[NYCC '13] Matt Kindt Talks Drawing ‘Mind MGMT’

MindMGMT_HC2

After reporting on a flight where everyone on board lost their memories, Meru suddenly became the prime target of a secret organization known only as Mind Management. With her life turned upside down, Meru was on the run from highly trained operatives sent to kill her. Now she flees with a former spy named Lyme, who knows more than what he is really telling. Meru’s life is just about to get even more complicated in “Mind MGMT Volume 2: The Futurist,” from Dark Horse Comics.

During the New York Comic Con, I spoke with writer/artist Matt Kindt about how the concept came about, the watercolor look of the series, and the complicated relationship between Meru and Lyme.

Bloody-Disgusting: Tell me how “Mind MGMT” came about.

Matt Kindt: I had the title first. I came up with the idea for the title. And then, I started thinking about different courses you could take in Mind Management. I thought it’d be funny if there was a school and you could take a class in Mind Management. I sort of branched out from there. I just started getting ideas for characters and different things. I did a bunch of research on what the government actually did with different mind stuff and the crazy stuff they did in real life. I used that as a springboard to tell a crazy story.

BD: The relationship between Meru and Lyme has changed between “The Manager” and “The Futurist.” At times, Lyme is protecting Meru as if she were his kin. Tell me about the bond between Meru and Lyme.

MK: I think that’s probably the heart of the series; their relationship and how it changes. I felt like the first story arc was definitely a father/daughter relationship. And then once the story progresses, without spoiling it, she finds things out. It sort of matures from there. It sort of breaks and I think it’s going to repair itself a little bit, but it’ll be different. In a way I feel like Meru is growing up and he is definitely like this weird father figure. After that, I don’t want to say anything without spoiling it. There’s definitely a father/daughter sort of thing going on.

BD: Tell me about the use of watercolors for the look of the story and its themes.

MK: I’ve been using them forever. I started doing books back in 2001. They were dissolved in black and white. And then I did “Super Spy,” that was the first color book I did. And even then, it was limited color, like one or two colors. That was the first time I used watercolor for a comic book page. And I really liked it. Ever since then, I’ve just been doing everything in watercolor. I’ve been lucky to have publishers that want everything to be done in watercolors.

BD: Is it a challenge to switch heads as a writer and artist?

MK: Honestly, they’re connected. You can’t split those apart. Even the stuff I do, like the write-for-hire stuff for other artists, I thumbnail out everything and work off the script from that. Comics is a visual medium. I don’t think you can split the writing from the start. I go back and forth. I think in comics. I don’t think in words or pictures.

BD: With “Mind MGMT” expected to run for 36 issues, is it a challenge to complete the story or do you worry you might need more installments?

MK: I started with an outline for the whole thing, where everything is going, where the characters go, and what happens. I feel like I left a little room for myself to play. Like if I come up with an idea, I can add something, tweak something, or move something around. Honestly when I started, I don’t want do something this big without knowing how it’s going to end or where I’m going. So this point, it’s kinda nice. I’m not worried at all. I’m slowly taking steps toward it.

BD: What other projects are you working on now?

MK: I’m doing a bunch of work-for-hire. I just started a series, “Unity,” for Valiant, which comes out in November. It’s a big team superhero book, which is going to be fun. As far as creator-owned stuff, I’m plugging away on “Mind MGMT.” I don’t really have time to draw more than one book a month. So I’m doing that. But I do have a couple of other projects for Dark Horse that are going to be coming up that are creator-owned. One I’m going to be writing only. One I’m going to be writing and drawing. I’ll start when “Mind MGMT” is done but it’s going to be a little bit before I get to it.

“Mind MMGT Volume 2: The Futurist” is out in stores now!

Interview by – Jorge Solis