RKL Annotations – HEADSPACE #2
I am really proud of this issue and happy with how it came out. We drop more knowledge and we further warp the world of Carpenter Cove. For as much as we want you to know more, we want to confuse and discombobulate you. Let’s do a little of both right now.
And if you haven’t read HEADSPACE #2, then head over to ComiXology right now and hook in.
Man, when Eric dropped this one on me I was floored. Talk about capturing the tone of the issue and laying it out in one simple image. This cover is working on many layers and I’m in love with it. I like a good minimalist design sense and this uses it to drown Shane and really ratchet up the tension. The blood in his mouth is ghastly and really brings this to life. In a word: perfect.
I wrote this page a few times. I knew what I wanted to get into, I knew the back story, but I was being passive. I wasn’t allowing Shane to really address the situation with fresh eyes. Once I got onto this final draft, I could see I was really baring Shane’s soul.
And it’s important to note, I’m theorising on this subject. I’m wondering how I’d feel if I were in his position. The closest I’ve come is what happens early on in RESCUE ME (spoilers).
What greets you on Page 2 is indicative of how I want to throw this comic at you. I never want you to get comfortable, I always want to try and slip in the weird business as much as I can. And I am in love with Eric’s delivery on this piazza, and the dead men of Carpenter Cove are creepy as hell.
That wave is crushingly good. Initially, I scripted what caused the wave but we didn’t really have room on the page so I wondered for a while what we could do and then I realised we’d just not tell you. It’s the Cove, man, anything can happen. Dead men having brunch, now a giant wave. It happens.
Ah, Max’s brain cutting loose in the only way it knows how. It’s trying to cleanse his brain, it’s reacting but blindly and violently. This montage of sorts needed to feel brutal but also warped and with just a hint of the absurd. I think it ticks all those boxes.
Then there’s the captions. I like the flow of them, the slow pace of giving them out. I wondered if maybe the page might look and feel different with all the captions in the first panel, or in the last. These are the questions I ask myself forever and ever. In the end, I like words with images so I opt to put one in each panel. I’m not much for writing silent panels, pages, or sequences. It’s just not how I deliver narrative.
Remember the alligator we show in the background and mention off hand last issue, yeah, CRUNCH. Which is not actually the SFX I scripted but Eric did his own thing and improved us as always.
I found this page hard to script and it went through various incarnations. I finally settled on something I liked but sometimes, when you’ve drafted something a dozen times, you either end up absolutely nailing it or you just finally get to a place where you are happy enough. For some reason, this page was hard to write. I’m glad I went silent in that big panel. It’s not really a reveal but it is a lead up. And I dig how Eric makes the movement all work, over quite some ground, so quickly across a handful of panels.
This is another turn point, another place where we fall further down the rabbit hole. These marionette Maxs were creepy to write but then Eric drew them and they came out even more disturbing. I love them. The puppets are talking about things, snippets into Max, and it’s important to his character what we see and more importantly hear here.
The first panel is one of my favourite things in this book. The way everything flows together, the caption, the flag, the abyssal black behind them. It’s this brilliant quiet moment and then the gator destroys it again. I can only imagine this will slay in Guided View on ComiXology.
Eric decimates this alligator with style and flair. And then we meet The Librarian. Does he look familiar to you? He was initially designed to look more like Mandy Patinkin in Homeland but then I had a vision and asked for him to be changed. Eric obliged. Also, that gun, I scripted it to look like that ridiculous beast Nick Fury comes with toward the end of SECRET INVASION. I dig how it looks on this dude.
That little kid walking the marionette Max away in the background of Panel One was not scripted, and it’s so damn creepy. I love that Eric does things like this with the book. I also dig that he drew all those books. Note to self, and others: don’t script in a library because your artist will go nuts drawing shelves and filling them. And then you will feel bad, though the page will look rad.
We get a talky page and Eric does well to make it work and mix up the angles. That reaction panel down the bottom certainly worked well.
I love Eric’s reactions on the faces of his characters. Watching Shane break down a little is sad. That final panel could be its own splash, if I had more real estate and artists who would work for me on an unlimited basis, but I don’t think I’d ever write a face to say a line filling its own splash. That’s just not my bag.
I admit what a sick mind I have. I beg for forgiveness. You can see how behind on things I am as I read NORTHLANDERS and THE MIGHTY THOR while watching JUSTIFIED well behind the rest of the world.
Damn, Chris Kosek designed these pages too and he smashed them. I feel like we’re making some kind of online novel back here, I hope you all dig. Dan Hill is bleeding research and erudition on the page. These essays support the themes of the book as well as just fill a space with something I would want to read as a reader of this book.
So, thanks for picking up the book. I appreciate every damn sale and you are keeping my dream alive 99c at a time. By this stage, all the scene setting and first act malarkey is over. Next issue, we really get into the chase and broaden the scope of the comic. Next issue, it’s brutal, and Eric sends us out on one of my favourite panels of all time from a book written by me. It’s sublime and gorgeous and perfect and better than scripted. Stick around and you’ll see, and no doubt agree.
We’d also appreciate it if you spread the good word. Indie books live and die on the vine due to exposure and word of mouth. Hit up twitter with #headspacecomic to share your thoughts, and possibly end up in the back of an issue, too. Chat with myself @ryanklindsay or Eric @ericxyz and let us know your thoughts. We love to chat about the stuff we create. Or just about other stuff. Tell your friends about the book on Facebook, or in person, or actually phone a friend to talk about Headspace, or gift the comic to someone. It’s all appreciated.
We’ll see you for #3 soon to take a TOUR OF CARPENTER COVE. Til then, be safe.