The Bookshelf: Mind MGMT


Normally I don’t review comics unless it is The Walking Dead or something spectacular like Habibi… but even that is technically a “graphic novel” as opposed to a long running comic series.  The simple reason for me not reviewing comics is that, other than The Walking Dead, I don’t read monthly comics… until now.

Similar to my experience with modern video gaming, my experience with comics and graphic novels was spurned by one thing that lead me to dive into the “greatest hits” culminated over decades and condensed into a year or so of intense discovery.  Once that dive into obsession is over, I’m left with an empty field waiting to be populated with something amazing… the only problem is, what is amazing at any given point and how will I find it?

This is the point where I’ve turned to other sites such as The A.V. Club, podcasts, and word of mouth in general… and this applies to music as well, but with comics, I find it more difficult because I don’t have a hard-on for super heroes and I’m 41 years old and I don’t have many sensitive nerdy 14 year old friends… in fact, I don’t have any sensitive nerdy 14 year old friends.

It was at The A.V. Club where I discovered Mind MGMT, a new comic by Matt Kindt that had just released it’s first six issues as a trade paperback (TPB) as a hardcover collection gathered as Volume One:  The Manager.  Bottom line… when The A.V. Club gives something an A I pay attention… and I’m glad I paid attention to Mind MGMT.

Immediately I was struck by the artwork… a mix of ink and watercolor that gives every image an almost dreamlike quality.  I have read that some people are put off by the art, but I was drawn into it right off the bat.  But the art takes a back seat to an incredible story that has me clamoring for more.

The story begins with an airline flight 815 (sound familiar?) where everybody on board loses all memory… 121 people boarded the plane, 120 disembarked.  The missing passenger is Henry Lyme… only one seven year old boy retained his memory, and two years later, Meru, an author of a best selling true crime novel who was on the flight and whose memory was wiped as well, begins the search for Henry Lyme.

That is the basic premise of the plot… but it branches from there and becomes a complete mind fuck by the time you are four issues in.  Not only is the story interesting, but the art feels almost disjointed and dreamlike while at the same time having the appearance of being pasted into a bureaucratic journal with the Mind Management Field Guide running along the left edge of the page and tying into the events happening on that specific page.

Not the best example of the artwork found in Mind MGMT, but no spoilers present and you can see the page layout. Note the field guide running along the left edge…

By now you may be asking… “OK… what is Mind Management?”  I won’t answer that… you need to read it to find out… but if you are a fan of LOST (the forward is written by Damon Lindelof, one of the producers of LOST) or of stories that force you to think and to look at events differently, than you may enjoy Mind MGMT.

After completing Volume One, I immediately downloaded the Dark Horse Comics app for my iPad and got the next four issues (currently there are 10 total issues) which continue the story but delves into a different arc… the details of which would be too much of a spoiler for the events of Volume One.  Let’s just say that I want to read more… and that is never a bad sign.

My understanding is that this is going to be a 36 issue story line… and we are at issue 10.  I am tickled pink to be getting in on a comic series relatively early and will get a kick out of waiting month to month for the next installment.  If the question of “Who is Henry Lyme?” intrigues you… and you enjoy a good twisted tale of mental trickery and espionage, then I would highly recommend Mind MGMT.

Who is Mr. Blahg?
Cornelius J. Blahg

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