Interview: Matt Hawkins
Think Tank issue 1 hit comic books stories earlier this month and issue 2 will be out next week. Think Tank is published by Top Cow Productions and is from their Minotaur line by the team of Top Cow’s President Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal. Think Tank was recently announced as an on-going series by Top Cow. I was one of the many that was looking forward to this title but unfortunately it had sold out at several of the comicbook stores that I go to, so I broke from tradition and downloaded this title although that didn’t take anything away from my reading enjoyment. Think Tank is about a government scientist who creates some crazy technology. I recently caught up with Matt Hawkins to chat about Think Tank. After the interview we have some preview pages of issue 2.
Geeks Unleashed: I actually struggled to pick up this issue in print form when it was released and ended up buying it from Comixology. This was because comic shops normally order two months in advance and most people don’t normally order that far in advance and comic shops only seem to order more of the big name titles like Avengers Vs X-Men. It seems lately that independent comics have had a real surge in popularity. What are you and Top Cow doing to try and get more issues into the store?
Matt Hawkins: It is very difficult to launch a new series. I think you try and get as many advance reviews and get the word out as soon as you can about what you’re doing, but retailers are understandably very conservative when it comes to new titles…even from Marvel and DC. You need to put out a quality book, timely and have the ability to weather the first few months where you’ll probably lose money before people notice the book. With Think Tank it caught on quicker than I was expecting and we’ve seen some sales growth but more would be great!
Geeks Unleashed: What is the general premise of Think Tank and what inspired this story?
Matt: It’s about a research scientist who works for DARPA who decides he doesn’t like inventing/creating things that the military will use to kill people with anymore. He’s a bit of a slacker, but so smart he’s been able to get away with a lot all his life. So he gets put to the test. The book is my commentary on American so called exceptionalism and how that relates to the military industrial complex.
Geeks Unleashed: The star of the book is Loren, how did you come up with him and what kind of character journey can we look forward to with him?
Matt: He’s a combination of me (slacker) with your average nerdy genius out there. I think he kind of looks like a cross between the artist (Rahsan Ekhedal) and myself, that may or may not be intentional you’d have to ask him. His journey is one of internal discovery and an embracing of a moral compass to make positive change in his own life, despite his security clearance, commitments and other dramas.
Geeks Unleashed: At the end of the first issue it looks like Loren has landed himself in a lot trouble and a very interesting ending to the first issue. Can you give us any teasers about what happens next?
Matt: The second issue has a lot of flashbacks the main thing I wanted to show was how he was recruited and how he came to the decision that he didn’t want to do it anymore. Two key events in his life.
Geeks Unleashed: Congratulations on Think Tank being made an ongoing title. With this news will the title still stay with Minotaur Press or will it move to the main Top Cow Universe?
Matt: Minotaur. Top Cow Universe is only for the Artifacts and Cyber Force characters that inhabit that supernatural/tech universe we’ve built.
Geeks Unleashed: Rahsan Ekedal is a pretty amazing artist. How did you both end up working together on this title?
Matt: He did Echoes last year I dug his work and pitched him this idea. Long story short he said yes!
Geeks Unleashed: How much input has Rahsan had into Think Tank?
Matt: He did all the character designs and sends me links to crazy science shit because he knows I like it. He’s my co-creator without him the book would be very different.
Geeks Unleashed: What inspired the black and white approach to the title?
Matt: Initially it was a cost decision, had no idea if this book would work. I’m kind of liking it now that it’s in black and white though. We may go to color at some point if the sales are high enough.
Geeks Unleashed: Congratulations to you, Marc and all of Top Cow on smashing your Kickstarter target. What did you guys all do to celebrate?
Matt: Thanks for that. I don’t know what Marc did, but I slept!
Thanks Matt for your time and look forward to next weeks issue 2.