Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 141

Mind MGMT

by Matt Kindt
6 vols
Genre notes: espionage, extrasensory abilities, twisty thriller
ISBN: 1616557982 (Amazon)

Mind MGMT is kind of a cross between post-Cold War spy novel and X-Men. The raw corners of the world are bursting with men and women and boys and girls who develop extrasensory powers of a variety of motifs. The propagandists who write or draw or sing utterly convincing ideas into life—some even possess the ability to write the equivalent of Monty Python's fatal funniest joke of all time. Others are precogs, others speak with animals, others cause amnesia, others cast illusions. And others' minds are so dominant that they cannot be killed, their minds won't let their bodies believe in their own demise.

And shadowy organization MIND MGMT is collecting these individuals to do the good work, the great work. Verr hush hush, verr political. And then there's the opposition organization, probably the Russians. Or there was. All that was over well before the start of the book. the Management turned out not to work. Or it worked too well. Or something. That's all part of the mystery. But anyway, someone's trying to start up the Management again and Meru keeps forgetting things and what is up with that and why can't she finish her second book? Mind MGMT is about a lot of things and it's got a lot of moving pieces and you just kind of have to stay along for the ride and be willing to renegotiate what you know on the fly.

A while back, I described the way I see Kindt as a creator: "Kindt strikes me as foremost an Idea Man. Everything he’s shown us so far paints him as prodigiously imaginative. He has big ideas for his overarching story, for the forms those stories take, and for the intricacies of how his pages and panels will lay out. I don’t look for any improvement on his part in this area. He has, so far as I’m concerned, arrived. If not perfect for what he’s doing, his ideas are close enough that we mere mortals cannot distinguish well enough to complain."

Mind MGMT does nothing to offer counter-argument to this conception of its creator. Kindt does show himself to be again prodigiously imaginative—and perhaps still moreso than in prior works. His attention to the intricacies of both his plot and the world he’s built for it to play out in is stunning. It’s hard not to sit slack-jawed and self-defeated when one comes across so sure-footed and designed a story as what Kindt regularly produces. It’s smart without ever passing into heady. It’s fantastic without breaking the conventions of believability.

When I was in college, Mind MGMT would have blown my mind. The highest compliment I can pay it is to affirm that Mind MGMT blows my mind today, twenty-five years after my freshman year of college.

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