Axel-In-Charge: Unmasking the "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Conventions | Comic-Con International in San Diego is about six weeks away, so it’s time for Tom Spurgeon to post his massive list of tips for those planning to attend: “It helps to remember that the hassle of going to Comic-Con is mostly an accident of our recent cultural history — All those spectacle movies! All those fantasy franchise books! Marvel’s post-bankruptcy comeback! All those graphic novels! The toy explosion! The rise of manga and anime! — rather than something the convention itself enjoys or endorses or requires or was ever shooting for. I honestly don’t have any more fun going now than I did in ’96 or ’01, back when it was so much easier to attend the con that the worst-case scenario was registering on-site and staying in a $65 hotel ten blocks away. It wasn’t that long ago! But I also can’t stress this enough. I still have fun.” [The Comics Reporter]
If you were to go back in time three years ago to take a look at all the year-end lists that highlighted 2007’s best comics, no doubt you’d find Matt Kindt‘s Super Spy on many of those lists. The book consisted of 52 short stories — or was it all one big story? — that detailed the lives of spies during World War II.
Now Kindt is working on a follow-up of sorts to Super Spy that jumps into a different genre, the paranormal, and stars the ghosts of Houdini, Amelia Earhart and even a character from Super Spy, among others.
“I really focus on each one of them as they interact with each other and examine their past to sort of uncover the mystery of their life — rather than their deaths,” Kindt said. “Is that vague enough? I really don’t want to give too much away.”
Kindt did give a few things away, however, about the project.
JK: From what I understand, Super Natural is a “sequel” of sorts to Super Spy — or at least they share a common character, correct? What else can you tell us about the new book?
Matt: It’s basically my take on ghost stories. I’m not a big fan of super natural stuff at all — I really do want a sort of rational explanation for everything — or at least for there to be a rational explanation behind it, even if I don’t get it. So that’s pretty much what this book is — a way for me to figure out a way to tell a super natural story that satisfies me. It’s set in the 1950s and includes a dead character from Super Spy (I won’t say which one), Houdini, Amelia Earhart, Morgan Earp and a teenage girl … all ghosts. But 90 percent of the story is sort of flashbacks to their life, with the ghost parts being more of a way to show how they examine their existence and try to figure out why they’re ghosts at all.
Sean T. Collins worked with the folks at Top Shelf to get this one for us, and I was really stoked to see it when it came in. Matt Kindt‘s ingenious Super Spy came out back in 2007, and in March of this year Top Shelf will release a supplement to that ground-breaking work, titled Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers. It’ll include deleted scenes, standalone stories, 3-D comics (ohhhh!) and much more.
Here’s Top Shelf’s top-secret dossier on the book (actually, it’s the solicitation info, so it’s not TOO classified):
SUPER SPY: THE LOST DOSSIERS by Matt Kindt
— $12.95, 96-Page Full-Color Graphic Novel, Young Adult, ISBN 978-1-60309-043-8
— SHIPPING MARCH 2010!
Couldn’t get enough of the critically-acclaimed and Eisner-nominated SUPER SPY? Curious what all the fuss is about? Have we got a book for you! Creator Matt Kindt has pulled out all the stops to make this an unforgettable supplement to (or first taste of) his 2007 opus. What’s inside? Deleted scenes! Standalone spy stories! Sketchbook pages! 3-D comics! Full annotations! Diagrams of spy gadgets and keys to unlock hidden secret codes! Toys and stories for you to cut out and assemble! It’s like a secret spy activity book for grown-ups! PLUS: illustrations, photos, and commentary from Matt explaining the real-world spy origins of his stories and techniques! Don’t just read this book…. USE it!
Check out a complete, standalone story from the book after the jump!
I’m a great admirer of Matt Kindt‘s work. Honestly, I’m an even bigger admirer of Kindt’s ingenious nature. Case in point, for his latest book, 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man (published by Dark Horse and released in late September), he has developed a Giant Man Mini Comic – Spy Capsule and Giant-Man 3-D Postcards. Before we get into our email interview about 3 Story, I have to reiterate what I said in last week’s What Are You Reading that (in addition to checking out Kindt’s latest work, of course) you should pick up Strange Tales 2 (featuring Kindt’s Black Widow tale). Here’s a bit of Dark Horse’s background on the tale (before stepping into the interview): “Craig Pressgang’s life is well documented in his official CIA biography, Giant Man: Pillar of America, but the heroic picture it paints is only half the story. The continuous growth caused by Craig’s strange medical condition brings a variety of problems as he becomes more isolated and unknowable. Told in three eras by three women with unique relationships with Craig, 3 Story follows his sad life from his birth to the present.” Be sure to visit the Dark Horse site for a seven-page sample of the book.
Tim O’Shea: A three-fold question of sorts (pun intended): Which came first, the idea to build your latest book as three stories in one, or the fact that the lead character was three stories tall in height or that you wanted to tell the story from the perspective of three women?
Matt Kindt: I wanted to tell the story from three different generations’ perspective — that was first. Then the idea for the title. I’m usually terrible with titles. It takes me forever to come up with something and then I usually go back to the working title anyway. Super Spy started out as my jokey working title and then it grew on me so I just left it. A friend accused me of naming it 3 Story so it would be filed on the bookshelf next to my other book 2 Sisters — completely unintentional. But I’m thinking my next book might be called “4 Shadows”. (kidding)