You’d be forgiven if you think of Matt Kindt as a breakaway success, since the “slow and steady” approach that’s defined his career so far looks like a sprint to the finish line with the explosive success of MIND MGMT from Dark Horse. Educator and author Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology) sat down with Kindt in a marathon 90 minute interview panel with the enigmatic creator on March 30th as part of the Comic Arts Conference at WonderCon. This “Focus” series event revealed just how long a road it has been for Kindt to reach his current level of exposure and fandom with MIND MGMT, a comic series about the dark legacy of a government spy agency staffed by agents with psychic abilities.
Kindt, who says he’s probably been best know for his graphic novel SUPERSPY prior to MIND MGMT, had an unusual experience with comics at the age of 7 or 8 years old that left a big impression on him and still continues to influence his work. Reading Frank Miller’s DAREDEVIL, he ploughed through an entire issue where Daredevil visits Bullseye in the hospital, now paralyzed (following his murder of Elektra) and repeatedly pulls the trigger on his gun at the murderer. The issue itself consists of Daredevil speaking to the comatose Bullseye with almost no action at all, and as a kid Kindt thought “What kind of crazy superhero stuff is this?”. The heavy, odd dialogue and the “threat” of the unloaded gun, Kindt said, “made me love comics”. After a period in the 90’s when superhero books weren’t “capturing” Kindt’s attention anymore, he had another epiphany after discovering Daniel Clowes’ series EIGHTBALL at a con. He immediately felt, upon reading the issues, “This is the kind of comics I want to do” and an indie sensibility was born. Enter the years of hard work and learning just how to produce comics with his own particular voice.