Kabuki: The Alchemy

   21 May 2009, terribly early in the morning

Kabuki: The Alchemy is probably the most avant garde of all the Kabuki comics. Kabuki is one of the most interesting comic book series I have read. David Mack put out 6 very creative and thoughtful pieces of work prior to releasing this 7th volume. The Kabuki series is set in a dystopian not-so-distant future. The lead protagonist is an assassin called Kabuki, who works with a small group of assassins making sure the criminal underworld of Kyoto doesn’t get out of hand. Well, that’s how things start. The story gets far more interesting from there — well, until you get to volume 7.

I think every writer is entitled to write one rambling stream of consciousness book in the vein of Seymour: An Introduction. This comic is David Macks Seymour: An introduction. The book was a frustrating and pretty disappointing read. The entire premise of the book seems cheesy — a lame attempt at post-modernism. Kabuki as a character seems hollow and totally disconnected from the character one encounters is the previous 6 chapters. Mack has some very experimental books in this series, which I quite enjoyed. The second book, for example, is terse and totally different than the first, but the style and dialog all works to tell a compelling story. This comic doesn’t work. (Well, perhaps that’s not true, judging by all the fan mail he got.) Reading the comic, I constantly felt like I was watching those awkward scenes of faux-philosophy in the Matrix sequels. Seymour: An Introduction, for all its rambling narrative, does have a handful of really amazing scenes that make up for the rest of the text. This book didn’t even have that. It’s all rambling. Here’s hoping Volume 8 is more Raise High the Roofbeam Carpenters.

 

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