Rockstar Tours: MINDSET (Zack Kaplan & John J. Pearson) Excerpt & Giveaway! ~ US ONLY

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the MINDSET by Zack Kaplan & John J. Pearson Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About The Book:


Authors: Zack Kaplan & John J. Pearson (Illustrator)

Pub. Date: June 6, 2023

Publisher: Vault Comics

Formats:  Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 104

Find it: Goodreads   


Black Mirror meets The Social Network in the mind-bending,
sci-fi technothriller Mindset, where mind control is only an
app away.  For fans of Dave Eggers’ The Circle and The

The Cult of Control

When an introverted tech geek accidentally discovers mind control, he and his
friends do something unexpected – they put the science into a meditation app to
help users break their technology addiction. But as their Mindset app achieves
a dangerous cult following, lies, conspiracies, and murder come to light. Are
they helping people or controlling them?
Free your mind.
Who’s in control?

Collects the entire, smash and super-hot, best-selling 6-issue series!

From in-demand writer Zack Kaplan (ECLIPSE, PORT OF EARTH, THE LOST CITY
) and
star artist John J. Pearson (2021 Eisner Award winner along with Anand RK
for BLUE IN GREEN (Image Comics))

For fans of Black Mirror, Halt and Catch Fire, graphic
novel The Department of Truth, and for fans of
technothriller writers Dave Eggers (The Circle, The Every), Blake
Crouch (Recursion), and Douglas E. Richards (The Enigma Cube),
for readers interested in the CIA’s two decade-long MK Ultra mind control
experiments, and readers interested in the impact of tech on society.

“This twisty and cynical thriller cleverly situates itself at the intersection
of heated debates about social media, tech giants, and social inequality.”
— Publishers Weekly

“What an AMAZING, disturbing first issue this was! Every godd*** book
@thevaultcomics puts out is a must-read.” – Patton Oswalt (actor,
comedian, writer)

“Mind-blowing art. A chilling concept. The perfect technothriller…” – Cavan
 (New York Times bestselling author: Star
Wars: The High Republic

Mindset …is an uncompromising and engaging vision. A
terrifying look in the dark mirror we all need. 10/10.” — Comics

“Fans of The Social Network and tales of corporate espionage
will snap this up.” — Publishers Weekly

“For my money, Mindset is one of the best books being published. 10/10” – Big
Comic Page

“… a stunning combination of The Graduate and Leigh
Whannell’s Upgrade, blending the ethical implications of
revolutionary technology with a murder mystery rooted in that same tech. 
Comic Watch

“Mindset … is a form of brainwashing itself, drawing one in and
leaving one with a desire for more. 10/10” – Comic Watch

Mindset isn’t your standard psychological thriller. In fact, it
turns the entire genre on its head, introducing a wildly fresh take on mind
control and the dangers of social media and influencer marketing. ” –

“Mindset … is a terrific science fiction tale, creepier because it
hits so close to home.” – Major Spoilers

“Mindset would’ve been on the list of best series of the year on
the strength of its art and premise alone. The theme of cell phone and internet
influence over our free will is incredibly important to our modern-day life.
But, coupled with the thrilling story of big tech mystery and the multilayered
exploration of existential themes, I would argue that Mindset is
the very best comic series of the year.” – AIPT

“Mindset is … an imaginative, unrestrained triumph.” – CBR

“One of the most compelling and relevant books on the stands.” – Comics


MINDSET: The Complete Series  – Q&A for Tour – Zack Kaplan (writer/co-creator) & John J. Pearson (artist/co-creator)



Can you talk about any classic / modern science fiction influences?

I write a lot of science fiction, but this is definitely sci-fi as an allegory for something actually

happening in our society today. You can almost read Mindset and take out the words mind

control and still find it to be relevant to our social media and app addiction today.

But I will say I think whatever inspired it, we wanted to tell a sort of seduction story about this

character with ideals, who’s looking at all the flaws of our tech industry, and how it’s mutated

from what it was, a pioneering landscape for freedom and connection, to a morally dangerous

and complex world where our privacy and data and attention are under threat. And yet, the

same flaws that our hero sees, well, he grew up with those flaws. Those flaws raised him in their

earlier forms. So how do you change something you also are desperate to be a part of?


How is our current social/societal situation reflected in MINDSET – and how did they

influence MINDSET?

As I said, it’s the inspiration for the book. We’ve all been up late at night doom scrolling or

swiping and we don’t even know what we’re looking for. How often do you check your phone

each day for no actual reason other than the habit of checking, desperate to find some

notification or red badge or chime that indicates you matter and you have influence in the

world. Add to the way we crave influence on social media. Everything in Mindset is built on

these realities. Our hero, Ben Sharp, is raised on social media from the past two decades, and

while he can voice his frustration with the tech industry’s manipulative practices, he also longs

to be the next startup superstar. And a lot of the themes of the story are questioning that – do

we just lie to ourselves about our empowerment, when in reality, we will do anything for

influence? Can we break free from our addiction to our devices, even when we know about it?

Are we even in control anymore?




John, the covers and artwork are amazing and surreal  – what were your inspirations?


I’m really interested in trying to make as much of a connection with an audience as possible through the artwork, and to actively engage them with the reading experience. Something I find a lot of the time is comics can have little re-readability, but with MINDSET we wanted to try and push re-readability and intrigue through having a layered and considered approach to the art and the techniques used. Some of my favourite creators working in comics have an emphasis on that emotional connection, including Bill Sienkeiwicz, Dave McKean, Kent Williams, Martin Simmonds, Tula Lotay, JH Williams III and so on. This can range from emotive colour use and texture through to unexpected compositions and tactile qualities that evoke emotional responses on a very subtle level.


Talk about your favorite (and least favorite) sort of character you like to create/bring to life.


Ben Sharp was great to bring to life for Mindset, it was challenging to visually come up with a fairly nondescript “everyman” character who we could use to explore some of the main themes in the series. It was trying to come up with an intentional blank canvas, who could be both relatable to an audience, but also have the flexibility to be used to explore the themes of duality and conflict. We went through a lot of iterations before we settled on the character in the book, stripping back and trying to create someone who an audience could potentially see themselves reflected in. On the flipside of that, I’m less interested in working on characters who don’t have the capacity to resonate with an audience on an emotional level, either characters who are not well developed in the writing, play into stereotypes or simply don’t have enough scope of a visual identity to be interesting.








About Zack Kaplan:


Zack Kaplan is a break-out science fiction comic writer and
creator of such comics and graphic novels as ECLIPSE, PORT OF EARTH, THE LOST
MINDSET. He has worked with publishers such as Image/Top Cow, Dark Horse,
Aftershock, Vault, Humanoids, Scout Comics and DC Comics. His first three
series were all optioned for TV adaptation, with PORT OF EARTH currently being
developed by Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment and Amazon TV Studios.
Zack has taught screenwriting and storytelling at the International
Academy of Film and TV, located in the Philippines. He currently lives in Los


Website | Twitter |
Facebook |
Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


About John J. Pearson:

John J. Pearson is an Eisner
Award-winning artist and illustrator based in Leeds, UK.

John has built a reputation as an
inimitable talent through his varied portfolio producing work for clients as
diverse as Vault Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, Z2 Comics, Heavy Metal
Magazine, Netflix, WWE, Rue Morgue Magazine, The Ray Harryhausen Foundation,
Burning Witches Records, and Arrow Video amongst many others. He is also an
award-winning comic book artist, receiving the 2021 Eisner Award for Best
Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art) alongside collaborator Anand RK, for
the work on Blue in Green (Image).

John fuses traditional drawing
techniques, digital painting, and collage to produce highly-detailed and darkly
compelling images across a range of printed media. Combining elements of
photorealism, popular culture, abstraction, and psychedelia to create a unique
style and versatility in approach that appeals to a wide spectrum of audiences.

John has exhibited in the UK and
US, organized extensive art experiences across the country, and produced live
murals at high profile events both independently and as part of Leeds-based art


Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive finished copies of MINDSET, US Only.

Ends June 20th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


The Chirpy Bookaholic

Excerpt/IG Post


A Dream Within A Dream



#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt/IG Post


Excerpt/IG Post



Excerpt/IG Post


by Radus

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two:


Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt/IG Post


Cara North

Excerpt/IG Post



IG Review


Kim’s Book Reviews and Writing Aha’s

Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post




Week Three:



IG Review


Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

Review/IG Post


The Momma Spot




IG Review



Review/IG Post


A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic

Week Four:


Country Mamas With Kids

Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post


Two Points of Interest

Review/IG Post


Brandi Danielle Davis

Review/IG Post


Author Z. Knight’s Guild

Review/IG Post


1 thought on “Rockstar Tours: MINDSET (Zack Kaplan & John J. Pearson) Excerpt & Giveaway! ~ US ONLY”

  1. Cori says:

    Love the art style

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