Interview - Matt Kindt

Things are looking up for Matt Kindt. Not just because the title character in 3 Story is, well, three stories tall. Nope. Things are looking up because 3 Story was recently optioned for a film. Not only that, but Mind MGMT #1 is a new series from Kindt due in stores in May.

Naturally, Kindt is a busy, busy man. He was kind enough though to eke out a little time to answer a few questions about 3 Story, Mind MGMT and talking dolphins.

Omnicomic: A lot of your work seems to have an undercurrent theme of espionage. Is that just something that you've been particularly drawn to?

Matt Kindt: I guess so. I don't think it was really a conscious thing. I'm pretty much a fan of all genres of fiction - fantasy, sci-fi, crime, etc. But I feel like espionage is a little under-represented in comics -- at least in a serious way. There's so much crime out there that I sort of feel like that genre is pretty full. And I think spies and espionage has a lot of action and emotional territory to be mined. I grew up on the 70s and 80s Bond movies and read tons of Doc Savage and Hardy Boys and that kind of thing so all of that genre stuff has been in my blood since I was little.

Omnicomic: Your art has sort of a newspaper feel to it. Is there one artist or work in particular that you would say most influences it?

Kindt: I love Chester Gould (Dick Tracy) -- I love the rough feel of his art and the diagrams and gadgets. If I had to point to one influence he'd be the main one. Plus the Dick Tracy strips were really shockingly violent. More so than you'd think an old comic strip could or would be. And I like that sort of contrast -- a seemingly innocent strip that has criminals torturing each other and getting shot. I like that tension of feeling like anything can happen.

Omnicomic: Where did you come up with the concept for 3 Story?

Kindt: One of my cousins had a tumor that caused him to keep growing and growing - similar to what the giant man in the book had. However, in real life, they cut the tumor out and he stopped growing - he's a big guy but well within normal limits. But I was driving home after visiting and meeting him for the first time and it got me to thinking...what if you just kept growing? What would it be like to really be a giant man?

Omnicomic: The way people react to Craig Pressgang (Giant Man) is completely varied. Do you think it was important that reactions be depicted differently? Does that say more about Craig or the people around him?

Kindt: If you're talking about readers -- I definitely think it says something about the reader. But the giant man isn't necessarily a blank slate for you to put your ideas onto either. I definitely have an idea of what he is, and what it means, and what the story is really about. And I think most readers have gotten it.

If you're talking about the reaction from characters in the book -- yes -- it's really all about the three women in the book. The giant man is there and I hope you can get his personality -- but it's purposely filtered through the three different POVs so you can triangulate him and sort of get a more accurate picture. I think that's more interesting than just having a giant man voice-over that explains everything he's thinking and feeling.

Omnicomic: 3 Story has recently been optioned for a movie. Are you working on an original story, or it will be an adaptation of some of your previous tales?

Kindt: Dustin Lance Black is writing the screenplay and it's based on the graphic novel. There are some elements that will be in the movie version that are based on some of my notes and things that didn't appear in the books, but overall I'd say the movie is going to be pretty faithful to the book.

Omnicomic: Dustin Lance Black is reportedly writing the film and his involvement in the American Foundation for Equal Rights would surely be applicable in the case of 3 Story, which essentially also seems to be about Craig getting a fair shake despite his height. Were you looking for someone that could infuse the film with that sentiment?

Kindt: I was fortunate enough to have Lance come to me regarding the book. I truthfully don't think or plan movies based on my books. I do have an agent who's responsible for that and I'm more than happy to stay out of it until there's interest and just keep plugging away on my books. But that said, I was really happy and flattered that Lance was interested in the book and was actually a fan of it. It spoke to him on a personal level in a way that he was inspired by and that's a good feeling. He's a super talented guy and knows his way around a screenplay so I couldn't be happier about him taking on the book.

Omnicomic: What can you tell us about Mind MGMT?

Kindt: I promise it will be the strangest comic you'll read this year. It's got spies with mind control powers that will effect (sic) other characters in the book -- and in a way I think I've designed the book to work some kind of mind-magic on the reader as well. Without saying too much, I can say that nothing is what it seems in the book - including the covers and back covers and ancillary stories that will be appearing on-line and on the inside covers of the book.

Omnicomic: Will Mind MGMT feature themes similar to your other stories? Or are you trying to take it in a different direction?

Kindt: I think I always have a few themes that I end up hitting on. But what's going to be different is how I hit them. It's kind of a creative release to be able to just open everything up -- give these characters some crazy mind powers and figure out how all of that works. All within certain limits. So I'm really approaching it in a practical way. What kind of things might the mind be capable of? And how could these abilities be applied practically in the field...and ultimately, what toll do these powers and the MIND MGMT organization take on the characters?

Omnicomic: Mind MGMT boasts talking dolphins. Please tell me they play an integral role in the story!

Kindt: Yes -- but technically they don't "talk" -- they "type" of them makes the cover of issue 4 I think...

Omnicomic: You're very much a "self-made man" when it comes to creating comics. Do you have any advice for the creator owned wave rising in the industry?

Kindt: Keep it up. That's the way to go. Do what you do, and do it well, and eventually editors and publishers will come to you and ask you to do what YOU do rather than fill a roster spot.

Omnicomic: From an industry perspective, do you see digital comics surpassing print comics in the near future?

Kindt: I have no idea. I think about it a lot, but all I can really do is keep developing stories and let the delivery system figure itself out. I think they both have advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day, for me it's about telling interesting stories in entertaining ways and making a living. So whatever ultimately ends up happening...that's what I'll be doing.

Omnicomic: What conventions do you plan on appearing at this year?

Kindt: San Diego, Heroes, TCAF, and Denver are the cons I've committed to -- and I'm sure I'll be adding more dates in the fall. I try to get to as many as I can.

Omnicomic: Anything else you want to plug while you have the floor?

Kindt: Please pick up MIND MGMT May 23 -- and also check out my first issue of Frankenstein Agent of SHADE in June! And tell a friend!