANYTHING, is going to actually happen in "The Alchemy". You know, it seems like nothing new has really happened with Kabuki's character since Circle Of Blood's ending, and everything is still building off that story. Kabuki has gone through a Metamorphosis since then, and now she is becoming proficient in her own personal form of Alchemy, creating change in her life...but it still seems like she's been off somewhere in a dream world since escaping the Noh. The tension and drama of the series is gone, where is the antagonist?

It almost seems like the book has become a parody of itself now, sampling it's past success, and continuing on only for the sake of experiementation in the medium...pushing the boundaries to see just how far you can go with the "comic book" concept. I enjoy the existential wandering in "The Alchemy" as much as anyone, but after 8 issues of what seems like the same status quo, I just keep wondering when something new will happen.

I do love your art concepts though, you truly are re-imagining how to construct a comic book, like the way you form panels and layout pages is just brilliant. However, I do miss the old art style from Circle Of Blood, I wish you would draw scenes like that occasionally. And I think you are an excellent writer, especially at the meandering, stream of consciousness style of writing that you do, you really philosophize about some deep concepts, and I can appreciate that. All this plotting must be leading to some kind of action in "The Alchemy", before this series ends. I hope the introduction of Akemi will lead to some new plot development, and maybe some interaction with past characters (like Scarab!?). A possible heel turn by Akemi would certainly spice things up too and give Kabuki a foil, it just struck me as odd how adamant she was for Kabuki to publish her story, so that has me suspicious of her motives. I'm hoping she is a deep cover Noh agent just waiting to twist the knife in Kabuki's back...

I'm sure you've got it all figured out already, but I just wanted to give you some of my thoughts. ;-)





Thanks for the compliments on my writing and the other things you are liking about The Alchemy series. I appreciate your compliments about those things. And I appreciate your speculation behind Akemiís motives. :)
It would appear that she has her own motivations, and I enjoy how different readers are rooting for her to be different things in the story. :)

As for what you are not delighted with about The Alchemy, it just happens to be a very different kind of story than Circle of Blood. The book is not a parody of itself, I just intended from the beginning to make each volume a different kind of read from the others (but perhaps each story does give you a license to look at the previous story in a new way. Not exactly parody, but not a bad idea).
Iím glad you like the Circle of Blood story, and I hope you continue to enjoy it by re-reading it. But Iíve already done that story. It doesnít make sense to me to keep retelling that story when the book has moved on (after all, it can always be re-read in its original form).

I would offer that QUITE A LOT has been happening in this story, but certainly in a different way than the story happens in Volume 1. It is dealing with different ideas, and if you are approaching the story from a template of other stories, you may not be catching what IS actually happening.

Iíve tried to make each volume something that needs to be approached and appreciated on its own terms. Iím certainly not ďmailing it inĒ in any way. I put quite a lot of consideration and effort into each layer of the story. Nice of you to say ďno offenseĒ after that, and Iíll try to take none, but saying that suggests that I should make clear that Iím certainly not coasting or that I consider this part of the story some minor attachment to the previous.

Thanks for asking where the antagonist is in this story. I thought I had made it clear in this story that there is a two-fold antagonist. One is the part of our nature that was labeled ďresistanceĒ in The Alchemy #7. The other is the external collective manifestation of that idea that represents itself in our culture as an oppressive force (usually using fear as its tactic, but just as often using distraction or complacency) and comes in the form of politics, governments, media, and even invasive cultural conditioning. In this story, the name I have given that concept is The Noh.

I realize Iím using the concept of antagonist in this story differently than is usually used, but thatís ok. In fact, it is ok to even make a story without an antagonist at all. I like the idea of telling stories in different ways outside of the same template we usually see.

From the beginning, in my description of The Alchemy, Iíve been very clear that The Alchemy isnít about violence or an action tale. Iíve stated from the beginning that The Alchemy is about the idea of how to find out what it is you want to do or should be doing as your mission or dream in this world, and upon finding that out, how to make that happen through practical application.
So if you read it with that premise in mind, I think you will find that quite a lot has happened in the story (even things that are useful and helpful for practical application). But if you read it with the premise of some other story in mindÖ well, that could just be a fun experiment too.

In fact, thatís not a bad idea. It could be fun to read it and re-read it, each time with a different premise in mind, or a different theory of what Akemi actually is.

No need for me to tell you how to read something. But in light of some of your comments, I thought if may be helpful if I remind you of my premise and consideration behind the story.
I hope that is helpful.

MACK!
02-03-2007, 03:32 AM
i finally found an alchemy issue, this one. my mind hurts now.

love the art

Thanks :)

Have you been unable to find the other issues?

bairdduvessa
02-03-2007, 04:32 AM
Thanks :)

Have you been unable to find the other issues?

my lcs rarely gets extra copies. and i prefer trades for work like yours. (and powers.)
i may look for some more single issues depending on my bills this month.

D-Money
02-03-2007, 05:23 AM
I hope that is helpful.

:) Thanks for the explanation Dave! Clearly I was just going into this book with pre-conceived notions of what the series would be about or what would happen in it. The Alchemy has been quite the mind adventure, and after looking for a physical or external conflict all this time, now I realize most of the struggles have been internal conflicts in this book. And you are right, you've already done Circle Of Blood and there really is no reason to rehash old success, especially since you have so many new ideas and concepts on how to make a comic book it would be foolish to limit yourself to one style of work. If issue #9 is going to be the last issue of this series I will definitely have to go back and read through The Alchemy again in one sitting. Sometimes you just lose sight of a series or lose a sense of what its really about when reading it in small monthly doses. Nonetheless, I will continue to support you and buy your work, and i'm anxiously awaiting your take on the next series. Thanks for your time, and much success to you in all your future endeavours!

DaniDarko
02-03-2007, 10:07 AM
Just wanted to say thanks for another thought provoking issue, David.

The way you wrote actually had me thinking "what if all of this is real and David Mack is just putting his name on it?" and then I realised I was being paranoid. :) Great job.

MACK!
02-03-2007, 05:00 PM
Just wanted to say thanks for another thought provoking issue, David.

The way you wrote actually had me thinking "what if all of this is real and David Mack is just putting his name on it?" and then I realised I was being paranoid. :) Great job.


I appreciate that.
It is a very delicate and risky choice to have some reference in the story to real life situations or real life people or consideration of the authorship of a parrallel story by the characters in the story (even if no actual names of the real people or situations are given in the story)...
because if it is done heavy handedly... there is a danger of pulling the readers OUT of the story.

Conversely, my intent was to pull the STORY into the REAL WORLD.


So with your post, about considering ideas of the story in real world terms, you give me hope and encouragement that my goal succeeded on that level

DaniDarko
02-03-2007, 05:56 PM
I appreciate that.
It is a very delicate and risky choice to have some reference in the story to real life situations or real life people or consideration of the authorship of a parrallel story by the characters in the story (even if no actual names of the real people or situations are given in the story)...
because if it is done heavy handedly... there is a danger of pulling the readers OUT of the story.

Conversely, my intent was to pull the STORY into the REAL WORLD.


So with your post, about considering ideas of the story in real world terms, you give me hope and encouragement that my goal succeeded on that level

Kabuki has always felt like it was kind of running alongside life to me. Like just saying the things that we all deal with in a new way. I do sometimes stop to think about what's being said in an issue, but never thought of it as a bad thing. It's just part of the creator-reader relationship, right?

tdaniel
02-04-2007, 07:27 PM
I have been very hesitant to comment on this issue. Not because of quality issues of art, writing, or presentation, but because I don't know that my ideas are fully formed in response to the issue. I will say this much. In one night, my wife was reading #1, my daughter #3 (again), and I the latest issue. My daughter read #8 tonight and her comment was - "I like how the story is orgami" and folds and unfolds" - and "why does kabuki disappear like that?" I promised I'd ask you!

Some things that I found fun and interesting and had me laughing to myself (joy of private discovery thing you know)-

kabuki developing a consciousness of self, and not just of self but of self being in the format of a comic book or panel, while liking it's structure to the passage of time and real consciousness, how thoughts flow together or skip-jump from one to the next...and how we might not even notice the sequence of our own thoughts until we take note or something makes us take note.

kabuki leaning out from the panel far enough to see...US! Getting to be an unwitting character in the book was the moment that really got me smiling.

akemi convincing kabuki to consider pining this entire thing on...YOU! so you "take the credit, and the heat"
oh snap as she put it.

this is the quote that resonated most this issue for me - "if you don't like the story your culture is writing, it's not enough to rail against it...you have an obligation of writing your own story - of being a contributing author to your own culture."

there is simply nothing and no one in this medium attempting such concepts. I think if anything your peers are Charlie Kaufman and Chuck Palahniuk and interesting that his materials were collaged into this issue.

Can I ask, did you mingle his photos with those of your home or was his contribution some other element? I'll be back I think when I know more! Must re-read from 1 all the way through now.

thommy
02-05-2007, 10:25 AM
david..really enjoyed 8 today..i really appriciate you taking such a big turn in style once again. the ALCHEMY is the KID A of comics. iam sure once things tie up well be hanging on by our fingernails having just survied the fall of the noh..i like the way that i really dont need to read these in order.. sometimes i pick up a copy thats viserble on my shelf and read into it,,or when i feel a challenge of a certain types pop up i will reach for an eposode that touches on that emotion or problem. please keep doing what you do. you have the best fans in the world cos their so honest and really care about your work and this forum shows that.

MACK!
02-10-2007, 01:40 PM
david..really enjoyed 8 today..i really appriciate you taking such a big turn in style once again. the ALCHEMY is the KID A of comics. iam sure once things tie up well be hanging on by our fingernails having just survied the fall of the noh..i like the way that i really dont need to read these in order.. sometimes i pick up a copy thats viserble on my shelf and read into it,,or when i feel a challenge of a certain types pop up i will reach for an eposode that touches on that emotion or problem. please keep doing what you do. you have the best fans in the world cos their so honest and really care about your work and this forum shows that.

Thanks for those points!
I DO have the best fans in the world!

I enjoy your reference to Kabuki as the KID A of comics.
I can see the sense in that :)

Funny too, because there is a thread on Newsarama where someone compared KABUKI to Radiohead.

That is a comparison that I will gladly embrace.
I'm always attracted to the artists (musicions, writers, etc) that make each new album or work its own creature. Different and alive on its own, but also something even larger when compared with the previous body of work.

thommy
02-11-2007, 02:09 AM
Well it's nice to know we are on the same page, that is exsactly what i ment .with time everyone will always refer to alchemy as that tottaly different and deep comic that you HAVE to read..i really liked the feeling i got at the end of this one...the way you have given a idea a life...it's hard to say what i mean and its taken you 8 chapters and hoppfully 10 more, but well.. it's like zen when you know you know and when you know you dont know.
so then your left expressing as a constent do/happening. i think the only reason some people are not clicking to it is because their asking the centerpeed how it walks.

keep doing what you doing

p.s
..(how to dissapear completly and never be found might be a good track for the kabuki movie#nudge)


Thanks for those points!
I DO have the best fans in the world!

I enjoy your reference to Kabuki as the KID A of comics.
I can see the sense in that :)

Funny too, because there is a thread on Newsarama where someone compared KABUKI to Radiohead.

That is a comparison that I will gladly embrace.
I'm always attracted to the artists (musicions, writers, etc) that make each new album or work its own creature. Different and alive on its own, but also something even larger when compared with the previous body of work.

Lazy_Metaphors
02-11-2007, 08:57 PM
Who didn't see this coming for months? I mean, heck, David, these pages have been occurring so frequently on graph paper, lined paper... how much more clearly could you have been communicating "We're aware that this is a story, we're aware this story is being told... and that's true for everyone, and you can always change that story because it isn't yet finished?" I mean, damn, like you didn't "reduce" the artwork so frequently to quick pen lines for a reason! :lol:

Me, I just want to see a Tigerlily vs. David Mack confrontation in the next "Agents" now. He's got the Noh story and he's trying to sell it at a con next to an agent undercover? Hilarious! :twisted:

MACK!
02-13-2007, 04:27 PM
I have been very hesitant to comment on this issue. Not because of quality issues of art, writing, or presentation, but because I don't know that my ideas are fully formed in response to the issue. I will say this much. In one night, my wife was reading #1, my daughter #3 (again), and I the latest issue. My daughter read #8 tonight and her comment was - "I like how the story is orgami" and folds and unfolds" - and "why does kabuki disappear like that?" I promised I'd ask you!

Some things that I found fun and interesting and had me laughing to myself (joy of private discovery thing you know)-

kabuki developing a consciousness of self, and not just of self but of self being in the format of a comic book or panel, while liking it's structure to the passage of time and real consciousness, how thoughts flow together or skip-jump from one to the next...and how we might not even notice the sequence of our own thoughts until we take note or something makes us take note.

kabuki leaning out from the panel far enough to see...US! Getting to be an unwitting character in the book was the moment that really got me smiling.

akemi convincing kabuki to consider pining this entire thing on...YOU! so you "take the credit, and the heat"
oh snap as she put it.

this is the quote that resonated most this issue for me - "if you don't like the story your culture is writing, it's not enough to rail against it...you have an obligation of writing your own story - of being a contributing author to your own culture."

there is simply nothing and no one in this medium attempting such concepts. I think if anything your peers are Charlie Kaufman and Chuck Palahniuk and interesting that his materials were collaged into this issue.

Can I ask, did you mingle his photos with those of your home or was his contribution some other element? I'll be back I think when I know more! Must re-read from 1 all the way through now.



Hey,
Thanks for those points!
And glad you singled out that quote from the book. That was really THE main line of the issue for me. And it is one of THE MAIN THEMES of the series as a whole.
In fact it is kind of underscorred in a different way next issue.
So I'm glad it hit you!

It is kind of the connection that all of the other dots are meant to point to

HotRob
02-14-2007, 10:09 AM
Hey David,

I really enjoyed reading Alchemy #8. The use of the four-sided cube unfolding like a flower, while Akemi is explaining to Yukiko about how telling her story will help her move to a new place in her life and allow her to be free from her old life.

I loved the idea of them pining it on you! Though i'm still wondering what happened to Kabuki's mask after she met you on the plane....

I miss your watercolours but i do love the ink drawings similar to the Shy Creatures style.

Great read and now we see Akemi coming to power and helping Kabuki take it to the Noh!!
Can't wait to see where this goes!
cheers,
Rob.

T-Dro
02-26-2007, 04:09 PM
Hey,
Thanks for those points!
And glad you singled out that quote from the book. That was really THE main line of the issue for me. And it is one of THE MAIN THEMES of the series as a whole.
In fact it is kind of underscorred in a different way next issue.
So I'm glad it hit you!

It is kind of the connection that all of the other dots are meant to point to


When I read this issue, that was the quote that I read out loud to my husband.

It really hit home for me. I have surrounded myself with intelligent, open-minded people, who have similar interests and goals in life. So sometimes when I see the way the rest of the world thinks, it shocks me. I'm coming to realize that it's not enough for me to inhabit this cozy but insular world. If I am going to have any real effect on society, I have to bring my way of thinking to those who don't already share it (whether they like it or not!) Now I just have to figure out how to do it...

And, when Kabuki leaned out of the panel, I actually got dizzy!

JKCarrier
03-01-2007, 08:39 PM
A lot of people have talked about the "metafictional" aspects of this issue (which are indeed amazing and thought-provoking, and quite funny in spots -- I would totally buy the R. Crumb version of Kabuki!). But one thing that really struck me was solidly inside the narrative: I feel like we're really starting to see the cracks in Akemi's facade. The way she goes from "You should write your story down because it will be theraputic!" to "Oh, by an amazing coincidence this might help me take down the Noh!" to "OMG, if you don't let me publish this they'll kill me!" makes her seem less like some ethereal zen master and more like a crass opportunist. She's manuvered Kabuki into this very vulnerable, suggestible state and is now taking full advantage. And I'm not too convinced that her plan to protect Kabuki's anonymity will do any such thing. Sure, this "David Mack" guy is going to be the front man, but surely the Noh will realize that there's only one place where he could've gotten this very specific, detailed, intimate information -- from Kabuki herself. At which point she will be solidly in the crosshairs again. Would Akemi really throw her under the bus to further her own plans? A year or two ago, I wouldn't have believed it, but now...?

Well, I'm probably totally off-base. In any event, you've got me on the edge of my seat, as per usual. ;) Keep those issues coming!