Let’s for a moment forget everything Matt Kindt has written. If 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man was the first thing I had ever read of his, I would immediately seek out everything else he’d ever written. The premise is simple: What if there was a man who didn’t stop growing? How would that look? How would that feel, not only to him, but to those who were a part of his life? The three people in his life, specifically, are his emotionally haunted mother, wife, and daughter – haunted because, as Craig grows, the way he experiences the world changes and that affects each relationship in a different way.
Kindt has made each chapter just as much about the women in his life as it is about the giant man telling his story through their eyes, and each chapter presents cascades of emotional truth. He uses the mother’s story to set a foundation that we can relate to, about loss, how we see our children, and how they feel like they slip away so quickly with every year that passes, just like memories of those we’ve lost. This chapter is beautiful, honest, heartbreaking, and absolutely necessary. It presents an emotional through line, something we connect to and understand. The second and third chapters take those recognizable elements and reframes them when a young, curious woman, Jo, meets Craig and falls in love with him. As the stakes in Craig’s situation heighten, literally and figuratively, we know exactly how these characters feel.
Of course, that’s the story, but what is it about? With 3 Story, Kindt has created a work of art that everyone is going to connect with on a deeply personal level for different reasons. There are plenty of things this could be about: depression, loneliness, the things that make us different from each other, and the things that connect us again, being drawn to one another, growing slowly apart, and what we actually need when it comes down to it. The natural rhythms of human relationships.
Kindt succeeds, not because the story is effective at being sad, but because there’s so much beauty and tenderness in a story that’s about the distance that can exist between people and the pain that comes from that. Kindt’s visuals are inspired. Seeing Jo live in a small house that exists inside Craig’s tower, you feel the loneliness, you feel how small she is in his world, and how overpowering that can be. I have felt this exact emotion before…and I don’t know anyone over seven feet tall.
The story of Craig could have easily fit into the world of Mind MGMT, and like Mind MGMT, 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man pushes the comic book medium into fresh territory and shows us that there are more stories to tell with this platform than just superhero stories, and there are more ways to tell these stories than just in sequenced panels. Kindt is giving us a road map; he’s showing us new ways to tell human stories, to connect with what’s inside each and every one of us, our shared experiences as humankind. I will never forget the story of Craig Pressgang, not because he was a giant, but because I’ve felt exactly like he has, without needing to be giant.
Creative Team: Matt Kindt (story, art), Daniel Chabon (Expanded Edition Editor), Brett Israel (Expanded Edition Assistant Editor), Diana Schutz (First Edition Editor), Brendan Wright (First Edition Assistant Editor) Ethan Kimberling (Designer), Allyson Haller (Digital Art Technician)
Publisher: Dark Horse
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