(Monkeybrain Comics, 2014)
Illustrated by Eric Zawadzki and Chris Peterson
Colours by Eric Zawadzki and Marissa Louise
Written by Ryan K. Lindsay
Letters by Eric Zawadzki
Edited by Dan Hill
The mind is a mystery. Modern science has yet to understand why humans use only a small portion of their brains. That is part of the reason why it is such a ripe fruit for the picking when it comes to popular culture and entertainment. Inception is only one of the most recent blockbuster films that probed the deep passageways of the mind, The Matrix showed how far we could go into our own heads, and now you can add another to the list. Headspace from Monkeybrain comics and the creative team of artist Eric Zawadzki (Occupy Comics) and writer Ryan K. Lindsay (Chum, Ghosttown) releases tomorrow on Comixology. Make sure to eat a balanced meal and sit in a quiet room, collecting your thoughts, before reading.
This book is a mind-bender to the degree that I can only relate to Inception. Thanks to Christopher Nolan for that, and for giving me some way in which to wrap my head around this, because this concept would be difficult to understand if not for the five or so times I’ve seen it. (Which I think I may understand now…maybe.)
Welcome to Carpenter Cove, a quiet little hamlet beset with monster and ghoulies, not the toilet kind, which have recently broken out of whatever infernal bonds held them and have begun to terrorize the citizens of the town. In charge, for reasons unknown to even himself, is Shane, the sheriff, who begins the comic by banishing one of the residents for murder, setting her afloat in a boat and leaving her.
Things rapidly get out hand when he returns, taking his flying motorcycle up to see the view from up near the clouds, and there are large tentacled creatures and creepy crawlies killing his citizens.
Here is the crux.
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?”
A terrifying thought, but one that Lindsay has put in a complex and interesting framework. Not only is “god” crazy in this instance, but there is someone that has been put into his universe that is not so, and has to abide by the rules set for by that god.
I’m not forgetting Eric Zawadzki, without whose presence this book would be sorely lacking. He has a Tony Moore/Charlie Adlard (Walking Dead of course) kind of style though with fewer zombies. (Although I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one show up soon.) There’s also a bit of something that reminds me of Tradd Moore (The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode) in the stringy hair and “liney” (real word? Doesn’t matter, I’m the creator here…) feel to some of the characters when we’re following the “real” world. It’s a comfortable style, something I feel like I’ve seen enough to be familiar with, but at the same time there are enough changes that it’s still new and interesting.
If you’re looking for a thinkin’ man’s comic book, and at the same time ready to jump into the kind of world that we all have thought imagined at one time or another, than jump into Headspace. It’s a mind-bender to the nth degree, I would posit it’s already earned a doctorate in mind-bending. (Yo Jo!) So go pick it up, and be happy with your choice for as long as the voices in your head let you.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.