The best thing about Matt Kindt’s “Mind Mgmt” #1 is that Dark Horse is clearly letting him do whatever he wants. You can feel no heavy editorial hand or fussiness here, instead it’s just a talented creator set loose on a project he clearly loves. You can feel it in everything from the bizarre way this story begins to unfold to the cream colored paper the book is printed on, and the “Mind Mgmt Field Notes” littered throughout the gutters of the book.
Matt Kindt’s story begins with a violent scene of two people fighting one another, but as one dies, someone steps in to try to kill the victor, and so on. We don’t yet have an explanation for what is happening, but I’m sure the title is our best hint. Following the opening scenes we see a plane full of travelers, pilots, and flight attendants who have lost their memories in an instant. And next is a struggling (once best selling) writer that cannot manage to write her second book as she watches a news report on the two year anniversary of “The Amnesia Flight.” The writer, Meru, is strangely compelled by this story, but a phone call with her agent reveals there is a great deal more here we don’t yet understand. By the end of the book Meru is in Mexico and on the run with an injured CIA agent after his partner has been murdered. It’s quite the story already.
Kindt’s story raises far more questions than it answers in this first issue, but it does so in the most interesting ways possible. Perhaps it is because I know Kindt to be a capable and comprehensive writer, but I have absolute faith that he is going to reward us with truly compelling answers to the mysteries he has already laid out in this first issue.
Kindt’s gorgeous loose watercolors have a softness and also a sketchiness that will not appeal to everyone. For me, it’s incredibly interesting and beautiful, in part because we almost never see monthly comics that look this way. The pages have an energy and movement that I enjoy and the color palette is subtle and limited, without becoming muddy. Kindt uses very traditional and structure panels, which are a nice contrast to the more fluid illustration work. Together it has an nice (and refreshing) synergy.
I would love to see more books like Kindt’s “Mind Mgmt” at places like Dark Horse. Though I’m sure books like this are risky and don’t get as much high-profile attention, the quality is simply sublime.