Vol. 1: Circle of Blood, Kabuki

Written by: David W. Mack

Vol. 1: Circle of Blood, Kabuki Book Cover
Collecting all six issues of the first Kabuki series plus the hard to find prequel one-shot with new pages of art from scenes that for space reasons were left out of the original story. It also includes in-depth notes and story analysis about the subtext of the story. Circle of Blood recounts the origins of the government operative known as Kabuki who works in Japan's near future, It's an exploration of the relationship between Japan's government and organized crime on a truly epic scale!
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Vol 1 Circle of Blood Kabuki Reviews

Michaela Hutfles
Nothing is prettier in comics than that which David Mack creates. This heady weight tome is a comic unlike many others, just thumb through it and look and the paneling. Through out the story Mack reiterates on themes with certain visual elements until you have an almost Pavlovian reaction to these visual elements, then he begins laying them and telling you new themes with the words but pulling in a sophisticated visual short hand to remind of the previously established thematic elements.
Just lov Nothing is prettier in comics than that which David Mack creates. This heady weight tome is a comic unlike many others, just thumb through it and look and the paneling. Through out the story Mack reiterates on themes with certain visual elements until you have an almost Pavlovian reaction to these visual elements, then he begins laying them and telling you new themes with the words but pulling in a sophisticated visual short hand to remind of the previously established thematic elements.
Just loved it, first comic I really and truly loved. I blame David Mack for bankrupting me in the comics shops now. He got me started and he will get you hooked as well.
Scribe
I'm reading this series in completely the wrong order - #6, #3, and now #1. But it's kind of like filling in the gaps, in a series where gaps are the staple diet.

A nearish-future tale of Japan that Quentin Tarantino could easily have spun Kill Bill back through time from. The story is enough to be interesting, and not complicated enough to be confusing. But the real joy, the 5 stars for this review, is in the telling. The temporal flicks and running themes tie directly into the amazing artwork. I'm reading this series in completely the wrong order - #6, #3, and now #1. But it's kind of like filling in the gaps, in a series where gaps are the staple diet.

A nearish-future tale of Japan that Quentin Tarantino could easily have spun Kill Bill back through time from. The story is enough to be interesting, and not complicated enough to be confusing. But the real joy, the 5 stars for this review, is in the telling. The temporal flicks and running themes tie directly into the amazing artwork. Blood in black and white.

#2 next.
Craig Henderson
Back in the day when I was a die-hard comics collector, I was used to the usual (and brilliant) marvel comics and all of their trappings. Then I saw Kabuki (can't remember which issue) and totally fell in love with David Mack's style. The way the panels flow organically and the way in which the story unfolds is quite unlike anything else out there, so it's a really unique reading experience.

I'm really lucky to own the original issues of this comic series and won't part with them for love nor mo Back in the day when I was a die-hard comics collector, I was used to the usual (and brilliant) marvel comics and all of their trappings. Then I saw Kabuki (can't remember which issue) and totally fell in love with David Mack's style. The way the panels flow organically and the way in which the story unfolds is quite unlike anything else out there, so it's a really unique reading experience.

I'm really lucky to own the original issues of this comic series and won't part with them for love nor money and highly recommend you give Kabuki a go.
The Unknown Shore :: The Reverse of the Medal :: To Reign in Hell :: Yendi :: Derailed
Autumn Eden-Goodman
David Mack is not your average comic book artist and his books are definitely not your average comic books! The art is ridiculously beautiful. The books are well written and thoughtful. I can't rush through his books. There is so much to take in visually and he uses his art to add to his stories. For example, in one scene characters are playing Scrabble - you need to read the board because the words that are spelled out are part of the story. I know his books require that you pay attention but i David Mack is not your average comic book artist and his books are definitely not your average comic books! The art is ridiculously beautiful. The books are well written and thoughtful. I can't rush through his books. There is so much to take in visually and he uses his art to add to his stories. For example, in one scene characters are playing Scrabble - you need to read the board because the words that are spelled out are part of the story. I know his books require that you pay attention but it is so worth it.
Promethea
Kabuki is one of the best comics I've read. The art is incredible, especially as the series goes on, and the plot is outstanding. David W. Mack takes us into a bad ass secret agent's messed up childhood and mind and how it effects her outer life. The spiral keeps going deeper as the series continues, integrating the words into the art. Some of the later book were hard to find, but this series is coming out in beautiful library editions containing two book each volume (in Canada at least), so now Kabuki is one of the best comics I've read. The art is incredible, especially as the series goes on, and the plot is outstanding. David W. Mack takes us into a bad ass secret agent's messed up childhood and mind and how it effects her outer life. The spiral keeps going deeper as the series continues, integrating the words into the art. Some of the later book were hard to find, but this series is coming out in beautiful library editions containing two book each volume (in Canada at least), so now is a great time to look into starting up with this series. Highly recommend.
Danny
I bought Kabuki because I'm a fan of some of David's other work. I've met him 3 times and this last time I decided to finally cave and pick up his creator owned work. Durning the process of reading Kabuki I did a complete 180. I found the first 80-100 pages nearly un-readable to the point I nearly gave up on it. However, once we got to Kabuki's orgin and the story of her mother things really picked up. In the end I liked it and will likely buy volume 2 if I attend the NY con this year.
Emily Joyce
Kabuki is packed full of dense, metaphorical black and white art. Mack has created a vaguely dystopic Japan with hints of neo noir and cyber punk, a place where beautiful women in masks visit the television screens to pass on government reminders, and off screen deal out death in the name of political balance. Every page is complex and deserves a second reading, and the storytelling is full of allusions and references to literature, mythology, and history.
The E
I've flirted with reading David Mack since I first became aware of Kabuki. I own a chunk of the original releases for Metamorphosis and honestly I think that storyline is the apex of a creator using the comic book medium. It's literate, it's intelligent, it's artful. Kabuki is an interesting character on her own, though, even in "lesser" works like this one.
Christopher Harmon
A very dark, violent, beautifully poetic, techno-noir revenge story. I casually thumbed through the first few episodes and found myself glued to the final few. The artwork is nothing short of amazing and the poetic verses accompanying the black and white imagery were brilliant. One of my favorite graphic novels.
James
David Mack's art is impeccable. He shows that the medium can be more than just a comic book and can be a work of visual art. That said, some of the dialogue and plot elements were a bit heavy-handed, unfortunately trite, and hard to buy into. All of it, of course, was a way to lead into some of his amazing artwork, but it shows a writer just starting to grow comfortable with his choices.
robomatey
This is the first arc of the Kabuki series. Drawn in a B/W film noir style with a Japanese feel, we meet a special agent who comes to the realization that she no longer wishes to be a pawn for the government. Mayhem ensues. If you read no other graphic novels, read Kabuki. The stories are intricate and the art keeps getting better.
Rene
For the entire series. It's a little disconcerting when Mack changes the comic from black and white to surrealist color. But once one gets used to it, one can't ignore the fact that his art is gorgeous and the themes he addresses put him on the list of most thought-provoking serial books. I hope he decides to continue the series eventually.
M.M. Strawberry Reviews
SOfar I have only read this book, but it sucked me right in. There's so much going on, and it's also interesting and fascinating. I'm rather picky about my graphic novels and manga, so I was surprised to enjoy this book so much. I will be buying the rest of the series!
Shannon
Circle of Blood is the best of the Kabuki graphic novel series. This book combines a modern day government vs. mafia story with the style of a kabuki ghost story. A beautiful tale of revenge.

David Mack is both the writer and the artist, and is a master of both crafts.
Peter Aguiar
Love this book! The author strated writing ate the age of 19....when he was 26 his works was already studied on his own university!

Incredible painter and genious writer! One of my top 5 best comic books ever!
Serge Pierro
David Mack creates an unparalleled artistic experience with Kabuki. Throughout the book (and for that matter, the series) Mack uses various artistic mediums to move the story along. Innovative and interesting.
Shauna
I am really enjoying my re-read of my favorite comic book series. It has been about a decade since I discovered Kabuki, and it is still amazing. The art is outstanding. The story is intriguing, and this is only volume 1.
Jean
Engrossing, surreal, and moving. Mack has an incredible talent for finding new approaches to storytelling through art. His use of repeated panels, memories, dreams, and metaphoric imagery is unparalleled.
Keith Davis
Kabuki is an amazing if someone confusing series. The first volume is quite different from the increasingly abstract and psychological watercolor and collage work that follows, but taken by itself it stands quite well as a futuristic adventure story with beautiful pen and ink art.
Lynnie
By far one of the most incredible graphic authors I've ever encountered. Passionate, graphic, beautiful, heart wrenching, creative, thought provoking, seedy and magical.
I can not speak highly enough about the Kabuki- David Mack series.
Lori
A close-up look at what makes a person who they are, from childhood to young adulthood, along with the trappings of post-World War II Japanese culture, anger, revenge, and more. The volume's stark black-and-white art scheme is a perfect fit for the stark brutality of the story being told.
Chris
Brillant. Just Brilliant. This is what comics should be.
Dani
An impressive start to a very interesting and popular series. Looking forward to volume 2.
Alan Castree
What a beautiful book. I really enjoyed reading this and look forward to delving into the next volume one of these days. Someone sen me volume two :D
Kim Ku
oh. my. god.

this masterwork was a college senior thesis? it's pure genius! the way that mack makes me feel so empathetic towards a psychopathic ninja assassin is quite remarkable.
Chris
All sorts of awesome. A blend of ghost story, sci-fi, action, and revenge tale. David Mack is just plain awesome.
Communique
Very free-form story-telling through multiple mediums of art and prose. Regional note: David Mack based several character concepts off of a girl he dated from St. Louis.
Greymalkin
Plot's a little weird, but very pretty. And just gets prettier and more abstract with every book.
Thelaurakremer
Lovely art, though the story was kinda repetitive.
Genevieve Tyrrell
A must have. The beginning of David Mack's graphic narrative career. Beautifully illustrated and storyline is engaging.
Paul
beautifully drawn comic makes up for the slightly weaker story-telling
Amy L.
These graphic novels are amazingly creative. Beautiful, poetic, action-packed, original...
Karen Mazzola
Wow. I had no idea a graphic novel could have an awesome story, ridiculous art, and make me ponder everything.
Andrea
really amazing but the next series,'the metamorphosis' was even better!
Mikael Kuoppala
A masterfully drawn, beautiful and poetic opening of a truly marvellous series.
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