Matt Hawkins, best known to the world as the President of Top Cow Comics, recently spoke with us about the new series he’s writing called Think Tank. Shortly after this interview was conducted, Top Cow announced that Think Tank would become an ongoing series.
Here now are Mr. Hawkins’ thoughts on slacker geniuses, unbelievable tech, scientific ethics, and the cost of being the boss.
Since the book just came out, how would you describe Think Tank for the uninitiated?
Matt Hawkins: Think Tank is a book about a research scientist who was seduced into service for DARPA and the military at the tender age of 14 by being given a full ride to Cal Tech and the promise to be in the leading lab in the world. David of course accepted and got sucked into a world he became disillusioned about later. The story starts with him already being disillusioned and he is a bit of a slacker genius at this point. He doesn’t finish what he starts and sort of does just enough to get by…which is more than most of us could do but he’s expected to do more. A new military officer has been put in to oversee the lab who’s goal it is to get David to work again. He created some amazing tech for them and they want more. This is the nature of the conflict.
The tech in the book seems scarily within the realm of possibility. How much research did you have to do?
Hawkins: The research for this has been lifelong but more specifically for this project in the last year. A lot of this is based on my own interactions with scientist friends and people I know. Research for me is an ongoing curiosity and not really a chore. I find it to be the funnest part.
The book raises interesting points about scientific responsibility. Do you think scientists should be held accountable for their creations, or is it the duty of the user?
Hawkins: Oh I think people have a responsibility for what they create. There will always be more questionably moral people who will look to use whatever it is for their own advantage, which frequently translates to evil. I believe in science and what we’re doing now is pretty amazing, but there is a responsibility to make sure that this stuff is controlled. There are bioweapons being developed and tested daily that could wipe out the whole world if they got out… and in some cases with some of them in less than 24 hours.
Was it difficult juggling your duties as Top Cow’s president with writing?
Hawkins: Yeah this is just a matter of sleeping less!
While we’re at it, what’s a typical day as president like?
Hawkins: I always have more than I can do to get done but I prioritize and try to knock one or two things off my to do list before I get into email, phone calls, etc. Afternoons I have a lot of meetings, review contracts, cut checks, run profit and loss analysis…all kinds of boring shit.
Think Tank #1 went to a second printing and it is still on sale at your local comic book shop.