Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: monkeybrain comics

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!

🙂

HEADSPACE #4 is on ComiXology

You can buy and download HEADSPACE #4 right now!

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HEADSPACE #4 with art by Eric Zawadzki, Sebastian Piriz, colours by Eric Zawadzki and Marissa Louise, letters by Eric Zawadzki, back matter and edits by Dan Hill, back matter design by Christopher Kosek, and written by Ryan K Lindsay is the halfway point of the whole story, and in it we stop and really assess Carpenter Cove and the madness around Shane.

This issue is something I’m incredibly proud of, it’s our best to date, and it’s a gut punch of a character portrait so I hope you get it, hope you dig it, and thank you for sharing the link, talking the book up, and giving us feedback.

If you are on the fence, I present a glowing preview of this issue by Tony Esmond that should bring you into the fold: CLICK HERE FOR WORDS.

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 Interview Round Up

HEADSPACE #2 is up for preorder/subscription so I thought it might be a nice time to throw your peepers towards the interviews I did around the time of launch for #1. A lot of good sites took the time to chat with me about the book, its superb creative team, the influences behind it, and where/how I saw it playing out. I was especially pleased with so many fine questions thrown my way and I really try to ensure each interview feels fresh with its own vibe so stock answers don’t come out too often.

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Have a click through, enjoy, share, preorder, talk about, subscribe, and have a great day.

Beard Rock“You can also expect gonzo monster fighting, terrifying corpses portenting bad things, and some of the saddest fatherhood themed stuff I’ve ever written.”

Geek Chocolate“The book operates across two layers of reality and deals with concepts of murder in society, fatherhood, and the roles of authority. It’s also a wacked out gonzo romp with a dragon in the first issue, one hell of a killer alligator, and layers of the mind of a killer slowly peeling open.”

The Beat“Yeah, I dig downbeat endings. I don’t even know why, I think it’s just that inevitability of it all. You see it coming but you can’t look away and you have to know how exactly it’ll go down. It brings out the extreme best and worst of characters.”

Pipedream Comics“I think deep down repeated childhood viewings of Inner Space must have helped and then decades of Philip K Dick warped this idea until Headspace spewed forth.”

ComicosityEric brings to life the Cove, in all it’s dank and depressing and gonzo glory, while Chris illustrates the real world, with beautiful colours from Marissa Louise.”

Multiversity“We place a lot of seeds in this first issue that bear fruit in later issues. I am relying on readers to pay attention.”

Forces of Geek“To call this Inception meets They Live will either delight or offend Ryan. Find out after the jump!”

Bloody Disgusting“The story takes place in the mind of a killer, and the killer’s mind is invading this safehaven. Things are not going to be pretty. His thoughts, fears, memories, everything are just pulsating over Carpenter Cove in waves we can’t even comprehend with modern science. The Cove is not going to be a nice place and putting Shane, a man who states in the opening sequence that he doesn’t believe in killing, against this murder and mayhem is truly going to test him and his stance.”

The Weekly Crisis“I’m not going to give a straight answer, no, but I will say more than one person already has called for a Gil spin off and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want this to happen with all of my heart.”

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Hope you dug all the info and tomfoolery. Head over to Comixology and preorder the second issue, or pick up the first for only 99c. You can found some review round ups with more superlatives here, and here.

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#headspacecomic

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.

RKL Annotations – HEADSPACE #1

HEADSPACE #1 has landed on ComiXology and I could not be more proud of the work Eric Zawadzki, Chris Peterson, Marissa Louise, Dan Hill, Chris Kosek, and myself put into this beast. This is exactly the comic I want to read as well as create. This is my best work, to date, and as such I wanted to unpack a little of it for/with you.

I hope you dig process notes… 😀

COVER

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This wasn’t the first cover we had, nor is it the one we pitched with. That cover was good, this one is great. We were happy enough with the first cover but I think we all knew we had to launch stronger than that. I blame Ibrahim Moustafa and his insane work on the HIGH CRIMES covers each damn issue. So Eric went back to the drawing board and came back with this beauty. I love the angle and fishbowl style Eric brought to this new one. I love that both characters are represented. But mostly I love the colours, man, those beauties pop from anywhere in the room. This cover is truly iconic, hence me using it for all that pre-press and behind all the quotes. This cover is something to behold.

I also found out, and this was only once we launched, that the cover works beautifully as a thumbnail on the ComiXology landscape. It stands out from the crowd, is easy to decipher, and Ryan Ferrier’s simple and dirty logo is readable at any size.

PAGE 1

When I wrote Panel One, I was firmly thinking of Dan Hill’s Opening Contract column. I guess you can tell why, and over time it only becomes more of a solidified thought.

I like in media res. I kind of hope the audience doesn’t mind it. We don’t show the crime, we won’t show the crime, this isn’t what is important. Shane’s reaction and actions are what are important. I wanted to drop a fair bit of exposition into this first sequence but have it all be set in a sequence that also meant something else. Everything that happens on this page comes into play later. It is also a Rosetta Stone for the Shane character and what he’s all about.

When I first saw this page, and the first panel with Shane in it, I was floored by Eric’s design of him in action. He’s so damn good.

PAGE 2

More exposition, basically because I want the status quo of Carpenter Cove established as quickly as possible so I can go about destroying it. I feel like other books/creators would have made these first pages the entire first issue, and established this world and these characters and then ended with the cliffhanger of things going all crazy. I couldn’t tread that much water. I do it in 5 pages and then get into the gristle of the tale. Again, I hope the audience doesn’t mind. I like a story that doesn’t muck around.

Also, this sequence was initially written to showcase Shane, his stance, his actions, and his place in the Cove. But then as we broke the story I found a piece of this sequence and got to mine it for a moment later that’s just superb and I wouldn’t have got there if this sequence wasn’t already written and drawn. That’s some crazy narrative fu chaos theory at play.

PAGE 3

This page was written in because after some shuffling, I had a page to spare. And I am so damn glad this page got to exist. This page is just something else. That horizon. Those subtle circles in the water. The space. This is Eric just doing next level stuff. And interestingly enough, he thumbed a first pass at this page that was completely different and it’s one of the very few times I’ve ever asked for something to be changed and I’m so glad we did. His other thumb looked insanely good but it wasn’t carrying the emotion I wanted to convey. It was doing something else entirely, and doing it well, but it wasn’t where I wanted us at this page.

PAGE 4

Introduce Max. Man, if you didn’t dig the in media res of the first 3 pages then you’ll hate the entire Max sequence. Basically, no real information is given here. We don’t know who’s talking. We don’t know why. We don’t even know who Max is. And that’s kind of how I want you right now. Just rest easy knowing I know, and you will, too…soon.

Also, how good are Chris Peterson and Marissa Louise together? I feel like I’ve paired these guys up and now someone else is going to steal them and use them elsewhere and I’m going to die of jealousy. And out of this whole page, which I love immensely, I can never get past that raised hand in Panel Two. It’s just so good.

PAGE 5

There’s kind of a big hint to something on this page but you won’t even know where to start looking for it. Good luck.

I don’t even know what to describe those demon monkey creatures as. That’s all Zawadzki.

So is the curvature on those buildings which just gives the creepiest effect.

I still worry that those two ellipses in that final caption are too much. Oh, well, we must let go of our art.

PAGE 6

I love this page. This was the page that finished out our original pitch package and I think it’s such a strong beat. I originally wanted to show the spectacle of what was happening in the Cove and then I realised this all takes place in a brain, why not show Shane as well. That’s when the flying speed racer bike came into existence. I realised we can play with this landscape because why not? The Cove can and should be able to do anything so I gave Shane this crazy hover craft purely so he could witness what I needed/wanted to show the reader. From here, the bike has been a reminder to always drop the pulp when I can because it’s fun and creepy and better shows the Cove for what it is.

As for the destruction in that big panel, man, isn’t it gorgeous? It looked great when we pitched but then Eric went over it after we got the greenlight and added even more insanity. That’s the sign of Zawadzki’s gift/talent/madness, he’s constantly wanting to refine to make it even better. And there’s one little thing in there that I saw and then instantly wrote into #3.

PAGE 7

The pacing on this page came out so well. This page is a masterclass in visual storytelling, everything progresses so damn well. And a lot of that was because of Eric. The whole use of that gun, and how perfectly its motions track, are on him. All I did was ask for the creature to be somewhat guided by Q THE WINGED SERPENT and I wanted those birds to look black because it felt creepier in that panel because to me they look like black pigeons, not ravens or anything.

I am also far too proud of the line: “Carpenter Cove always felt a little strange…but never like it was trying to kill us.”

PAGE 8

I wrote this page a few times. I wanted to get across that with whatever this is happening in the Cove, Shane is getting his memories of the real world back. This is where they start to bleed into his brain. I wanted it to be clear but not like I was spoon feeding. Treading that line is harrrrdddd.

I dig the hoodie Eric gave the fire escape victim. Like some sort of updated Freddy Kruger hipster chic.

PAGE 9

Eric designed the whole middle of the page/flashback sequence. Again, Eric knows what he’s doing, I just have to stand out of his way enough so as not to hinder him. Again, I wanted to fit a lot into this page without destroying the frenetic pacing we were building. We should kind of be as abused and bashed around by these memories as Shane’s frantic mind no doubt would be.

And then we end on another line I am proud of.

PAGE 10

Man, this bar. This. Bar. To me, this was Eric’s crowning achievement. This is proof he can world build and stage and deliver. This is my favourite location in this issue. Maybe even in this book. Look at that detail.

And then there’s Gil. Man, Gil was a kooky idea I cooked up – see the flying bike rule – and he made me smile but then Eric breathed life into his form and my heart was stolen. You can expect the Gil prequel comic – BEFORE HEADSPACE: GIL’S WAGER from me in 2015 🙂

Seriously, who wouldn’t love Gil?

PAGE 11

We finally cut back to Max and here we really see some of his true colours shine through. He’s a killer. Someone easy with dealing death. The ease with which he enters the fray was written to say a lot about him through his actions. He doesn’t get internal captions like Shane, and he doesn’t need them.

The pacing of this shootout is so damn fine and it’s all on Chris, and the progression of Marissa’s colours from yellow to orange to red won me over the instant I saw them in the dropbox.

PAGE 12

This page appears to be just moving the pieces but I also wanted it to juxtapose against the previous violence. This is Max in another gear. We don’t understand it but we should note how different it all is. And I love how Chris sells Max’s movements and face, and then Marissa drops that green water and it should be a postcard…but we know it isn’t.

PAGE 13

I hope this page confuses you. But I also hope you remember it. It’s all important.

I love the movie THEY LIVE so much.

I also dig how Chris + Marissa fill a crowd, such unique individuals.

PAGE 14

I asked for that weird little inset panel and Eric really slays it. It’s this weird deadend of storytelling, if you think about it, a sideroad that leads to a freakshow attraction but then you have to drive all the seven miles back onto the main road to get back on the path you need to be on. It’s an appendix of panels, and it is fit to rupture.

When Gil drops that line about John Sayles, man, Eric nailed the facial expression on Gil right there. That’s quality acting. The whole page is as Gil drops truth bombs.

PAGE 15

This reveal, of sorts, of the bar and the Cove is a very Twilight Zone sort of moment. I hope. This is where Shane kind of realises he’s in the story. And he still isn’t given all the clues to find the end of the tale but he is closer.

I just hope, beyond Gil’s killer line, that you are paying attention in Panel Five. This is one of the few visual moments that came from me, and then Eric naturally kills with natural skill.

PAGE 16

Oh, Gil D:

PAGE 17

And so things just kind of keep getting weirder. I didn’t want this issue to let up, I wanted it to drag us down the rabbit hole and then put a sack over our heads before we hit the thud at the bottom. But again, rest assured, everything you need is here and moving forward it all unravels.

I love Max’s face in Panel Four, and that advert poster in Panel Five is gorgeous.

PAGE 18

When I scripted this, I wasn’t sure if I was being stupid or pretentious or ridiculous. But Chris nails the execution and I’m glad to have a silent (kind of) sequence where a lot happens and you have to piece it all together to really unpack it. It might not come at first but it’s all there.

And then another advert Chris kills. He’s the Don Draper of the current comics world.

PAGE 19

The design of the killer is so damn creepy. Eric never fails, ever.

Yes, apparently, the back of the tongue is where the bitter tastebuds reside. Research. (This is where someone proves me wrong now, isn’t it?)

I hope that final panel is a reveal, of sorts. I’ve seen it coming for so long that I honestly can’t even tell anymore.

PAGE 20

This page might be the thinnest in the issue, now that I’m looking over it all. But it’s still important and I wanted it to have these beats. This is, again, all about Shane. This helps us understand him.

PAGE 21

Look at those tentacles. And so Shane is not in a position to win, and he is lost, and that mayhem is right outside and inside, what to do, what to do…?

PAGE 22

That background red colour in Panel Two blew me away. That’s all Eric, and it’s genius. And he only gets better at it as the series rolls on.

And with this final panel reveal, we come to a pause. A moment to breathe, if you wish. This was always the end of the first issue. Things were going bad for Shane, and we make them worse by the end, but with this last panel I wanted him to hit rock bottom. As a father, this moment here rocks me to my core. This is the sort of thing that strikes on many levels. And will next month.

My aim was to make this issue breakneck throughout and then end on an even bigger note. I wanted the stakes to constantly be raised, whether it’s on a physical scale with the violence or on the emotional scale with that reveal. I wanted this to all trend upwards.

BACK MATTER

Look at that phrenology page design Chris Kosek dropped on us all. The guy put in great time and effort to help design these pages so they’d feel special, and kind of like they belonged in a real (and real expensive) magazine. I am consistently amazed and pleased with the design fu he brings to the table.

The structure for this back matter will pretty much always remain. A little wandering chat with/from me, some process stuff, etc. That’s the stuff I die to read so it’s what I want to offer. I hope the process hounds among you dig.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I have read this issue so many damn times. And I’ve been pleased with it every single time. I went through this brief period where I thought it would tank with readers and then I got past it. I think I realised it might not take with some readers but those who would dig it would absolutely love it.

This is the kind of first taste I want to produce, I want it to get right into the nuts and crackers of the narrative, I want it to cover some serious ground, I want it to raise questions and leave answers for later, and I want it to be about character as much as it is plot. I want you to come back to find out about Max and learn about Shane’s predicament as much as I want you intrigued about how anyone got inside the mind of a killer and what they are there to do.

I hope you dug HEADSPACE #1, if so please tell you friends, put the love into the airwaves because these indie books only thrive on word of mouth and recommendations. If you know someone who digs subversive narratives with covert plot threads and bread crumbs to collect and follow then send them to the book, or send them my way for a chat. But share your love because that’s how we’ll make more of the magic happen. And if you didn’t dig the book, feel free to tell me why. Always happy to chat.

And if you tweet your thoughts with the #headspacecomic hashtag then you might end up in the back of a future issue, if that’s your bag.

HEADSPACE #2 is coming, it’ll be up for preorder soon enough, and then you can see what truth and terror behold THE DEAD MEN OF CARPENTER COVE – 09.04.2014

#headspacecomic

HEADSPACE #1 Advance Reviews Round Up

HEADSPACE #1 launches on ComiXology in a few hours so if you are on the fence here are some advance reviews, that are non-spoilery, that should help push the tide up into your click-and-buy peninsula. You can go to ComiXology and preorder/subscribe the book now.

“Sitting somewhere between The Truman Show and Twin Peaks, Headspaceinstantly distinguishes itself by setting up how broad the titular headspace will be.  After an intriguing opening about a woman being ‘exiled’ for murder, our de facto Shane is introduced in a sequence that involves a hover bike, a dragon and a patrolling ogre in the distance.”

Richard Gray at Behind The Panels gives us a 9/10 score

“We are inside the mind of a killer, a man who has no qualms about killing the constructs in his head, and Shane is an inhabitant of that head, though not an original thought. Lindsay has created a world where anything can happen. He has asked and answered that age-old philosophical question, “what if God is crazy?””

Brad Gischia at Bag&Bored gives a really thought provoking and well written review for us

“Tomorrow, MonkeyBrain Comics launches Headspace, a sci-fi/thriller that does the fandango inside your skull…Headspace is the spray paint that’ll graffiti the names of Lindsay, Zawadzki and Peterson to the walls of your mind.”

Chip Reece at Stash My Comics gives us a 9/10 score

“We are only scratching the surfiace of a very twisted mystery as we go through issue 1 of a series that should be a very wild ride indeed!”

Ed Garrett at TMStash gives us an 8.0 score

“Headspace #1 is a good one to take a look at if you like books that are a little off-kilter and challenge your imagination.”

Jonathan Pilley at Omnicomic drops kind words on us

“I actually look forward to reading more so I can solve the mystery.”

Ani Gonzalez at Word of the Nerd gives us a 7/10 score

Preorder, or just buy, then tell your friends, talk openly about it online. Indie books survive and thrive through word of mouth so thanks for whatever you can manage for us. It is all appreciated.

#headspacecomic

HEADSPACE Pre-Press Pin Ups and Quotes Part 1

I am considerably floored by the fantastic things people made and said in honour of the launch of our upcoming book at Monkeybrain, HEADSPACE.

We drop this Wednesday on ComiXology and so to boost moral in Carpenter Cove we commissioned this pin up by Brian – The Brothers James, Lazarus’ inks – Level. It’s intensely gorgeous.

brian-level-Headspace

Then we had some friends say some nice things about the book and they went out of their way to be super nice. The cover/quote fu comes from Chris Kosek. And I must say, these quotes are all really sweet and I dig every one of them, and I also dig the media they mention as touchstone points because they’re all really good.

headspace_A5_ad_final_4 headspace_A5_ad_final_3 headspace_A5_ad_final_2

headspace_A5_ad_final_1 headspace_A5_ad_final_5 headspace_A5_ad_final_06

And finally, we also got Marissa – our colourist supreme – Louise to do a pin up and the painterly sobriety she came up with floored me.

Marissa-Louise-Headspace-pin-up

So, we launch in a few days. Keep your eyes peeled for more pics and words on the HEADSPACE tumblr and then feast upon our delicious hard work on Wednesday as soon as your iPeepers will allow.

#headspacecomic

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