Matt Kindt talks Black Badge and More
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Matt Kindt is one of the most critically acclaimed writers in the industry right now. He's written/drawn the amazing Mind MGMT. He's done countless work for Valiant. Not to mention he's worked with some other awesome creators such as Jeff Lemire, Tyler Jenkins, and even his wife Sharlene on Dept H. His new book with Tyler Jenkins, Black Badge, came out a couple weeks ago and his been getting great reviews, including on this site as well. I was curious where the idea came from so I hit him up and asked a few questions.
1. You are both a writer and artist, what do you like about working solo? With others?
I enjoy the creative freedom most of all. Whether it’s with another artist or writer – comics is such a great medium to work in. There’s just enough money it it to make a living but not so much that you get a lot of outside creative interference. While I prefer to work alone I’m finding that the older I get – there is more fun in collaboration – I think maybe that’s come with age. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove anymore. Three years and 36 monthly issues of MIND MGMT all on my own pretty much cured me of that. So now I’m really able to loose up. It’s really been great working with friends like Jeff (Lemire) and David Rubin and Brian Hurtt and Tyler Jenkins and with my wife, Sharlene Kindt (on Dept. H). They’re a new ingredient that gets mixed in with really fun and different results. With me on my own, I get an expected results. With collaborations you get something surprising – something greater than the sum of its parts.
2. Black Badge just came out a couple weeks ago, I loved it by the way, can you tell us a little more about the book?
It started out as a joke. I think I’d read an article about the Boy Scouts years ago and it just occurred to me how absurd the name was. Why are they “scouts?” There really isn’t any scouting going on. They should be sending these kids out on real scouting missions! That was the joke anyway. Until it became...not a joke and a story idea. You’d be surprised how many books and story ideas I’ve had that just started out as a dumb joke and then turned into something bigger. Ha ha!
3. How long are you planning on doing this book?
We’ll keep it going as long as readers are reading it! I always start with a year or two of ideas and then see where we are when we get there. The story runs its own course honestly. We’ll know when it’s done...when it’s done! I do have an “ending” written but I have a lot of ground to cover before we ever get to that!
4. For readers that may not be familiar with your work, what book would you recommend them reading first?
It depends on what you like, I think. If you want a sad magical-realism kind of story 3 Story is the book for you. If you want a real challenge, I’d say MIND MGMT. If you want a good mystery with a little something more – Dept. H (with my wife doing the amazing water color work.)
5. You do a lot of work for Valiant, besides your creator owned books, are the any Marvel or DC books you would like to work on on the future?
Maybe. I honestly don’t spend a lot of time thinking about other characters unless I’m asked to. I’m day-dreaming all the time about stories and character and ideas. The vehicle that those ideas end up in is really incidental. That said, I have a killer Legion of Super Heroes idea that I’d like to get to sometime.
6. What books are you currently reading?
AAMA, Black Hammer, Sixth Gun, Stray Bullets in comics. And in prose -- The Monk of Mokha, Ancillary Justice, The Expanse, and I’m re-reading all of the Sherlock Holmes stories (again) – they never get old.
7. What advice could you give to aspiring writers out there?
Find a good reliable artist and pay them well!
8. Where do you see the comic book industry in 5 years?
I see it blossoming into a field with a lot of independent creators being able to make good livings with crowd-funding and becoming less dependent on publishers.