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WONDERCON INTERVIEW: Matt Kindt, creator of Mind MGMT

We got a chance to sit down with Matt Kindt at Wondercon.  Matt is the creator of the hit independent comic from Dark Horse: Mind MGMT.  The comic focuses on Meru, a writer searching for the truth behind a mysterious airline flight and discovers a secret government agency of spies with psychic abilities.
Reading Realms:  Mind MGMT is scheduled to have 36 issues released initially. Now that 20 th Century Fox has picked up the rights to make a movie, does that mean we’re going to see more than the scheduled 36 issues?
Matt Kindt:  I have 36 issues outlined, I’m writing them, and that’s all I really want to do with the main story. That’s regardless of movie or no movie. In the process, I already had come up with Mind MGMT in the 20’s, Mind MGMT in the 50’s, and 60’s, and doing limited series of what Mind MGMT was like in different eras. I still might do that, but it all depends. It’s two years away, so if I’m burned out I won’t do it, and if I’m still excited I will. The movie doesn’t really have any bearing on the 36 issues because I haven’t thought it ends with the 36th issue.

RR:  Now are you going to be involved with the movie when Mind MGMT goes into production?

Matt: Yah, I’ve already talked to them a few times and I’ve given them an outline for the whole series. They hired a couple of screen writers last week, so I talked to them on the phone. I’m the consultant – loosely on the consultant – so they can still take it and do whatever they want to it and really make it awesome. Right now they like what I have given them, but if anything I’m telling them it’s a movie, change it and have some fun with it. It’s taken from a comic, if some of it translates, great, but if you want to switch it to make a good movie, make a good movie. It’s fine.

RR:  So with the many hardcore fans out there, you are saying the screen writers have your permission to not make the movie true to the comic?
Matt:  Yah! The last thing I want to see is a faithful adaption of the first 6 issues. They can read the comic. The perfect example is when I was talking to the producers; I was saying how Blade Runner was a perfect example of a great movie that was totally different from the book. They took some things from the book, but they made it into something else and it was equally as good. I love the book and I love the movie, but they aren’t at all the same. Ideally it will be something like that. And as I was telling them (producers) this, I’m like, oh yah, Ridley Scott made Blade Runner, so they should know that. But that’s the example I always use, and I just so happened to use it with them, so I’m like whatever!

RR:  The monthly issues always come with great stories on the front and back pages, as well as codes as clues on the back cover. I know it’s been said by you that no extras will be in the hardcover, but are you sure a little something won’t be thrown in?
Matt:  No! No! I won’t do it! Honestly, it’s all I can do to not do it! I didn’t know if it was going to be successful enough to be a monthly series. So part of my idea was to go all out and make this a monthly book first. I wanted to be able to sustain it as a monthly first. I had never done one, and I had no idea how many I had to sell. Then I figured out that I wouldn’t know how well it was selling until about issue 3. So for 3 or 4 months I’m like, please, please, please let it do well enough because I don’t know how I’m going to wrap up 36 issues in 6. So I feel like I’m putting this extra stuff in there to incentive people to get back to your comic shop.

If you don’t read monthly books, at least start with one, get back into the routine of going to the shops again, have fun, and learn to love comics once again like we used to when we would go in every week. I want to reward those readers that keep with it and reading it in real time. The book will be there for the people who don’t have time, or they can’t find it. Ideally I want a big audience thinking about it every 30 days. And it’s fun to interact with the fans when they are guessing who’s who and ‘is he her father’. Then it’s fun for me to know the all the answers and see what people are talking about. Secretly, it’s kind of awesome to watch that happening.

If you’re waiting for a book, you don’t get that as much. So I’m trying to get more people to read monthlies. I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had writing them: I get the covers, I get all the little extra bits, and the ads on the back like you normally can’t do with a book.

RR: With how much story you are able to convey in few pages, how do you feel about decompression of stories in modern comics?
Matt: Yah, I don’t like it! Honestly when I pitched Mind MGMT to Dark Horse, I pitched 56 issues, and I have enough to make 56 issues. They said hold up, what are the chances, but then they approved it. Then when I went back and started scripting, I knew I could fill 56 issues no problem, but it would be filling it. So with 36 issues, it’s like clockwork; everything is fitting together the way it should be and there is no wasted space. I’m not doing 20 page fight scenes just because I need to fill that issue.

I read some manga, and I feel like that's the biggest perpetrator of them all.  It's 800 pages to tell the story when you can tell it in a hundred.  But it's not that it's bad, it's just a different storytelling experience.  When I read them, I'm flipping through the pages, barely looking at the art, or just looking at it long enough to get thorugh the whole book.  It takes me a long time to do a page, so I want you to spend a long time - well it will never be as long as I take to do it - but I want you to slow down a little bit and enjoy it.

RR: Last question - Anything you can tell us about the Home Maker?  (Issue #13 coming out in July)  
Matt:  She's awesome.  Yea, she's awesome and that's all I'm going to say.  I will say, I'm starting to tell more of the stories of agents who were sort of forgotten, or are out in the real world.  She's one of the forgotten agents and she's really cool.  And if you look back to issue five or four, well in one of the first six, she is in a panel where I'm describing this magician sort of character.  She is one of five Home Makers, and it's her story that is going to come out.

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