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Comic Review: Headspace #1
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Headspace #1 cover by Eric ZawadzkiHeadspace #1
Written by Ryan K. Lindsay
Illustrated by Eric Zawadzki and Chris Peterson
Colored by Marissa Louise
Lettered by Eric Zawadzki
MonkeyBrain Comics
Release Date: March 5, 2014
Cover Price: $0.99

If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek into a killer’s mind, then Ryan K. Lindsay (best known for Ghost Town) has created a lens that will let you do just that in Headspace #1 from MonkeyBrain Comics.

Much like a fever dream, the debut issue of this digital serial introduces the reader to two landscapes—one in our real world, the other inside the head of murderer Max Johnston. What we discover in each realm is quite a bit more than even your typical criminal psychologist is trained to handle.

In Max’s mind is an island called Carpenter Cove. A morphed memory from his childhood, Carpenter Cove has somehow become a very real prison for its residents. Led by Sheriff Shane Garratty, those imprisoned are reclaiming their own memories of life before the island and are acting out in desperation to try and leave it.

We learn that Shane is connected to Max through past events, but the reader is left wondering how it is that this seriously unstable killer could “capture” the sheriff in his mind. With things in Carpenter Cove growing increasingly deadly, Shane sets out to solve the mystery in hopes of escaping the bizarre island before he loses the chance.

The script swings between the world around Max to the world inside his head, a back-and-forth that gives the reader a sense of unease akin to that of the disorientation and paranoia felt by its mentally ill central character. Whether the feeling was intentional on the part of Ryan K. Lindsay or purely coincidental, the effects definitely generate deeper sympathy for Shane Garratty and those sharing his fate in the surreal prison of Carpenter Cove.

One delightfully unusual feature of Headspace is the combination of imagery from two very talented artists: Eric Zawadzki, who illustrates the inner world, and Chris Peterson, who illustrates the outer world. The contrast in the styles of their work is highlighted further by the coloring of Marissa Louise.

This art team’s collaborative efforts alone are more than worth the nominal 99¢ cover price, but when combined with Lindsay’s carefully trimmed script, the complete package is a deal that’s too good to resist.

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