Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: chris kosek

RKL Annotations – HEADSPACE #5

HEADSPACE #5 is a 99c goldmine of feels.

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

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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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RKL Annotations – HEADSPACE #3

HEADSPACE #3, you got it?

If so, dig in.

We give Shane a little light and then we bash him in the face with a black light LED on strobe. Poor guy. I really dig this issue as it gets Max moving and pushes Shane around when he just wishes he could get from point A to B easy and quick.

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COVER

Seriously, Eric is pushing himself on these covers every single time. He refuses to rest on his laurels and he wants every one to be better than the last, all of them. It’s a tough ask but when he’s pulling it off with such aplomb I will not stand in his way. The map was something that came up in email discussion between Eric, Dan Hill, and myself. Eric then added the three figures so creatively placed.

Then he popped in some black background and it all came together. Getting these in my inbox is one of the best parts of this gig.

PAGE 1

Well in, Sebastian Piriz. Joining the team on the first page of your first issue, no pressure. Ha. Sebastian is taking over the Max IRL sequence because Chris Peterson has had to leave the project due to conflicting levels of mega-success. It’s sad to see him depart but we all wish him well and we know Sebastian will round out the creative team here at Carpenter Cove HQ.

This page is a pretty standard piece of business. It’s just setting up location, action, waiting for the page turn. The captions talk of other things, and people, though, so do pay attention.

I also really like those MUNCH sfx because they make Max look insane.

PAGE 2

The way Sebastian lays out Max inside his own head. The flow of those letters from Eric. Marissa’s gorgeous green pants on Max. Everything here is just as it should be.

PAGE 3

A touch, a past, an inevitable series of bad mistakes that you’ve been rinsing and repeating your whole life. Yep, just another day being human, guys. I really dig the way Sebastian draws Max with all those arms, and Marissa making those inset panel edges a colour is fantastic.

PAGE 4

This whole Max IRL sequence is just a vignette. Something to throw you off your pace. I wanted to show Max as a human. As a man with a real life, and interactions with normal people, and a possible shot at hope though it seems it’s just something he can’t take, or won’t manage to align. Either way, I wanted to humanise Max here and I’m really happy with this sequence. Max might be a killer but he’s also human. Sometimes a person can be both so I wanted to show that. I believe sometimes you can pause the jetpack narrative to slow and look and feel and touch.

PAGE 5

Now here we return to the Cove as Shane is told many a truth as we see the location, and see how weird it is. This is where Max’s memories are being harvested. I love the turning track/path Eric drew onto the page leading down. I also super dug on the DHARMA jumpsuits from Eric, yeeaaahhhhhh.

PAGE 6

Talking. Heads. I tried to boil the exposition down and maybe we were successful. I really like the body language given to Shane and the Librarian, these two guys are really interacting. I’m also always a sucker for someone taking off their glasses and cleaning them on the page.

PAGE 7

This page is so important. The Librarian reveals a foolproof plan to leave, the unconscious aspects of the Cove are explained (right back to that very first page, I told you to pay attention so don’t give up now, there’s more to come), and we see some of the grim reality around what’s happening.

I’m also impressed that Eric gets to recycle half an old page of art. Well in.

PAGE 8

Those red garbed foreground people in that panel of this page really set a new tone. It’s great because it’s a spot on way to do it. You should also look closely at what the Librarian says and if there are any nuances and how and why.

PAGE 9

I scripted this beat down but Eric really added some gravity and funk to it. This guy is a hard bastard and I almost don’t want to turn the page…

PAGE 10

The first panel really packs that punch in. Then panel two shows the man so angry he will barely remember who else was there after. Shane has to run after both of them absconding. This is the heart of Shane, his blessing and his curse – he’s a ‘leave no man behind’ kind of guy and doing that means you’re constantly running back into that which you have already escaped. It’s not the smartest battleplan.

PAGE 11

I love Max in the limo. I love how insane this scene gets really quickly. It’s a whole mess of things converging, a whole scatter shot of emotions on display and parts of Max’s brain around them all. I also really dig Panel Four as the limo speeds away from Shane. Eric drew that really damn well and shrewdly.

PAGE 12

This final image floored me when it came in. Mostly it’s the red sky but it’s also the posture of that beast. The way he’s weirdly stumbling through the building. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s drunk.

Also, this big guy only exists because Eric drew him in that splash of Shane flying above the Cove in issue #1. I saw him there and knew I had to use him later. So here he is, you’re welcome.

And as far as final splashes/moments go, I’m really happy with this one. It ups the ante from the normal-but-escalating scene we’ve just followed. And in a perfect world it’d be a full splash page but Eric’s time is money and I can’t keep him forever drawing my fancy pin ups. Plus, I kinda like it on this scale with some story beat above it, too. I have zero complaints.

BACK MATTER

As always, all hail Christopher Kosek, Designer Supreme.

TRUE DETECTIVE really did blow me away and inspire me to want/need to do more. I love a good slice of fiction that propels me into more of my own.

ESSAY

I love Dan’s title for this essay: Dirty Wars & Messy Minds – We can forget that for you wholesale.

As for the actual content, man, whoa, its intense. Dan’s always pushing me to think more and really analyse the world around me. He’s good like that.

Another issue down, albeit a touch late. Thank you so sincerely much for wading this deep into Carpenter Cove with us all. This story is really getting murky and we cannot wait to show you the funk with issue #4. Trust us, things get deep and dark and will affect you.

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

We’ll see you for #4 soon. Til then, face front, true detective…I mean, true believer.

HEADSPACE #3 Lives!

You can scarper on over to ComiXology right now and click/purchase HEADSPACE #3 for your peepers right now. Enjoy.

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HEADSPACE #3, from Monkeybrain Comics, holds within it art from Eric Zawadzki and Sebastian Piriz, with colours from Eric and Marissa Louise, and Eric lays the letters down from the writing which I have wrought. Back matter is written by me as well as a slick essay from Dan Hill that will have you questioning the world around you, and it’s all designed by Chris Kosek.

I’m very fond of this issue as Sebastian draws an ethereal and emotional Max IRL vignette while Eric brings the pain to Carpenter Cove as Shane finds a way out and home but can’t stop himself detouring into doing something he knows is right but is going to go so so wrong. The scene escalates very quickly – look closely in that limo – and the final page is jaw dropping stuff.

I do believe you will dig what we’ve got for you. So click on over and enjoy.

Here’s a sweet Owen Gieni pin up while you wait!

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——-

To extra convince you, here are some sweet blurbs from fantastic reviews from across the world:

Headspace is one of those mind fuck comics. But believe me it is a damn good fuck.” – Comic Bastards
 
“A science fiction infused comic version of an unwritten, undreamt Rogers Waters concept album fueled by insomnia and Red Bull about a shred of “The Truman Show” that’s been soaking in a tepid Twilight Zone bath, this story truly is wide open.” – CBR
 
The complete package is a deal that’s too good to resist.” – Geeks of Doom
 
“The final panel plays the Abrams-Lindelof game of teasing us with a new mystery having just solved an older one. It’s a pretty good twist, too, one which has me interested in what happens next.” – Bleeding Cool
 
It is a weird sort of sci-fi psycho-drama that will leave readers wondering, “What happens next?!”” – Newsarama
 
Upon further examination of the pieces at work here, Headspace #1 is magnificent.” – All Comic
 
“Throughout it all, [Ryan K Lindsay’s] passion for the story is clear, and it’s quite infectious.” – John Lees
 
“The concept is brilliant and executed with such skill that’ll you’ll barely find time to take a breath. The pacing is perfect and the world building is insane. It’s as good as first issues get, and it sows the seeds of an infinitely more interesting world to come. I can’t wait to see issue 2.” – Bloody Disgusting
 
“Yes there is still intrigue by the shed load but Headspace balances it against the narrative rather than being led by it.” – MOMBcomics
 
“Headspace is the spray paint that’ll graffiti the names of Lindsay, Zawadzki and Peterson to the walls of your mind.” – Stash My Comics
 
“I actually look forward to reading more so I can solve the mystery.” – Word of the Nerd
 
I can’t remember when was the last time I read and looked at something equally weird and subconsciously disturbing.” – Trash Mutant
If you can spread the word, tweet it out, tell your friends in the boardroom tomorrow over lunch, whatever you can muster, it is all appreciated. Indie comics live and die on word of mouth and good vibes so as we trek into the depths of this story we’d love it if you’d all come along.

HEADSPACE #3 Pre-Order Is Up

Aw, yeah, HEADSPACE #3 is up on ComiXology for preorder right now. Head on in and secure your pixellated rights to rent my ideas and enjoy them on your iDevices.

Or don’t. Y’know, because you already subscribed to the series. And I thank you for it.

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Preorder will end on Wednesday the 11th of June whereupon the issue goes on sale for young and old. And of the two, I’ll probably be the latter due to Wednesday the 11th of June also being my birthday and my skin suit will age considerably over that day.

Now for those who don’t know, HEADSPACE is a book I’m writing with art from Eric Zawadzki and Sebastian Piriz, with colours by Eric and Marissa Louise. It is about a man who realises he’s stuck inside the mind of a killer, and he wants to get out (natch). We show some pretty warped visuals, crank out some nasty ideas, but it’s all grounded to the emotional journey of our man on the spot, Shane.

As some of you will have noticed, that art team roster has changed. Unfortunately for us, Chris Peterson had to set sail into the waters off Carpenter Cove due to other commitments. He won’t be a fixture at HEADSPACE HQ anymore, but you need to scope his other books like GoGetters right now. To handle his sequence, we’ve brought aboard Sebastian Piriz and he’s good people. His work with Marissa on colours also pops really well.

In this issue, we point Shane in the direction of his salvation, and then we throw a problem his way that he can choose to avoid, were he the avoiding type of guy. Then, as the kids say, insanity ensues. Eric brings the ruckus with a nasty chase sequence and the final page will have your jaw hitting your iPad as you drool with awe at the beauty of it.

Needless to say, I’m really proud of this issue and I think you’ll dig it. So head over to ComiXology this week and preorder if you’re that type of person.

Also, seeing as it releases on my birthday, maybe do me a Birthday Solid and tell a friend about the book, maybe even gift them the first issue, or just scream from your old timey telescopic megaphone how much you’re digging the series. Do so at #headspacecomic on twitter and see your words in the back of the next issue. You all know indie books live and die on the vine due to word of mouth and such so any Birthday Solid given my way will be remembered and thanked and returned in kind over time.

Thanks, hope you enjoy, and here’s some preview pages to dig on.

#headspacecomic

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HEADSPACE #2 Preorders Open on @ComiXology

HEADSPACE #2 is available for preorder/subscription on ComiXology. I wrote it, Eric Zawadzki did pretty much everything else on the page. The issue goes live on Wednesday April 9th.

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This issue sees Shane meet the dead men of Carpenter Cove, come face to face with many faces of Max, and finally meet someone who can help him get out of the Cove…but can he trust the Librarian?

This issue features a nasty alligator, one wickedly big gun, fatherhood issues, and possible hope for the future. There’s also some back matter chatter and an essay about THE PRISONER written eruditely by Dan Hill and designed like it’s your in-flight magazine by Chris Kosek.

Preorder #2 now, and get stuck into #1 if you haven’t already for just 99c.

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