Tomorrow, MonkeyBrain Comics launches Headspace, a sci-fi/thriller that does the fandango inside your skull. Author Ryan K. Lindsay collaborates with artists Eric Zawadzki and Chris Peterson for what very well may be the launch pad for their respective careers. Sure, Ryan, Eric and Chris have been around, but in an ocean of insane creative comic book talent, it can be hard to keep your head above water, that is, unless you have the right recipe. Add a successful comic book publisher, a heaping spoonful of gorgeous artwork and finish off with a dash of psychological brain tenderizer and you’re there. Headspace is the spray paint that’ll graffiti the names of Lindsay, Zawadzki and Peterson to the walls of your mind.
Geez… I’ve gushed without really telling you anything. Well, issue one follows Shane, sheriff of Carpenter Cove, a town that’s full of the downright bizarre. Dragons. Robot dog man. Evil four-eyed monkeys. Which all make sense given that they exists in someone’s twisted mind. Wait, does that make sense? A sheriff patrolling a town in somebody’s head? Nope. Yup. I think you get the idea. So how did Shane get there and can he get out? One thing is for sure. Lindsay has written a doozy of a first issue and you’ll be around for the next.
Zawadzki’s work is pretty to look at. His smooth lines and his use of perspective remind me a bit of Spain Rodriguez’ style toward the end of his career, evidence enough that Zawadzki has a strong career ahead of him. The contrast of Zawadzki’s art in the mind versus Peterson’s sequences in the real world show a difference in styles, but still works to make the transition smooth. I generally find it jarring when a book uses this device, but it honestly works here. Peterson has an edgier line, and it’s used perfectly when portraying the harsh reality of the outside world. To help is colorist Marissa Louise, with bright colors in the real world to contrast the darkness of scenes in the mind. Really, there’s not a single panel that’s unsavory to look at, although I’d say Zawadzki benefits more by having so many fantastical things to draw.
While the story and it’s direction are enough to make you stick around, Lindsay also builds a strong character in Shane, giving the reader someone to cheer for, and if I’m perceiving the last panel correctly, to feel for. Once it’s over, there’s some juicy back matter, with essays from Lindsay giving you some behind the scenes on how it all came to be. You’ll also want to read issue one over again after Lindsay gives you the soundtrack that helps him get into the right “head space” whenever he visits Carpenter Cove.
Give Headspace a read on ComiXology, March 5th, 2014!
Parental Concern: 15+