RKL Annotations – Headspace #7

by ryankl

We gave Sebastian an issue on which to shine and dear lord did he supernova.
HEADSPACE #7 available on ComiXology now for 99pence.

Art by Eric Zawadzki + Sebastiàn Piriz, colours by Eric Zawadzki + Marissa Louise + Dee Cunniffe, letters by Eric Zawadzki, edits by Dan Hill, back matter design by Christopher Kosek, logo design by Ryan Ferrier, and written by me.

I’ve never once asked Eric what he’s going to do for a cover, I never proofed or approved any thumbnails. I stand back, get out of his way, and await with glee what comes in.

The colours on this are sickening. And they reflect [see what I did there?] the tone of the final pages of this issue perfectly.

I also love how Eric draws hair.

This first panel, man, should be the end of the story. The goal met, game over, man, game over. Alas.

I feel I rarely take my time with first pages. I like to jump right in, in media res, really slam the reader straight away. I wanted to slowly take it all in, this page, just build. Though with my captions all over it because I am not Brisson or Barbiere and I lack confidence in myself.

I also hope the change in look for Shane doesn’t lose anyone. I like the idea that his human body ages, changes, etc, but the form he was in is what got injected into the Cove and that’s how he stayed.

There’s a lot of exposition snuck in here – I hope I snuck it in, otherwise I just rubbed it all over your snout, sorry.

But it’s gotta be Shane catching up in crazy time and so we much keep that pace. All the things of the Cove, all the science, it’s all dropped here like bombs on a WWII coastline. I’d like to say that’s style and confidence but it’s really just me having to cram it in because the science of the Cove was never the story, Shane is the story, so I want to get back to him front and centre as soon as I can.

That line McEwan says, y’know, that line, heh, that’s stolen from a flick called STICKMEN and boy do you need to hunt it down. It’s a kiwi flick about playing stick [pool] and it’s fantastic and hilarious and it’s certainly not here to fuck spiders.

Sebastian drew one hell of a severed leg.

And here we set the ticking clock for the final scenes of the entire story. The building is going to blow, just run, right?

It was fun to write McEwan’s mindset here, he’s ready to die because he’s accepted himself as the villain. So what does that say about him and his organisation? And what does that say about Max who wants to tear this organisation apart?

So many thoughts to ponder.

Also, this beard by Seb is just so damn good. Look at the weave and weight of it, it’s glorious, truly.

Here’s the transition out of Marissa’s colours and into Dee Cunniffe for the rest of Seb’s pages. Bet you didn’t even notice.

Trying to get McEwan to drop the info that ties things together so Shane connects what’s going on was bloody hard. I’m not convinced I ‘nailed’ it but I’m happy enough with it.

Hopefully the Pac Man mug distracts you from most of the mealy mouthed stuff 😀
Did you also notice he grabs his coffee from the fridge? Just something this character absolutely would do. Seb actually shot me an email to make sure I hadn’t flubbed that in the script, I said, no, ha.

The way Seb draws the Max/Id flashback panel inside a spread of Shane’s mind is just masterful. Completely layered imagery, plenty to bite off and chew, and completely not in the script, from memory.

I love the posture on Shane in that final panel. I’m only just realising now how much I love it. So. Good. He’s thin, he’s tense, he’s wiry. Ugh, perfect. [Note: that is now currently my twitter avatar]

I dig the jump to this page. The colours, the bald Shane, the layout, it’s all a jarring change. Good.

WAIT! That silhouette on the right looks like someone’s rocking a Quatto on their abdomen, haha 🙂

PHILIP K DICK KLAXON. Because time is indeed a flat circle.

Once that second last panel clicked into place, I really liked how the dialogue balloon and the caption box play together. Only in comics, peeps.

That compound – where does Seb find the time to construct such things?

The way Seb makes the maid walk past the room is great. Yet I still have no idea what that art on the walls is.

Realise now it’s a huge mistake that I had Zara cleaning off page and he talks about it, while the maid cleans in front of him. It’s confusing and I only noticed it right now 😦

Max descending from the roof like a secret agent spider came out just right, though.

There’s some BREAKING BAD level colour theory going on with those kitchen gloves right here.

The slanted panels for Zara running really add speed to the motion. I must remember that, it came out well. And I’ll always love Seb’s jagged panel borders for when the business gets real.

This page is heartbreaking, and a masterpiece of layout. The emptiness at the top, the triangular/pyramidal feel, though with Zara captured at the bottom, a prisoner, and those eyes.

That final panel holds every emotion I could have dreamed to capture on the page.

That red is a slam cut straight up. Zawadzki in the house.

Then we get the red sky, the razed Cove, and Shane, back, bearded, and we know the showdown is coming. This whole page is barren of life.

Back on that pier, right where we started.

And much like the first page of this issue, we take our time navigating through the destruction. There is balance to what we do. There is also now a felled giant ogre cyclops, again, blame Zawadzki 🙂

I figure there were more of those animal headed creatures left behind [they were actual tiny robtos, so they would remain – it’s all science, you wouldn’t understand] and Max’s brain just absorbed them, and is enjoying them. Totally all masochistic.

And now we end up back at that church. I love all these Max’s and how they get their Andrew W.K. on.

We’ve seen captions similar to these before, in this location. That’s as far as I’ll take out my trumpet and lay my lips to it.

This final scene, yet another pyramid, of the Id on this ghastly throne is all you need in order to know you have to come back for one more issue, right? Shane is a flipped man, in so so many ways, and here it all comes colliding.

I love finding great issue end points and Headspace doesn’t get much better than this. Though I am proud of all our issue close points, and that’s because in the planning phase I strongly break the issues down together as one large whole, and I map out issue breaks as one of the first things for each issue, and then build to them [pfft, fart noise – I say like every other pro doesn’t].

Oh, and I’ve loved writing all the ‘NEXT’ captions but this one is my favourite, natch.

As always, all hail Christopher Kosek, Designer Supreme of Carpenter Cove.
In which I open bare my cowardice for all to see.

Stephen Hawking declaring “There is no god” was my jam for a good month.

PARTY TRICKS was a great Aussie show, track it down.

ELEKTRA has been phenomenal, and kinda only got better, but apparently now it’s cancelled. Get down on it.

Who knew Tom Jones would get a run in this book, haha?

Dan Hill. Narratives. Reddit. References. Enjoy?

Owen Gieni has a sick and twisted mind. This pin up appeared out of nowhere and stunned me for a good night. A slick idea with this train I wish I’d seen earlier and could have stolen for the book. Truly.

Also, Owen’s art with my words — yup, stay tuned #ECCC 😀

One issue to go. Shane, the Id, rumble in the Cove. I guarantee, because you demand, satisfaction.

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. 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, actually phone a friend to talk about Headspace, or gift the comic to someone. It’s all appreciated.

We’ll see you for #8 very soon. Til then, have a think about our trade collection from IDW bringing you the entire story at the end of April [LINK]. Talk to your LCS about preordering it from Previews now, and tell your friends how much they need this in their life, and just stock up for Xmas, or get in for an Xmas in July now.

And if you’ve come this far, oof, thank you.