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Kabuki is an indie book David Mack started in the mid-90's about a circle of powerful women in japan who double as something of pop icons and assassins directed by an inner circle to "preserve social order".  in the pre-manga explosion days, it's pretty heavily japanophile work, but the shift/growth of the book as it went on is really something to behold - both the obvious shift in art, and the writing as well.  


for starters, Circle of Blood (1996) has, according to Bendis, a Mack who himself was reluctant to do the art, and while cool, it looked like this:




even at that early point, the book would fall into poetry at points, but it became increasingly abstract as it went - it's a weird comparison, but it's a feeling i'd not had since originally reading The Maxx.  


by The Alchemy (the latest series, 2009) Mack had clearly built the more abstract art style he'd wanted to see the book in, and it looked more this way:










..it gets pretty meta by the end there, but after about the 3rd volume, "Skin Deep" (seen up top) he's comfortably in that zone.  for years now, i've enjoyed trades/collections with extra sketches & notes, but much like when they started showing up on DVD's forever ago, i thought them cool and mostly just skimmed through them (with few exceptions, like Mignola's work on Hellboy).  this one though, i went through all of Reflections just to see his process & what he'd left out.  


it's a weird one to specifically recommend to people, because again it really doesn't end at all from where it started, but it's definitely one i wish more folks saw.  there's a softcover omnibus coming out at the year's end to celebrate both the book's 25th anniversary & apparently a show Sony picked up? (ugh), so that'll likely be a great place to jump on as well.  I kinda just put most of my supercon money towards a deal i got on most of the out-of-print library editions myself, cause i needed this art in heavy oversized pages.  


anyone else a fan?  i feel like a few of you artists here will dig the style (assuming you haven't seen it years back on his daredevil/echo work, etc), bindy in particular might be down for the content as well.  looking forward to showing the books to donny soon! 

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