Review: Headspace TPB

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Headspace

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Ryan K. Lindsay
Art: Eric Zawadzki & Sebastian Piriz
Colouring: Eric Zawadzki, Marissa Louise & Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Eric Zawadzki
Editor: Dan Hill

Headspace TPB is the collected volume of 2014’s 8 Issue series from Monkeybrain Comics, written by Ryan Lindsay and Illustrated by Eric Zawadzki and Sebastian Piriz. The story centers on the inhabitants of Carpenter Cove, who soon discover their strange town is actually a construct in the mind of a killer. Shane, the sheriff, wants to get back to his real life but one dark connection between him and the killer is going to make him rethink everything.

While reading through this novel for the first time I became aware that any preconceptions I might have had about the story were about to be thrown out the window. As the story unfolds, my head is just about getting into the new groove when by chapter three, I have to change tact again. Now, with hindsight, there are multiple reason for this title to be called Headspace, as it has certainly rearranged mine as the story progresses. It is by chapter four that you realize there is two stories going on here, and several sub plots too.

Ryan Lindsay has really explored how the human mind works, all those little thought you have daily but never act upon. Ie. Someone really irritates you and you picture yourself smashing his or her head into the table, but never act upon it. Within Carpenter Cove, all those small thoughts act themselves out along with many other bizarre and random thoughts that pass through our brains on a second by second basis. Much of the pages are filled with violence and killings, but without appearing overly macabre or unplaced. If you remember these are thoughts in the head of a killer, they don’t seem to take on any real impact and have their place as background noise that can fills our heads.

As the stories progress at a fast and whirling pace, the true meaning of the tale finally starts to take shape in your own head. I was quite moved and slightly disturbed by the revelation of the Sherriff and Killers link, but that’s maybe because I’m a parent, but I’m not sure, even after three read throughs, leaving me breathless and emotional at the end.

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The art on the pages of Headspace TPB truly help to depict the tale in all its many splendid colours, reminding you of the shades of our thoughts. The teaming of Eric Zawadzki, Sebastian Piriz, along with talented colourists, Marissa Louise and Dee Cunniffe, make for a wonderful partnership. You can tell by the pages that every panel has been well thought out and planned to help the story bounce along on its travels of the synapses of the brain.

The simplification of the background art, to the attention to detail on the important pieces of the tale, really show on the pages. The dialogue is shown well and doesn’t clutter up the art in any way. The change from story to story is shown in the dramatic change in colour palette, so you have no doubt where you are in this tale, even if it is bending your mind. This is not normally my preferred style of art in comics, but it has really grown on me throughout this tale. Now at the end, I don’t think anyone else could have done it better.

I have no doubt many will enjoy this novel, if not on the first reading but certainly by the second. I hope, as it did with me, it will change your own Headspace!

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