Matt Kindt has been around comics for a while now, and has written a number of award-winning graphic novels…but for many fans, their first exposure to the writer/artist will be this month and next when he launches a creator-owned series (Mind MGMT) for Dark Horse as well as taking over the reins of an ongoing DC title (Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.).
ComicBook.com talked to Kindt back when the announcements were first made, and as the first issues approach we’ll be bringing you that conversation in two parts.
]This first part deals with Mind MGMT, the first issue of which comes out from Dark Horse Comics next week after the third in a series of free, digital-only stories set in the world of the series becomes available on the Dark Horse app Wednesday.
Kindt talked not only about the series itself, but about its role in a larger attempt on his part to woo trade-waiters back into the comic shops using exclusive content and other “special features” in the single-issue print books that will not appear anywhere else.
Can you describe Mind MGMT for those playing at home?
Mind MGMT is basically a secret organization of super spies that have mind control powers but those power vary from agent to agent. So you’ve got some agents that can make you forget things, some agents that can make you not see things–there’s other agents that can’t be killed–they have this mind over matter ability where you can hurt them but they’ll heal themselves up. There’s another guy who can make you believe that he can kill you with his finger. So he doesn’t have any weapons, but he can make you believe that he can kill you and then he can, and he does. So it’s kind of a weird sort of spy book. It’s also my first monthly book that I’m writing and drawing, so I’m trying to plant subliminal messages and little hidden things and fake ads on the back cover and extra stuff that they’re putting in there. I don’t read monthly books anymore so I’m trying to do things that would hook me back into going to the store every week.
That’s always fun. Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau did something similar with fake letter columns in The Perhapanauts and some covers to non-existent issues, too. I think it really hooks in with a sense of nostalgia fans have for that older format.
It’s funny; I do a book with Colin Bunn where we kind of did that–it was sort of a ’70s-style graphic novel where the spine of it looks like a pile of comics, and we had the letter columns and all that kind of thing, and I like that, too. The new season is actually more functional; I’m going to have a real letters page with real letters and then the ad on the back will have part of a secret code, so when you buy the first six issues and you line them up and piece the puzzle together, there’s a code on there and a website and when you go to the website it unlocks extra stories and stuff. As much as I do like the nostalgia thing, I’m trying to use that in a functional way–a more modern, interesting way if that makes sense.
It’s funny–as much as people in comics are slowly embracing digital as a delivery method, I can’t think of a major book that used digital as a way to add value or to hook people into buying the monthly like that.
Yeah, that’s totally what I’m trying to do becuase I come from the mindset where I say “I’ll just wait for the trades.” I doin’t have time to pick up a monthly book and try to remember what’s happening so my whole goal is, how do I get someone like me to do that again? And there are ways to do it and one of the ways to do it is to write a 24-page comic that’s also a satisfying story. It’s part of something bigger but it’s also a satisfying story on its own so that if you’re paying three or four dollars, you’re not getting five minutes’ worth of reading that was obviously just written to be collected in a trade.
I want the monthly to stand on its own as this awesome thing, and then the trade in my mind is second best. You’ll get the main story in the trade but you’re not going to get everything. There are extra stories on the front inside covers and stuff that I’m just not going to put in the trade. I’m doing this to have a monthly book and the trade is there because the trade will have to be there. And it’ll be a satisfying read as well but it’s not going to be 100%…well, the trade will be 100% and the monthly book will be like 120%.
For me I guess it’s like Lord of the Rings. If you saw it in the theater and you saw the theatrical release, it’s a good, satisfying movie but the extended version it’s super-long but it has all the stuff that if you read the book, you really wanted to see. It’s kind of like that.