Like many of her pieces, “Negative Space” integrated the drawing of cartoons into the narrative. “She’s interested in the performance and magic of any intense process,” says Alex Thomas, the cartoonist whom Power recruited to be part of the Live Action company. “My involvement in theater was all because of Natsu.”
Thomas, who’d been a medical student while performing with Live Action and is now a pediatrician, was brought by Power to Washington in January for a week of drawing “boot camp” with the actors of “Astro Boy and the God of Comics,” who would be required to sketch on sheets of paper every night. The piece returns to Power’s signature subject, Tezuka, and attempts to link the origin tale of Astro Boy, the robot superhero who yearns to be human, with aspects of Tezuka’s life, as well as with the history of science fiction. It’s also a direct descendant of Live Action’s work, as it incorporates some scenes from the company’s earliest production.