Exclusive: Before SDCC, Top Cow President Matt Hawkins discusses the future of Think Tank



Think Tank has been a fan and critical success for Top Cow Productions and the company recently announced the comic book will continue as an ongoing.

To celebrate the news and learn what is in store for Dr. David Lauren, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer buttonholed Top Cow president and Think Tank writer Matt Hawkins exclusively before the SDCC for this interview.

Cosmic Book News: Matt, congratulations on Think Tank continuing past its proposed 12th issue. Will this be under the Top Cow label now or Minotaur Press, and is there a planned end point for the book?

Matt Hawkins: It’s under the Minotaur Press label and there is no current planned end point for the book.

CBN: I have asked you before, as I am sure have others, but where does the Top Cow president and COO get time to write any book, much less such a complex one?

Matt Hawkins: Lots and lots of caffeine! (laughs) Seriously, when it’s something you love you find the time. Writing Think Tank and working with guys like Rahsan Ekedal and Stjepan Sejic makes it easy for me.

CBN: For the uninitiated, tell us about Dr. David Loren and his past world.

Matt Hawkins: Dr. David Loren is a genius level weapons designer for a DARPA military lab. He was recruited at a young age and was excited at first about all the technology and access to the brightest minds. Flash forward 10 years and the reality of what he’s doing has sunk in. He’s killing people, both directly and indirectly and he can’t figure out if all of them are bad or not. The first trade paperback is about this realization and how he’s faking his research so he doesn’t get anything done and how the military and he react to that. He’s a man-child but insanely smart and his social interactions are somewhat off and on occasion humorous.

CBN: Directly or indirectly, Dr. Loren has probably been responsible for hundreds of deaths. But recently he experienced death up close and personal. How has this changed the character?

Matt Hawkins: There’s always that argument that you were just a part of something that put something together and that other people use it to kill … but when the blood splashes on your face it’s a whole different experience. He was already having a moral crisis but add a death right in front of him that he feels he caused (he didn’t pull the trigger) and it’s a whole different thing. I want to take David on a gamut of emotions and show how someone in his position would deal with these things.

CBN: What is it about this character you like? What makes you as a writer come to him time and again, getting new ideas, fresh ideas?

Matt Hawkins: Well, the human emotional element is easy; just write a character as if he’s a real person. I dream about David sometimes, it’s kind of weird. A lot of the ideas I get from writing the book and thinking about what could be done. The tech and science I get by reading journals and staying current with what’s going on in the world.

CBN: Did we hear the good doctor will be moving into the field, so to speak?

Matt Hawkins: Yes, in the third arc he is out in the field for the first time. The third arc takes place in Taiwan and China.

CBN: You obviously enjoy working real world science or science theory into this book. Anything exciting we can look forward to?

Matt Hawkins: After issue #12, I’m going to jump back into more of the unique science stuff.  I love cybrids, chimeras and all of the crazy genetic secrets unlocked by the Genome Project. We’re at the beginning of a bold new era in genetics research that is going to change everything.

CBN: Dr. Loren has faced a time of betrayals of differing scales. How does this, if at all, affect David and Mirra?

Matt Hawkins: Ultimately he loves her and that love will break through all of their problems and differences.  

CBN: Why is Rahsan Ekedal right for Think Tank? What does his art bring to the table?

Matt Hawkins: Rahsan is a master storyteller and I could not see doing this book with any other artist. His facial expressions and the way he draws David’s even … bad posture … I think is pretty amazing.

CBN: So what is next for writer Matt Hawkins?

Matt Hawkins: Stay tuned for [the San Diego] Comic-Con announcements! 

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Matt Hawkins for taking the time from his very busy schedule before SDCC to answer our nosy M.E.

“Think Tank” #8 is on sale now!