Family affair

The genius behind Mind MGMT is back with an all new series that promises to be a murder mystery like no other. And this time, he isn’t working solo. Matt Kindt teams up with his wife Sharlene for a brand new series that takes its readers deep beneath the ocean’s surface.

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Dept. H follows the story of Mia, a special investigator, who travels to an underwater research facility to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding her father’s death. As the cover of the first issue suggests, her father just happens to be the most brilliant man on the planet.

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The series has a lot going for it. Matt’s signature style of art is as good on this book as it is with his other works, while Sharlene’s colors provide exactly the right atmosphere for a deep-sea adventure.

Story-wise, the first issue does a great job laying the groundwork by introducing a diverse cast of characters; some already known to the protagonist, others just recent acquaintances – all capable of murder. It feels like a classic whodunit mixed with sci-fi and drama.

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The second issue explores Mia’s relationship with her brother, who isn’t exempt from suspicion.What I like about Matt’s writing is that his stories are always multidimensional. Expect that he will explore every possible angle, every potential side-story to give depth to his work.  I look forward to seeing how he fleshes out each character in the series.

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If you’re looking to read something out of the mystery genre, you might want to pick up this comic book while it’s only two issues in. With the Kindts in charge, you simply can’t go wrong.

 

Issue number three arrives on June 22.

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Super spies and secret lies

I finally got to read the final volume of Mind MGMT, Matt Kindt’s masterwork and one of my favorite graphic novels. It’s always bittersweet when you reach the end of an amazing story – on one hand, you finally get to find out how it ends but at the same time, you don’t want it to end.

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I remember picking up volume one a couple of years ago in an effort to add some mystery books to my reading list. The first thing that caught my attention was the funky cover art. It looked different and that’s what I always go for; though it wasn’t an easy decision to get it. After some Googling I found out that the series was about spies and conspiracy theories and I felt like that type of story had already been told too many times. I worried that the book had nothing new to offer, but it proved otherwise.

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Mind MGMT isn’t just about spies. It’s about super spies who have insanely powerful mental abilities. There are those who have the power to make you do things through verbal suggestions, poems, music and art. Others can make you see things and confuse you by changing your surroundings and their own appearance. Some can live on indefinitely and heal from virtually any type of injury through sheer willpower. Some can erase your memories while others can see into the future. And then there are the really powerful ones who can do all of the above and more. Now, imagine two groups of super spies – one seeking to fix the world, the other trying to control it – using their abilities to take each other out.

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This graphic novel is riveting. It is fast-paced and has lots of action, as you would expect in any spy story. But what grips you is the way the story is told. It’s one of those stories that make you ask so many questions when you begin reading it. But the more you find out, the more you want to know. And on a day when you have nothing else to do, there’s just no way you’re putting this book down. You’ll just have to find a comfortable spot and accept that you’ll be there until you finish the volume.

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Similar to his earlier works, Kindt’s watercolors create beautiful dreamlike scenes that work brilliantly for telling this highly cerebral story. But the art isn’t the only thing that will keep your eyes busy.

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You’ll also find clues on page borders and hidden messages scattered throughout much of the series which eventually come together to expand the breadth of the story. There will be times when you have to go back to earlier pages to make sense of things, and you will have fun doing it. (Because who doesn’t enjoy playing detective every now and then?)

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Mind MGMT is one of those stories that you should read after you’ve had your cup of coffee. There are so many things going on in every page that you most definitely want to get into it with a fresh mind, lest you miss out on some of the more subtle details. Kindt’s execution is flawless. As you read, you get the sense that everything about the graphic novel is deliberate. The level of thought that went into this series is simply astounding. If you’re a fan of the spy game, definitely (and I mean DEFINITELY) pick this one up. There really isn’t anything like it.

The weekend that was

Last Saturday I read one of Matt Kindt’s earlier works entitled 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man. I became a huge fan of Kindt when I started following his recently-concluded Mind MGMT series, a comic book about a secret organization of spies with out-of-this-world mental capabilities. 3 Story, meanwhile, follows the life of Craig Pressgang, a boy who literally couldn’t stop growing.

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I tried tempering my expectations going into this one since it’s something Kindt made earlier in his career, plus Mind MGMT sets the bar really high not just for his works but for comics in general. But I was pleasantly surprised that the book didn’t feel like it was a lesser creation. Far from it, actually; the graphic novel has a lot of the things I enjoy about Kindt’s comics.

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For instance, his funky art. Kindt uses simple illustrations and brings them to life with his masterful use of watercolors. One thing that makes a comic book good is if it balances the use of words and pictures, and this is something Kindt does particularly well – he lets you read his art as his words guide you along.

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Kindt is widely known for his spy comics, so of course the protagonist gets recruited by the CIA. The book is actually presented as a secret file detailing Pressgang’s life, hence the title.

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Overall, 3 Story is a treat. For first-time readers of Kindt, you’ll get a good glimpse of his brilliance which you can fully appreciate when you dive into his lengthier works. For those who have read his comics before, you probably already know that reading anything from Kindt is always pleasurable, and this is no exception. Dynamic characters, emotional sequences, brilliant imagery and exceptional storytelling – Nobody does it like Matt Kindt.