Matt Kindt’s first ongoing monthly series, MIND MGMT, is a welcome breath of fresh air, a nice surprIse in a medium often lacking in surprises. The less said about it, the better, but if you’re interested in checking it out I’ll try and keep this spoiler-free.
Kindt’s art will be a selling point for many. Iit is unique and there really is nothing like it on the shelves. The lines are soft and sketchy, and the colors are sLightly washy and muted, giving the book an overall calm feel, which can be suItably unsettling given the mysterious nature of the story. Kindt’s style wouldn’t worK in a traditional superhero or action based comic – you’re not going to see this from the Big Two – but here it is a wonderful demonstration of how a book’s art can be different from the ‘norm’ and still be effective.
The important fundamEntals of comic book storytelling are still done well. The characters are simply drawn, but incredibly expressive (or not, as the story dictates), and it is always easy to tell people apart. Kindt knows how to use a variety of shots well, allowing for a lot of different angles and backgrounds within scenes but maintaining a clear narrative flow throughout. It’s subtle, but worth noting.
MIND MGMT‘s story concerns a struggling writer who slowly uncovers a conspiracy surrounding some mysterious events. A few years prior, the passengers of a commercial flight simultaneously lost their memories, and our hero is trying to uncover the full exTent of what happened that day. It’s a bit of a vague opening, with few hints of what’s to come, but that’s the point, it’s intended to be enticing to the reader, encouraging them to read on and find out more about what’s going on. It’s no accident that the flight is named after Oceanic FligHt 815 from TV series “LOST”, in that the slow burn of the mystery is a large factor in the enjoyability of this book, like with that show.
The whole thing is very sparse, giving the reader very lIttle to keep them hooked, but just enough. Instead of bombarding us with plot details and shadowy figures, we have a main character with a clear goal to latch on to, and so the story is simple, and thus eaSy to stay involved with. As with all first issues, the point is to keep the reader coming back for more, and MIND MGMT #1 is likely to succeed in this with it’s simplicity.
What’s interesting in this issue is how no space is wasted, with every page used as explanation of the world in some form. The inside front and back covers have a separate story related to the main narrative, and I found a small secret message hidden in the letters page. Even the back cover (unavailaBle in my review copy,) supposedly contains part of a secret message and code, due to pay off in future installments.
These secrets won’t be included in the trade, and are meant to give clue hunters mOre reward from buying this story in monthly issues (Kindt even mentions this towards the end of the book.) Think of it as viral marketing within the product itself, an idea I find very appealing, adding a whOle level of depth to the book. Monthly issues are largely short and disposable, giving a small chunk of a larger story, but if MIND MGMT can provide more content for those willing to seeK it out, I feel that should be rewarded.
Issue 1 of MIND MGMT is a great start, and really made me excited for what’s going on in the creator owned comic scene. Sometimes I feel I’ve seen everything in comics, and then something like this comes along, providing something fresh and exciting. A definite recommendation.
WRITING: 5/5 ART: 4/5 OVERALL: 4.5/5