RKL Annotations – HEADSPACE #5

by ryankl

HEADSPACE #5 is a 99c goldmine of feels.

Poor bloody Shane. Things just tunnel deeper every issue like he’s strapped to a Technodrome 😦

headspace05_cvr

Here are some spot thoughts on a journey through the issue – won’t you join me?

COVER

I love this cover. The concept, the white, the orientation, everything. And I think it’s the little people in that brain/maze that make me smile the most. Lil’ Gil, I hope he makes it out, ha.

Actually, how interesting that this cover gives me kind of a smile, when nothing then in this issue is really geared to making you feel better or comfortable. Way to go for the sucker punch, Zawadzki.

PAGE 1

Hrmm, clearly how I think some cheating Valley girl type might sound on the phone with her cuckolded bf in the room. That central panel of her laughing is gorgeous and yet so cruel at the same time. And Eric slays on the 9 panel grid +1

PAGE 2

I don’t write many splash pages, but this moment just tickled me, and it relieves all the tension built up on that crowded Page 1. You gotta build, then release, that’s part of a good narrative. Plus, on Page 1, it all looks relatively normal, so this moment is to really throw you off guard, I want you to not quite know what’s going on. You need to be as on edge as the person watching this scene (as seen in the next page).

Also, I scripted this visual a few ways, mere ideas for Eric on possibilities, and then he just went and did this. Those birds are fantastic, but Max’s smile, and posture, in the background is the kicker.

PAGE 3

Then we take a page to breathe, set the scene, explain the first two pages, and build towards the next page. I worry about these type of pages. I worry enough isn’t happening, that they only exist as exposition (SOUND THE JAMES REMAR KLAXON) but in the end, and as I read this, I see them and how they serve as part of the whole structure, how this page pauses, allows the mind to settle, so we can do what’s next…

PAGE 4

Man, this page is one of my favourite things Eric has done, and is also a shining example of why I love comics. We get to do this, how rad is that? Very little else in this world – perhaps nothing – can replicate exactly what is on this page. I love that Eric could pull this off. I asked him to lay it out like a boardgame (I sent him a pic of the old Hero Quest board game top – olde school Hero Quest fans represent!) and then I asked for as many rooms as I could. Then Eric fit them all in.

This page totally raises more questions than it does answers, absolutely, but in all it tells us the one thing – Max’s mind is messed up, and is a scary place in which to be trapped. From fighting hobo dogs to crazy gf’s to whatever the hell is happening in that room full of water…this page is all tone, with a hint of scene setting/world building and I’m so thankful for having Eric around to pull this off.

PAGE 5

And now we finally have the main mission laid out for Shane.

Day Keene – fantastic man, superior smell.

PAGE 6

I’m really enjoying how the art here from Sebastian Piriz, with colours by Marissa Louise, juxtapose so well from Eric’s stuff that I don’t have to caption the change of location/reality at all. That’s the dream, less didactic/non-diagetic stuff if we can avoid it.

That panel of Lois blowing on her coffee is all Sebastian, and it’s beautiful.

PAGE 7

If I had to give information to some killer/hitman/spy/whomever, I’d totally put it on some burner smartphone – recon pics, files in Notes. Surely this is already happening in the world, right?

PAGE 8

That line Lios gives here “No, Max, this is surgery. You’re a blade not a bullet.” I was so damn proud of that line. Then, tonight, I was ready the Parlov/Ennis FURY MAX and there’s this line: “We were a stiletto in the heart, not a baseball bat the army kept swinging blindly at the head.”

Ennis 1 | Lindsay 0

😦

Love the panel border and muted colours when Max uses the duffel bag full of cash as a silencer of sorts. Just love it.

PAGE 9

Hrmm, another page of structure and important words. Shane has his plan, and he has his opposition, but then he gets distracted and while he wanders off, we wander into the next page…

PAGE 10

…and here we confirm a bomb – that Max isn’t a killer, he’s something more. I wasn’t initially going to obscure this fact, we were going to be upfront about his status as a USAgent, but then the ability to paint him as some killer came up and it felt too right. because here, even with what we know of Max and have seen, here we confirm he isn’t actually a ‘bad guy’ per se, and so that should muddy up all our thoughts moving forward.

Also, showing this memory set as a movie was an idea I enjoyed, and once again Eric nails it. I took the screening room aesthetic, with the projector light carving through the room, from the cover/preview for a 90s Robert De Niro flick – which after googling ‘De Niro commies’ I can confirm is GUILTY BY SUSPICION.

PAGE 11

This scene was a little hard to write. Ever since *SPOILERS* the kid in RESCUE ME was killed, the thought that it can happen anywhere/anytime/anyhow freaks me to my core. Then having to watch how that might happen, well, that’d break my heart.

The Librarian’s line here just shows that we really haven’t known who is good/bad/in-between at all this whole time. Except Shane, he’s staunch.

PAGE 12

This page was hard to write, and took me a few goes, but then Eric just slayed it with the art as usual. I got in the inks for this and choked up looking at them on my iPad. That’s the power of Zawadzki.

BACK MATTER

Listen to the CRIMINAL podcast.

Read THE BROTHERS JAMES.

Listen to Sarah Blasko.

All hail Design Fu Supreme Chris Kosek.

Don’t let your children die.

Fear Dan Hill’s understanding of the Nuremberg Code.

 

And that’s it for another issue. I hope you dug it, a lot of feedback that came my way said people thought this was our strongest issue yet. I like that kind of feedback. Though I can’t wait for you to see #6, because Eric and Sebastian both step up in two huge moments. You’ll see, and you’ll know instantly.

We at HEADSPACE HQ thank you for spreading the good word – RTs, water cooler chatter, WoW flaming – it’s all good and helpful and so insanely appreciated.

I also hope 2014 has been good to you, and you’ll meet us in 2015 ready to finish this tale. We know we are!

🙂

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