RICH INTERVIEWS: Plaid Klaus Creator/Art/Story for Hive Mind

First Comics News: What is it about creating comics that got you interested in them?

Plaid Klaus: My earliest memories are of my father reading comics to me before bed. He had an old comic collection, and we would pull the box out of the closet, and my brothers and I would fight over who got to choose the night’s reading material. I think my dad used to read us Daredevil a lot, and because he was a lawyer, I think he assumed we would think he was a superhero.

Eventually, my passion for the comic medium grew into the Mind Comics entity out there today.

1st: Where does your inspiration come from?

Plaid: This question is akin to asking the plant where the seed derives. Inspiration, for me, is just a part of the chemical reaction of the internal psyche—the conscious and the subconscious. The subconscious has this strange life to which the conscious mind isn’t cognizant. Inspiration comes, I suppose, from colliding of those two worlds; the subconscious mind (of dreams & imagination) and the logical mind (observing the world as measurable matter).

Maybe it’s just drugs dude…no. Well, mostly no (sometimes, maybe).

1st: Who is the character on the cover of “Hive Mind”?

Plaid: Who indeed? Read the book – for the answer to that question would reveal multi-layered spoilers-cake.

1st: What is Parker like?

Plaid: I equate Parker to a walking Cell-Phone. He is a tool designed for each HIVE citizen to act as a database and a connection to the HIVE MIND. This relationship also opens the door with which The Order – which maintains the HIVE MIND – may constantly monitor each citizen’s actions.

Personality-wise, Parker is about as attractive as any modern A.I. communication tool. Despite post-modernity’s grand vision of crossing the uncanny valley (which is more like a grand canyon), I feel if machines were able to cross the uncanny valley, they would do so clandestinely. Machines would shrowd their presence in the illusion of mechanical inequities while secretly influencing the subdominant species to build their prison, kind of like Bitcoin (bare with me). Bitcoin is maintained by the demands of processing power which demand the calculating of higher and higher prime numbers in return for play-money for humans. The goal from a human perspective is capital – however, the goal from a machine perspective is more bio-mass and calculating power. So there’s an example of a machine parasitically encouraging a human to create a more complex computing horde in the guise of returning social trinkets for the human who achieves this goal.

*cough cough* AHEM.

Of course, this is all science-fiction stuff. So, yeah. Parker’s just a dumb robot sidekick.

1st: Where and when does this story take place?

Plaid: A time short from now in a galaxy not very far away.

1st: How would you describe the story of “Hive Mind”?

Plaid: HIVE MIND examines both the machinations which rule society and the potential for an alien species to dominate a species using machines without the species knowledge.

1st: How would you describe the personality of Kinny?

Plaid: There are no characters named Kinny in HIVE MIND.

1st: What exactly is the Hive?

Plaid: The HIVE is a conspicuously cloaked Machine-Moon that orbits the Planet in which our story takes place.

1st: How would you describe the art in “Hive Mind”?

Plaid: The art in HIVE MIND is a form of cartoon-realism. It’s where the forms from the real world are distorted, but the physics of perspective, light, and color from our world still obey the proper rules; that last distinction is what separates it from both traditional cartoons and traditional artistic realism.

1st: Why did you enjoy creating “Void Trip”?

Plaid: The VOID TRIP world-building process opened the door to retro-futuristic science fiction aesthetics. The concept of stoners wandering the desert of the galaxy looking for paradise was boiling in my mind probably since my first ‘trip’; however, it took about a decade of waiting and a talented writer friend, Ryan O’Sullivan, to make the dream a reality.

1st: Why is a comic book cover so important?

Plaid: A cover is a window into the soul of the literature. The comic cover also must act as the first panel of the comic story. A cover should never be treated as a package for a toy or shelf-commodity marketing device.

1st: Can you tell us a little about “Turncoat” and “The Glimmer Society”?

Plaid: Just wandering flotsam in the ocean of comics.

1st: If you could have one super power what would it be and why?

Plaid: I want the ability to rid the human psyche of the existence of superheroes. So, I suppose, mind-control.

1st: Any last words for all your fans?

Plaid: Your time is precious, and even a two-hour graphic novel read may seem like a big commitment. HIVE MIND is a highly crafted and entertaining graphic novel. You will finish the book and wonder, “what the fuck,” or “that was fucking amazing,” or both (at least that’s what the last two readers I spoke with told me about the book).

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