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Overthought Bubble #6: How Mind MGMT Separated Itself From Other Comics

Written by Gavin D. on Monday, August 31 2015 and posted in Columns

Overthought Bubble #6: How Mind MGMT Separated Itself From Other Comics

After three years on of the most inventive books comics has ever seen comes to a close, and many people missed what made it special.

Minor Spoilers

Mind MGMT Splash

I've known I wanted to eulogize Matt Kindt's Mind MGMT for awhile now, but I've struggled with how. Every time I thought of the book and its three years of back story I searched for literary reasons that it gripped readers. While there are many themes I could point to in this book, nothing seemed to be the defining characteristic which drew so many into its story, earning great public accolades from industry superstars like Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, and Brian Michael Bendis. Struggling to pin-point the reason I began to think about the book itself, physically. The story itself was powerful and entrancing, but what separated this book from other books was its design.


I'm naturally inclined to read floppies, but I have read some books on digital, primarily Marvel books through the Marvel Unlimited App. Yet Mind MGMT, while readable digitally, was not fun digitally because the book was not to be read. It was made to be experienced.

When you opened an issue of Mind MGMT the first thing you noticed was how it felt. The paper chosen for the book was a thick dry cardstock like paper. Turning pages was like flipping through old documents and files from a company that never went digital. It was rough and muted the vibrant water colors of Kindt. If he wanted the true vibrancy of the watercolors couldn't he have digitally enhanced them and had them printed on glossy paper like any other book?

The next thing you notice as a reader is the margins. On the edges of each page is a line of text. This text could be instructions for field agents or an excerpt from some book or interview. Often you were left bouncing back and forth between the edge of the page and the story centered in the book, but when you reached the end of the book you found that each line had been foreshadowing or complimenting the events of the book.

When you add this to the back page clues and front page puzzles, you realize that this book is an experience, not a story. Yet this takes a whole nother step into reader consumption when it is revealed that the "comic book" you are reading is actually a "historical record," painted and filed away. And that the text in the margin is not outside information, but the subconscious thoughts and knowledge of Meru, the story's protagonist. The rough paper and margin text are no longer attributes of the book, but definitive elements.

If you have read Mind MGMT, then you should look at the book again, because Mind MGMT is not a book to be read, but a book to be experienced.


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About the Author - Gavin D.

Gavin Dillinger exists in a constant state of restlessness as he runs between two jobs and spends every spare moment writing articles or scripts. He has also perfected the art of being simultaneously dead tired and jacked on coffee, and is the best-selling author of When is the Right Age to Tell Your Highway It's Adopted. Gavin graduated Cum Laude from MTSU and should probably get a real job. You can follow him on Twitter or see a random thought on tumblr once every three five months.

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