MIND MGMT #0
Writer and Artist: Matt Kindt
This will be a 'dual review' of sorts. The preview said it's a great jumping on point for new readers and since this is literally my first time reading the comic I think that would also be good angle to approach the comic from.
Well keep it simple for the time being and focus on the comic from a storytelling one single issue perspective. The 24 pages are split into 3 different stories spanning across different decades and characters. The only 2 main constants of each story are the journalist, Meru, and of course MIND MGMT. Each story varies wildly from the next and you really didn't know what to expect when you got to turn the page and start fresh on the next story.
The stories were a Love/like sandwich for me. I love the first, kinda liked the second, and loved the third. (There was also a very awesome 2 page mini story on the inside of the covers that needs to mentioned as the awesome sauce for the love/like sandwich. ) The first and third were just wildly creative. I don't want to really reveal anything about the stories since they are mini- one shots that are more fun to just jump into, but the final 2 pages of the first story was great. Some of the things written I really don't think I've seen before, and the way it was displayed in the comic was just ingenious. The world Matt Kindt is building is immersive and a joy to be apart of. With a concept like this, the second story is the type of story I expected to be told. That's not to say it wasn't well made or written, but you'll get that small sense of deja vu after reading it because it seems so familiar with a super secret project story like this. The dialogue, on the other hand, did what it needed to do. Since each story focuses on a character telling the story to the journalist, it was essentially 3 monologues with art to help the story along. The comic was set up to be that way though, and not intended to be the diner scene at Reservoir Dogs, so harping on the dialogue wouldn't bring much to the review.
The art is...something else. I'm definitely more used to the hyper stylish and over colored work of the big 2 and seeing this for the first time is an adjustment. I know there are people who will have trouble getting over it, but they really need to. This art is wonderful. There were a few panels that had less than 2 handfuls of strokes and still packed loads of emotion. To see so much be done with so little is a huge accomplishment. The sketchiness (some of the signs of the buildings aren't fully colored in and you can still see pencil filler strokes) and crudeness completely matches the tone and feeling of the book. Sweet Tooth had a similar art style, but I just feel like it works so much better in this setting. Adding water colors creates a 'fogginess' that truly captures the book. I keep referring to the final 2 pages of the first story, but some of the best art/use of watercolors is shown in those pages so try to spend a few extra moments appreciating them.
With So many books looking and feeling the same just slightly different, MIND MGMT is unique and a great way to show off the comic book medium.
Now on to the accessibility of the issue #0. Having a journalist come in and do interviews is done in almost every medium to bring readers/viewers/whatever up to speed because it works so well. It worked perfect to the last movie I watched that did this and it'll work perfectly for the next show I see do this on the season premiere. Needless to say, the journalism angle works just as good in comic book form. Each story gave me just enough information to whet my pallet for the next bit of back story The stories gave us a look at the types of characters/powers we should expect to see, the scope that the comic wants, and just how encompassing this whole story will be. I have issues 1-3 in my long box right now that I was saving for a rainy day, but after this I can't wait to pull em out to see what this universe has to offer me. My only problem is I don't have a clear view of who the main characters from these 3 stories. I have a pretty good idea, but just from these stories I couldn't tell who the major players might be for the main run.
Overall though I do feel like I have a grasp of the universe and wont be intimidated to jump into the next big arc.
If you like comics you owe it yourself to get MIND MGMT. Even if it doesn't become a mainstay on your pull list, these stories will stand on their own to justify the purchase.