Mack, David (W.)

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MACK, David (W.)


Born in KY; son of Wilson (a pianist) and Ida (an elementary school teacher) Mack; partner of Anh Tran. Education: Received B.F.A. (graphic design) from Northern Kentucky University.


Home and office—Noh Speak, 13 Boone St., Bromley, KY 41014. E-mail—[email protected].


Professional comic-book artist and writer, 1990—. Has illustrated and designed jazz and rock albums; worked as a designer in Hong Kong, Japan; appeared as himself in the video The Men without Fear: Creating "Daredevil," 2003. Exhibitions: Has held exhibits of his work throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States; work has been on display in the Los Angeles Museum of Art.



Circle of Blood, edited by Connie Jiang, Image Comics (Fullerton, CA), 1997.

Dreams, Image Comics (Fullerton, CA), 1998.

Masks of the Noh, Image Comics (Fullerton, CA), 1998.

Skin Deep, edited by Connie Jiang, Image Comics (Fullerton, CA), 1998.

Metamorphosis, Image Comics (Fullerton, CA), 2001. Scarab ("Kabuki Agents" series), Diamond Comic Distributors, 2002.

"Kabuki" comic-book series first published by Caliber Press, 1994-97, and Image Press, beginning 1997. Uncollected "Kabuki" comic books include Dance of Death, London Night Studios, 1995. Also author and/or illustrator of comic books in other comic-book series, including "Daredevil" and "Ultimate X-Men." Contributor of short story "Rapid Eye Movements Part One: Losing Touch" to Crypt of Dawn Two, Sirius, 1997.


Kabuki: The Alchemy; Tigerlily, another volume in the "Kabuki Agents" series; a film adaptation of Kabuki for Fox Animation.


Author and illustrator David Mack's best-known creation is Kabuki, the eponymous heroine of a series of comic books that have alos been published in graphic-novel format. Kabuki is the code name of Ukiko, one of eight female "Noh" assassins employed by a near-future Japanese government. Not only assassins, the Noh agents are also used by the government to sell products, deliver propaganda, and even provide weather reports. In fact, their images are so ubiquitous, or seeming to be everywhere at the same time, that many people believe that they must be computer generated, not real.

Being exploited is nothing new in Ukiko's life. She is the product of a brutal rape committed by Kai, another Noh assassin and the villain of the series. Her mother was a "comfort woman" who was forced to prostitute herself to Japanese forces during World War II, until an officer selected her for a milder form of exploitation: acting in a troupe of captive women who performed traditional Japanese Kabuki theater for the troops. (Kabuki is another name for Japanese classic opera theater.) This officer, known only as "the General," adopts Ukiko after her mother is killed, and it is he who trains Ukiko for the world of the Noh, whose agency he runs.

Although Mack creates rich storylines and examines issues of sexual exploitation and female identity, his artwork may be the most remarked-upon aspect of the series. With spreads that combine photographs, collages, and paintings both realistic and expressionist, "there is more graphic innovation and experimentation on one page of Kabuki than most comic-book creators attempt in an entire year," Brian Michael Bendis declared in Entertainment Weekly. In addition, commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "Mack has a talent for eye-catching composition, color and texture, and an excellent grasp of anatomy."



Cincinnati CityBeat, March 19-25, 2003, Steve Ramos, "The Devil in David Mack."

Entertainment Weekly, October 17, 2003, Brian Michael Bendis, review of Kabuki, p. L2T19.

Publishers Weekly, December 9, 2002, review of Kabuki: Skin Deep, p. 64.


Alphadelphian Web site, (June 22, 2004), Josh Walczak, review of Kabuki.

Comic Box Web site, (June 22, 2004), Nicola-Jayne Crookes, review of "Kabuki," issue 9.

David Mack Home Page, (June 18, 2004)., (June 24, 2004).

Revolution Science Fiction Web site, (June 22, 2004), Russ Anderson, review of "Kabuki Agents: Scarab," issues 1-8., (June 22, 2004), "Mack's Kabuki Returns" (interview).

Worlds of Westfield Web site, (March, 1999), interview with Mack.