Matt Kindt is the creator of Mind MGMT, a mind bending monthly comic book from Dark Horse. Here, we talk to Kindt about his role on Ridley Scott‘s recently announced adaptation, having a set end for his opus,whether he’ll tie up loose ends, what is and isn’t real, the rumors that he might take the baton from Geoff Johns on DC’s Green Lantern book, and more.
Matt Kindt gets into your head after the jump.
What’s the latest news on the 3 Story adaptation, how much input have you had on that project and how much do you plan on having with Ridley Scott’s planned adaptation of MIND MGMT?
Matt Kindt: 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man is going forward — we’ve got a couple of actors ready to go and a new script nearly finished, so it’s getting there. I can’t really talk about it until everything is signed and “for-sure, for-sure,” but I’m excited.
As far as the MIND MGMT adaptation — I’m the official “consultant” so I’m giving them everything I’ve got — the entire three years worth of MIND MGMT, so they’re the only other humans that know what happens all the way through. So with that info, I’m willing to help, but only as far as they want my advice.
The comic is my number one priority and area of expertise. So I’m more than content to let them take it and make something as-good or better than the comic. Blade Runner is one of the few examples of a movie being as good or better than the source material, but it’s better in a totally different way — so I’m hoping they can capture that same magic with MIND MGMT.
There’s been some speculation that you might be a potential for the Green Lantern gig and presently, you’re writing the Martian Manhunter backup story in the pages of JLA. You recently told CBR that your style doesn’t fit the “house style” over at DC. If they were to offer you a Martian Manhunter solo book or Green Lantern as a writer only, would you be able to fit it in with your other work and would it be as fulfilling for you as your creator owned stuff where you have complete control of both the look and direction of your work?
Kindt: I’m not doing Green Lantern — I’ve seen that rumor circulating but unfortunately, it’s not me. Someone else really great is getting it though so I think everyone will be happy. That said, I’d love to do it. There isn’t a character in the DCU that I wouldn’t love to write — the whole universe is so great. I was writing Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. monthly along with MIND MGMT, so writing definitely fits into my schedule. It’s just a matter of waiting for the right project to open up.
I’m writing a yet-to-be-announced limited series for Marvel right now that’s going to be super-cool. So yeah — the more writing they give me the more fun I can have. The Marvel/DC work-for-hire stuff is really like the dessert for me after a main course of my creator owned MIND MGMT. I love doing them both but I wouldn’t be as happy just doing one or the other. I want it all!
Do you have an ending picked out for MIND MGMT and if so, has it evolved as you’ve been making the book, or has it remained set in stone?
Kindt: I have the entire thing mapped out and paced to end at issue 36 (issue 37 if you count the 0 issue) — there’s no way I could start something this big and epic without knowing exactly where it’s going. I definitely leave some wiggle room in there to create and change some things along the way — I can’t help but come up with new and more ideas as I go but generally, everyone and everything will have a place to be at the end…
When it comes to an end, will you feel a responsibility to tie up every loose end, or are you comfortable leaving certain things out in the open and open to interpretation?
Kindt: Yes — I promise you that every loose end will be tied up. I actually have a document with every loose end typed out as a kind of checklist so I can keep track of everything and make sure I check it all off the list. That sounds like a joke — but I’m not kidding! I go back through and read the issues before I start every new arc and answer what I can and figure out how and where the answers will be. It’s an imperfect science but I hate loose ends. If there ends up being any, it’ll be on purpose because I wanted to leave something to the imagination.
Would readers be wise to take everything they have seen in the book, so far, with a grain of salt in terms of what is and what isn’t genuine and can deep science fiction exist without paranoia on the page and in the reader?
Kindt: That seems like a leading question, but at the risk of killing some paranoia, everything that’s happening in the series is really happening. Mostly. Ha! What I mean is that there is nothing in there that will end up being a dream that a character wakes up from. I think that’s such a lame literary device.
I’ve actually gotten that question a lot from fans — and I always answer with that answer and have always gotten the same “thank god!” response. I think the dialogue/captions in the first few pages of issue one sort talked about dreams and how you can surprise yourself in a dream — which is a red herring really. If anything that dialogue is about how your brain, in real life, can play those weird tricks on you. I just think it’s crazy. That’s all it was, I promise!
The capability of the mass media and advertising as a tool of manipulation features prominently in the book. What inspired that?
Kindt: That’s been a theme that has interested me since I can remember really. A lot of my projects and paintings in art school were always advertising and pop-cultre based. Sort of poking fun at the nature of mass media and marketing. It’s evolved as I’ve gotten older but what still amazes me and creeps me out is hearing my daughter sing a jingle from a TV or radio commercial out of the blue. It’s horrible in a way, but also funny how your brain and marketing work. I can still sing Coke jingles from 1980 word for word. Those are songs and words that are just burned into my consciousness forever, for better or worse.
What inspired the Mind Management organization itself?
Kindt: A term that was in a friend of mine’s novel. He wrote this crazy long epic super spy novel and in it, the spies all took a bunch of spy courses and one of them was called “mind management.” I was reading this and laughing at it, and then it just got stuck in my head. I love those two words together. It just sounds so great and evocative. So I asked my friend if I could have that. And he didn’t know what I was talking about — he’d forgotten he even wrote it! It was one throw-away line in his million word novel… now it’s taking up the next three years of my life!
There is an entire wing of the internet dedicated to the pursuit of spoilers. Would this be more fun for you if people weren’t so obsessed with finding out where a story is going before it’s had a chance to get there?
Kindt: No way. Guessing is half the fun. And if a story can’t hold up to being spoiled, then it’s not a good story anyway. It’s the journey, not the spoiled destination that matters. I like a good surprise though — so if I leave my 3-ring-binder of MIND MGMT secrets in a coffee shop somewhere, please return it without reading it! No one has really guessed anything yet though. Honestly, I’m trying to keep it so crazy that it’ll be impossible to guess. You don’t even know what you don’t know yet!