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July 22, 2010

Book Notes - Matt Kindt ("Revolver")

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Matt Kindt's graphic novel Revolver splits one man's life into two worlds. One is the mundane drudgery of dead-end work and an unfulfilling life, the other a fantastic existence where he can truly make a difference in a land troubled by terrorism and chaos.

Kindt's sartwork propels the story with its sketch-like qualities, and the addition of news tickers (as well as radio and television announcements) add depth to the story. Revolver is a gripping psychological thriller, filled with suspense about the true nature of the two worlds. Kindt expertly shares his protagonist's tensions (both mundane and fantastic), easily making Revolver one of the year's most surprising and thought-provoking graphic novels.

Printers Row wrote of the book:

"“Revolver,” on the other hand, unfurls at breakneck speed, with an unhinged, almost drunken vigor to the deliberately rough drawings. Though the plot is fairly involved, it never feels claustrophobic. Thanks in part to Kindt's unadorned, noir-inflected writing, Sam's existential dilemma is as exciting as watching him and Jan kick in doors and elude snipers."

In his own words, here is Matt Kindt's Book Notes music playlist for his graphic novel, Revolver:

This has been an age-old topic of conversation between my wife and I since I've known her. It breaks down pretty simply: she listens to lyrics and I don't. Lyrics to me are incidental to the making of a good song. The beat and the feeling it gives you when listening to it is usually all I care about. When I listen to music I'm really just listening to the sounds. I listen to the instruments and I do hear the words -- but I tend to hear the words as sounds. I think if I was interpreting the sounds as language I probably wouldn't be able to write and listen at the same time.

When I'm writing and drawing I'll usually just listen to a handful of songs over and over again for hours. By the time I'm done with that project those songs are pretty much used up and I won't be able to hear them for a while. But when you find that perfect group of songs it can keep your mind rolling and the brush pushing ink through lunch breaks and late into the night.

So that's sort of what these songs represent. I'll admit I did cull through a larger playlist I used for Revolver and actually went through and listened to the lyrics and this group of songs actually fit the themes in the book pretty well.

I thought it'd be cool to have a "double" album to fit the theme of the two worlds in the book so I have that version and also a shortened single album version.

REVOLVER: The Soundtrack (double album)


1. Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
2. Modest Mouse – The World at Large
3. Mirah – Light
4. Decemberists – After the Bomb
5. Santogold – Lights Out
6. Verve – Butterfly
7. Radiohead – Karma Police


1. Iggy Pop – Wild America
2. Sublime – April 29, 1992
3. Geraldine Fibbers – California Tuffy
4. Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man
5. Rage Against the Machine – Wake Up
6. Fugazi – Promises
7. Black Keys – Next Girl

REVOLVER: The Soundtrack (single album version)

1. Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
2. Mirah – Light
3. Decemberists – After the Bomb
4. Santogold – Lights Out
5. Iggy Pop – Wild America
6. Geraldine Fibbers – California Tuffy
7. Black Keys – Next Girl
8. Fugazi – Promises
9. Rage Against the Machine – Wake Up

Matt Kindt and Revolver links:

the author's blog
the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book (at Techland)

ComicsAlliance review
Graphic Policy review
iFanboy review
Los Angeles Times review
Monkey See review
Portland Mercury review
Printers Row review
Underwire review
USA Today review
What Is Techno Again? review

Comic Geek Speak interview with the author
io9 interview with the author
Robot 6 interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

other Book Notes playlists (authors create music playlists for their book)

52 Books, 52 Weeks (weekly book reviews)
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from the week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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