Charlie Chang: I’m a huge fan of detective/mystery thrillers so I’m very excited about Red Hand. Tell us about the book.
Matt Kindt: Well, I can you that I’m a huge fan of crime. Not crime, but crime books (laughs), I’m against crime. I read all the Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler; I’m a huge fan of film noir, those movies from the 40s and 50s. I also love heist movies and all that stuff. So what I started to do a crime book, it was kind of like when I did Super Spy. I read every spy thing I could get my hands on so that wouldn’t repeat it. I did the same thing with Crime, I read everything and tried to figure out some little chink in the armor of Crime books that hasn’t been done yet and try to worm my way into that. So I set up the challenge for myself of doing a Crime book where nobody’s gets killed in it, there’s no heist or some big thing where someone is stealing something. I mostly made it, it’s 99% death free, [laughs] but I wanted it to be more about the nature of crime and ask questions like “What is Crime?”, “Is it even a Crime?” because I’m naturally a rule follower so I don’t break the rules but I’m constantly thinking about ways to skirt the rules.
CC: Like the grey areas
MK: Yeah, like, by the letter of the law I’m not disobeying the law but it’s skirting the issue. You know, this makes Red Handed sound like the most boring crime book ever but it’s actually very exciting, there are things getting stolen, somebody does die, but I just wanted to do something that was a Crime book and had everything that I loved about that genre but was different than anything else that had been done before.
CC: In great Crime movies and TV dramas music is a big driving factor in creating the overall mood and atmosphere of what’s playing out in front of the audience. What kind of music do you hear while reading Red Handed?
MK: I’d say it’s pretty 60s jazzy, probably Dave Brubeck, put that one and then read it.
CC: What did you read as part of your research? Any newspapers?
MK: [Laughs] Actually no, I tried to read everything in the genre so all my research was really based around making sure that I didn’t do something that already existed. The other was I grew up reading Dick Tracy and I love it so there’s definitely a heavy homage to Dick Tracy because what’s funny is, the stuff you read as a kid, you really don’t realize how much that informs so much of your work. I love cutaway views and gadgets and I look back and all the stuff I’ve done and it helps me remember why I love those things subconsciously. So there’s a Detective in there who’s got a 100% success rate and he solves every crime so he’s basically Dick Tracy. Then I wanted to pit him against weird and odd crimes so I put him in a real world situation where there’s something more important than just solving the crime. Figuring out what causes people to become criminals and make this detective answer those types of questions but in a very exciting way cause that’s starting to sound boring again [everybody laughs]. There’s action, there’s car crashes.
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